11 "traps" of consciousness

The human brain is able to perform 1016 operations per second. This means that its capacity is still higher than the power of any currently existing computer. But this does not mean that our brain capacity does not exist limits. A simple calculator to cope with the calculations much better and faster, and memory is often unreliable.

Plus, we tend to fall into the trap of his own consciousness, which continually force us to make questionable decisions and making false conclusions. In this article we will talk about the eleven such traps or, scientifically, "cognitive distortions".


Confirmation Bias


We love to agree with people who agree with us. That's why we primarily visit the forums where people gather, share our political views, and to communicate with people, tastes and opinions which are similar to ours.

We are unpleasant individuals, groups of people or sites that make us to doubt their own right - the psychologist B. Skinner called this phenomenon "cognitive dissonance."

This selectivity and leads to "confirmation bias" - we often subconsciously perceive only that information which "feed" our pre-existing judgments, ignoring or rejecting anything that conflicts with them and threatens to destroy the usual for us the image of the world. Internet, by the way, only reinforces this trend.

Intra bias


Intra bias - a phenomenon similar to confirmation bias, which was discussed above. This is a manifestation of our innate need "to feel part of the team." Oddly enough, this need is related to the hormone oxytocin - the so-called "love molecule". This neurotransmitter, on the one hand, helps us to create a close relationship with each other, on the other - produces the opposite effect in relation to those who remain outside our "circle." He makes us suspicious, inspires fear and even arrogance towards strangers.

Finally, intra-bias leads to an overestimation of abilities and values ​​of our own group, and an underestimation of those of whom we are, in fact, do not have a clue.

Player Error


This tendency to attach great importance already accomplished events, confident that they can somehow influence on our future. Classic example - the coin toss. If five consecutive falls tails, the probability that the next fall eagle in our consciousness increases. In fact, it still remains 50/50.

Roughly the same trap works "positive expectations", typical of gamers. They think that after a few losses luck just have to turn around to face them, and already the next game will bring them huge jackpot. Similarly, work and confusion about "the luck strip".

Post-shopingovogo rationalization of


Each of us can remember a single case when, after buying something unnecessary, idle or prohibitively expensive tried to persuade himself that "still it was worth it." This is the "post-shopingovogo rationalization" - embedded in our consciousness program with which we can feel a little better after do something obviously stupid. This phenomenon is also known under the name of "consumer Stockholm Syndrome" - a subconscious desire in whatever was to find an excuse unreasonable purchase - especially if it cost a fortune.

Neglect of probability


Very few of us are afraid to get into the car, but most can admit that experiencing the thrill when coming on board the aircraft. Flight, beyond any doubt, it is for the person an unnatural state and is associated with danger.

At the same time, almost everyone knows that the likelihood of dying in a car accident many times greater than in a plane crash. And yet, our mind refuses to accept this relationship (statistically the chance to die when traveling by car - 1/84, by plane - 1/5000). The same phenomenon causes us to be afraid to die at the hands of terrorists, and not think about much more real danger - falling down the stairs, or accidentally poisoned, for example.

sample survey


sample survey - is when we suddenly begin to notice everywhere something new for us. We believe that this "something" from a certain moment was to haunt us, while in reality it is used simply escaped our attention.

Example: you buy a new car, and from that moment begin to see the same cars around and everywhere. The same happens with pregnant women who suddenly start to notice around himself a large number of other pregnant women. This can be any song or rarely used expression. Whatever it was, the reason is not that this or that phenomenon began to occur more often, and that you were more likely to pay attention to it. Hence arises the confidence that the similarity of any events or phenomena "can not be a coincidence" (although in fact may very).

The effect of negativity


The man has a tendency to pay more attention to the bad news - and it does not mean the presence of psychological abnormalities. Scientists believe that we subconsciously perceive the bad news as more important. In addition, the bad news cause us more confidence - perhaps because we are good seem too suspicious (or boring).

Writer and psychologist Steven Pinker, for example, argues in his book that crime, violence, and wars in the world is becoming less and less, although most people believe that the situation from year to year will only get worse - a perfect example of how the effect of negative actions.

Effect craze


We love to go along with the crowd, even though we can not be aware of. When people around us choose a favorite, the part of our brain that is responsible for the individual, is disabled. We fall into a state of a kind of "groupthink".

For example, the thing that most of your colleagues deemed "cool", is most likely to become the object of desire for you. Well, or in sports - if most of your surroundings is a fan of any team, it is very difficult not to succumb to the universal passion.

The effect of the transfer


This is the tendency to assume that other people think the same way as we do. With this effect is related to a similar effect "false consensus" - ill-founded confidence that surround the default agree with us.

transfer effect - re-evaluation of our own "normal" and "typical". For example, often people belonging to the radical union live with the conviction that outside of their group a lot of people share their beliefs, even though these may not be.

The effect of the moment


We hardly correlate "yourself today" with "tomorrow", so often allow ourselves to do what you like today, leaving to take the rap for that fleeting pleasures "of those who will later." During the study, conducted in 1998, for example, 74% of shoppers, choosing food for a week, chose healthy fruit. And when they were asked to make a selection on the current day, the hand 70% of the participants in the experiment were drawn to chocolate.

anchor effect


This effect is also called "trap of comparison." It is related to our tendency to compare numbers (for orientation) losing the attention of their real value. This focus is actively used by sellers.

A classic example - the goods on sale. We see two price tag and evaluate the difference between the two, not the price. If "off" is significant, it gives us the impression, even if the product is really too expensive and at a discount.

This reception and restaurants are - they include in the menu prohibitively expensive meals to the price of others, by comparison, seemed quite reasonable. For the same reason we are making a choice, often choose something in between - not too expensive, but not very cheap.