Psychology 101- Interesting facts

The study of psychology has always fascinated me, why do people do the things they do?  Why is behaviour predictable? How does our mind work?  I came across an article that had some interesting facts that I didn’t know before and then of course I had to cross check each one to make sure.

Here are a few other psychological facts that are interesting:


The psychological term is having an internal locus of control. Basically, your locus of control refers to whether you see the events in your life as outside of your control or whether you feel your actions can influence you destiny.  Individuals that have an internal locus of control tend to feel more in control and have a strong sense of self-efficacy.  These individuals are typically happier and healthier, which stands to reason that the best advice would come from individuals that have faced the most challenges.  Conversely, those that possess an external locus of control, often feel helpless, powerless and unmotivated to make changes in their lives and tend to blame their circumstances for their behavior or refusal to take control of their actions.


According to research, in middle age, there is a lot of stress going on during that time.

“Having someone to talk that out with and having someone to support you in those difficult times can help explain why it’s a bit harder for people without a partner. “And it’s that partnership — not romantic love or lust — that allows people to reap the benefits of marriage, Grover and his co-author, John F. Helliwell, found.  Their research found that those who considered their spouse a “best friend” boasted the highest levels of happiness — in fact, the well-being benefits were twice as large for those couples. This makes sense, given that previous research has shown that close relationships are crucial for long-term well-being.

People who volunteer for various causes are happier than people who don’t

People who “give” – either money or their time – have been reported to be happier and healthier than those who don’t. A 2007 study led by Arthur Brooks of Syracuse University found that givers were 42 percent more likely than non-givers to say they were “very happy”. Dr. Rebecca Pinkus, Lecturer in Psychological Statistics adds, “Volunteering keeps you in a positive mood and can help lift you out of a negative mood.”

Overlapping silhouettes of Hands in a watercolour texture.

Opposites attracts is a myth, we are typically attracted to someone who thinks, behaves and looks like us.

In fact, almost all the evidence suggests that opposites very rarely attract. The psychologist Donn Byrne was one of the first to study the impact of similarity on the early stages of relationships. To reinforce his findings, he developed a method known as the “phantom stranger technique”. The implication is that we will be attracted to others who offer the greatest potential for self-expansion – and someone who is similar in values and traits provides much less potential for growth than someone who is different. So, the model ends up predicting that dissimilarity can sometimes be attractive, especially if you believe that there is a good possibility a relationship will develop. Aron’s research using the phantom stranger technique would seem to support this idea.

Spending time with people who are generally happy will make you happier in life.

What is the difference between happy people and miserable people?  Simply – they have different habits, they act and think in different ways. The main difference is that happy people engage in more happiness boosting habits while unhappy people engage in more misery-inducing habits- It’s that simple.

Happy people have goals and don’t wonder what makes people happy, they do their best to be the cause of happiness in others.  It stands to reason then that if you hang out with people who are generally happy, it will make you happy.

The human brain is poor at multitasking, contrary to popular belief

A study found that people are less efficient, when they multi-task.  Focusing on one task takes less time than trying to complete several tasks at once.

Depression is the result of overthinking

Yale psychology professor Susan Nolen-Hoeksema articulates that ruminating, can trigger depression. “Your mind goes around and round over negative events in the past, problems in the present or bad things you’re worried will happen in the future,” says Nolen-Hoeksema, who pioneered the study of women’s rumination and depression and is considered the go-to expert in the field.

This inability to let go of bad thoughts and memories can get you down.  “You rehash these events and analyze them, but you don’t do anything to solve the problems or feel more in control of your situation,” she says. Women are twice as likely as men to become depressed, and they’re also more prone to rumination. That’s no coincidence, says Nolen-Hoeksema.When you constantly think about negative thoughts, it breeds hopelessness and despair which creates low motivation and self-esteem.  When you rehearse these thoughts over and over, they grow in power.  Stresses are increased, and you are more likely to react in an intense, lasting way.  If you are vulnerable to depression, you can end up seriously depressed. Typically, these thoughts are focused on the past, bad things that have happened that you wished had gone different.

Constantly thinking and overthinking (ruminating) creates depression.


In social psychology, fundamental attribution error (FAE), also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect, is the tendency for people to under-emphasize situational explanations for an individual’s observed behavior while over-emphasizing dispositional and personality-based explanations for their behavior. This effect has been described as “the tendency to believe that what people do reflects who they are”

Your mind wanders 30% of the time

We daydream 30% of the time- your brain, not your mind, controls your daydreams.  The mind and brain can be thought of as different facets of the same thing, like the software and hardware of a computer. How one daydreams and thinks depends on the brain’s structure. However, our brain structure is constantly changing in small ways- when we learn new things, the connections between the nerve cells change.

Your most vivid memories are wrong

Vivid memories feel more accurate, but they aren’t more accurate. The strong, vivid recollection of very emotional memories, like the ones many of us in the United States have of 9/11, are just as likely to be inaccurate as ordinary memories are.  We believe those memories are accurate just because they are so vivid.  Our emotions affect how we think we remember.

Your mind “rewrites” monotonous speech of boring people to make it sound more interesting.

Researchers have discovered that the brain ‘talks over’ monotonous speakers to make their quotes more vivid – preventing us from drifting off.

The study, entitled ‘Brain ‘Talks Over’ Boring Quotes’, was conducted by scientists at the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology. Dr Bo Yao, the principal author of the research, said: ‘You may think the brain need not produce its own speech while listening to one that is already available. But, apparently, the brain is very picky on the speech it hears.

‘When the brain hears monotonously-spoken direct speech quotations which it expects to be more vivid, the brain simply ‘talks over’ the speech it hears with more vivid speech utterances of its own.

‘By doing so, the brain attempts to optimize the processing of the incoming speech, ensuring more speedy and accurate responses.’

Psychology is truly fascinating, I particularly like this last fact, as I am sure, I have done it so many times. 😂


I believe you can learn something new everyday.

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