Psychology has the answers to your daily questions…
Since the human mind is infinitely complicated, new Science is published every day that sheds light on why we are the way we are. Although certain psychological experiments supply us with rather mundane psychology facts (for example, one University of Rochester report concluded that—wait for it—people are happier over the weekend), others are genuinely illuminating.
We’ve compiled a list of psychological facts that illustrate human nature—and can shed some light on some of the trends you’ve seen in yourself and others. These are the mind-boggling psychology truths that describe everything, from why you believe food tastes better when someone else makes it to why you still see human faces in inanimate objects.
Shortpedia Voices has assembled a list of the most surprising psychological facts to help you better understand yourself and others.
Fear will be pleasurable if we are not in imminent danger.
Not all enjoy horror movies, but for those who do, there are a few reasons why with the primary one including hormones. You get all the adrenaline, endorphins, and dopamine from a fight-or-flight reflex when you see a horror movie or walk through a haunted house. Still, your brain knows that you’re not really in danger, so you get the normal high without the harm.
Plan A is less likely to succeed if we have a backup plan.
It doesn’t matter to be prepared every now and then. In a series of studies conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, researchers discovered that when volunteers considered a contingency plan before beginning a mission, they performed poorer than those who had not considered a plan B. Furthermore, after they knew they had choices, their drive to excel the first time dropped. The researchers emphasize that planning ahead of time is a smart strategy. Still, you can be more competitive if you leave your preparations unclear.
Five good things outnumber one bad thing.
Our minds have a “negativity tendency,” which causes us to recall negative news better than good, which is why you easily forget that your coworker complimented your presentation but want to focus on the fact that a kid at the bus stop mocked your shoes. We need at least a five-to-one ratio of positive to evil in our lives to remain healthy.
We want to squeeze pretty stuff for a reason.
“It’s so adorable that I just had to smoosh it before it popped!” Cuteness hostility is a feeling that people get when they try to crush an adorable puppy. According to a study published by Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, when we are overcome by emotional feelings, such as looking at an impossibly adorable baby animal, a little bit of aggression helps us even out the big.
Some people love watching other people’s anger.
People with high testosterone recalled details best when it was matched with an angry face rather than a friendly or no face, meaning that they find the angry glare satisfying, according to a University of Michigan report. According to the researchers, it could mean that some people like making others glare at them—as long as the flare of anger doesn’t last long enough to be a threat—which could explain why that guy in the office won’t stop making that stupid joke at your expense.
When other people disagree with us, we immediately second-guess ourselves.
In a well-known experiment from the 1950s, college students were asked to identify three lines was the same length as a fourth. When they saw others (participants in the experiment) choosing a distinctly incorrect answer, they followed suit and chose the same incorrect answer.
We aren’t as strong as we say we are at multitasking.
According to research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, even though you believe you’re doing two things at once, you’re simply going between the two roles quickly—you’re only working on one at a time. It’s no surprise that listening to your wife when browsing through Instagram is difficult.
Loneliness is harmful to our health.
Researchers discovered that the fewer friends a person has, the higher his or her levels of the blood-clotting protein fibrinogen. It had such a big impact that making 15 mates instead of 25 was almost as evil as smoking.
Organizing information into bite-sized chunks aids memory.
Since your short-term memory can only contain too much information at once (unless you find one of the basic ways to boost your recall), you use “chunking” to recall long numbers. For example, if you tried to memorize the number 90655372, you probably thought it was 906-553-72.
Our brains like us to be lazy.
Conserving resources is a smart idea, evolutionary speaking—even when food was sparse, our forefathers had to be ready for something. Unfortunately, for those trying to lose weight, this is still valid today. Small research conducted in Current Biology discovered that when participants walked on a treadmill, their gait spontaneously adjusted to consume fewer calories.
We will always, always, always come across a challenge.
Have you ever wondered that when one dilemma is solved, another one arises? It’s not like the universe is against you—but your brain maybe. Volunteers were asked to identify threatening-looking people among computer-generated faces. “When we showed people less and less threatening faces over time, we discovered that they widened their concept of ‘threatening’ to include a broader range of features,” explains researcher David Levari, Ph.D. “In other words, when they ran out of dangerous faces to identify, they began labeling innocent faces as threatening.”
Food tastes better as it is prepared by someone else.
Have you ever wondered why a sandwich from the takeout spot down the street looks better than one you make at home, even though you use the same ingredients? One research conducted in the journal Science discovered that while you prepare a meal, you’re around it for too long that it tastes less exciting by the time you finally dig in, reducing the pleasure.
We are confident that the future will be bright.
Suppose you like where you are now or not, according to studies published in Current Biology. In that case, most of us have a “optimism tendency” that convinces us the future will be better than the present. We expect to advance in our professions, never get divorced, raise little angels, and live to a ripe old age. Any of these may not be possible for all, but there’s no point in fantasizing.
You’re conditioned to like the songs you listened to the most in high school.
Music brings us a rush of dopamine and other feel-good hormones, amplified while we’re young when our brains are always growing. All is more significant between the ages of 12 and 22, so we seem to focus on those years the most and cherish those musical memories.
“Researchers have discovered data that shows our brains tie us to music we listened as teenagers more closely than something we’ll hear as adults—a bond that doesn’t fade as we mature,” writes Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern.