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5 Breakthrough Psychological Theories

 Psychological theories provide insight into every aspect of human behavior. There isn't one of us that doesn't wish to know ourselves better, and psychological theories can go a long way toward providing insight into the mind and human psyche. Having knowledge of them can be life-changing if you make correct use of the information they contain. Here are 5 ground-breaking psychological theories:

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1. All you need is love

The Beatles sang those words in the 1960s, but as early as 1938, a 75-year study began to reveal that this was indeed the case. The study examined 724 men ranging in age from adolescence to old age and collected data on a variety of areas in their lives to answer the question of how to be happy. The conclusion of this study was unequivocal - relationships with people and the love they provide to each other are the most important things in life for happiness!

The research director, psychologist George Vaillant, said that happiness is achieved by experiencing love and finding a way of dealing with life that isn't detrimental to experiencing love. In other words, you can have all the health and wealth in the world, but it all means nothing if your life doesn't also contain meaningful relationships based on love. 

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2. Power corrupts the human psyche

A study conducted in 2003 definitively determined that power corrupts the human psyche. In the study, the subjects were divided into groups of three, and each group had one leader. The leaders of the teams were tasked with giving points to the other members, based on their contribution to the task given to them.

During the study, the researchers entered the room where the subjects were sitting and placed a plate of five cookies on the table in the room. Almost all the leaders of the groups took two cookies, scarfed them down while scattering crumbs on the floor and chewed with an open mouth. Research has shown that power causes a person to forget his manners and become greedy.

However, greed and disrespect were not the only negative behaviors found in the study corresponding to the level of power the person gains. The researchers noted that the leaders also showed signs of aggression, some sexually harassing the women in their group, and others expressing racism towards members of the group with a different skin color than themselves. So, if you come to a position of power in your life, don’t forget that this feeling can take over you and change who you are for the worse.
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3. The words you use determine how you see the world

The words that come out of our mouth make people judge us and our character, this we already know, but did you know that the words you use make you notice or ignore certain things?

Professors Lera Boroditsky and Aneta Pavlenko of Stanford University studied the language of the Aboriginals in Australia (Guugu Yimitir). They found that Aboriginals have no words for right and left, so they use "East" and “West" to describe sides, and indeed for them, there is no such thing as the right hand or the left hand, for example.

Professor Boroditsky says that our language affects the way we perceive the world and shapes our thinking in a way that no learning process can equally affect. So if you know more than one language, try to think in several languages about a particular topic that bothers you to access it from a number of different perspectives, which will help you reach better and clearer conclusions about it.

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4. We can pay attention to only one thing at a given moment

We all want to believe we can do many things at once, and some say women are better at multitasking than men. However, this is incorrect, and we can prove it to you!

Below is a video where people are passing balls to each other, your task is to count how many times the people wearing white pass the ball.

 

If you watched till the end, you found that while counting the passes you completely missed the gorilla that passed by the players. Only a few people manage to notice the gorilla during the task, and the majority don’t see it simply because they were concentrating on one thing - our brain works so that when it concentrates on something, it is hard for it to notice other things, even if it’s right in front of our eyes.

So think about the findings of this study the next time you encounter a problem and can’t solve it. The solution may be right under your nose, and you're just too busy thinking about it in a way that doesn’t seem useful or just about the problem itself.

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5. The little things are what really matter in life

If asked what’s important in life, most of you would probably say marriage, children, education and a good and satisfying job, but studies show that this isn’t the case when examining reality. What has been revealed in many studies is that small things are really important, and the big things don’t always have much to do with our level of happiness.

For example, even if you’ve got your dream job, over a period of time what will affect your level of happiness is not necessarily the job itself, but rather the everyday things you will have to deal with. This includes, for example, your relationships with co-workers, the amount of sleep and leisure you may have, or the morning traffic jams. If these things create stress, you won’t feel satisfied with your work, and it doesn’t matter if your job is Head Taster at a chocolate factory.

So the next time you’re asked what your dream job is, the right answer will probably be "working with good people at a job that allows me to enjoy enough sleep and off time and which the way there in the morning isn’t loaded with traffic jams."

 

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