MYTHBUSTING

I was originally going to call this post ‘Debunking Myths’, but as someone who watched every single episode of Mythbusters available online and on TV in his youth, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity. This post will be clearing away some myths you may be believing related to the subjects my blog cover at the moment.

Speedreading: I was going to do a post on this before but as I soon found out studies have shown that while you may be able to read faster, your level of comprehension drops as the speed increases, so there isn’t much point as you won’t understand or remember what you read.

Yawning psychopath test: I made a post a while back on this. The premise is that psychopaths do not feel empathy so they therefore will not yawn back if you do, but non-psychopaths will. While the premise makes total scientific sense, the test certainly isn’t a one stop psychopath detector. I have tried this on many of my friends and when you yawn, they certainly don’t always yawn back (And please no-one try to tell me that the obvious conclusion here is that all my friends are psychopaths). Fact is, while the test might make sense it just isn’t very reliable.

Learning in your sleep: This myth has been popular for a long time, and some people even try to learn languages in their sleep, but it just doesn’t work. The myth is thought to have came from people misunderstanding scientific studies which state that memories are consolidated during sleep (memories gained throughout the day get stronger and more permanent when you go to sleep).

Graphology: This is one of my first posts (my second, actually). While it isn’t really a myth, i’m just saying that like the psychopath test, it definitely won’t be 100% reliable all of the time.

Hope you guys enjoyed the post :),                                        Adam

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THE IMPORTANCE OF PRACTICE

Practice tends to have a much bigger affect than the knowledge itself, despite what Tai Lopez might tell you. I am writing this post to stress the importance of practicing anything you may read on this blog if you really want it to have any affect on you, because all the lying and manipulation posts in the world won’t help you when you’re put on the spot and can’t decide which of the 20 different strategies you might use to convince the person you’re right before actually coming up with any arguments.

By now we’ve all heard about brain plasticity and that the repeat of any task enough times will change the structure of your brain to suit that task and make it easier and more efficient for you (I tend to write very long sentences so if you’re ever reading this out loud make sure to breathe as that next comma is probably about 43 characters and a brief coma away). If you want to ever be Sherlock you will have to first make sure that your brain is adapted to it.

If you want some practical examples of practice in practice (i’m not sorry), just look at Mozart. He started playing music when he was 3 years old and did pretty much nothing else since, and he then became considered one of the greatest musicians ever. Einstein was trying to teach himself algebra at the age of twelve, and even the person who the character of Sherlock Holmes was based on was not always a master of deductions.

Hope you guys all enjoyed the post :),                                        Adam

SEX, LOVE AND CREATIVITY

Hey there guys, this post will be all about the impact of sex on creativity :).

Psychologists in the Netherlands did a study where they asked a group of men and women to imagine taking a long walk with their partner (those without a partner imagined taking a walk with an “ideal” one). A different set of volunteers were asked to imagine having casual sex with someone they found attractive but were not in love with, and a control group were asked to imagine taking a long walk alone. Before and after, all groups were given tests to look at their creative and analytical abilities. The results showed that thinking about a romantic partner stimulated “global processing” mechanisms in the brain, which increased long-term focus and improved creativity. Thinking about sex, stimulated “local processing,” which increased focus on the present and heightened analytical thinking. This is because love can boost levels of dopamine, a neurochemical associated with creativity, while sexual desire can raise levels of testosterone, which promotes analytical skills.

This is because when people think about love, it is a long term attachment, but when people think about sex, it is a short term attachment. thinking about events that are farther into the future or past – or any kind of psychological distancing (such as considering things or people that are physically farther away, considering unlikely alternatives to reality, or thinking about other peoples problems instead of yours) triggers a more global (creative) processing style.

Now that you know the effects of thinking about sex, what about the actual sex. Psychologists have found that professional artists and poets have twice as many sexual partners as other people. Also, the average number of sex partners increases along with the amount of creative output a person has. Scientists think that the reason for this is because the confidence you get from having sex may make you more creative. But the reason for this may just be that since creative people are more social and better at coming up with jokes, they can attract more partners, and that the poets and artists are already creative before the sex (basically instead of the sex making the creativity, the creativity making the sex).

Dopamine is heavily associated with creativity. There are high levels of dopamine during sex and especially during an orgasm. However, there is a huge plummet in dopamine after orgasm. This explains why two famous novelists (Gustave Flaubert and Honoré de Balzac) both fondled or jerked off themselves occasionally while writing, but never bringing themselves to orgasm (Balzac thought that each orgasm depleted his creative energy (and he was right)). However. the Belgian novelist Georges Simenon had sex every single day and sometimes slept with four women in one day (However he did not write straight after work. He had sex every day but did a massive amount of work in a very short time onlt once every few months).

From all the information here I can’t really conclude whether sex and masturbation will increase your creativity or not. I may upload a survey or do a test on that sometime, but for now it is for you to decide. I can for certain conclude that thinking about love increases creativity and thinking about sex increases analytics though, so yay. Hope you guys enjoyed the post :),                                               Adam

MANIPULATION 3

Sup guys, this is my third manipulation post so I would advise reading the others first if you haven’t. Let’s get right into it.

Consensus: People look at other people to decide what they should do. In a study where a hotel tried to persuade its guests to reuse their towels, they put up a notice in each bathroom saying how good it was for the environment. They got a 35% compliance rate with the request. They then put up a notice in the bathroom saying that 75% of people in this hotel reuse their towels, the compliance rate rose by 26% (bringing it up to 61% compliance rate). However, when they said that 75% of people ‘In this very room’ reused their towels, the compliance rate rose by 33% from the original 35 (brining it up to 68% compliance rate). This is because the people in the room saw the other people that stayed in that room as more similar to them, so they were more likely to go along with them. This is the equivalent of going into a school to convince kids to do something. As we all know there are cliques (friend groups) in a school. It would be much more effective to say “The other kids in your clique are doing this” than “The other kids in your school are doing this” when convincing a child to do something. This is because the kids would view the kids in their clique as more like minded and similar to them than the school, so they are much more likely to go along with what their cliques are doing. This is why ads that say things like ‘Obesity is an epidemic’ actually backfire and make more people obese. This is because people are basically  thinking ‘well everyone else is obese so it can’t be that bad if I do it’. So if you really wanted to make an effective obesity ad, you should combine this principle with the negativity bias and say something like ‘one in fifty people are obese, these people have health problems and don’t like the way they look, you don’t want to be one of them do you’ (that wasn’t very elegantly worded but you get the gist).

Be likeable: This one should come as no surprise. People don’t like to comply with their enemy as it feels like they are submitting, or have lost to them. However, if you’re a friend, they should be happy to agree with you. In a study involving two business schools, they organised two groups and got people from them them to engage one on one with each other debating on a topic. In one group, they told both participants of the debate to get down to business straight away. 55% of the people in this group came to an agreement. In another group, they told the participants to share some personal information with each other and identify similarities with each other before they discussed the topic at hand. 90% of people in this group came to an agreement. Another thing to do to make people like you and agree with you is to give them genuine compliments. I don’t know why but every website I referred to on the subject said that the compliments had to be genuine, i’m guessing the purpose was to make them more believable. In terms of body language, if you want to appear more trustworthy, then don’t hide your hands and have an open stance (and open hands directed towards the person you’re talking to). When you are talking to the person make sure that they tell you  a lot about themselves, as talking about yourself is nearly as rewarding as sex. Also make sure to emphasize any similarities between you and the person you’re influencing. This will lead them to think that you are like them, which as shown in the hotel room example, means that they will be more likely to think you’re right when you tell them they should do or buy a certain thing. They will be more likely to follow you if you pretend to have experience on the subject at this point (eg. I would own this car if I could, it’s great), as they are not just following your advice (what alike people think), they are following your actions (what alike people do). A thing to use to make them think you are very interested in them is to try using active listening. eg. “I have a dog at home””Oh my God, you like dogs. I love dogs”. Responding, commenting on, and repeating things people say are all ways of showing that you are actively listening to them and will make them like you more. Another you can do to make people like you is mirror them. Mirroring is just copying their actions which subconsciously makes them think that you are like them, use this technique in combination with the other techniques to make them think you’re like them and they will start to think you’re their twin. In order to mirror without being noticed consciously, try mirroring 3 out of every 4 things they do (By things they do I mean things like crossing their arms and checking their phone). And the last thing you can do is say their name, eg. “C’mon you know i’m right Greg” instead of “C’mon you know i’m right” (Don’t call them Greg unless their name is Greg). People like to hear their name, simple as that.

Hope you guys enjoyed the post, have a happy Easter (or whatever the hell you celebrate) :),                                            Adam

MANIPULATION 2

Hey guys, this will be my second post on manipulation and influence. Let’s jump right in

Loss Aversion: Humans have evolved to be more averse to loss than they are attracted to gain. This means that they will be much more likely to avoid bad things rather than pursue good things. This is because long ago, humans who were always spotting the bad things, and always thinking about the bad things were much more likely to survive than the humans who focused on the good things. If two humans saw a fruit in a tree, one might think ‘hells yeah I found a fruit’, while the other might think ‘those branches wouldn’t be sturdy enough to hold me if I tried to get that fruit, so I guess I’ll just leave it’, which human do you think survives? The negative one. You can use this phenomenon to your advantage when convincing people to do things by pointing out what could go wrong, rather than what could go right. Here where I live, there are graphic pictures of dead smokers lungs printed onto cigarette packets to stop people from smoking, and it’s working better than any other methods were. This is because people are much more likely to quit smoking when presented with the negative (the picture of a smokers lungs that looks like a dead pig was lit on fire and used as a boxing bag before being thrown into a woodchipper), than the positive (a list of all the health benefits that come with not smoking).

Authority: This one is pretty straightforward. People are more likely to believe you and do what you say if you have more authority. In one study, physiotherapists were much more likely to get people to exercise if they put their diploma up on the wall, as people seen them as more knowledgeable on the subject and took their advice much more seriously. This is like your friend saying ‘you’re getting really unfit man, you won’t live much longer if you don’t lose some weight’, and your doctor saying ‘you are much too overweight to live any longer than a few years unless you make some changes’, which one are you more likely to listen to? (Hint: the answer is doctor). If you have a receptionist who answers the phone and then hands the call over to you always get them to say ‘okay i’m handing you over to Mike who has been working here for 10 years and has sold over 300 homes’ rather than ‘mmkay i’m gonna hand you over to Mike’. In terms of body language, using an open expansive stance may create this effect.

Consistency: people like to be consistent with choices that they have already made. If you ask someone something like ‘are you any good at sports’, to which they consider, and then reply, and then someone else asks them the same question later, they will not re-consider whether or not they are good at sports a second time, they will just use their old answer. If you want to use this to your advantage, get people to agree with small things first rather than just giving them a large request straight out. This effect is shown in a study where they asked people on two similar streets if they would display a sign on their garden for a campaign and one street said yes much more than the other. Why? Because the people on that street had been asked if they would display a tiny campaign leaflet in their window a week prior, to which they said yes, making them much more likely to accept the request to put up the sign a week later. This effect was also shown in a study in a dental practice (I think it was a dental practice anyway). They simply got patients write down the details of their next appointment on the appointment card instead of the staff. This reduced missed appointments by 18%. This is because the patients felt more committed having wrote the card themselves and wanted to be consistent with their choices.

Well, that’s it for this post guys, hope you all enjoyed it :),                                                               Adam

MANIPULATION

Hey guys, this post will be all about how to influence and manipulate people. I will be going through multiple ways people can be influenced and supplying examples. Here we go

Anchoring: Anchoring is where you use one piece of information as a baseline for all your other judgements, despite not knowing whether that information really means much or not, it is best explained with examples. There was a company selling a product that I cant remember (lets say cooker), the product was for $99 but no-one was very interested in it. The company had the idea of coming out with an only slightly better cooker for $199. When people saw these two cookers, the sales of the $99 cooker went through the roof. These people had no idea how much a cooker was really worth, however, they used the $199 cooker as a baseline to come to the conclusion that the other cooker was really cheap, despite the fact that it was actually the $199 cooker that was ridiculously overpriced. This is what anchoring is, and it’s used all the time to sell things. For example, if you see a $100 pair if shoes you’ll be like ‘hell no I aint spending $100 on a pair of shoes’, but if you see those shoes marked down from $250 you’ll be like ‘oh my god I am buying these immediately, what a bargain’. If you took the time to think about this sale, you would realise that since the shop was still making money selling these shoes for $100, they were never really worth the $250 in the first place, most people don’t bother thinking about this though and just buy the shoes. This is why shops can sell you things for so much, people don’t really know how much things are worth and think that their new converse really are worth the $70 they spent on them. Anchoring is why you should always name your price first in a negotiation, this will anchor the other person and make them stay near your original offer. You should also always make your offers in very precise numbers, as people tend to deviate from them by lesser amounts, for example, if you sell something for 20,000, someone might say ‘I’ll give you 15,000 for it’ but if you sell it for 21,250, people are more likely to say ‘I’ll give you 21,000’ for it. Always remember that people are much more likely to concentrate on numbers other than zero when looking at price. If you’re wondering how to use anchoring in a situation other than selling knockoff trainers to 15 year olds at your local town square, always make a much more unreasonable request before your real one. If you ask someone to do something, they’ll probably think ‘awwwh i’m not bothered to do that’ but if you make a completely unreasonable request that they’ll definitely say no to before your real one, they’ll be thinking ‘No way’ at the first request but ‘well, I guess that isn’t so hard’ at the second one. Why? because they’ll be comparing your second request to your first and the second one will start to seem very reasonable.

Reciprocity: The principle of reciprocity is that when you give someone something, they owe you something. A good example of this is at a restaraunt when a waitress gives you a mint with your bill at the end of your meal. Just by giving a mint to everyone with their bill, tips increase by 3%, and if you give two mints to everyone, tips increase by 14%. There is one method however, that is better than both of those. If a waitress gives a family (or anyone) a mint, walks away, stops, and then returns saying ‘for you nice people, here’s another one’, tips increase by 23%. This is because the people feel as if the waitress is doing something specifically for them which she was not told to do by giving them an extra mint, and now according to the principle of reciprocity, they must pay her back for this good deed. So if you are a waiter of waitress, I would advise going out and buying a big, cheap bag of mints and applying this trick to all of your customers. Good luck 😉

Scarcity: This is the last example I will speak about in this post, and it’s about using scarcity to your advantage. There used to be two concord flights from London to New York every day, but the sales were terrible. So, the airline company decided to move down to only one flight a day because no-one was buying. Sales of this flight immediately skyrocketed. This is because of scarcity, people now viewed this flight as a rare resource and wanted to have it for themselves. This is why limited edition things sell so well. They might not be any better than the regular edition, but there is only a limited amount and so people want to be one of the owners of the limited amount. This is why things like antiques are worth so much money. If you have and old Spiderman comic from the seventies, and there are only five copies of that issue left in the world, people are going to pay a LOT of money to be one of the few people that own that Spiderman comic because, lets face it, it would be pretty cool to own something that only five people in the whole world own. however if there were still 500 copies of that issue left, people would be paying a lot less money for them. Despite it being the exact same issue of the exact same comic in the exact same condition, people don’t want it anymore because everyone has it (well, 500 people have it). Lets say you are selling a hoover, but there are loads of hoovers for sale, so hoovers aren’t exactly scarce. You can still make your specific hoover scarce among the sea of other hoovers (the word hoover is starting to sound very weird after saying it this many times), you do this by pointing out the uniqueness of your specific hoover, maybe your hoover has a feature that other hoovers don’t. Suddenly, your hoover is not one hoover among a sea of other hoovers the exact same, it is the ONLY hoover with this specific feature, it is now in its own category instead of the same one as all the other hoovers as it is now something different, and therefore rare (scarce).

These are the three concepts I will talk about today, but there is much more to come in the category of manipulation and influence. Hope you guys enjoyed the post :),                                                                                               Adam