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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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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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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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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