Must-Read: Brain Hacks To Make Your Life Easier
One of the most important things that you’re ever going to learn is that you are the one who controls your life. Sure, there are plenty of societal and familial effects that happen in order to make you the person that you are — if your parents are super rich, that will have an effect on you, just as if growing up in an environment where you have to struggle to have something to eat will. But at some point, those outside factors are meaningless and you simply are the person you want to be. The trick is figuring out who that is, and then achieving it.
And so today we’re heading to Cracked, where they have a list of 69 ways that you can make huge changes to your life simply by making subtle changes to how you process things. For example:
#67. Change the Reality of a Situation by Changing How It’s Phrased
You’re probably already aware that minor changes to the wording of a survey can alter people’s opinions. During the health care debate in 2010, for example, four separate organizations conducted polls to see what percentage of Americans supported a so-called “public option.” Their results ranged from a measly 44 percent to 66 percent support, due in large part to differences in wording. Calling it a “government administered health insurance plan — something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get” garnered 66 percent support. And calling it “a government-run health insurance plan” plummeted support to 44 percent. Calling it “Just what Mussolini would have wanted” reduced the number to 2 percent.
You might think that it’s just a matter of people not actually understanding how the system works (“I said I wanted Medicare, not GOVERNMENT!”), but it really is all about how the brain can be manipulated with very subtle differences in wording, regardless of your knowledge level.
In this study, social psychologists sent out surveys to several hundred registered voters before an election. Half the recipients were asked if it was “important to vote.” The other half were asked if it was “important to be a voter.” With this one difference, the people who read the word “voter” were nearly 14 percent more likely to actually vote on Election Day. The researchers suspected that using the word “voter” caused people to identify themselves with the word. Since these people considered themselves to be voters, they were more likely to get out and vote.
Pretty crazy stuff. Head on over to the link to figure out how you can use this, and 68 other, brain hacks in order to help improve how you live your life.
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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.