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how psychology affects behaviour

6 Psychological Effects That Explain Why We Behave the Way We Do

21 Sep 2022

5 minutes


There’s always a reason behind the way we behave and express ourselves, but it is hidden in certain peculiarities of our mind most often. Many psychologists and researchers have used their profound knowledge to find out the explanation behind our everyday actions and interactions. Learning about the characteristic patterns of our behavior helps us understand ourselves and the people around us better. It also gives us a right perspective on how we perceive the world.

The following six psychological effects will help you understand how our brain functions and why we act in one way or another.

The Paradox of Choice

This is one of the most relevant psychological phenomena that says the more choices we have, the less happy and satisfied we will be with our final selection. Many factors come into play, such as the grass-is-greener line of thought or the amount of mental effort we put to make a choice. This explains why we are never satisfied in life and always in search of better things.

Pratfall Effect

Pratfall effect says that making mistakes adds to an individual’s likability quotient. Perfection, on the other hand, is repulsive because it is linked to cold unrealistic competitive traits. A person who is not embarrassed to make mistakes in public is deemed as more real, more human, and less formidable. So, if you are a little clumsy and hit every other thing that comes your way, then you are perceived as the most desirable person.

The Anchoring Effect

It is the general tendency of humans to rely heavily on the first piece of information that they are offered even if it’s not accurate. This propensity comes into play when we go shopping. Even when a product is highly priced, we would still happily buy it if its original price before discount is quoted much higher. For instance, you wouldn’t prefer buying shoes for $300 in your right mind, but if you see they originally cost $1,500, you will run to grab that deal.

The Pygmalion Effect

Pygmalion effect or Rosenthal effect says that the higher expectations result in an increase in performance. The higher expectations encourage people to internalize their positive labels and achieve their ultimate goal. These expectations can be from the other person or through the self. So, if you really want to make something happen, then set higher expectations for yourself.

Hard-to-Reach Effect

Many psychological studies suggest that something that is harder to achieve seems to be more desirable than that which is within our reach. Humans are sub-consciously inclined to believe that if something or someone is unattainable, it is more valuable and worthy. It is the psychology behind falling for high-status and "no-one-knows-what’s-on-their-mind" kind of people. This is also the thought behind picking products that are highly priced.

The Spotlight Effect

The spotlight effect is the paranoia and anxiety we suffer every time we make a mistake, believing that the whole world is watching and judging us. We overestimate the negative attention and consider it to be almost double than what it really is. However, the truth is that people hardly care about others as they are busy with their own lives. Psychologists tested this phenomenon at Cornell University by making people wear an embarrassing t-shirt and asking them to predict the number of people who noticed them. The estimated number was almost twice that the actual number of people who paid attention to their t-shirt.

These were a few popular and most relevant psychological effects that have an impact on our behavior and decisions that we make every day. We hope this blog explained a lot many things about your psychic and how your brain works. For more such intriguing write-ups, you can visit the blog section of our website!

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