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How The Mind Really Works: 10 Counterintuitive Psychology Studies

Some critics say psychology is just common sense, that it only confirms things we already know about ourselves.

Ironically this can be difficult to argue with because once people get some new information they tend to think it was obvious all along.

One way of battling this is to think about all the unexpected, surprising and plain weird findings that have popped out of psychology studies over the years. So here are ten of my favourite.

1. Cognitive dissonance

This is perhaps one of the weirdest and most unsettling findings in psychology. Cognitive dissonance is the idea that we find it hard to hold two contradictory beliefs, so we unconsciously adjust one to make it fit with the other.

In the classic study students found a boring task more interesting if they were paid less to take part. Our unconscious reasons like this: if I didn't do it for money, then I must have done it because it was interesting. As if by magic, a boring task becomes more interesting because otherwise I can't explain my behaviour.

The reason it's unsettling is that our minds are probably performing these sorts of rationalisations all the time, without our conscious knowledge. So how do we know what we really think?

2. Hallucinations are common

Hallucinations are like waking dreams and we tend to think of them as markers of serious mental illness.

Source : PSYBlog : Read the whole stoy here.

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