5 Psychological Tricks You Can Use in Your Everyday Life

08/31/2017 04:37 pm ET
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What lessons from psychology can help people in their everyday lives? originally appeared on Quora - the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Surabhi Surendra, MA in Psychology, on Quora:

Psychology is the study of human behavior. Thus, it is apparent that it helps us in understanding (or decoding) people around us. Here are few lessons from psychology that can help us in our everyday lives.

The surprisingly powerful effect of surprise. Research has proved that surprise intensifies our emotions by 400 percent! Not only it helps in maintaining passionate relationships, it also drives learning.

If you are an employer choosing rewards for your employees, announce surprise rewards and you will get better deliveries. It isn’t without a reason that people love surprise parties and surprise gifts.

If you a teacher, throw surprises in your lectures to stimulate your students’ minds.

If you have a romantic partner, develop the habit of giving surprise parties or gifts and your relationship will be more passionate in nature.

Use Ben Franklin effect to make someone like you. If you want someone to like you, use Ben Franklin effect. As per an experiment done by Ben, it was found that we tend to like people we do a favor to and we dislike those we have hurt or haven’t done any favor to.

If you want someone to like you, have them do a favor to you. Next time you want to make a friend, ask him or her for a favor. It can be something as simple and easy as borrowing something from them or asking for their honest opinions on any gadget. If they lend you their stuff or give you their honest feedback, chances are they will begin to like you. But beware! If they refuse you the favor, huge chances are that they will hate you.

Use 36 questions to make someone fall in love with you. A NYT Modern Love column essay is based on the questionnaire that has 36 questions. The essay proposes that if we ask these 36 questions to somebody, we can make them fall in love with us.

Not really sure how long lasting the love would be, but you can try it nevertheless.

Use Halo Effect to make good impressions. Halo effect is a psychological phenomenon where positive feelings in one area cause other areas also to be viewed positively.

I can give a perfect example of how I used it to my benefit in a job interview. This was in late 2000s when I was appearing for an interview. I knew the name of the interviewer. Before appearing for the interview, I Googled him and found out that he and I belonged to the same city. I also found that he had mentioned his city of birth several times in his social media profile which indicated that he was fond of the place.

As the interview started, I brought up the name of the city in my introduction of myself. Amused at hearing it, the interviewer asked me if I lived there and from there we spent good 5 mins talking about it.

Result? I was offered the job.

I used the halo effect mildly here. By bringing up the name of the city, I gave way to halo effect where the interviewer viewed me positively because of my native place and then he started to think of me positively as a job applicant.

Use principle of scarcity to drive sales. Scarcity is among the six principles of influence. Cialdini gave us six principles of influence and scarcity is one of them. Instill the fear of losing out in your customers and chances are they will buy your products.

The biggest example of this would be the sales that we observe during holidays or the limited edition products companies bring out. We buy more during the sales that have an end date listed out and similarly limited edition products get in demand because customers feel they can’t this product again if not now since it is a limited edition.

Ironically, I now realize that my parents have been using these principles to influence me. For eg. my mom made me eat fruits by saying - ‘eat these now because these are last in the season. You won’t get to eat them until next year!’ and my dad would often wake me up early in the morning saying, ‘look how beautiful the sun looks. In another fifteen minutes it will up on your head and you will miss the morning sun’ and I remember falling for his trick almost every time.

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