To Top

Did You Know About These Psychological Effects That Affect Us Everyday?

Often when we look back at certain incidents, it astounds us and we can’t help but think that the way we behaved was extremely stupid. However, it has been found that even behind the most irrational behavior, that there is logic, and there is usually an underlying reason. In fact, some of these instances actually have proper names in psychology. Here are 7 scenarios that explains the way we behave and the whys behind the said behaviors.

The Hawthorne Effect

The Hawthorne Effect explains our need to behave differently when we have been chosen to be part of an experiment. The very fact that we have been chosen over others makes us feel good and we want to be loyal and attentive to the experiment. This might explain the way we behave in a supermarket survey or tasting session. We find a particular product great and agree to buy it even, but when we come back home, we realize maybe the product really wasn’t all that great. Needless to say tons of companies use this as a marketing tactic to target shoppers. It would help instead if you thought more clearly and critically especially while taking part in a survey or experiment. You are not obliged to give 5 stars to every question that you are asked, unless you honestly think it toso exceptional.

The Zeigarnik Effect

Named after psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, this particular psychological effect explains the reason why we remember unfinished tasks more than finished ones. It is the reason why a waiter remembers your order until they are served, and once it has been served, they might forget it. The explanation behind this is that when the task is interrupted or unfinished, we tend to stay tense. The task-specific tension improves our cognitive ability. An example used by psychologists is that sometimes while studying, if we take a break, we are more prone to remember the lessons afterward compared to someone who might have already finished learning the lesson or study material. Oh well, now we know to not make this as an excuse to keep your tasks incomplete! It is better to complete all your tasks at hand. At least you will be spared all of the tension mounting up in your mind regarding the unfinished ones!

The Zajonc Theory

We all have two personas, one when we are at home and another when we are outside in the world. A lot of factors determine our behavior when we are outside the comfort of our homes. Not just what is expected of us from a  societal standpoint, but there are a few other factors involved too. Like what kind of people there are close to us. For example, a man might offer to help an elderly woman cross the street, if there is a young woman nearby. He might be trying to impress the woman or other bystanders by his act of kindness. However, something like this, can also be referred to as the “social facilitation” or the “audience effect”. This is probably the reason why children perform better when competing or even why adults perform better in a group setting. When we have an audience watching, the urge to perform better is always there. This theory extends to having food and enjoying shows as well. It is found that we eat more when we have company and we laugh more as well!

The Spotlight Effect

As the name suggests, it has to do with the amount of attention we get. The theory explains that we often overestimate the amount of attention we get. This happens from our deep-rooted egocentrism. Often we have something wrong with our outfit and when we are in public we are too conscious about it thinking everybody must have noticed. Truth is, hardly anyone does. So, from next time and onward, don’t think too much about your imperfections or wardrobe mishaps, just like you might not be dwelling on others.

The Pratfall Effect

On the other hand, it has been found that we tend to like people who make mistakes and seem funny about it too. Especially if the person had seemed intelligent before, the blunder or pratfall somehow makes them more likable. Interestingly enough, it has been found that men were more affected by this theory than women. It is very easy to understand the logic behind this. Since we all commit a blunder sometimes, it is easier for us to relate to people who commit mistakes than to those who are perfect!

Next time you face any of these scenarios, hopefully, you will have a better understanding as to why something is happening and the reactions that come along with it!

More in Mental Health

You must be logged in to post a comment Login