20 Amazing Psychological Facts
Did you know… ?
1. The left side of your face is more expressive than the right.
2. The right side of your brain is more closely related to emotional processing and the left side, to languages.
3. When a person turns 60, it’s safe to say they’ve spent about 20 years sleeping.
4. Nature produces women by default, i.e. automatically. It isn’t until male hormones come into play that the fetus develops male characteristics.
5. There is a gene (the CLOCK gene) that is different in early risers and night owls. So, apparently it’s not simply an issue of preference, but it seems that we have different genetic predispositions to be more active during the day or night.
6. Pheromones do affect our sexuality. Thus, different effects have been observed in mammals:
- Lee–Boot Effect: consists of a punctual slowing or disappearance of estrous cycle (the menstrual cycle in animals) when living together.
- Whitten Effect: women’s menstrual cycles are synchronized when they are very close for a continuous period of time. That is, if you live with a woman or spend much time with one, it’s likely that your ovulation will occur almost simultaneously.
- Vandenberg Effect: puberty or adolescence is brought on sooner when females live with males.
7. There’s a disease called fatal familial insomnia. It’s hereditary and people who suffer from it can, suddenly, no longer fall asleep. They typically die between 7 and 24 months after the onset of the disorder.
8. We don’t learn while we sleep. Not even unconsciously, contrary to popular belief. Sleep serves as a recovery period for the body.
9. We have all suffered hallucinations at some point or are susceptible to them. For example, in conditions of sensory deprivation (like when we are driving on monotonous road, faced with an intense silence and we seem to hear a voice.) In addition, we may find that upon waking, we seem to perceive a sound that hasn’t previously existed (hypnopompic hallucinations,) or that something has happened, right as you begin to fall sleep (hypnagogic hallucinations.)
10. Seeing faces or shapes in the clouds or in fire has a name: pareidolia. This phenomenon responds to the human tendency to organize stimuli that makes sense of what you see. In fact, there’s a theory that argues that humans acquired the ability to distinguish faces between the leaves and fend off predators.
11. Child dementia is real and it’s associated with diseases such as childhood schizophrenia and other organic degenerative pathologies. These begin at the very early stages of life, imposing a barrier on these children’s proper development, and probably causing an irretrievable loss, as well as blow to the child and their environment.
12. Freud is not the father of psychology. Freud was a psychiatrist and is the founding father of psychoanalysis. It is the German, Wilhelm Wundt, who is recognized as the father of modern psychology.
13. Freud was addicted to cocaine and prescribed it to all of his relatives, friends and patients.
14. It seems that disorders such as schizophrenia occur less frequently in people living in rural areas than in people living in cities. It seems that stress has something to do with it…
15. Depression affects women more deeply. It could be because, socially, an increased expression of emotions in women is permitted, or because there is some kind of genetic association to female chromosomes with this condition. Or, because other problems, such as alcoholism and addictions mask men’s depression. (It would seem that, in populations where alcohol is not allowed, like the Amish, the tendency is to have equal levels of depression in men and women.)
16. The most depressing season is winter, and it’s believed to be due to the lower exposure to sunlight.
17. However, summer is the season that produces the most manic states. Nonetheless, this point and the former appear to be less evident depending on the latitude where people are located. So, the closer people are to the equator, the less they suffer from these types of problems.
18. It’s possible that, while sleeping, we experience something called a micro-arousal, in which we change posture.
19. The weight of an adult brain usually varies between 1200 to 1400 grams.
20. After 30 years, our brain gradually begins to lose mass. This may partially explain the reason behind our memory failing us, over time.
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Image courtesy of Valentina Photos