Psychology presumptions

A few psychologists think they are clever by claiming a lot of people are dumb stupid human beings with irrational traits. During the era of taxi drivers, before they were replaced by self-driving cars, some odd behaviour was observed. During the rainy days, some would quit work early. The rain brought plenty of customers in quick succession, lots not wishing to walk and get wet. Now, some would indeed capitalise on this and work all day making good money. The idiots would stop as soon as they earnt their normal daily target. But are they idiots? They may welcome those raining days as ones where they get to go home early and spend their afternoon under the covers with the partner. Maybe they could do a full day in the rain and have a sunny day off. Maybe the rain brings more jams and unpleasant driving conditions. Maybe we don’t want to sit about waiting for the heavens to open. Maybe it only rains during the monsoon. Not everyone wants more money, not everyone cares about efficiency.

People selling dreams, selling houses are notoriously good at presenting a false image. Show the property when it is a glorious day and at a time when there is less traffic building up on the road outside. If you do not care about your credibility, if you care nothing for being genuine then persuade, prod, coax at will. We can easily get people to do what we want if we ignore what they really want. We know best, they are impressionable.

I take all this back if a first aid kit is made in such a way that mistakes are avoided and it does the job super well. The design guides us, that is all fine but ulterior motives are for skunks.

People find ingenious uses for little by little coaxing to make the world glide more effortlessly. Psychological tricks get adopted more and more until there is a backlash. I am one of the many that object at the outset and am dismayed by those that get carried along without making a fuss. Small forces add up to a large muscle working against the individual who wants to be freer.

What is the most common mistake amateur psychologists make? They make one observation and read too much into it. One observation is not a lot. Seeing someone do a similar thing twice gives you a 50/50 chance of being right. Three times and you can put money on it. Someone arrived on holiday with a big black eye. Apparently, they fell over a pushchair. We take their word for it. A few days later their partner stood up and apologised for their regular lateness and made a point of saying that it was their fault and not their partners. Now we are 50/50 that a punch was thrown. Then there was a third piece of evidence. On the last day, the victim stumbled over to us and said “Jason, is not so bad really”. Now I am beyond certain. Make the initial observation, gather more and more evidence, but keep your mouth shut until you have at least 3 items that all concur with your suspicion.


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