You’ve probably heard the expression ‘that’s just in your head’ to describe a situation that is far from being as you see it through your eyes and how you perceive it in your mind, which can significantly alter your life, as well as the way you deal with your problems or how you relate to others.
But… why does this strange distortion occur? This is due to psychological effects that can be experienced by chance or as a consequence of a lived experience, which leaves a feeling of imbalance.that leaves a feeling of imbalance that is sometimes difficult to notice.
Some of these psychological effects do not have any potential danger for your daily life, but they can alter your routine at a low level, so you can recover without major incidents. However, there are others that if not detected in time, can bring many complications, as it reaches the point where one’s actions (behavior, personality and conduct) are guided by these beliefs.
Would you like to know these effects? Then stay reading this article, because you will discover the most interesting, curious and not so unusual psychological effects that are present in everyday life and that can alter the way in which we live. and that can alter the way you perceive the reality around you.
15 most important psychological effects (and their scientific explanation)
Below you will learn about the most prominent and common psychological effects of all – can you recognize any of them?
1. Placebo effect
This is one of the most common psychological effects of all and it is quite possible that many of us have gone or will go through it. It is the irrefutable belief that a drug can cure any problem it claims to do, despite the fact that the drug actually contains no pharmacological function, since it is just a product designed to give us hope, but without any real effect on our organism. In fact, it is usually composed of sugars and other totally innocuous components..
It usually happens with the beliefs that the bigger the pills the better their healing effect, the potential of magnetic bracelets, home recipes that eradicate any serious illness or that an energy drink will give you power. The point of this psychological effect is the belief of its almost miraculous power. It is also known as the expectant subject effect.
This is another of the most common psychological effects or phenomena and even one of the most curious, since it is about seeing faces in almost any object whose characteristics or order of elements resembles the features of a face.. The most common is to find a face in cars, plugs, old water faucets or houses that have two windows and a front door.
It can also happen that we find some form of a face, either human or animal, in something that does not have an exact shape (for example in clouds). This association is possible thanks to our imaginative capacity, the stimulus of visual association and a series of previous knowledge to find the exact face of that figure. Has it happened to you?
3. Dunning-Kruger effect
Another of the most remarkable and noticeable effects in everyday life, as it is possible to find it in many areas of our development (work, intimate, academic, social, etc.). In this effect, people tend to have an overestimated tendency of their capacities or the level of preparation they possess, despite not knowing or being aware of their own abilities.Despite not knowing or being experts in the subject they are dealing with, people tend to overestimate their capabilities or the level of preparation they have, despite not knowing or being experts in the subject they are dealing with.
But it does not end there, but also occurs in the opposite case, i.e., the tendency to undervalue or underestimate the skills that people have and what they are really good at. Since they think that they are not enough.
In spite of not being so common, if we can find a constant pattern of appearance of this psychological phenomenon, besides being one of the most curious. Apophenia is based on constantly and in some cases even obsessively finding patterns and links that relate events, people or elements, although in reality there is nothing that really connects them. It is a way that our brain has of giving an answer to something unknown and tying points that seem similar or that together can give us some sense.
This phenomenon has been evidenced in cases of paranormal activity or strange sightings.
5. Stroop Effect
Perhaps a little known effect but surely you have met someone who may have experienced it, it is a visual game where perception is altered in a very slight but significant point with respect to the sensation left by a textual component. In such a way that people are left with that sensory experience instead of paying attention to other stimuli to which they are being exposed.
A very clear example is in fact the Stroop test, where a person is asked to read a set of words bearing the names of colors, then to repeat only the color and then only the word. In some cases, people tend to name is the color always instead of the written word.
6. Bandwagon effect
Also called the bandwagon effect, it consists of people literally letting themselves be carried away by what those around them think or believe they know about something, because if they do it is because it must be correct, isn’t it? Well, not necessarily, since being carried away by this effect can cause us to lose our self-confidence, forget that we have our personal opinions or dismiss them.
7. Lake Wobegon Effect
It is somewhat similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect, in the sense that here, we tend to exaggerate or overvalue our abilities, even to the point that we may feel superior to others, that we are on a very high scale. The problem with this is that, when we make a mistake, fail or do not perform well in something, we tend to put all the blame on external events that do not come from our ability. Even though these external circumstances have nothing to do with what we are doing.
8. Forer Effect
This is one of the effects that can have the most negative implications on our perception and with which we must be especially careful. It is based on the fact that people tend to feel a very strong pressure because of the characteristics they possess in their personality, character and behavior. So they constantly think that every mention or description of their characteristics, they attribute a personal meaning to them, that is, they think that they are addressed to them despite being generalized details.
9. Cocktail party effect
This is perhaps one of the most curious and interesting psychological effects or phenomena of all, since it is a kind of heightened ability that we all possess but that we activate only on certain specific occasions. It is about concentrating all our auditory attention and mental focus towards a specific sound that we register above the background ambient noise, which has caught our attention and we want to continue discovering.
It can be a particular song, a name, a word or a well-known voice that is relevant and of which we have prior knowledge.
10. Viewer effect
This effect tells us about the low probability of a person helping another person (talking about an emergency or danger case) being surrounded by people, than being alone. This happens due to the false belief that it is not necessary to do anything because someone else will do it (someone more capable, brave or expert), the question is, if everyone thinks this way, will someone really end up helping whoever is in trouble?
11. Von Restorff effect
One of the effects that is most exploited in the world of advertising, since it is about easily recognizing a particular stimulus when it is involved in more common things. So, we tend to recognize something unusual because it stands out from the rest that is already familiar to our eyes.
It is exploited in marketing and advertising, as they tend to target words, slogans, messages or images that are unique but represent the brand.
12. Kappa Effect
It is a very well known effect and it has to do with our perception of time, in this we have that, the waiting time while we are performing some action and we move to the next one, may seem too long. Whereas, if this waiting time is reduced a little bit, then we will have the feeling that the wait has been shorter.
Despite being the same amount of time, what changes is the way we perceive the waiting time, as this is influenced by what we have gone through and what we will now have to do.
13. Keinshorm effect
We are sure that you have experienced this phenomenon or know someone who tends to get carried away by it. This effect is about the negative predisposition that a person may have towards another, so they tend to have their defenses up and on alert to attack the other person whenever they have the opportunity.
It usually occurs during discussions or conversations and one only seeks to contradict the other’s word because one has feelings of little empathy towards him/her. Thus, the decisions or judgments made are not objective, but a personal cognitive bias.
14. Halo effect
This effect consists of attributing positive characteristics to a person or a group and overestimating their values only because of their position or attributes, which leads to admiration, respect and faithful and blind following of that person, as well as of what they promote or promulgate. It is worth noting that these people to whom a halo is figuratively placed on their heads, are actually as kind as they are painted.
A clear example of this are artists, political figures or influencers who, because of their particular status, tend to be glorified.
15. Ben Franklin Effect
This phenomenon is related to cognitive dissonances, especially to the belief that we should please and captivate people based on gifts or favors. In this sense, the effect is that the more regular favors we do for a person, the more we will be predisposed to do it again, just for the sake of doing it, rather than as a retribution for the person for having given us something.