In today’s time you will find lot of online psyd courses that enlightens you on all the different perspectives on what psychology is all about. Yet, even then, it is difficult to understand and comprehend as to how the human mind works and why we behave or react the way we do to different situations and environments.
Here are some interesting facts about psychology you may have known yet.
1. Dunbar’s number
Sit back for a second and imagine how many friends you can have at any point. What is the maximum number? The chances are high you have never thought of the limit to the number of people you could maintain a stable social relationship with. Well, the Dunbar’s number put the number at 150 people. These are the relationships you maintain which you know who each person is and how those people relate to every other person in your circle of friends. You want to remove your anonymous hundreds of thousands of Facebook friends from this equation.
2. Dopamine – the “want system”
Ever wondered why you feel you need things? Why you keep living? Why you feel hungry or tired or bored every other minute? Why you feel the need to do things that you do every other day after waking up? Well, there is a reason behind this. Turns out that psychology also has one simple answer to all these questions – ‘dopamine’. Discovered in 1958 in Sweden, dopamine is present in various parts of the brain. Dopamine is crucial in many brain functions that relate to thinking, moving, sleeping, attention, mood, seeking, motivation, and even reward. Think of it as the answer to all your prayers. Dopamine motivates you to do just about everything. Without it, you would not even feel the need to eat or breathe or even survive.
This one has been a controversial debate among many people. The fact, however, lies in psychology. Think of a scenario where you are walking in the park and see a friend in front of you. Your friend recognizes you instantly yet you do not yet recognize him even though you are looking right at him. Interestingly, you realize only when your friend stops and greets you. Ever wondered why this happens? Well, because, the brain can only always process one thing at a time. The brain cannot mentally focus on more than one task at a time. You may be capable of switching between several tasks quickly but your brain cannot multi-task. And here is where the confusion usually comes in.
4. Social validation
Many people think of themselves as the logical self-aware type. And this is quite common when it comes to making big decisions. The idea of thinking continuously before finally deciding is how we function. Think of the time you wanted to buy a new TV set. You probably factored in things like the size of the TV, the price, the range of TV brands, quality of the TV etc. However, what decides the TV you buy happens unconsciously. The mind automatically think of things like what other people are buying along with the feeling of wanting to be the person with the newest technology and set.
5. Mirror neurons
The best way of explaining this psychologically is by thinking of a situation where you listen to someone explaining a particular thing or teaching you how to do something. Then without thinking it, you mimic their movements. It is also like someone talking to you while nodding. You find yourself agreeing to everything that the person is saying. This is something our brains learn to do from childhood and go on until we die. The same thing happens when we empathize with other people.
Studies have found that happy people are more open to trying new things as opposed to sad or people who are afraid who want to relate to something they are familiar with. No wonder, we have always noticed that happy and jolly people are more enthusiastic when it comes to experience or explore new things!
7. The Brain Reconstructs Memories
A human being has one complex brain that stores volumes of data from the time we are born. Memories are not stored like an image or a movie like in a hard drive. Instead, the brain reconstructs memories each time you think of them. This is the reason why each eye witnesses at an accident or crime scene have his/her own recollection of the scene. This reconstruction can get things mixed up or even make stuff up in your mind.
Different people and cultures perceive and approach different situations differently. For example, when presented with an image, people from Asia focused more on the surroundings and the background. However, when people from the West would focus, their concentration was more towards the dominant or main objects. And this same criterion fits for almost everything else on how different people from different cultures and parts of the world perceive things.
9. Psychology is not at all about therapy
For most people, when they hear about psychology, a therapist comes to mind. However, it is key to note that psychology is a broad field and psychologists can work in various fields as well. For example, they can be teachers at universities and colleges, work in hospitals, government offices, and even in private corporation.
Psychologists view different situations from different perspectives. For example, different psychologists may view one situation many ways which, when explained, will all seem to make sense. One psychologist may view a situation from a biological perspective while the other may view it from a cognitive perspective. Another from an evolutionary perspective, or humanistic perspective, or even behavioral perspective.
Psychology is a broad subject. One that requires a lot of thinking and open-mindedness. You need to have a broad mind and be open to any possibilities. And even then, you may not fully understand what is going on around