Trick Of The Mind: Part 2

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How many of each kind of animal did Moses bring on his ark?

Two? No it was Noah who built the ark and took the animals on it. Our mind just played a trick on us.

Scientists have shown we have a preference for the letters that make up our name. It can influence a lot of the decisions we choose to make in our everyday lives.

Out brain constantly fools us or lures us into making irrational decisions that we believe are completely rational. As discussed in part 1 our attitudes to money and the loss or gain of it are truly amazing.

Gambling is an incredibly powerful addiction that plays to a very basic desire associated with risk/reward. When it is stripped right back to the simplest form it is alarming as to how easily we are fooled.

When faced with steady rewards or a chance for more, monkeys will gamble. Even when the reward frequency reduced they still continued. This has enormous implications for humans and gambling addictions.

We trust our minds so much and our ability to make logical and informed decisions that we fail to see when we are being completely irrational and biased.

Optimism biased is truly remarkable. Why do we prefer Friday over Sunday? On Sunday there is no anticipation of the weekend off but it is still a day when you are not at work, unlike Friday. We are not anticipating the fun things we will do on the weekend. Our brain will always look on the bright side even if it is illogical. We fool ourselves with eating high fat foods when there is a history of heart disease in our family.

In part 3 I’m going to look at the tricks out brain plays on us that has serious consequences for us and those around us. Elizabeth Loftus has done a lot of research into false memory and the power of words on recall. I would suggest anyone interested in tricks of the mind should look her up and especially her own story on the false memory of her mother’s death.

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