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The greatest strength and the greatest weakness of humans are to be a social animal that makes most of its decisions by mimicry.
So it's quite easy to manipulate a person's decisions by giving them a sense of conformity.
A few years ago, there was a disabled homeless man waiting outside a store where I regularly shopped. Sometimes I pay for my purchases in cash and since I don't like having a change in my pockets (I find it cumbersome), I gave my change to the homeless when I left. I'm not really altruistic so I never do things out of charity but somehow he was doing me a favor by getting rid of my bulky change, so it was a form of retribution for service rendered.
What is interesting is that almost systematically, one of the people who went out behind me, reproduced the same behavior by giving their change, and sometimes I observed a sort of chain reaction where 4 to 5 people gave their change successively in an almost mechanical.
Similar experiments were conducted in New York as part of a study in behavioral psychology. It seems to me that Robert Cialdini talks about it in Influence and Manipulation. Here is the conclusion of these experiments: in a social environment, humans make most of their decisions by reproducing the behavior of their fellow human beings. When we are around other individuals, we tend to observe them unconsciously and imitate their behaviors.
I recently watched a report on Starbucks, and one of the company's marketers was explaining why the company allows customers to stay as long as they want in their cafes.
One of the reasons is that the customer who stays inside the café for hours behind his MacBook Pro is part of the decor and therefore of the image that the brand wants to give to passers-by.
Someone who passes by a Starbucks will often choose to stop there because they will see people who look like them inside. Unconsciously, he will decide to go for a coffee by identification with the people who are inside and by mimicry. Humans tend to imitate the behaviors of those who are like them.
The thing that I find absolutely fascinating is the fact that everyone thinks they are doing well.
And it's absolutely amazing.
No matter what a person thinks, what they vote, or what they undertake: they always think they are making the best choice.
I find that understanding this has been something very important in my life.
This puts everyone's uniqueness into perspective: but what did this person experience to think about/make this choice? This choice seems to him to be the best.
We are all victims of ourselves and by that, I mean of course everything that surrounds us from birth.
And I find that wonderful, that's what makes us unique.
So the next time a choice seems absurd to you or someone wants to subject you to their system of thought, ask yourself why they are like that and don't blame them for having different opinions even if they seem ridiculous to you.
Mental issues, just seeing how people can go totally crazy in one day when before they saw crazy people as monsters.
Just seeing humans treat other humans like they're (fantasy) monsters with the nicknames of serial killers.
Why do we give a fantasy to what is just a human with one spaceless?
I would also say false modesty, like people who believe they are helping people out of selflessness, I leave you a video where we see 2 different guys needing to go to the hospital, one in a suit and the other dressed very badly, just look at the difference in help, have also seen that people are only interested in others when they already see people worried.
A crowd/group behavior can also be noticed negatively, like the group effect in school where even the establishment is a victim and everyone harasses someone, even the teachers.
And finally, I would say the passionate delusions, it agrees with the first point but I find that there are a lot of clichés about it and I find it interesting to see the truth and especially to stop finding it's romantic, especially the limerence (obsession, for manga fans the yandere…)
Contrary to what the movies want.
If I'm being honest, everything about human behavior fascinates me. I think our behavior is something that could never be predictable or explained objectively. There are people who go through the same life events and experiences but perceive act and behave quite differently. What is it that causes such differences to arise?
Perhaps questions of this sort are what drove me to opt for psychology as my major as well. However, the thing which intrigues me the most is, what exactly is it that makes someone empathetic while making another person completely heartless, both of who went through the exact same struggle all their life.
In addition to this, another thing that baffles me is our desire to understand human behavior. We, as human beings, are so infatuated with the concept of understanding what it is that influences our behavior that we often forget how different we are from one another. While one man might wish to get rid of the misery and pain that is his life, on the other hand, another man might make it his entire personality. He may begin to recognize himself as a tragedy and find comfort in it. All of us are trying ever so desperately to understand ourselves and somehow make sense that we end up falling even deeper into the abyss of mystery.