“if you can’t explain it simply then you never understood it well enough” – Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist. He is known for his contribution quantum electrodynamics and particle physics.
Richard Feynman proposed a technique which enabled a faster learning process. This technique allowed one to pinpoint problem areas in our learning.
He suggested that if you are not able to explain complex ideas into simple way then you probably are missing something or have not understood it properly.
Steps to use Feynman technique to learn faster
- Read and understand the concept or theory which you need to learn. You can read once twice or as many times you want. The point is you need to understand what you are reading. Feel free to write if that is your style.
- Explain this concept/theory to your friends/peers/parents. You can explain it to yourself. Now here comes the silver lining when explaining it to your peer/friend/parent or yourself then notice it there are any gaps or points which you have missed. It can also be a feeling of dissatisfaction with your explanation.
- Review the explanation which you have given, find areas where you were not able to explain a point, or you have used complex terms as a substitute. Go back and learn them again or review them to have a better understanding of your fault areas or problem areas.
- Now go back and rehearse in your mind the concept/theory You do that by explaining to yourself. Now check it again if you are satisfied with your explanation or if there were discrepancies when you are explaining to somebody or rehearsing in mind.
Feynman technique applies to process and reprocessing of information in different ways. This enables learning to be incorporated in long term memory block.
This is tried and tested way of faster understanding of concepts/ideas/theories. Your time is reduced, and you are putting smart effort instead of reading it again and again.
I am sure many of you found your new resolutions fervor to dissipate after one or maybe 2/3 weeks. We make plans in hope do change ourselves for better, to inculcate good habits or to do something which reflects positively on us and as well on others.
But sooner or later our enthusiasm towards fulfilling our resolutions seems to expire. And we forget it like every other new year resolution that has happened already.
Obviously, every one of us wishes the contrary to what happens to most of us. Is that we succeed in fulfilling our resolutions even if we don’t get what we wanted at least effort should be there.
Here are 7 ways you can stick longer to your new year resolutions:
7 Hacks to stick to your New Year Resolution
Write it somewhere
Where you can go back see whenever you don’t feel like committing to your goal/resolution. Writing your goal can work better if you aren’t keen on making your resolutions public. Also, since nobody knows even if you fall short you are your own judge so there is scope for betterment.
Find people with the same resolutions or similar ones.
This way you get to make new friends or maybe strengthen existing ones. By finding people with same/similar resolutions you knowingly or unknowingly are in healthy competition with each other. You use peer pressure for committing to a resolution.
Find a strong reason for it.
Sometimes all we need is the reason to push ourselves in the right direction. Hence, you should find a very good reason for your resolution. This will help you persevere longer. A weak reason would have a weaker motivation to comply with.
Set your resolution like your alarm.
Remind yourself if not every day then at least thrice a week about what your resolution is and more importantly why you are doing it. The resolution will be easily forgotten if not reminded.
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Change your Perspective
We usually see are resolutions in terms of gain/loss. This is a problem. Whatever you are trying to achieve see it as self-investment. Example, we want to look fit to better our chances of finding a beautiful partner. What if we don’t find it. This way resolution will suffer a setback. Better to see the resolution of achieving fitness through a lens of self-Investment. Don’t you want to look your best version?
Use an android/other application to track your commitment.
There various applications which help you track your goals and targets. Why not use it. Some of them are Goal tracker, My Journey, Loop, Remente and others.
It helps. You have set a resolution and you need motivations, especially during the troughs. Don’t give up on yourself as there is already an ocean of people doubting you. Have faith in yourself. Wake up with enthusiasm even if you have to force it through your nerves and find time to fulfill your resolution.
At the end whatever your commitment/resolution is. You should set out with determination and discipline. You will achieve it.
Leaving with a quote
“To Hope Is to give yourself a future and that commitment to future makes the present inhabitable “
Doctor Ivan Pavlov conducted a famous study in the field of Behavioral Psychology referred to as classical conditioning. He later won Nobel in 1904. Classical conditioning is associated with behaviorism.
We have two types of responses one which voluntary and other which is involuntary. These Responses are invoked with respect to a stimulus. To understand Dr. Ivan Pavlov study there are two things:
1. Unconditioned stimulus, a stimulus which naturally and unconditionally triggers a target response.
2. Conditioned stimulus is an alternative stimulus to the natural stimulus (which is unconditional stimulus) which evokes the same response as that when a natural stimulus is produced.
Pavlovian Experiment summary: Doctor Pavlov conducted an experiment with dogs where food was put in front of dogs and the bell was rung to indicate that food was present.
The food was accompanied with a sound of the bell which produced eventually produced a conditioned stimulus. The dogs used to salivate whenever food was kept in front of them, this is what can be categorized as an Unconditional response.
However, whenever food was presented the bell rang. This eventually made dogs associate food with bell and made them salivate even when only when the bell rang even if no food was presented. This is known as conditioned stimuli.
In dogs, the bell ringing which was alternative stimuli produced a natural response which was salivating when they used to see food. So, when the bell rang dogs were salivating if or if not the food was present.
Where is classical conditioning is being used?
1. Drug abuse/ alcoholics, people are conditioned to limit/reduce drug abuse or reduce alcohol consumption.
2. Stopping or eliminating bad habits.
3. Training armed forces and military.
4. Coping up with addictions
5. Is being used to train wild animals to not encroach neighboring agricultural fields.
6. Improving Learning Behavior and Education sector.
7. Promoting vegetarianism or vegan lifestyle and many more.
Pavlovian conditioning is one of the most crucial study/experiment in the field of psychology, especially behavioral psychology. That has contributed to various sectors in the industry be it education, military, consumer industry, etc.
HSP stands for highly sensitive person, Doctor Elaine Aron is credited with this research finding. She has worked on it for more than two decades since the early 90s.
Her research suggests, that around 15-20 percent of people are HSP. Also, it is not a disorder. It is innate, meanings it’s in your genes. Brains of highly sensitive individuals work a little different from the others. It is seen in animals also as a survival state in animals by observing before acting.
It is not typically associated with introverts. Around 30 percent of extroverts are HSP. So even if you are an extrovert, introvert or even an ambivert then you should have look at it.
If you are a Highly Sensitive Person, then
10 Signs You are Highly Sensitive Person
1. You are a deep thinker
You are often engaged in your thoughts, they never seem to leave you. Most of the times you are thinking about something or the other. You are a person who usually feels engaged in reflection and introspection.
2. You seek answers to questions that most would ignore,
Since you are a deep thinker you engage in many questions to life and its meaning. You have that philosophical bent of mind.
3. Empathize strongly,
If you often see yourself empathizing rather than sympathizing, then probably you are a Highly Sensitive Person. HSP individuals strongly feel the pain of the others. Hence empathizing comes naturally to them.
4. A Coffee might give you a headache,
In most cases, coffee helps you with your headache but here it can give a headache. Since you are sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
5. You get Uncomfortable with loud noises,
You are predisposed to prefer silence and you get irritated easily with loud music or noise.
6. You get overwhelmed with strong smells, sirens and bright lights,
Being a highly sensitive person, you are susceptible to bright lights and strong smells.
7. You are detail oriented,
You are very careful about any task assigned to you. You do proper planning and test drills before the actual event.
8. You abhor change,
You get annoyed or shaken up if someone changes your room, get transferred to another place and other changes in life.
9. You consciously make an effort to avoid an overwhelming situation,
An HSP makes an effort to avoid situations which will be a sensory overload for him/her. HSP tries to avoid situations that would make him/her upset.
10. Test anxiety almost comes naturally to you,
Ever felt nervousness or anxiety continuing during exam or test. An HSP can relate you to it. You perform worse if you are being observed or are in the test environment with competitors.
11. You need time off from sensory overload,
You have a place where you find solace. You often tend to retire to a quiet place after being overwhelmed/ sensory overload.
12. You know about your environment like a fox,
You are a fox when comes to sensing your environment, without looking you are aware of what is going on around you. This comes with the fact that you easily get stimulated.
13. You often get startled by the sudden noise,
You get frightened easily from sudden movements or sudden noises.
14. You hate making mistakes,
You make efforts not to make mistakes or errors. As a result, you carefully deliberate over things and make sure there is no chance that you make errors.
15. You know what’s going on,
Your complex understanding of things and general observant nature makes you a perceptive person, who knows who is angry and when? For that you don’t need to ask, you just know.
16. You are highly self-aware,
Being an HSP is not so bad, as you are the master self-awareness since you are analytical and deep thinker this comes naturally to you.
Being HSP is not a disadvantage it makes you more receptive and responsive to your environment. You’re probably like Peter Parker (Spiderman) whose senses keep ting a ling when danger or uncertainty is ahead.
Have you ever faced discrimination? Have you ever felt that you are being treated inferior in comparison to your co-worker? Or Have you ever felt that your sibling gets treated favorably and you are discriminated?
How Discrimination affects you?
I am sure many of you can relate to the above stated.
Discrimination has sociological and psychological implications. Many of us aren’t aware of it or probably take it as a bad day or feel upset for some time. However, discrimination has implications which one should definitely have a look at.
James Elliot conducted an experiment in 1970 with her third-grade class students. This experiment was called The Class divided.
James Elliot was a feminist, an Anti-racist, a school teacher and an activist. She conducted this experiment the day after Martin Luther King got assassinated.
The Class Divided
On the day Martin Luther got assassinated, the children were having a hard time imagining why someone would kill him. The next day she divided the class into brown-eyed and blue-eyed children. She deliberately didn’t divide them on basis of race to identify the genetic basis of discrimination.
Initially, the blue-eyed children defended the brown-eyed but gradually hierarchy got established. Since teacher asserted general superiority of blue-eyed over brown-eyed children. She even gave 5 minutes extra to blue-eyed children in recess. She remarked on the intelligence of brown-eyed as inferior to blue-eyed children. She even gave blue-eyed children blue scarfs to wear around the collar.
The results were startling. The blue-eyed gradually started to discriminate with the brown-eyed as inferior ones. They mocked them and even told the teacher to use a ruler to set them straight.
Discrimination had affected even the most innocent of all (the children).
James Elliot later regressed in saying that brown-eyed were superior to blue-eyed. This allowed blue-eyed to experience discrimination what brown eyed were facing.
Her students in this way experienced demoralization and humiliation through discrimination. Both groups realized that how the color of eye or skin is not a determinant of your personality(of who you are as a person).
That person shouldn’t be judged on basis of how they look. That if you chose to judge then it’s not what’s outside that matters but what’s on inside.
Hence, discrimination subtly affects even the good ones or innocent people. We should be self-aware and mindful enough to not imbibe values which encourages discriminatory behavior.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the most interesting finds that elucidate the role of community on human health and longevity.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book outliers, mentions about this study. Malcolm Gladwell, Canadian born writer, worked for The New Yorker, has written many bestselling books.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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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.
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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.
Recommended – The Rorschach Test
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!