Human mind is incredibly powerful and incredibly mysterious. There are numerous mysteries in there and the exact extent of the power of human mind is yet unknown. We might not be able to unlock the true potential of our mind in another century may be. So, just how incredible our mind is or just how dumb or stupid it is? We intend to give you a few glimpses of the same in form Mind Phenomena. Yes, a lot of things that we think or experience or see are basically results of our minds – possibly manifestations of our thoughts, our beliefs, our psyche and much more. So, if you are ready, let us go through these 14 baffling human mind phenomena:
Baffling Human Mind Phenomena: 1-7
1. Apophenia – People experience this when they make meaningful connections or sequence for vague or meaningless data. This happens to almost everyone. Remember as children we loved looking at the clouds and making some random images out of the shape of the clouds? That lovely childhood experience is Pareidolia, a type of Apophenia. Pareidolia is an experience when a person sees or hears a vague stimulus and considers it as significant. This phenomenon is seen more in religious people, they see their God in some things some times.
2. Halo’s Effect – It is a cognitive bias where if the person perceives one aspect of an event positively, he or she tends to see the whole event in a positive way. For example: people rated attractive and beautiful people more in intelligence, creativity etc. aspects as well. Here physical attractiveness (one positive aspect) made the subject look at the person positively in all aspects (intelligence, creativity, etc.)
3. Horn’s Effect – Just the opposite of Halo’s effect. It is also called as Reverse-halo effect. Here if the observer observes any negative aspect in a person or brand or a company, he would rate that person negatively in other aspects as well.
4. Disowning Pain Phenomenon – A research in Oxford University found that if body parts are perceived to be distorted, the pain perception differs. It is a new type of natural pain killer. Researchers asked the subjects to see their wounds with the help of inverted binoculars, as the wounded area appeared small, the pain perceived and swelling was also less in quantity than usual. According to researchers, what we see influences pain perception as well.
5. Pygmalion Effect – It is a phenomenon where a person succeeds when high expectations are placed upon him. When expectations are high, the person works harder and achieves success but if there are no expectations then he doesn’t work hard which leads to his failure. It is also called as Rosenthal effect. It gets its name from George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. Jane Elliot’s research can serve as a good example here. 3rd grades or 3rd class students were divided based on their eye colour. One group was considered superior than the other. A test was conducted. On the second day, the groups were interchanged and a test was conducted. When both the tests were compared, the students performed well when their group was considered superior.
6. Placebo Effect – This phenomenon is used in medicine. A sugary tablet is given to the patients which has neither benefits nor side effects. When the patients take the “medicine”, they feel as if they are relieved of the pain and say that the tablets really worked. The doctors also say that the patient’s condition has improved just to make sure that the patient perceives things in a positive manner.
7. Reverse Psychology – This is a phenomenon where a person is threatened or forced not to do something and the person ends up doing the same thing. When a person does something that he is not allowed to, he finds his motivation in reactance. Reactance is a motivation reaction to people, events etc. which threaten to decrease or eliminate some of the person’s behavioural freedoms. For example: when a child is told not to touch something or go out of the house, he would end up doing the thing which he is told not to. Reactance’s level is directly proportional to the importance of the decreased or eliminated freedom in relationship with other freedoms.
Baffling Human Mind Phenomena: 8-14
8. Paramnesia – It is popularly called as Déjà vu. Here the person feels as if he has been to a place or experienced an event earlier when he rationally didn’t experience. He feels that the previous experience has occurred and it fills strangeness and eeriness in the air with the dash of familiarity in the present experience. Mostly déjà vu phenomenon experiences are considered to occur in dreams.
9. Déjà vécu – This phenomenon is a step ahead of the Déjà vu phenomenon. Here the person feels that he has experienced the event earlier. Then what is the difference between these two deja’s? it is simple. Déjà vécu occurs in great details, the person can tell the smell and taste and even what is going to happen in the next moment. That is creepy for sure.
10. Déjà visité – It is similar to the above said deja (that is, Déjà vécu) with slight modifications however! The person experiencing Déjà visité would know the geographical locations in a new town or city which he has never been to. Déjà visité is a geographical and spatial phenomenon whereas the Déjà vécu is a temporal phenomenon.
11. Jamais Vu – This one is experienced by many people. People doesn’t recognise a familiar situation for few moments though they know that situation in reality. We can assume Jamais Vu as opposite of Déjà vu. A study was conducted where the psychologist asked subjects to write the word “door” 30 times in 60 seconds. 68% of the subjects begun to doubt if the word really existed and it sounded really novel and strange word for them. This study made psychologists think that Jamais Vu is a symptom of brain fatigue.
13. L’esprit de l’escalier – It is also called as stairway wit. The person senses a clever and witty comeback for an insult or remark but after it is too late. The name stairway wit is associated with this because the remark comes so late that the one who insulted is on the stairs about to leave the scene. In German language, the word for this is treppenwitz and in English it is being wise after the event. It usually accompanies feeling of regret because they couldn’t counter with that remark when it was the right time.
14. Prosopagnosia – Here a person doesn’t recognize people’s or objects’ faces that they ought to remember. However, they make use of other sensory organs to cover up with this shortcoming like smelling the person’s perfume, tactile sensation, voice recognition etc.