5 Psychological Phenomena You Probably Haven’t Heard About

5 Psychological Phenomena You Probably Haven’t Heard About
“Psychological phenomena” is often kind of just a fancy way to refer to reasons behind human interactions, and ways to describe the cause-and-effect relationships between actions and reactions. It’s important to keep in mind that this terminology is neither positive nor negative, but often examples ARE interesting.
Additionally, being able to recognize what is happening (and why it’s happening) can be an important tool when analyzing your own behavior across situations, whether in work or your daily life.
Today, we’re taking a look at 5 “psychological phenomena” (心理效应 xīn li xiào yìng), and their related research, that you may not know about—but you definitely will be glad you do now.

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1. Marshmallow Experiment

In 1972, psychologists at Stanford University administered a test to young children looking at their ability to delay gratification, or self-control.
自我控制 (zì  wǒ  kòng  zhì): n. self-control

The test was simple: children were given 1 marshmallow and told that if they waited 10 minutes before they ate it, they would be given another. Seems like a pretty easy way to get some free candy, right? Well, not for all the children.
棉花糖 (mián  huā  táng): n. marshmallow; cotton candy

The psychologists found that there was a correlation in the children’s ability to wait for a reward and their competence (as described by their parents), standardized test performance, as well as their health status, years later.
It looks like there may be some benefits to actively training ourselves to not give up future benefits for immediate pleasure!


tōng  guò  cè  shì  hái  zi  de  rěn  nài  lì ,kě  yǐ  yù  cè  tā  men  zhǎng  dà  hòu  de  xìng   gé.
通     过    测  试   孩   子   的   忍   耐   力,可  以  预  测  他  们    长    大    后     的    性    格。
By testing children’s patience, they can predict their personality after they grow up.

2. Perfectionism

Imagine you’re ¾ of the way through drawing a circle, when suddenly the phone rings. You answer the call, but the only thing you’re thinking about is the fact that you haven’t finished drawing the circle; it’s like there’s constantly something at the back of our mind telling us “You have to finish it, you have to finish it, you have to finish it.”
画 (huà): v. to draw
Although some people define themselves as perfectionists, it’s perfect natural to want to finish something that you already started!
完美主义者 (wán  měi  zhǔ  yì  zhě): n. perfectionist


zhè  piān  xiǎo  shuō  wǒ  yǐ  jīng  xiě  le  sān  fēn  zhī  èr  le ,jiù  chà  yí  gè  jié  wěi  jiù  wán  chéng  le.
这    篇      小      说   我   已   经   写   了   三  分  之   二   了, 就  差  一  个   结  尾   就   完       成  了。
I’ve already written two-thirds of this novel, all it needs is an ending.

zài  dà  jiā  de  xié  zhù  xià ,tā  yuán  mǎn  wán  chéng  le  rèn  wù.
在   大   家    的    协   助  下, 他   圆    满    完      成    了    任    务。
With everybody’s help, he finished the job perfectly.

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3. Chameleon Effect

The “chameleon effect’ is the idea that we are drawn to people who we feel a connection with, no matter how superficial the connection; this could be something as simple as similar movements, facial expressions, or words used.
变色龙 (biàn sè lóng): n. chameleon

We can apply this to our daily conversations, too. For example, when talking with someone else, if you want the other person to feel better about you, you can try repeating some key words that they say. Of course, you also have to be nice! It doesn’t work if you treat them poorly.


wǒ  dǎ  suàn  zhè  zhōu  liù  qù  dí  shì  ní  lè  yuán.
我   打   算     这   周   六   去   迪   士  尼   乐   园。
I’m planning to go to Disney World this Saturday.

dí  shì  ní  lè  yuán? nà  nǐ  qiān  wàn  bié  cuò  guò  wǎn  shɑng  de  yān  huā  biǎo  yǎn.
迪  士   尼  乐   园  ? 那  你     千   万   别    错    过    晚     上      的     烟     花     表    演。
Disney World? Then definitely don’t miss the nighttime firework show!

4. Suspension Bridge Effect

Psychologists set up a seemingly innocent experimental scenario: after one group of men crossed a suspension bridge, and another group crossed a stable bridge, they were asked how attractive they thought a woman they just passed was.
吊桥 (diào qiáo): n. suspension bridge

It turned out that those men who crossed the suspension bridge thought that the woman was more attractive than the other group did! Why? The idea was that the men on the suspension bridge thought that their heart was racing and skin sweating because they had found the woman attractive… not because they were walking across a shaky bridge.
心跳 (xīn tiào): n. heartbeat

This is why horror movies or activities to get the blood pumping are popular first date choices! Couples are more likely to feel they’re attracted to each other when they really are excited.


gēn  jù  diào  qiáo  xiào  yìng ,qíng  lǚ  men  zài  yī  qǐ  kàn  kǒng  bù  diàn  yǐng  hòu  gèng  róng  yì  gǎn  dào  bǐ  cǐ  qīn  jìn
根   据    吊     桥      效     应,   情   侣     们    在    一   起    看    恐    怖    电    影    后    更      容    易    感    到    彼  此   亲   近。
According to the suspension bridge effect, couples are more likely to feel closer to each other after watching a horror movie together.

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5. Compliment Sandwich

The best way to give someone feedback, particularly negative feedback, is by “sandwiching” the main point between two positive ones.
三明治 (sān  míng  zhì): n. sandwich

By delivering criticism in this way, the other person is more likely to accept the idea, and to take it more seriously.
称赞 (chēng  zàn): v. to compliment

It doesn’t matter if you’re a boss, a friend, a sister, or a classmate, it never hurts to deliver criticism in a constructive way, and a way that won’t be detrimental to your relationship or make the other person feel bad!


zhè   piān   wén  zhāng   nèi  róng  hěn  fēng   fù!
这      篇     文     章      内     容     很     丰      富!
There’s really a lot of information in this article!

dàn  shì  yǒu  yì  xiē  yǔ  fǎ  cuò  wù.
但    是     有    一  些  语  法   错   误。
Although there are a few grammar mistakes.

rú  guǒ nǐ  jiǎn  chá  zhī  hòu  zài  fā  biǎo ,zhè  piān  wén  zhāng  yīng  gāi  huì  gèng  jiā  liú  chàng.
如   果    你  检   查    之    后    再    发   表,   这     篇    文    章     应     该     会     更     加     流      畅。
If this is published after you check it over again, this article will be an even better read.

You May Want to Learn More :

“Video Lesson : Go on a Date”
“International Women’s Day”
”One of the Trickiest Metaphors When Learning Mandarin: Add oil!”

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