Think you know how you and other people work? Think again as we delve into some of the most interesting and eye-opening psychological facts that might just shock and surprise you.
1. Most Laughter Comes From The Person Speaking
We often assume that laughter occurs when we hear something funny, but research has shown that it is the people doing the speaking who laugh the most – 46% more than their audience – source.
Why it matters: never again should you assume that someone who laughs at his/her own jokes isn’t funny. And if you want to enjoy some giggles yourself, it’s best if you’re an active part of the conversation.
2. Our Memories Change Each Time They Are Recalled
What you think of as a memory of that day at the beach is merely a reconstructed mini movie that changes (sometimes a lot, but generally quite subtly) every time it is recalled – source.
Why it matters: you can never fully trust your memory when it comes to precise details. Try and remember this, if nothing else, when arguing with someone over what went down on a particular occasion.
3. We Overestimate The Emotional Impact Of Future Events
We are pretty bad at guessing how good or bad a potential future event will make us feel. This is known as impact bias and it is why we all dream of winning the lottery and fear the loss of a job so much – source.
Why it matters: when we believe something is likely to be far better or far worse than it actually will be, it can contribute to us making poor choices.
4. Some People Are Inherently Lazy, But They Are Typically Happier
There is a school of thought that suggests that people who settle for an adequate rather than optimal outcome (known as satisficers) end up more content with their choices than those who seek to maximize every possible aspect of their lives (known as maximizers) – source.
Why it matters: perhaps we should stop looking at people who we think are ‘settling’ as lazy and actually consider how this might sometimes be the best approach for happiness.
5. We Are Virtually Addicted To Seeking Information
The neurotransmitter dopamine makes us feel good and it just so happens to be driving us to seek ever greater amounts of information, even if there’s no practical purpose to it – source.
Why it matters: we spend more time Googling, refreshing social media, and glued to news networks than ever before, but it is not necessary or healthy.