You Are Not So Smart Forer effect A related and more general phenomenon is that of subjective validation. Subjective validation occurs when two unrelated or even random events are perceived to be related because a belief, expectation, or hypothesis demands a relationship. Thus people seek a correspondence between their perception of their personality and the contents of a horoscope. Forer's demonstration On average, the students rated its accuracy as 4.26 on a scale of 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent). Only after the ratings were turned in was it revealed that each student had received an identical sketch assembled by Forer from a newsstand astrology book. The sketch contains statements that are vague and general enough to most people. In another study examining the Forer effect, students took the MMPI personality assessment and researchers evaluated their responses. The Forer effect is also known as the "Barnum effect". Repeating the study Variables influencing the effect Recent research
5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think The Internet has introduced a golden age of ill-informed arguments. You can't post a video of an adorable kitten without a raging debate about pet issues spawning in the comment section. These days, everyone is a pundit. But with all those different perspectives on important issues flying around, you'd think we'd be getting smarter and more informed. #5. Think about the last time you ran into a coworker or family member spouting some easily disproven conspiracy theory -- somebody who still thinks Obama's birth certificate is a fake or that Dick Cheney arranged 9/11 to cover up his theft of $2.3 trillion from the government. That has literally never happened in the history of human conversation. Getty"OK, so Dick Cheney doesn't have a third arm. The Science: It's called the argumentative theory of reasoning, and it says that humans didn't learn to ask questions and offer answers in order to find universal truths. Yes, kids, being a dick works. So During Your Next Argument, Remember ... #4.
Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought Humans The human mind is a wonderful thing. Cognition, the act or process of thinking, enables us to process vast amounts of information quickly. For example, every time your eyes are open, you brain is constantly being bombarded with stimuli. The Gambler’s fallacy is the tendency to think that future probabilities are altered by past events, when in reality, they are not. Reactivity is the tendency of people to act or appear differently when they know that they are being observed. Pareidolia is when random images or sounds are perceived as significant. Interesting Fact: the Rorschach Inkblot test was developed to use pareidolia to tap into people’s mental states. Self-fulfilling Prophecy Self-fulfilling prophecy is engaging in behaviors that obtain results that confirm existing attitudes. Interesting Fact: Economic Recessions are self-fulfilling prophecies. Herd mentality is the tendency to adopt the opinions and follow the behaviors of the majority to feel safer and to avoid conflict.
List of cognitive biases Systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm and/or rationality in judgment. They are often studied in psychology, sociology and behavioral economics. Although the reality of most of these biases is confirmed by reproducible research, there are often controversies about how to classify these biases or how to explain them. Several theoretical causes are known for some cognitive biases, which provides a classification of biases by their common generative mechanism (such as noisy information-processing). Explanations include information-processing rules (i.e., mental shortcuts), called heuristics, that the brain uses to produce decisions or judgments. There are also controversies over some of these biases as to whether they count as useless or irrational, or whether they result in useful attitudes or behavior. Belief, decision-making and behavioral Social Memory 
The Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010 The end of 2010 fast approaches, and I'm thrilled to have been asked by the editors of Psychology Today to write about the Top 10 psychology studies of the year. I've focused on studies that I personally feel stand out, not only as examples of great science, but even more importantly, as examples of how the science of psychology can improve our lives. Each study has a clear "take home" message, offering the reader an insight or a simple strategy they can use to reach their goals , strengthen their relationships, make better decisions, or become happier. If you extract the wisdom from these ten studies and apply them in your own life, 2011 just might be a very good year. 1) How to Break Bad Habits If you are trying to stop smoking , swearing, or chewing your nails, you have probably tried the strategy of distracting yourself - taking your mind off whatever it is you are trying not to do - to break the habit. J. 2) How to Make Everything Seem Easier J. 3) How To Manage Your Time Better M. J.
Top 10 Thinking Traps Exposed Our minds set up many traps for us. Unless we’re aware of them, these traps can seriously hinder our ability to think rationally, leading us to bad reasoning and making stupid decisions. Features of our minds that are meant to help us may, eventually, get us into trouble. Here are the first 5 of the most harmful of these traps and how to avoid each one of them. 1. “Is the population of Turkey greater than 35 million? Lesson: Your starting point can heavily bias your thinking: initial impressions, ideas, estimates or data “anchor” subsequent thoughts. This trap is particularly dangerous as it’s deliberately used in many occasions, such as by experienced salesmen, who will show you a higher-priced item first, “anchoring” that price in your mind, for example. What can you do about it? Always view a problem from different perspectives. 2. In one experiment a group of people were randomly given one of two gifts — half received a decorated mug, the other half a large Swiss chocolate bar. 3. 4.
Perception Since the rise of experimental psychology in the 19th Century, psychology's understanding of perception has progressed by combining a variety of techniques. Psychophysics quantitatively describes the relationships between the physical qualities of the sensory input and perception. Sensory neuroscience studies the brain mechanisms underlying perception. Perceptual systems can also be studied computationally, in terms of the information they process. Perceptual issues in philosophy include the extent to which sensory qualities such as sound, smell or color exist in objective reality rather than in the mind of the perceiver. The perceptual systems of the brain enable individuals to see the world around them as stable, even though the sensory information is typically incomplete and rapidly varying. Human and animal brains are structured in a modular way, with different areas processing different kinds of sensory information. Process and terminology Perception and reality
Who Are You? (And What do You Think of Me?) The New Hire: What Do I Need to Know About This Job Candidate—and How Can I Find It Out? Every Sunday, America's corporate titans share their hiring strategies with . "I have a very good antenna about people," Starbucks founder Howard Schultz told the "Corner Office" column. "First off, I want to know what you're reading and then I'll ask you why. Abbe Raven, CEO of A&E Television Network, privileges her "gut reaction." The problem with such freewheeling approaches is that qualities like charisma and compassion are faked in job interviews as much as 90 percent of the time, according to one landmark study. People are hugely overconfident about their ability to judge others in general, and recruiters may be particularly so. Potential employees are in impression-management hyperdrive. Huffcutt recommends dispensing with questions that invite tactical or evasive answers: "Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses" or "Why do you want to work here?"
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science Illustration: Jonathon Rosen "A MAN WITH A CONVICTION is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Festinger and several of his colleagues had infiltrated the Seekers, a small Chicago-area cult whose members thought they were communicating with aliens—including one, "Sananda," who they believed was the astral incarnation of Jesus Christ. Through her, the aliens had given the precise date of an Earth-rending cataclysm: December 21, 1954. Festinger and his team were with the cult when the prophecy failed. Read also: the truth about Climategate.At first, the group struggled for an explanation. From that day forward, the Seekers, previously shy of the press and indifferent toward evangelizing, began to proselytize. In the annals of denial, it doesn't get much more extreme than the Seekers. The theory of motivated reasoning builds on a key insight of modern neuroscience (PDF): Reasoning is actually suffused with emotion (or what researchers often call "affect").
Neuroscience Sheds New Light on Creativity - Rewiring the Creative Mind