7 Amazing Psychological Ways Our Brains Are Affected

A woman looking amazed.

In the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, you come across something you recently discovered again and again. (Image: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels)

Our human brains are one of the most sophisticated machines on the planet against which even a supercomputer is no match. However, our brains are affected by psychological phenomena that can fool us into a certain way of thinking or condition we may not have thought of.

How our brains are psychologically affected

1. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

“Baader-Meinhof is the phenomenon where one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information — often an unfamiliar word or name — and soon afterward encounters the same subject again, often repeatedly,” according to Damn Interesting. For instance, you might see a new style of handbag on your way back home from work.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

Starting tomorrow, you might see it everywhere — in a newspaper ad, on a billboard, while scrolling through social media, in the hands of a passenger in the metro, with a lady who is paying the bill at a coffee shop, and so on. The fact that something new was recently seen apparently makes our brains more alert to notice it the next time it comes across the same item.  

2. The Pratfall Effect

Though we are asked to be perfect, the reality seems to be that people usually like individuals who are imperfect. This is the result of the Pratfall Effect, which posits that those who make mistakes are perceived by our brains as more likable than those who never commit any mistakes. When this was tested out on subjects who heard recordings of a quiz, the theory was confirmed.

Some of the recordings included the sound of a person knocking over a coffee cup while answering the question. The subjects rated them as highly likable, above other people who never made a sound.

The Paris syndrome happens our brains have unrealistic expectations from a place.
The Paris syndrome happens due to unrealistic expectations from the place. (Image: Thorsten technoman via Pexels)

3. The Paris Syndrome

Some tourists who visit Paris often end up with Paris Syndrome. This mostly happens with Japanese tourists who experience delusions, paranoia, nausea, hallucinations, etc., when they visit Paris for the first time.

“French psychiatrists speculate that about 20 Japanese tourists a year suffer these symptoms because the reality of Paris (a normal, bustling big city with normal-looking people) diverges radically from the romantic Paris portrayed in Japanese media, in which all Parisians are pencil-thin fashion models, and the very air of Paris is suffused with magic,” according to Psychology Today.

4. The Choice Paradox

Sometimes, we have to choose from several options. Even if we make the correct decision, we might end up feeling unhappy about it. This is the paradox of choice. This concerns every type of decision, whether it is about career, life, shopping, and so on. The more options our brains have and the more effort we have to put in to make a choice, the more our happiness from the decision declines.  

5. The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion Effect says that when you expect something to happen with all your heart, it is likely to happen. This was tested out in a classroom setting by psychologist Robert Rosenthal.

“At the beginning of the year, all the students took an assessment test, and Rosenthal led the teachers to believe that certain students were capable of great academic achievement. Rosenthal chose these students at random, regardless of the actual results of the IQ tests. At the end of the year, when the students were retested, the group of earmarked high achievers did indeed show improvement over their peers,” according to Buffer.

The teachers apparently got so influenced by Rosenthal’s suggestions that they subconsciously ended up giving greater attention, opportunities, and feedback to the selected students.

The Pygmalion effect says that when you expect something to happen with all your heart, it is likely to happen.
The Pygmalion effect says that when you expect something to happen with all your heart, it is likely to happen. (Image: Ben_Kerckx via Pixabay)

6. Blindsight

When the visual cortex of the brain gets damaged, a person becomes completely blind. However, such people also experience a unique phenomenon called “blindsight.” Such people might walk across the room or cross over multiple obstacles casually as if they had eyes. They might even catch a ball tossed at them. It is speculated that this is a primitive form of vision usually seen in animals that lack a visual cortex.  

7. The uncanny valley hypothesis

People might be happy to see a robot that roughly resembles a human being. Beyond a certain point of human similarity, people start feeling revulsion. But once the robot is almost indistinguishable from real humans, people end up feeling empathy for the robot. The phase where the robot’s motions and appearance are between “barely human” and “fully human” is called the uncanny valley. People tend to find such robots in the “uncanny valley” strange and eerie.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Artificial intelligence.

The Emergence of Artificial Intelligence and Its Benefit to Humanity

Every human has an innate nature that always seeks something that can improve everyone’s life ...

A martial artist practicing kung fu.

The Wisdom Behind Chinese Martial Arts

There is wisdom in Chinese martial arts. If you’ve always been curious about kung fu ...


4 Reasons Why Decluttering Will Improve Your Mind, Body, and Soul

You’re not the only one who feels stressed out by a messy house, and the ...

Young woman looking longingly at chocolate pastries.

Is the Incentive for Emotional Eating the Same as for Binge Eating?

Finding comfort in food is quite common these days, and it is called emotional eating. ...

Chinese writing in a wok.

Most assume writing systems get simpler. But 3,600 years of Chinese writing show it’s getting increasingly complex

At this very moment, the words you are reading are entering your mind at the ...

The Fukushima Daichi Nuclear Power Station.

Fukushima Aftermath: Japan Set to Release Treated Radioactive Water into the Ocean

A top government spokesperson recently announced that Japan is taking steps toward discharging more than ...

The Oura ring.

How the Oura Ring Can Upgrade Your Health?

If you’ve heard about the Oura ring before, you aren’t the only one. This ring ...

A nuclear power plant.

Nuclear Fuel Alternatives After Fukushima Have Challenges Ahead

After the Fukushima disaster, research at The University of Manchester suggests that the preferred candidate ...

Painting of Antonio Straivari.

Stradivarius: The Most Valuable Violin You Can Own

Learning to play a musical instrument and becoming proficient at it is a skill that ...

Send this to a friend