Here are some interesting facts about the human brain and psyche, explaining how mood affects purchases and other decisions we make every day. By the end of this article you may see things a little differently.

1. The ability to recognize ambiguous images depends on your age and the state of your brain.


What do you see in the picture above? There are actually two answers here: lips and a leaf.
It’s impossible to see both images at the same time but usually, most people can notice each of the variants. Surprisingly, children under the age of five are not able to see more than one image even if both versions have clearly been pointed out to them. This is due to the fact that their brains don’t have the flexibility required for recognizing the second image. Moreover, at this age, it is almost impossible for them to realize that there are people who have different beliefs, speak different languages than they do and generally perceive the world differently. However, there is an exception in bilingual children. Being bilingual helps young children to develop the flexibility of the mind that monolingual children can lack. Therefore, they are able to see both sides of ambiguous images. Some adults can also fail to recognize ambiguous pictures: experiments have shown that people with frontal damages to the brain found it most difficult to complete this task.
The object that we recognize first can depend on our age. It has been proven that when it comes to reversible figures, people tend to see things that they have experienced in their lives so far, using the knowledge stored in their brain. Hence, there is a high probability that adults will likely see lips in the picture above, while children will see a leaf first. That happens due to the fact that adults are more driven by their sexual experiences.



2. We like imperfect people more.


Suppose you see a beautiful man or woman that looks so perfect they may as well have a halo hanging over their head—when suddenly, they fall clumsily into a puddle of dirt. Instead of becoming deterred by them, you’ll actually be drawn to them and more likely to fall in love with them.
In psychology, this phenomenon is known as the Pratfall Effect, in which a person lets an imperfection of someone or their surroundings affect their feelings toward them. However, this only happens in cases of a person already having some amount of sympathy for the other person. As it turns out, our desire to be perfect is actually a waste of effort since a little bit of imperfection doesn’t seem to make a difference.

3. It’s better to make important decisions in a bad mood.


It turns out that when we’re happy, we make decisions based on intuition and inner premonition, but when we’re sad, we tend to use more logic and analytic thinking. That is why we often commit criminal acts in a state of euphoria, and don’t realize the craziness of it until after the fact. Researchers note that in general, decisions taken at moments of sadness are better in the long run.

4. Synchronous actions make us closer.


If you want to strengthen relationships with colleagues or family members, engage in singing, sports, or other activities that involve synchronized performance. Scientists have discovered that such activities cause positive emotions (even if you don’t enjoy the action itself) and remove psychological barriers, resulting in the group members becoming closer to each other.



5. People think others are responsible for their own mistakes, but when it comes to ourselves, we blame the circumstances.

Imagine the following situation: a woman is walking along the street with a torn bag and apples spilled on the ground. A man passing by felt bad for the woman but did not help. Why didn’t he? Most of us would assume that the man is lazy, ill-mannered or anti-social.

Now imagine that you were the one who passed this woman and did not stop to help. Why didn’t you? Probably because you were in a hurry to get to work or were late to an important meeting. Surely, if not for the circumstances, you would have given her a hand.
In psychology, this is called the fundamental attribution error — where we blame the mistakes of others on their personal characteristics and our own mistakes on the influence of external factors. When it comes to achievements, the opposite is true. If someone passed the exam successfully, it happened because of external factors, but if you were successful, it was because you were well-prepared.

6. We perceive objects around us in the canonical perspective.


Remember what the office printer or the vehicle that helped you get to work looks like? Most of us recall these objects as if we were looking at them slightly above and at an angle where the front and side planes are visible— this is known as the canonical perspective. The researcher of this phenomenon discovered it after asking people to draw a coffee cup— it was depicted exactly in this perspective almost every time.

7. Sometimes our brain lies.


The picture above shows the famous Ponzo illusion, first shown to the world back in 1913. It seems to us that the first orange line is longer than the second, although in reality, both lines are the same. This happens because the upper line goes beyond the other vertical lines, and the lower line, on the contrary, does not reach them. This makes the brain think that the upper line is longer when it is in fact the same size.

Column Left