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Posts Tagged ‘Selective Attention’

Rule #1: Always Travel in a Pack, Rule #2: Pick the Friends You Go Out with Wisely

April 30th, 2018 6 comments

 

https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-do-girls-travel-in-packs

Have you ever been out with friends when a squad of girls walks in, and, although you hate to admit it, they look so good that they catch everyone in the room’s eye? Fortunately, as jealous as they might make you, and as much as you might want to look like them, there is a cognitive bias tricking your brain into making them seem more attractive. If you have had a similar experience to this one, you, my friend, have been fooled by a common cognitive bias known as The Cheerleader Effect.

 

 

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Its Official: Mind Reading is a Joke!

April 26th, 2018 No comments

Imagine you are visiting your friend at another college for an event. Because you got into a lot of traffic, you have to go to directly there and meet your friend. All you know is that it is some sort of celebration towards success, and, thinking it’s semi-casual,  you go with your skirt, t-shirt and sneaker look. Once you get there, you realize everybody is dressed up in formal dresses and blazers. You feel embarrassed about your look and feel that everybody is aware of that. You feel that everyone can see how awkward and uncomfortable you feel. In your case you have just experienced the Illusion of Transparency effect: the tendency for people to overestimate the extent to which their inner thoughts, feelings, and attitudes ‘leak out’ and are seen by others. You thought everybody was reading your mind, but in reality they probably never even noticed you were there.
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That Band is Really Cool, But I Swear It’s Everywhere

April 24th, 2018 2 comments

Have you ever scrolled through Spotify and discovered a band you like?  Have you ever started listening to all its songs and suddenly you start hearing it all the time on the radio and seeing advertisements for its new album or concert? Or maybe you just found out you’re pregnant and see parents with their kids everywhere you go? While it’s easy to think that maybe you just discover bands that magically and suddenly get really big or that maybe more people suddenly have kids these days, you’re actually probably experiencing what is called the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon or frequency illusion.

Kids are everywhere! Or so you think.

The frequency illusion occurs when a person experiences something, like finding a song he or she likes on Spotify or becoming pregnant, and then afterwards believes that the experience or phenomenon happens all the time. So why does this occur? Well, there are two cognitive processes that are involved in creating the frequency illusion: selective attention and confirmation bias (Zwicky, 2006).  Read more…

The Sixth (not so good) Sense: Always Expecting the Best, Always Getting the Worst

May 11th, 2017 No comments

Have you ever found yourself hoping for a positive outcome but instead, you end up experiencing the worst possible outcome? For example, you have endlessly searched and finally found the perfect shampoo to combat your excessive dandruff when all of a sudden, the company decides to discontinue the product. Or when you finally have the confidence to exchange phone numbers with your all-time crush and you call but not only did they give you a wrong number, it is a rejection hotline number. Even those times when you finally make a doctor’s appointment for that 3 week long pain you have endured and when you arrive, you feel as brand new as you have ever felt before. Reflecting on these instances make us wonder why expecting a certain outcome can result in, not only the opposite outcome, but also the worst one. Furthermore, the real question is why? Why does it feel as if the worst always happens? It almost feels as if we wished upon the bad. Read more…

What do Ostriches and Finance Have in Common?

May 7th, 2017 3 comments

In college it is hard to save money. With the costs of textbooks, late night pizza, and online shopping, I know my bank account is looking a little scary. Often times I find myself avoiding looking at my bank app because I’m afraid to see what my bank statement is, but on payday it is the first thing that I check. Why is that?

This tendency – to avoid checking financial standings when we know that they could be bad – is known as “the ostrich effect,” and is defined as the tendency for people to ignore their problems with the hopes that they will just disappear, similarly to how an ostrich hides their head in the sand when they are hiding from danger, and this tendency is not seen only in broke college students.

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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Car… and It’s After Me

April 15th, 2017 1 comment

Let’s say you’re in the market for a new car. You’ve visited dealerships, test driven many cars, and even asked your friends for their recommendations. One of your friends mentions a new car that has received

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great reviews, so you Google the car to see what it’s all about. Suddenly, this car starts to show up everywhere. It is parked along the streets by your office. You find it throughout the parking lot of the grocery store and every car commercial seems to be about it. Don’t worry. You are not going crazy. The car is not following you. You are simply falling victim to the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, or the frequency illusion. This illusion happens all the time and is characterized by paying attention to a new thing and it subsequently seeming to be everywhere. Arnold Zwicky coined this phenomenon in 2006 and explained that it happens due to two psychological processes: selective attention and confirmation bias.

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