Free will is something that we all automatically assume we have. After all, we are the masters of our own thoughts, feelings, and decisions. However, studies throughout the ages have begun to introduce the human race to a rather unsettling concept; that our idea of free-will is nothing more than an illusion. It seems as though other factors may have more of an influence over the way behave than we originally thought, and even the aspects of daily life that you barely notice may be subtly directing you towards one action or another. Since knowledge is power, we at The Trending Buzz want to give you a run-down of some of the common factors that may be affecting even your smallest decisions.
1. Subliminal Messaging
The effectiveness of subliminal messages has been demonstrated numerous times through various studies, proving to be most potent when they stimulate emotional activity. A study in the University of London suggested that the human brain is particularly susceptible to negative emotions when volunteers were exposed to various subliminal messages then asked to report how they felt about the instance, such as whether it was emotionally neutral, or not. Those taking part in the study were shockingly accurate, especially after being exposed to negative subliminal words.
2. Your Partner Changes You
Your romantic partner is an individual that you will generally spend a significant amount of time with, especially in an emotional format. Most of the time, the simple fear of losing someone or being rejected can lead us to behave in ways that are completely different to actions we would make on our own. You and your significant other probably have a huge influence on each other’s lives, and this can be both a positive, and negative thing. Just be careful that you don’t allow your partner’s standards to negatively affect your life, or drag you down.
3. Social Media Changes Our Mood
Everybody loves Facebook, it’s billions of users is a shining testament to that fact. However, this doesn’t mean that the website is not without its problems. A recent scandal that hit the news covered an unethical experiment that Facebook carried out using 700,000 unwitting users in 2012. Their newsfeeds were carefully adjusted to either contain negative or positive content, and then the users were monitored to see whether their updates became negative or positive in response. The results were conclusive, showing that people’s emotions often changed according to the type of news.
4. Repetition Is Weirdly Convincing
Repetition is a powerful thing – the more we are exposed to a particular message, the more likely we are to accept that the message is true, even if some deep-down part of us actually knows that it’s all a bunch of lies. Think of how often you see the same advertisement on television every day. By being constantly exposed to the same thing over and over, we become accustomed to it, that’s why there’s some weight to the concept of telling yourself something positive every day.
5. The Smarter we are, The more gullible we Become
Psychologists suggest that no matter how often we tut and laugh about the ridiculous hoaxes we all see on the internet and television today, we’re still somewhat inclined to believe them. Weirdly, the smarter we are, the more gullible we become, because our ego tells us that we’re far too intelligent to be fooled by simple things. We automatically believe that we’d see any scam coming from miles away, and because of this, we end up missing it completely.
6. Scarcity Makes Us Want Things More
For some reason, the less available ‘somethings’ there are in the world, the more we want them. If something is rare, or time sensitive, or limited edition, then it instantly becomes more valuable, and triggers some bizarre instinct in our head that makes us instantly have to have it. The scarcity of an item makes it more attractive, by generating covetous emotions within us.
7. Shady Places Tempt us to Commit Crimes
Regardless of how much of an upstanding gentleman, or lady, you may believe yourself to be, your surroundings really do influence the way that you behave. The broken window theory that was coined by George Kelling and James Wilson suggested that the more shady and beat-up a place looks, the more lawless it seems to be. This makes us feel, somehow, as though breaking the law is suddenly acceptable.
8. Colours Change Our Emotions
You’ve probably heard of this one before, but it really is true. Colder colours such as white and blue can cause people to feel colder, tempting them to turn up their heating, whereas warm colours such as red and brown make us feel warmer. Obviously, the shade that’s on our walls actually has no effect on our temperature, but our brain tells us that we feel a certain way, so we do.
9. Background Music Affects What You Purchase
The faster a tempo or beat of a song is, the quicker that you will believe time is moving. For some reason, if we’re listening to quicker songs while we shop, or wait in line for something, we believe we have spent less time doing so than if we were listening to slower music. On top of this, because music helps to distract us while we shop, it also makes us more susceptible to advertisement and over-spending.
10. Too Much Choice Overwhelms Us
Many people think that there’s nothing better than having a wide selection to choose from when they’re buying something, but science implies otherwise. In fact, the more limited our options are, the more comfortable we feel and the more likely we are to report satisfaction from our choices.