How Our Brains Can Be Manipulated, Even in the Face of Facts



Do we really see everything as it is, or are we seeing things from the eyes of others? manipulation plays a huge role in how our brain shapes reality, even in the face of facts.

Research shows how our motivations and opinions change faster than we realize. Read on to know how our brains can be manipulated.

When motivation changes, we can easily switch opinions. Have you ever fallen for someone but then been rejected? Did you then come up with reasons why it wasn’t going to work out in the first place? If you didn’t get snubbed, you probably wouldn’t have changed your mind. The same thing happens when someone is under the spell of blind love.

They may ignore red flags, common sense, and reject advice from friends or professionals, as they create explanations that support their desires, like, “If I am good enough I can change him/her. Love will conquer all.”

Opinions change with circumstance and sometimes are created on the spot.  

One study showed that most people can completely switch their views without batting an eye. Researchers had 160 volunteers fill out two-page questionnaires asking them to what degree they agreed with morally laden issues (such as individual rights or political conflict). The participants filled out the form, then discussed and defended their answers.

However, the researchers pulled a fast one: Each questionnaire was on a clipboard, and when the subject flipped over the page to fill out the second half, parts of the sheet stuck to the clipboard. When volunteers turned that page back over to discuss their first responses, the answer sheet had changed, containing different versions of two questions.

Read Your Partner Can Control Your Brain, Science Explains

But here’s the thing: The volunteers’ answers remained the same. So, a person who originally had strongly agreed about the benefits of government surveillance now held a sheet that said they strongly agreed about the problems of government surveillance.

The participants were interviewed about these views, including the ones that had changed. About two-thirds of them defended the views they hadn’t put down in the first place. They gave logical and coherent reasons but didn’t seem to realize they were supporting positions they hadn’t originally given.

That’s how our brains are manipulated!

The study shows that people can change their minds and retroactively create reasons and rationalizations for whatever they are feeling at the time.

The authors suggest that the project shows “a dramatic potential for flexibility in our…attitudes” that back up behavior. This indicates that many subjective decisions are made from emotion rather than logic.

open minded brain

However, this study also shows we can be pretty darn flexible in our opinions if we are willing to have an open mind.

Read 5 Emotional Manipulation Tactics Covert Narcissists Use To Trap You In A Relationship

You’d think you wouldn’t do what these volunteers did, but you might. A recurring theme in the deception literature is how most everyone agrees that deception occurs, but they usually don’t catch themselves doing it. We are blind to our blindness.

As author Dan Goleman wrote, “For self-deception, by its very nature, is the most elusive of mental facts. We do not see what we do not see.” The next time you feel like arguing a position, consider whether you are being open-minded, or whether you are getting caught up in an emotion-fueled opinion that could change with the next situation.

brains are manipulated when your not open minded


  • Lars Hall, Petter Johansson, and Thomas Strandberg, “Lifting the Veil of Morality: Choice Blindness and Attitude Reversals on a Self-Transforming Survey,” PLOS One (2012): e45457, DOI: 10.1371.
  • Daniel Goleman, Vital Lies, Simple Truths: The Psychology of Self Deception (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996), p. 13.

Written by:Jason Whiting PhD.
For consulting and workshops or treatment and supervision click here 
Originally appeared on Psychology Today 
Republished with permission 
How Brains Manipulated pin
Brains Can Be Manipulated Pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Up Next

What Is The Scientifically Best Music For Studying? 6 Musical Genres Proven To Boost Study Sessions

Scientifically Best Music For Studying? Six Musical Genres

Picture this: you’re sitting down to tackle a daunting study session, armed with textbooks, notes, and a steaming cup of coffee. But wait, what’s missing? Ah, yes! The perfect playlist to accompany you on this academic journey. Well, let me make this more interesting. Do you know the scientifically best music for studying?

Believe it or not, the right music can do wonders for your focus, motivation, and overall productivity. In this article, we’ll delve into the fascinating world of music and its impact on studying.

Prepare to discover the scientifically best music for studying, as well as some surprising ins

Up Next

Unpacking Parentification Trauma: The Burden of Growing Up Too Soon

What Is Parentification Trauma? Seven Types, Effects and Healing

The excitement of childhood is beautiful, when your biggest worry was whether your favorite cartoon was on TV. Some kids don’t have a childhood as carefree. Parentification trauma becomes a real issue when a child is thrust into the shoes of a grown-up.

The child takes on responsibilities beyond their years. It’s like playing a role in a movie you didn’t audition for. This is the reality for those who’ve experienced the issue – a lesser-known yet impactful challenge that shapes lives in unexpected ways.

What is Parentification Trauma?

It might be your question, though–what is parentification trauma? The trauma occurs when a child is placed in a role that reverses their expected position within the family dynamic.

Up Next

What Is Decision Fatigue? 6 Signs It’s Shutting Down Your Brain

What Is Decision Fatigue? Six Warning Signs Of It

You know those days when you feel completely drained, mentally exhausted, and even the smallest decisions seem like monumental tasks? That’s what is decision fatigue in action.

Maybe you’ve pondered for ages in front of a restaurant menu or struggled to pick an outfit from your closet. Let’s dive in and explore to understand decision fatigue meaning, and see if it’s as real as it sounds.

What Is Decision Fatigue Meaning?

Decision making fatigue is the decline

Up Next

Is Telekinesis Real? Exploring Telekinetic Abilities Meaning, Signs And Strategies To Develop

What Is Telekinesis? Science Behind Telekinetic Abilities: Three Explanations

Have you ever dreamed of moving objects around just with your mind? Though unproven by science, the power of telekinesis has captured the imagination of scientists, psychics and fiction writers for centuries. Let’s take a closer look at what is telekinesis and telekinetic abilities meaning.

What is telekinesis?

Telekinesis meaning: Telekinesis, also known as psychokinesis, refers to the alleged ability to move objects with the power of the mind or willpower, without physical interaction. However, it is not scientifically validated.

Telekinesis, from the Greek wor

Up Next

Spiritual Meaning Of Dreams: 13 Powerful Interpretations

Spiritual Meaning Of Dreams: Powerful Interpretations

Have you ever wondered what your dreams mean? Are you getting any messages through them? And from whom? Read on to understand the spiritual meaning of dreams!

Dream interpretation has long captivated the human imagination, serving as portals to realms beyond our waking reality. From ancient civilizations to modern times, dreams have been regarded as profound sources of insight, inspiration, and guidance.

In this article, we embark on a journey of exploration into the spiritual meaning of dreams, delving into their significance and the valuable messages they may hold for our

Up Next

10 Telltale Signs Of Latent Genius: Discovering Untapped Brilliance

Signs Of Latent Genius: 10 Telltale Signs Of Hidden Genius

In a world that values intelligence and brilliance, the concept of latent genius has always fascinated us. Hidden beneath the surface, many individuals possess an untapped potential that, once discovered, can lead to extraordinary achievements. So, what are the signs of latent genius?

In this article, we will explore ten signs that indicate the presence of latent genius in a person. So, buckle up and get ready to dive into the world of extraordinary minds.

So, who is a latent genius, and what are the signs of latent genius? Let’s find out!

Up Next

Is Being Hangry Real? Science Says There’s A Link Between Hunger And Anger

Being Hangry: Research And Science Says Hanger Is Real

Have you ever felt angry, irritated, cranky, or even furious when you have not eaten for a long time and are really hungry? If your answer is yes, then this is known as being hangry. And the interesting thing is that being hangry is a real thing, and even science has evidence of this.

Key Points

Being hungry can make you feel more irritable and angrier than you otherwise would.

This phenomenon, often referred to as “hanger,” can negatively affect your mood and interactions.

If left unaddressed, hanger can also have implications for your physical health, such as malnutrition.

A driver