Reverse Psychology: Getting People to Do Things By Asking for the Opposite

  Reverse psychology is a manipulation technique that involves getting people to do things by prompting them to do the opposite. Reverse psychology can take various forms, such as forbidding the target behavior, questioning the person’s ability to perform the target behavior, and encouraging the opposite of the target behavior. For example, a parent might …

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Hubris: The Dangers of Excessive Pride and Confidence

  Hubris is a trait that involves excessive pride, confidence, and self-importance. Accordingly, hubristic individuals tend to overestimate things such as their abilities, knowledge, importance, and likelihood of success. For example, a hubristic person might believe that they’re never wrong, that they’re guaranteed to succeed in all their ventures, or that they deserve to be …

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The Fundamental Attribution Error: When People Underestimate Situational Factors

  The fundamental attribution error is a cognitive bias that causes people to underestimate the influence of environment-based situational factors on people’s behavior, and to overestimate the influence of personality-based dispositional factors. Essentially, this means that the fundamental attribution error causes people to assume that other people’s actions are less affected by their environment than they …

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Ennui: How to Overcome Chronic Boredom

  Ennui (pronounced on-wee) is a type of chronic boredom, which generally involves weariness, dissatisfaction, and apathy, as well as the tendency to feel that everything is uninteresting and unfulfilling. People can experience either a general sense of ennui in their life, or they can experience it in relation to a specific domain, such as …

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Knoll’s Law of Media Accuracy: Remember that Not Everything in the News Is True

  Knoll’s law of media accuracy is the adage that “everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true, except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge”. Essentially, Knoll’s law suggests that people often assume that everything they hear in the media is true, except for cases where they’re familiar …

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