“The mind works in mysterious ways,” they say. Except, who are they? How old are they? And why didn’t “they” just take a dang psychology class? As a matter of fact, most things involving the brain are actually the exact opposite of mysterious. After centuries of poking at brains and over analyzing every move humans make, psychologists have actually found the answers to many of life’s biggest “mysteries.”
Everything happens for a reason. A lot of times, that reason has to do with the way you’ve trained your brain to work or the chemicals that it’s firing out at the time. Want to look like you actually remember a thing or two from Psych 101 and didn’t just treat the class like useless facts? This list of fun facts from the psychology world will help in a pinch. (For more funny and interesting facts, hit up our Fun & Games pages for more golden nuggets of wisdom.)
Psychology Facts About Love And Relationships
1. When lovers look into each others’ eyes, their heartbeats synchronize.
2. If you want someone to like you, ask for their help. The Ben Franklin Effect shows that by asking someone for help, you’re instilling confidence in them and initiating trust, which makes them try harder to like you.
3. People who are similarly rated in attractiveness often end up together.
4. It takes only four minutes to decide if you like someone or not.
5. Some animals do, in fact, mate for life. Those include: Gibbons, swans, beavers and otters
6. Cuddling can be used as a painkiller.
7. Similarly, looking at a loved one can also be used to dull pain.
8. Broken Heart Syndrome is a real phenomenon experienced when you’re so emotionally distraught that you have chest pain.
9. Being in love lowers your stress by upping your serotonin levels.
10. Allowing yourself to experience the negative emotions of an event in your life might actually help you move past it faster
Psychology Facts About Learning, Thinking and Studying
11. Writing notes longhand, instead of typing them, helps you learn what you’re notating because writing engages a different part of the brain than typing.
12. You might learn more by listening to music when you study. Listening to music helps you engage the parts of your brain that help you focus.
13. Higher expectations leads to better performance, The Pygmalion Effect and Rosenthal Effects explain it best, but the idea is that teachers pay more attention to students they know are more likely to succeed.
14. There are four major reasons you’re forgetful – failure to retrieve, interference, failure to store and intentional deletion.
15. Thinking through decisions in a foreign language helps take the emotion out of your thoughts and helps you focus on making a more rational decision.
16. Need to improve your memory? You need to strengthen you synapses. The best ways to do that are: avoid stress, drugs and alcohol and get plenty of sleep and exercise.
17. Reading notes aloud (and talking to yourself about the material) helps you learn more.
18. Playing Chess makes you smarter — it slows you down and forces you to concentrate. Chess also relies on players to think through things from various angles — they must use both deductive and inductive thinking.
19. Playing with blocks helps younger children with learning because it teaches spatial concepts, as well as physics.
Random Psychology Facts
20. The color blue is an appetite suppressant
21. A study actually found that playing video games can have some good side effects on kids, too. Video games gives kids a chance to unleash their negative emotions and also to face and defeat scary things.
22. No one born blind has ever developed schizophrenia.
23. You might think it’s the opposite, but announcing your goals to others actually demotivates you and makes you less likely to meet your goal.
24. Think your personality changes over time? You’re partially right. It’s been proven that your core personality traits don’t change as you age. However, over time your anxiety levels, friendliness and bravery for trying new things can flux multiple times depending on experiences and trauma related to those experiences.
25. Spending money on others makes you happier than spending money on yourself.
26. Ever get frustrated during a Facebook argument when someone only links to sources supporting their claim, even if those sources are sketchy AF? Called “Confirmation bias,” the idea is that people will always be drawn to and more readily stand by “facts” that confirm what they already believe to be true.
27. Humans tend to care more about one person than about massive tragedies.
28. During a crying sesh, if the first teardrop comes from the right eye, that person is crying tears of joy. If from the left, the person is crying tears of pain.
29. Having a plan B means plan A is less likely to work.
30. The beginning and end of a story are easier to remember than the middle.
31. It takes up to five positive things to outweigh one single negative thing.
32. We care about ourselves more than others, which is why the reward part of the brain lights up when we’re talking about ourselves.
33. Babies start processing language like adults do as soon as they’re two days old.
34. Moving their mouths helps babies listen.
35. Babies consolidate memories and new learned skills while they sleep, which is why napping is so important especially in the first year of their life.