10 Psychological Facts That Reveal a Lot About Us

7. We can’t ignore 3 things in life: food, sex and danger

Have you ever wondered why people always stop to look at the aftermath of a road accident? Even though bystanders find the sight distressing, they continue to gawk.

Such curiosity is triggered by our “ancient brain” — a section responsible for survival. Its function is to constantly scan the environment, posing (and answering) 3 questions: “Can I eat that? Can I have sex with that? Can I be killed by that?” Food, sex, and danger are still the things fundamental to our staying alive, so we can’t help but pay attention to them.

8. We need as much choice as possible

As part of a recent study, scientists set up two tables in a supermarket. On the first table, they placed 6 types of jam, on the second 24. As a result, 60% of customers stopped to try jams at table #1. However, when it came to making purchases, table #2 proved 4 times more popular.

Why did this happen? As we already know, our brain can only focus on 3-4 things at a time. Therefore, making final decisions is easier when there’s a limited number of options (i.e., 6 types of jam).

Nevertheless, we always crave variety. We love to browse through a wide range of products — that’s why we’re more likely to stop by the table with 24 types of jam (although, in the end, we’ll still go for the same brand we’ve bought many times before).

9. Most of our decisions are unconscious

We’d like to believe that all our actions are the result of careful planning, but in reality, 60-80% of our everyday decisions are made subconsciously. We don’t think about doing those things, we just do them.

Every second, our brain receives millions of units of data. To prevent over-exhaustion, some of the work gets relegated to the subconscious. Pocketing the keys, turning off the lights, closing the front door — we perform such actions automatically, without thinking.

On the downside, this often leads to self-doubt. For instance, when we arrive at the office and suddenly begin to fret over whether or not we’ve turned the iron off.

10. There’s no such thing as multitasking

Studies show that we can only perform one cognitive activity at a time. Try talking and reading at once or writing a letter while listening to an audiobook. Most likely, nothing good will come of it — our brain just can’t focus on two tasks simultaneously.

However, there is an exception. If the second activity is purely physical and automatic (the type of thing that we perform on a day-to-day basis), then it is possible to combine both tasks. For example, you can talk on the phone while walking. But, even then, there’s is a good chance of tripping and losing track of conversation.

Which fact was the most surprising for you? Share in the comments!

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