Crab Mentality: When People Pull Down Those Who Get Ahead

  Crab mentality is a phenomenon where people react negatively, in terms of their thoughts, statements, or actions, to those who get ahead of them, even though they don’t expect there to be direct benefits to doing so. For example, crab mentality can cause someone to discourage or sabotage their friend who is starting to …

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FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

  Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (abbreviated as FUD), are a collection of mental states that can influence people’s thinking in a variety of situations, and that are often used together to manipulate people’s behavior. For example, a salesperson might push a customer to buy unnecessary software for their computer, by promoting FUD in various ways, …

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Chutzpah: The Benefits and Dangers of Shameless Audacity

  Chutzpah is the willingness to take risks in a highly shameless and confident manner, that’s often seen as disrespectful or rude. For example, an entrepreneur who’s running a small startup might display chutzpah by calling the CEO of a large company directly, despite having no invitation to do so. Chutzpah can be beneficial in …

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

  Reverse psychology is a manipulation technique that involves getting people to do something 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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Double Standards: What They Are and How to Respond to Them

  A double standard is a principle or policy that is applied in a different manner to similar things, without proper justification. Essentially, this means that a double standard occurs when two or more things, such as individuals or groups, are treated differently, when they should be treated the same way. For example, a double …

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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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Virtue Signaling: When People Try to Show Their Goodness

  Virtue signaling is the act of speaking or behaving in a way that’s meant to demonstrate one’s good moral values. For example, if a person widely proclaims on social media that they strongly support a certain cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling. Virtue …

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FOMO: How to Overcome the Fear of Missing Out

  The fear of missing out (FOMO) is the concern that people experience with regard to the possibility that they’re missing out or will miss out on rewarding opportunities. People most commonly experience FOMO when it comes to rewarding opportunities that other people, and especially those in your close social circle, are a part of. …

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The Availability Cascade: How Information Spreads on a Large Scale

  An availability cascade is a self-reinforcing process where a certain stance gains increasing prominence in public discourse, which increases its availability to people and which therefore makes them more likely to believe it and spread it further. For example, an availability cascade could occur in a situation where a news story triggers a wave …

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The Just-World Hypothesis: On the Belief that Everyone Gets What They Deserve

  The just-world hypothesis is a cognitive bias that causes people to assume that people’s actions always lead to fair consequences, meaning that those who do good are eventually rewarded, while those who do evil are eventually punished. For example, the just-world hypothesis could cause someone to assume that if someone else experienced a tragic …

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