6. Placebo effect
In medicine, a placebo is something that appears as genuine medical treatment but is, in fact, fake. However, the patient often feels better by taking the ‘fake’ medicine even though it might not have any real medicinal effect. It simply means that, like our bodies, we can get anything done if we choose to believe it.
According to the placebo effect theory, you can treat yourself simply by believing. Our mind is an incredible healing tool and the power of belief can make anything happen. Our mind tricks us to believe something is real even when it is not. Science has confirmed that placebos can be as effective as actual treatments.
7. Sunk cost fallacy
We unreasonably hold on to things, people and relationships because we have already invested something in it, whether it’s money, time, effort or emotional strain. According to a 2018 study on sunk cost fallacy, when we pursue “an inferior alternative merely because we have previously invested significant, but nonrecoverable, resources in it” then it leads to an evident violation of logical decision making.
As we are unable to let go of these things, we desperately cling on to them which compels us to make irrational commitments and decisions regarding useless relationships and objects.
In a TIME magazine article, Christopher Y. Olivola, author of the study, stated:
“The sunk cost effect is the general tendency for people to continue an endeavor, or continue consuming or pursuing an option if they’ve invested time or money or some resource in it. That effect becomes a fallacy if it’s pushing you to do things that are making you unhappy or worse off.”
8. Fundamental attribution error
We judge people based on their personality and character, while we judge our own selves based on the circumstances.
Fundamental attribution error posits that we instantly judge others when they do something wrong and blame it on their poor character and flawed personality. However, we tend to forgive ourselves a lot easier when we do something wrong or act poorly as we believe we were in a tough situation.
9. Rosy retrospection
Most of us tend to remember our past as more pleasing than it actually was. Moreover, we expect our future to be riddled with problems and be much worse than it probably will be. Our mind tricks us into believing that the past was better than it was in reality.
Rosy retrospection is a psychological phenomenon of individuals judging their past improperly and falsely believing them to be more positive than their current situation.
10. Confirmation bias
We tend to seek ways to validate & justify our previously held beliefs by accepting ideas that support our ideals, avoiding anything contradictory in the process.
Confirmation bias makes us support and prefer information that confirms our currently existing biases and beliefs.
11. Spotlight effect
We tend to overestimate our belief that others usually observe and notice how we appear, behave and act in public. However, in reality, most people are preoccupied with their own things and focus on their own issues and agendas rather than on others.
The spotlight effect makes us falsely believe that people notice us more than they do in reality.
12. Just world hypothesis
It is because we want the world to be fair, we tend to believe that it is. We presume that good things happen to good people and bad people get what they deserve. We believe that hard work pays off in the end. However, it is not necessarily the truth.
Just world hypothesis makes us want to believe that the world is just and fair and we get what we deserve.