The following ten examples demonstrate how you can use knowledge of certain psychological principles to control situations to your advantage, be it socially, professionally, or academically.
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BeAmazed… Throw them off their game – If you’re playing a sport, or a game, and your opponent is doing spectacularly, there’s a way to throw them off without them even realizing it. Ask them about their technique. Don’t over-negotiate – Negotiating deals is a mixture of art and science that some people seem to excel at and others just stumble through. Eye Contact – Figuring out just how much eye contact you’re supposed to make in a conversation can be awkward, especially for the sorts of people who might not be huge fans of having conversations with people they don’t know in the first place. Remember names – Whenever you meet someone that you’ll meet again, or even if there’s just a chance that you’ll meet them again, it’s important to remember their name. Chew gum for tests – Provided that your loud chewing noises don’t cause your classmates to physically attack you, scientists have discovered that chewing gum right before a test could improve your score. Foot in the door – This infamous psychological marketing method, known as the ‘foot in the door’ technique, operates on the principle that people are more likely to agree to something big if you can first get them to agree to something small. Asking questions – Talking to other human beings can be difficult for some human beings. It can seem like a daunting task, and it can be almost physically painful to sit through an awkward silence. First dates – While many people may think that the ideal place for a first date is a movie theater or a coffee shop, science may suggest that you would be better off taking your date on a roller coaster. Smiling – Smiling, it turns out, can be a powerful psychological tool. “Because” – At a library, researchers cut in front of people who were in line to use a photocopy machine. Not because they were really busy, but for science.