”Human stupidity” – part 2

– why simplification and assumption are some of the most used tools in your ”brain survival kit”

We are daily exposed to billions of impressions, and our brains need to process lots of information at high speed. To cope with all information and to prevent us from being overwhelmed, our minds protect us by simplifying and picking out just a few things.

Almost all of us are guilty of making snap judgments, particularly in our workplace. Here you can read about four ways your mind considers itself to ”help you” by simplifying and making hasty decisions based on impressions of others.

We have, just for fun, collected various psychological phenomena for when the mind plays tricks on us, such as simplifications and other strategies that cause psychological biases. This is the second article in a series where these insights will be shared. Here you will find the first article https://seventyoneconsulting.se/human-stupidity/

the Halo effect

The Halo effect is when we assign positive qualities to people, companies or brands other than those we know of just because we like or are attracted to them.

The halo effect can also be described as the principle ”what is beautiful is also good”. It’s when we have a positive opinion about a person or an organization because of something they’ve done in one area or just from their personality that we make unfounded assumptions that they’re good in other areas as well.

The term was coined by Edward Thorndike and several studies have shown that people we are attracted to, think they are likeable or good-looking, we also consider more intellectual, kind and funny. One study even found that attractive people were less likely to be guilty of criminal behavior and received lower sentences from the jury. It has been shown that when a person considers an individual in a photograph attractive, well-groomed and properly dressed, they assume that that person is a good person.

This is so interesting, google more to learn more about how teachers and managers interact differently with students/employees based on perceptions of attractiveness. There are also studies showing that the halo effect is correlated to higher income and school grades.

The HORN effect

A bias when someone perceived as ”non-attractive” is assigned less positive qualities.

Also known as reverse halo effect. For example, a person may assume that someone they see as unattractive is also unfriendly.

The bandwagon effect

A psychological phenomenon that people have a tendency to adopt the beliefs, styles or behaviors of a group or majority.

The bandwagon effect is a psychological phenomenon that refers to the tendency for people to adopt the beliefs simply because others do, often without carefully considering evidence or arguments. This can occur because people may feel pressured to conform to the dominant point of view, because they believe that the majority must be right as so many people believe it or that they have a desire to ”fit in” with peers. When more people come to believe in something, others also ”jump on the bandwagon” regardless of the underlying evidence.

The bandwagon effect can have a powerful influence on people’s decisions and behaviors and can lead to the spread of misinformation and assumptions.

The Snob effect

The effect when people avoid doing something because other people are doing it.

The snob effect or also known as the reverse bandwagon effect is a cognitive bias that makes people avoid doing something, because they think other people are doing it.  For example, a person may choose not to buy an item when many people use it, and it is available for anyone to buy.

Note! These are interpretations and definitions and should in no way be seen as scientific. Some of these concepts have even been criticized and misused.