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Human mind mechanisms are complicated and particular. To explain our behaviour dozens of studies have been carried out.

One of the most recent studies claim that the brain loves stability, consistency and clarity.

Is it a good thing? Not at all! This is an enemy of human evolution, as it prevents us from exploring new possibilities and condemns us to always perpetrate the same behaviour.

Why do we fall in love with those who reject us? Why do we tend to procrastinate, thus prolonging our discomfort with anxiety and trepidation?

Do you want to find out why? Carrying on reading!

Six facts you did not know about your mind. What does our brain want?

Certainty

Our brain loves stability. Uncertainty poses a threat: as it increases, the amygdala is activated (the response to the threat) and the ventral striatum activity (reward response) decreases. This is a condition of malaise for our brain.

Cognitive closure

The search for certainty can lead us to become intransigent, to take a position and to keep it even if evidence arrives that refute our beliefs. Psychologists call it “cognitive closure”, but according to a study by a team of German and Italian psychologists, individuals that are less sensitive to the need for cognitive closure can solve problems better than their counterparts.

Schemas

The mind loves recurring patterns (example; the summer schema based on sea, heat and holidays). When a schema is missing an element, we tend to put it in ourselves, as often happens in optical illusions.

 Control or illusion?

We also have a tendency to believe that we have control over a whole range of things that actually escape us. Such as choosing favourite numbers in a casino or on a lottery ticket, until we believe we have an effective strategy that will win us over. For psychologists it is nothing but an illusion of control.

 Opportunities

The brain has evolved by making decisions in the real world, trying to predict immediate threats and rewards. Result: we have a certain difficulty seeing ourselves projected into the future. When this aspect is added to the desire for an immediate reward it is not always a good thing. We can fall into traps set by sellers who offer us opportunities “to catch immediately”.

Emotional needs

Apart from practical needs, we also need to fulfil emotional ones and these are not always related to the number of people around us, since we can feel lonely even in a group. However, the digital dimension gives us the easiest way to belong and to satisfy our emotional needs while investing in ourselves.

If you are interested in the study of the mind and want to deepen this discussion, the faculty of psychology is perfect for you. NCI UL offers Foundation year, Undergraduate and Postgraduate degrees in Psychology.

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