Top 10 Interesting Psychology Facts

1. Cognitive Dissonance - the idea that when we hold two conflicting thoughts or beliefs, we unconsciously adjust to make one fit with the other. My social psychology professor gave an example of a student who values studying all the time, but slacks off when it comes to their favorite television show. So the student tells herself that watching the television helps her study later when it really doesn’t. However, telling herself that helped her eased the anxiety. 

2. Hallucinations are common - one third of people report experiencing hallucination at some point in time. Similarly, normal people often have paranoid thoughts. So when was the last time you hallucinated? 

3. The Placebo effect - this is when you think that something like a drug has an effect on you when really it doesn’t. It’s your thoughts that actually resulted in you getting better. 

4. Obedience to Authority -authorities or people in power can really control our behaviors. In Stanley Milgram’s famous study, 63% of participants kept giving electric shock to another human being just because someone in authority was telling them to. 

5. Choice Blindness - we are not very good at making choices and understanding why we made those choice. When we make a decision, even if the decision is not good, we tend to rationalize why decision is the best. 

6. Fantasies reduce motivation - thinking that we’ve already succeeded can reduce our motivation. We might think that thinking about success makes us want it more, but it actually backfires. 

7. Brainstorming doesn’t work - thinking in groups actually reduces the power of brainstorming because in group people are more lazy and worry more about what other people think. It’s better to think alone when it comes to generating ideas. 

8. Don’t suppress - holding back your thoughts actually makes you think about it more. It’s like you try as hard as you can not to think about pink elephants in the room, but the more you try, the more likely the elephants doesn’t go away. 

9. We can train to Multitask - Generally, multitasking reduces efficiency because we have to allocate different cognitive resources to different tasks, but studies show that you can learn to multitask. You just have to train.

10. It’s the little things that matter - we think that it is the big events in our life that changes us, but it’s actually the little things adding up that makes us who we are. 

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