23 People Shared the Psychological Tricks That Have Saved Them a Bunch of Times

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According to research done by American scientist, Benjamin Libet, in the field of human consciousness, our free will is possibly an illusion. His experiments showed that we make decisions before we really process them in our consciousness. Reddit users found other psychological phenomena that are absolutely mind-blowing.

We at Bright Side have read all the users’ comments and want to share the best ones with you.

If you’re talking to someone intently and you hand them something, more often than not, they’ll take it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a pen, or an orange. No idea what the phenomenon is called or if it’s even psychological, but it’s made for some great pranks. © lasteclipse I do the opposite of this. My boyfriend may refuse to share his cookie with me, but if he gets into a heated conversation with someone else, I can take that cookie right out of his hand, eat it right in front of him, and when his conversation is over he has no idea where his cookie went. Works with everyone if they’re seriously distracted by a conversation. © sincerelystan If someone has a panic attack, start breathing regularly and loudly. Even if it’s really obvious, the other person is panicking and probably won’t notice. But they will start breathing in tempo with you. It’s something nurses do with their patients when they can’t get themselves together. © hell00zz If you need to remember something, think about it when you are doing something unusual. It will work as a memory crutch and kick-in like a trigger next time. For example, if I need to take out the trash before I go to sleep, I will put my pillow on the floor next to the bed. © Being_grateful

While talking to someone, stare at their forehead, just between and slightly above their eye-line. It throws them off their game and they have a harder time lying to you or trying to influence you. There is a term for this tactic, but I am too lazy to look it up. © King_Kongs_Left_Nut The irrationality of humans when it comes to some basic decision making. For example: imagine you wanted to buy a nice pair of jeans, so you go to the store and find a pair you really like. The price is $60. Before you buy them, you check your phone and find out that a store 15 minutes away has the same exact pair for $20. Would you make the drive and go get the cheaper pair? Most people say yes, they would. Now, imagine that you’ve saved up a bunch of cash and are gonna go to a store to buy a nice refrigerator. You find the one you like for $2,440. Before you buy it, you find the same exact one 15 minutes away for $2,400. Assuming you couldn’t price match, would you make the drive out for the cheaper one? Most people surveyed say no, they would not, despite it being the same amount of cost savings. Most people, when asked why they would drive out for one and not for the other, cite the relative difference in price, but this is irrational behavior. Rational behavior would dictate that it shouldn’t make a difference. Regardless of the relative savings, $40 extra in your pocket is $40 extra in your pocket and that’s all that should matter to a rational being. © fgoldsendbitcoin Guilt can be literally washed away. Washing your hands or showering can make people feel less guilty. This study even showed that watching someone else wash their hands reduces the observer’s guilt. © webhead19 Murphy’s law states that the best way to get an answer on the internet isn’t to ask it, you should instead post the wrong answer and let people correct you. © explodingpineapple64 Our psych class repeated an experiment where half the class held a pencil in between their teeth, and the other half balanced on their top lips. We then rated how funny we thought a comic strip was. Turns out using facial muscles associated with smiling (pencil between teeth) made the comic strip subjectively funnier than those associated with frowning (pencil balanced on top lips). Choosing to smile or frown can change how you feel and perceive life. © Tinfed47 If someone annoying is at your office/desk at work and won’t get the hint to leave you alone, print something and ask them to follow you while you grab it off the printer, then walk them back to their office/desk instead of going back to yours. They’ll usually sit down without realizing what’s going on, thinking that they chose to go back. © CouleursCPA When conversing with someone, after they finish up their story, ask them at least one question about it before you jump into your own story. It shows that you’re listening and interested in them, making them feel important. I hate it when people are just waiting for their turn to talk. © newspapey I work at a day camp and my bunk has 3-4-year-olds. Sometimes they’ll get hurt on their finger or something like that and it doesn’t even bleed but they’ll cry like the world just ended. I ask them, “Do you want a Band-Aid?” And take them to the nurse. Even if there’s no cut I’ll give them a Band-Aid and ask them if they feel better and they will smile and say it doesn’t hurt anymore. I’ve done this so many times and it works every time. © desireeevergreen

If someone is snoring and you’re trying to sleep but don’t want to wake them up, knock on a wooden table or closet. I guess in their “sleeping” brain they think someone is knocking on the door and it will stop the snoring for at least 5 minutes. I do this at least 4 times a night when I’m at my grandma’s house. © Shawzok I once read that a good trick is to take a date to an amusement park with rollercoasters and that if your date likes you the nerves they feel from riding rollercoasters will be mistaken as butterflies in their stomach and they will like you more, but be careful because if they don’t like you, the nerves they feel in their stomach will be interpreted as disgust and they won’t like you at all. © tentativetitle When you thank someone for doing the behavior you want them to do, even if they aren’t doing it, they’re more likely to exhibit the behavior. For example, a study was done in a kindergarten classroom. There were 3 groups. The kids in group 1 were told to please clean up their messes more, that the room was getting very messy, and that it needed to be kept tidier. Nothing was said to the kids in group 2 (control group), and the kids in group 3 were thanked for how good they were at picking up after themselves. Over the span of one week, the kids in group 3 kept the room significantly cleaner than the kids in any other group. © responsibleyreckless If someone is trying to make you decide on something in a hurry, they are probably giving you a bad deal. Walk away. © Marise20 I am a middle-aged guy with a non-client-facing job, so I am almost always dressed casually. Like I typically have a reason to wear a suit and tie maybe twice a year, if that. A few years ago, I had just left a funeral and on the way home I had to stop at the grocery store. I had to interact with an employee for something or other (maybe asking where something was or something like that) and I noticed that she was acting kind of odd, like talking to me really seriously; long, intense eye-contact; saying ’sir’, etc. I don’t know how to describe it. It was like she was treating me like I was somebody important. Then it dawned on me that I was wearing a suit and tie. Since then I have often purposely done the same thing on occasions where I am dressed in a suit and tie just to test my hypothesis. I’ll go into a store, bar, restaurant, etc. and make sure to have some mundane interaction with somebody and see how it goes. Almost always I sense they are taking me way more seriously than if I was just dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. © framptal_tromwibbler Cognitive dissonance. If our actions don’t match up with our opinions, beliefs, wishes, etc., something will give and either our actions will change or our mindset will. Ever heard of the law of attraction? It’s kind of like this. The law of attraction claims that if you want something, just pretend like you already have it. Envision that you have it and live like you have it. Want to lose weight? Envision you at your ideal weight every night. For me, I was a very shy person. I wanted to become talkative and get friends and guys. So, I would tell myself, “I’m not shy! People love me! I have tons of friends!” My beliefs did not match up with my actions (I wouldn’t talk to people) but EVENTUALLY, something gave and I started to act in accordance with my beliefs. Law of attraction isn’t a proven thing, but cognitive dissonance is. © 4215265 The Chameleon Effect — “nonconscious mimicry of the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one’s interaction partners, such that one’s behavior passively and unintentionally changes to match that of others in one’s current social environment.” Ever notice that if you scratch your nose or cross your arms when chatting with someone, they will also scratch their nose or cross their arms? Chameleon effect. © General_Shou

If you’re at a house party holding a bottle of beer, don’t hold it up high and close to your chest, instead hold it lower down below your hip. Body language experts suggest this projects an image of confidence and openness, making partygoers feel more willing to socialize with you. © QuestioningAccount1 The Pavlov Theory. It’s utterly fascinating to think that, with enough practice, an instance or occurrence of one event can trigger a mental or physical effect to the self. Like smelling vanilla reminds you of someone, or how that one song helps you to remember things you learned whilst listening to it. They say that if you chew bubblegum while studying for an exam, and you chew that same flavor of gum while writing about the subject you studied for, you can recall the information much better, because your brain was conditioned to associate the flavor and chewing with what you learned. © __Tired__ The nocebo effect. If you believe something will harm you, you will begin experiencing negative symptoms. For example, in South Africa, a group of people who claim to suffer from electromagnetic hypersensitivity began protesting a new cell phone tower that had been built. They experienced headaches, nausea, and other various ailments, and claimed to be cured by getting away from the tower. When they were in court, they told stories about their issues, then the tower owner revealed that the tower had been shut off for the past 6 weeks! © derf82 I have a reputation in my industry for being outgoing. The secret is that I actually am NOT a people person and get anxiety about going out. The trick I use when I walk into an event is to find one person to ask a question to about themselves. It can be as simple as, “I like your shirt, where did you get it?” —this can usually kickstart a conversation. Anytime you are lost, just ask someone a question about themselves because people love talking about themselves. © michaelad567

What other psychology phenomena do you know of? Have you tried to use it in real life?

Illustrated by Leisan Gabidullina for BrightSide.me