Psychology is the scientific study of mind and behaviour. Psychology includes the study of conscious and unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. The field of psychology is built on the science of the mind and human behavioural studies try to acknowledge and understand why humans act and are the way they are, these have been going on for decades and will continue. We’re learning more and more each day. But there’s still so much we don’t know. Some study findings are more fascinating than others…In today’s article, we will be sharing psychological facts on human behaviour you never knew.
11 Psychological Facts on Human Behaviour
The following psychological facts could just explain or confirm some of the things you see in yourself or others;
1. If we have a plan B, Plan A is less likely to work
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania studied the performance of volunteers on a certain task and found that participants who thought about a backup plan did worse than those who didn’t. They also found that when participants realised they had other options, their motivation decreased. This is related to Expectancy Theory, which was developed by Victor Vroom in 1964. Expectancy Theory states that your motivation for something is a function of whether you expect to be successful at it, inheriting a backup plan is that you’re not going to succeed the first time around. Researchers say it’s important to think ahead and have backup plans, but advise against getting too caught up in the details, you could inadvertently be sabotaging your success.
2. Catching a yawn could help us bond
The workday has just begun, and you’re ready to get lots of work done. You’re sitting at your desk during your morning meeting. When the guy sitting next to you lets out a loud and obnoxious yawn. Before you know it, you’re yawning too, but you’re not even showing signs of tiredness. That’s called a response yawn. There are various theories explaining why yawns are harmlessly communicable and contagious, one of the prime ones being that response yawns demonstrate human empathy. This explains why young children that haven’t yet developed a sense of empathy, or those who suffer from autism spectrum are less likely to respond to yawns.
3. We care more emotional about a single person than about massive tragedies
In another university of Pennsylvania study, researchers examined people’s behaviour as it related to donating to causes based on certain stimuli. One group was shown a starving young girl. The second group was told the statistic about millions of people dying of hunger. Those who heard about the little girl donated double what the statistic group did. Psychologists attribute this to the psychological fact that if a problem feels too big, we feel helpless and insignificant like our efforts won’t have any payoff. In this case, helping save one starving girl seems more attainable than ending world hunger. Another group of psychology believes that empathy is built when a singular issue is attended to than when multiple issues are attended to and this is simple empathetic human behaviour.
4. Beginnings and Ends are easier to remember than the middle
Have you ever been grocery shopping and forgotten your grocery list? When trying to remember things without them, you can visualize them and remember things close to the beginning and the end. But the things in the middle are a little fuzzy. A study on the frontiers of human neuroscience confirms this. It’s called the serial position effect. It’s also why you might remember the end of a professional presentation in class or at work, but the middle not so much. So it is a thing. And you may not have a sickness after all. This is a psychological fact that it is part of human behaviour to easily forget things in between.
5. Food tastes better when someone else makes it
Ever wonder why Food always tastes better when mom makes it? Food tastes better whenever anyone else makes it, assuming they’re a decent chef. Researchers attribute this to the fact that when you’re preparing a meal for yourself, by the time you’re ready to eat, it’s been so long that it’s less exciting, and as a result, you enjoy it less. This is a psychological fact that explains the human behaviour of taste.
6. People would rather know that something bad is coming than not know what to expect
Have you ever felt a drop in your stomach when someone says we need
to talk, your mind is immediately flooded with a million different bad things that could be about. If it’s a romantic partner, you’d probably rather they just break up with you then and there. If it’s your boss, you’d rather they just fire you on the spot. Researchers have found that we prefer knowing something bad is going to happen over uncertainty. This is because when our brain doesn’t know what to expect, it goes into a state of exhaustion and overthinking trying to predict any possible outcome, both good and bad. This is a psychological fact that explains human behaviour toward expectancy and coordinated thought,
7. The more strict a rule. The more they want to break it.
In the psychological fact and occurrence known as reactance (Psychological reactance is a cognitive inclination that was initially researched by Brehm in 1966 that describes the extreme reactions human beings undergo when we feel as though we are being pushed towards doing something or as though our freedom to make our own choices is being restricted). People tend to break more rules when they feel like certain freedoms are being restricted to regain the freedom that they recognize as being taken away. This is best illustrated in teenagers, when grounded, not only might they sneak out, but they may end up engaging in other dangerous, hazardous, and risky behaviours as a form of reactance. This psychological fact explains human behaviour towards aroused motivation and reaction.
8. We unintentionally believe what we want to believe
Confirmation bias is the tendency to clarify facts in a way that confirms what we already believe. This explains why people with certain political views prefer certain news outlets over others. Not only does confirmation bias lead us to seek out information that agrees with what we already believe, but it also causes us to dismiss contradictory information. This psychological fact supports the theory of dissonance and consonance of human behaviour.
9. You’re programmed to most love the music you listened to during your youth
Good music triggers the release of dopamine and other feel-good chemicals. This is my gym, said every teenager at a party at some point ever. The days of high school are actually between the ages of 12 and 22. When the importance of everything feels magnified, music is included. Studies show that we connect to the music we bonded to during our teenage years more so than we ever will as adults despite the passage of time.
1o. Our brain doesn’t think long-term activities are so important
Yeah, you could probably start on that big project for work or school now. But you’ve got several months. Before you know it. Those months are gone, and you’re trying your best to cram months’ worth of work into a matter of days. Urgent, immediate tasks are more appealing. They provide instant gratification because they’re quicker and easier to cross off your brain’s to-do list. Our brains process short-term deadlines like those measured in days better than long-term ones such as months or years. This explains why most students who study for a test or exam that is months away seem to fill like it’s not getting well but days before the exam all the details start to get in place and it is no surprise that most people could cover a semester worth of books all in one night, this is because your brain knew when things are urgent or not.
11. When you forget a part of your memories your brain starts filling those memories with false details
False memories are something that you would call in your mind but aren’t true, either in whole or in part. An example could be believing you started the dishwasher before you left for work when you didn’t. This is because our brains can sometimes inaccurately fill in the blanks when it only remembers the gist of what happened, this explains why people with amnesia tend to piece their memories with things that never happened. These psychological facts explain the human behaviour of thought and recovery.
Psychological facts are as important as our everyday life and as such should be studied daily in other to understand human behaviour. But it is also essential to understand that human behaviour is not limited to these psychological facts and as such should not be used as a compulsory guideline for people all facts should be tried as educational and more research should be made to get a proper understanding,