The human psyche is perhaps the most complicated and least understood enigma in the universe – or is it really? Psychologists say that based on studies, they can actually predict most human behaviour given a certain set of circumstances, because research shows that all said and done, we’re a pretty predictable lot.
1. Although we like to think that we’re completely, consciously in charge of our decisions, research shows that most of our everyday decisions are taken without too much thought. Our conscious brain would not be able to so rapidly process the millions of bits of data it’s bombarded with every second, so it relies on the subconscious mind to take decisions based on previous experience.
2. You’d think being a daydreamer has a negative connotation, but scientists say it triggers creativity and problem-solving skills. Research shows that at least 30% of the time, we all give in to day-dreaming instead of focusing on the here and now.
3. Perception over-rides actual visuals that we see. Even if our senses are telling us the letters we see in a sentence are scrambled up, we can still read it if the first and last letters are in the same place. The rset can be a toatl mess but we can sitll raed it wthiuot a prelobm.
4. Our most vivid memories are most likely flawed. Our brain automatically takes a ‘photo’ whenever something intensely traumatic happens in our lives. These recollections are called ‘flashbulb memories’, but they’re often inaccurate because the strong emotions we were experiencing at that time influence and reshape the memory.
5. We almost always overestimate our reactions to future events, whether positive or negative. Happiness levels generally remain the same and we cope much better with calamity than we expect. Thinking about loss is usually worse than the actual loss itself; and happiness from outside factors is short-lived and often a let-down from what we had anticipated.
6. The number of friends we can have is limited. Even though you may count thousands on Facebook, scientists say the maximum number of close ties a person can form ranges from 50-150.
7. We’re all likely to commit the ‘fundamental attribution error’- meaning we blame others’ behaviour on their personality traits, but our own on external circumstances, thus excusing ourselves but judging others.