Our brain is actually wondrous but it certainly not flawless. On few occasions, it forgets important details like the exact date of your wife’s birthday, other times it fails to notice essential things in the world around you, making you easily mistaken for not being serious.
You might be inclined to just write off these mistakes as simple errors or blame situational variables. You were too busy, too tired, or perhaps too distracted. The fact is, however, that your brain has several limitations and patterns that can trip you up in a number of different ways.
The following are just a few of the psychological limitation the human brain undergoes:
1. The brain loves shortcut game
Most often when we plan to do some things, the first thought that comes to the brain is the easiest way to get it done. I mean the plain lazy way to do it fast!
Using mental shortcut makes us get things done faster and achieve faster result but often most this mental shortcut called heuristics pushes us into making more mistakes than we ought to when we feel like solving a mechanical equal with its right formulae would be longer, so you decided to use a shorter formulae that might not give a full explanation to the answer you got, what you brain is using at the moment is called availability heuristic. You are fooled into believing that using the wrong formulae would still give you the right answer.
2. Conceal prejudice influence our thinking
Our mind is easily susceptible to various unnecessary thoughts which prevent us from thinking in the right manner and all this lead to the making of errors, distortion. One great example of this is confirmation bias.
Just imagine if you have a friend who doesn’t believe in marriage, she gives you various reasons that discredit what you have about marriage confirmation bias causes us to place a greater emphasis or even seek out things that confirm what we already believe, but to ignore or discount anything that opposes our already existing ideas. Imagine how this bias affects people daily.
3. The brain plays the mind game
When something bad happens, it is only natural that we look for an underlying cause to blame. The problem is that we often place the blame on the wrong person, event, or object and frequently distort reality in order to protect our own self-esteem.
Imagine I had a test some few days ago, the lecturer dictated about ten question that needed to be answered, I was so furious that I started blaming myself for not reading broadly, that’s is a normal thing for the brain to do.
At the end of the day, I passed greatly in the test and I felt awesome that is called self-serving bias but what about if it is a classmate who failed a test, the first thing you think of is, “didn’t he read his book or was he just plain stupid? ” That’s called fundamental attribution error.
4. Your memory is not as great as you think
While we often believe that our memory works as fast as possible lie video camera, preserving events exactly as they occurred, the reality is that our memory is much more fragile, inaccurate, and susceptible to influence than we would like to believe.
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For example, experts have found that it is surprisingly easy to induce false memories of events that did not really occur. In one study, researchers found watching a video of other people performing an action actually led participants to believe that they had performed the task themselves.
Your memory might be good, but it is worth remembering that it is not perfect and certainly not always dependable. It is just like saying one’s memory is as great as you will remember everything you have ever read! It doesn’t work that way.
5. The brain plays trick on us
Your brain is capable of remarkable things, from remembering a conversation you had with a dear friend to solving complex mathematical problems, or remembering the lyrics of a song someone out there was just humming into your ear few minutes ago, but as you’ve seen, it certainly isn’t perfect. So what can you do? There’s no way to avoid all of these potential problems, but being aware of some of the biases, perceptual shortcomings, and memory tricks.
For instance, student falls into this category mostly. You have a test and you prepared so well only for you to get to the hall and you remember not as much as you needed and immediately you left the test hall you start remembering everything you ought to have remembered in the hall. That’s one of what shows that the brain isn’t as perfect as we sees it but of course it is perfect to some extent.
Having known all this, it should be easier for us to learn to handle the difference in how our brain tackles some things.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of NAIJ.com.