Saturday, 3 September 2016

How our mind tricks us everyday?

This one gave me Inception flashbacks! The term cryptomnesia signifies the existence of memories which are hidden from consciousness. It’s a nifty little thing your brain does where suppressed memories are recalled randomly; for example, you could come up with an ‘original idea’ which was actually your memory of hearing it from someone else. Only now, you genuinely believe it’s your idea.
Source: Social Media

Have you heard of the term Gestalt? It’s a very well-known and powerful term in psychology and it translates to “unified whole”. Gestalt theories attempt to describe how people tend to organize visual elements into groups or unified wholes when certain principles are applied. In common parlance, it means we tend to pick out complete images and patterns when we are given pieces of information. For example, the panda in the picture (in reality, it’s only blobs of black against a white background) or patterns in TV static. This tendency to see things which aren’t actually there increases when we feel stressed or helpless.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

This quirk of our neural networks could actually be a huge contributing factor to developing empathy. When we see someone else in pain, parts of our brain associated with pain get activated, and we are able to feel their pain”.

The Forer effect is based on a study by Bertram Forer told his class he was giving everyone a statement about themselves to read. The class marked the statements for accuracy, giving them 4.26 out of 5 on average. The statements, which were all the same, was something general-yet-specific like “You have a great need for other people to like and admire you,” or “While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them.” This study gives us an idea why we tend to believe magazine horoscopes are accurate for us.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

Yes, it’s official - our memories are notoriously inconsistent and inefficient. False memories are a real thing, and are easy to plant in a person. Basically this means you remember something which never actually happened. One scary example of this is when a person suddenly “remembers” a traumatic childhood incident - which actually never happened - after being influenced by a psychiatrist.

When your read, your brain doesn’t process every letter but takes in the whole word. So if the first and last letter of the word are intact, you will read that word even if all the other letters are jumbled! Pretty cool, until you realize that this is what makes manual spell check such a task.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

Remember the HIMYM episode whereTed repeats the word “bowl” until it sounds absolutely ridiculous? Well, it’s due to a process called semantic satiation where a word sounds like nonsense if you repeat it enough times.
Source: Social Media

You’re thinking of buying a blue Ford sedan, and all of a sudden, you’re seeing so many blue Ford sedans on your commute. Something like this ever happen to you? Confirmation bias causes us to place a greater emphasis or even seek out things that confirm what we already believe, but to ignore or discount anything that opposes our already existing ideas. What this translates to is that we tend to notice things in our environment which confirm our existing beliefs and biases - we see what we want to see. Confirmation bias takes intention and some effort to overcome, but it is definitely possible to remove our mind-blinds and see reality for what it is.
Source: Wikipedia Commons

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