It’s trick-or-treat time! Only we’re suckers (see what we did there?) for psychology and instead, we’re looking at the sneaky tricks our brains play on us day in and day out. Let’s get started!
Don’t Be Embarrassed!
You know how when you do or say something embarrassing it’s all you can think about and you just know that everyone around you saw you do that thing too and now they’re all judging you? Well, you can thank your brain for this slippery slope because this is known as the ‘spotlight effect’ and it happens every day. The spotlight effect makes us think we’re being observed way closer than we actually are. When we’re hyperfocused on something our brain makes us believe everyone else is focused on that same thing too, and that just isn’t the case.
Have you ever been around a group of people and felt like they knew exactly what you were thinking? This is known as the illusion of transparency and this particular trick makes us believe those around us are so in tune with our own bodies and minds that they can read our emotional state as well. As you can probably guess, they can’t.
Burn Book Material
Have you ever disliked someone so much that everything they do or say is just infuriating to you? That is your brain playing yet another mind game on you. When we don’t like someone, we tend to ignore any of the good things they may do or say. And even as we learn more and more about these people, our brains tend to distort those few redeeming qualities and opt to continue focusing on the details we don’t like about that person instead.
The Curse of Knowledge
This is a super common mind trick that we fall victim to numerous times before the day’s end. If you’ve ever caught yourself glossing over a topic not everyone may be familiar with, then you’ve experienced the curse of knowledge which simply refers to the belief that if you know something you assume others understand it too .
Shouldn’t Have Said That
We find ourselves eating our words a number of times throughout the day, which we refer to as a ‘slip of the tongue’. Interestingly enough this happens most when we’re tired or overwhelmed and at this time our subconscious pays a visit to our conscious and both work together to get us to do something embarrassing or say something we wouldn’t typically say. So while we normally think this is our way of saying what we normally couldn’t, it’s more our way of saying what we normally wouldn’t, or what we’re most scared of saying.