There are several everyday brain mistakes that most of us miss. They are called cognitive biases and are due to an inaccurate processing of the information that reality gives us.
The reason for these everyday brain errors to arise is that humans need to respond quickly to the stimuli they receive. For that reason, the brain uses the simplest way to interpret the information that is provided to it. This path does not always lead to a valid conclusion.
What we do is put a kind of filters between the information and the interpretation of it. We make it easy for us, although inaccurate from the point of view of reason. It is not voluntary, but operates automatically. Here we share with you five of those everyday brain mistakes that we all make at some point.
” Perhaps it is the very simplicity of the matter that leads us to error .”
-Edgar Allan Poe-
1. Give valid ideas that are similar to ours
This is one of the most common everyday brain errors. Technically it is called confirmation bias and it consists in that, without realizing it, we tend to filter information in a way that confirms what we previously thought or felt.
In other words, we think that anything that confirms what we previously thought or felt is true and our attention is selective to it. If any data or information appears that contradicts it, we automatically tend to reject it. Typically, we classify it as “false”, without subjecting it to a thorough evaluation.
2. Deal with irremediable situations
Following logic, everything that has no solution or that is irremediable should come out of our drawer of concerns once this nature is accepted. Why waste time and energy on it if it is impossible to solve or change it. However, human beings are not usually guided by that simple logic.
Often our minds are occupied with the impossible. We tend to give it a lot of importance, because that is part of our evolutionary line. What is lost or what we cannot achieve draws our attention more because we assume it as something from which we must protect ourselves.
3. Deceive yourself with unnecessary purchases
Of course it is a mistake to make unnecessary purchases, compulsively. However, from the point of view of the daily errors of the brain, the important thing is not the purchase itself, but the entire mental process that we carry out after making it. It is a kind of emotional hangover that leads us to build a cognitive bias.
A lot of people feel guilty after spending money on something they don’t need. To avoid this unpleasant state, they spend a significant amount of time preparing a recipe book of reasons that support the idea that the unnecessary is necessary. The goal is to convince ourselves of this and thus eliminate remorse.
4. Compare the incomparable, one of the brain’s everyday mistakes
This is one of those everyday brain errors that advertising knows and uses. Let’s say you see a label comparing two prices. Something like “Before 100 euros, today at 79 euros.” It immediately catches your eye and you process it as a very favorable opportunity that is presenting itself to you. Given this mental step, you are more likely to end up buying. Who likes to pass up opportunities?
The point is, we rarely bother to double-check information. Was that really worth 100 euros before and today it dropped in price? In this case, our brain simply gets carried away by the evaluation that it makes of a favorable comparison. This comparison leads to making decisions that are rewarding, even if they are based on something that is not really true.
5. Believe in the opposite to reassure us
According to various studies carried out by Eduard Punset, professor of Science, technology and society at the Ramon Llull University , the brain tends to change the perception we have of reality when that reality torments us in a significant way. What is striking is that it tends to lead us to believe the opposite, to ward off the anxiety that something may awaken us.
The most classic example of this is the denial of death. Many cannot tolerate the idea of disappearing permanently. Therefore, regardless of religious beliefs, they have the conviction that life extends beyond death. Although there is no evidence to support this, they refuse to think otherwise.
These are just a few examples of the brain’s everyday mistakes, as there are so many more. Despite the fact that our mind has an infinite capacity, it also tends to take shortcuts to simplify things and agilely build a response to reality. It is not enough that from time to time we evaluate how objective our perceptions are.
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