How do you feel when you enter into a situation where you don’t know what to expect? For most people, it feels stressful and like we lack control over the situation. The uncertainties of life can leave us feeling like we are at the mercy of others, but by using some basic psychology hacks you can take control of situations that may seem out of your hands. These psychology hacks work because they play on the mind’s basic instincts and our need to see consistency in the world around us.
By harnessing these instincts, you can influence and persuade people to do what you want them to do. Here are some easy psychology hacks you should know in order to take control of any situation and can help you take back control in your life and make uncertainty less scary!
Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind Bias
People often judge probabilities based on how easy it is to think of examples.
To do so, we use what’s called an availability heuristic: if something comes easily to mind, we assume it must be more likely than something harder to imagine. This tendency can create cognitive biases that can hurt us in business and life, but there are ways around them.
One way to combat our natural inclination to let things come too quickly to mind is through deliberate practice—where we force ourselves to spend time thinking about hard-to-imagine things that may one day turn out true.
Think about two new careers you might want to try or industries you might want to start a company in; for each, ask yourself what could I study? What courses would I take? What skills could I learn? Who could I talk to? Before long, opportunities will emerge.
What should you do?
You don’t have to pick just one; you have others at your fingertips if they ever become truly necessary. With enough forethought, planning, and actionable answers to these questions, luck won’t play a role in your future. Instead of being blindsided by circumstances you weren’t prepared for (because you didn’t even see them coming), you'll head off into uncertainty armed with everything you need to succeed.
Anchoring Effect- How We Cling To The First Piece Of Information
The anchoring effect describes our tendency to rely too heavily on one piece of information when making decisions.
In other words, we have a propensity for placing too much weight on one piece of information, which can dramatically skew our decisions.
For e.g If a real estate agent tells us that there are many people interested in buying our home, we’ll place an artificially high value on it; conversely, if he tells us that few people are interested in buying homes in our neighborhood at present, we’ll lower how much we value it.
In short, anchors bias all types of decision-making: purchasing products and services, evaluating arguments and decisions (even simple ones like whether or not to sign up for a gym membership), and everything else in between.
What should you do?
To combat these biases, remove yourself from your environment as often as possible. —go somewhere quiet and try to clear your mind. You may be surprised by how much easier it is to consider multiple options objectively! Lastly, don’t jump into important decisions—no matter what kind they are—without considering some hard facts first. Don’t let them sway you too drastically, but don’t ignore them entirely either. There is most likely something valuable to learn from each one.
Don’t Look Back With Too Much Optimism
People tend to overestimate what they can do in a single day. The most daunting task is that which we put off until tomorrow, as it looms larger in our minds than it would if it were smaller and more manageable. But taking baby steps is not a weakness.
It’s not even being lazy. It’s just good sense for many of us who might otherwise fail at something just because we tried to accomplish too much at once.
What should you do?
Small steps help keep tasks within reach so that we will likely complete them instead of giving up out of intimidation.
Thus, when you consider an overwhelming project or task, break it down into small pieces, set realistic goals (e.g., read one chapter tonight), and then take on one piece at a time until finished.
Positive Or Negative Framing - And Why It’s Not What You Say But How You Say It
The Framing Effect is a cognitive bias in which people see an option as being better or worse depending on how it is presented. It’s a well-documented psychological phenomenon and one that can influence even your toughest decisions.
Think of it like ordering a steak: The same cut might be priced differently at two different restaurants. The primary difference? One place lists their steaks by weight, while another offers smaller cuts for larger prices (per ounce).
If you’re looking to save money, you opt for a smaller cut; if you’re looking to get more, then perhaps paying extra per ounce isn’t so bad after all. Same steak—different framing.
What should you do?
Remember, no matter what choice you make, someone will think you’ve made a good decision!
By understanding framing, we gain valuable insight into just how important information really is when making decisions. So don’t let yourself fall victim to simple biases...proactively work to understand both sides of every argument before making a final decision.
Confirmation Bias - Why Changing Your Mind Is So Difficult
The human mind is a powerful tool. It’s prone to many cognitive biases and other quirks, however, which means we often see things in a way that may not be true or accurate. One of these quirks is confirmation bias, which can lead us to seek out data that confirms our beliefs—even if it doesn’t paint an accurate picture of reality.
What should you do?
To combat confirmation bias, try setting aside your preconceived notions when analyzing new information. If something strikes you as odd or inconsistent with your existing worldview, take note; there might be an explanation for what initially seems like an error—just don’t jump to conclusions until you have all of the facts straight.
Simple psychology hacks (that will work anywhere)
1) When you meet someone, notice their eye color
It makes them feel that you are paying attention.
Don’t mention anything though.
2) Remember a person’s name
People like the sound of their own name
Don’t do it too often though.
3) Frame sentences as if you are giving a choice
Eg: Do you want to go out today or tomorrow?
It makes them feel they are in control and raises their interest.
Don’t give illogical choices though.
4) Stand up straight. Posture matters
It makes you look more confident
Don’t stay in one position for long though.
5) Force a smile when unhappy
Expressions trigger emotions, your mood will lighten up when you smile.
Don’t hold on tight to emotions like grief though.
6) Limit your options to make a wise choice
There is a proof that shows that having limited options helps us make a good choice.
Don't limit exploring if you aren't satisfied though.
Take Action Over The Things You Can Control
It’s easy to feel anxious when life throws you a curveball, but a major cause of stress is uncertainty about what your next move should be. If you can at least take action over things that are completely under your control—how you react in any given moment, for example—you can take charge of your own destiny and reduce some of that uncertainty. You might not be able to predict everything in advance, but you certainly have more control than you think.
Being mindful of that fact will make it easier to deal with uncertainty when it arises (and rest assured: it will). You may even find yourself looking forward to changing because you know how well-equipped you are for dealing with it!
Manage Stress And Anxiety
Sometimes, life gets complicated. When that happens, take a few minutes to breathe deeply, practice some easy psychology hacks, and remind yourself that not everything is within your control. It’s OK not to be perfect; it’s normal to feel uncertain from time to time. It will pass—all of it—eventually. Once you let go of trying to exert total control over every situation, you can take a deep breath and relax into whatever chaos awaits.
There are so many things in life that we can’t control and we have to accept them. We have to accept failures and we have to take chances. If something goes wrong, learn from it and don’t repeat your mistakes again.
It is important that everyone takes responsibility for their actions and takes care of their mental health as well as physical health. There are some easy psychology hacks that help reduce stress while making your life more convenient at the same time.