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Strange Psychological Facts

Updated on October 14, 2014

Strange Psychological Facts You Should Know about Human Behavior

“A little learning is a dangerous thing . . .” Do you know who first made that statement? No, it wasn’t an American politician. It was Alexander Pope during the 18th century.*

I should amend that statement to read: “a little learning is like chicken soup for a cold; it can’t hurt.” Especially if that learning discloses a few strange and peculiar psychological facts about human behavior.

If you are a writer – or a salesperson – much of this information can assist you to reach and hold your audience. Have I got your attention?

Okay! Here are four strange psychological facts about human behavior:

Alan Baddeley
Alan Baddeley

1) You can remember 3 or 4 things at a time.

Have you heard that you can remember 7 things at a time? Wrong! That is like an urban legend based on a paper authored by a fellow named G. A. Miller who was simply expounding on his unproven theory. He believed that we can remember 7 plus or minus 2 things. In other words, he was saying people can process from 5 to 9 pieces of information at a time.

That is not accurate. A British scientist named Alan Baddeley conducted a series of studies on human memory and concluded that the correct number of things we can remember is 3 to 4 items for about 20 seconds. They will then disappear from our memory unless we repeat them over and over.

You can test this for yourself. Someone gives you a phone number and you don’t have a pen and paper so you repeat the number over and over until you can dial the number or write it down. By repeating the number, you put it back into short term memory which buys you another 20 seconds each time.

The interesting thing about phone numbers is that they are more than 3 or 4 numbers long. So they are hard to remember for more than 20 seconds. To solve that problem we break up the ten-digit phone number into three groups with 3 or 4 numbers each.

But there is more. Research scientists in the field of decision-making tell us that people cannot choose effectively between more than 3 to 4 items at a time.

So if you are using Amazon or eBay on your hub or website, display no more than 3 to 4 items in each group of products.

And if you sell products or services for a living, confine your sales approach to 3 or 4 benefits at a time.

2) You can’t multi-task.

I know. You think you can multi-task because you are proficient at switching back and forth quickly but you are fooling yourself. Research has shown that we can perform only one cognitive task at a time. We can be reading or we can be typing. We can be reading or we can be talking. We can be reading or we can be listening. One thing at a time.

There is one exception. If you are performing a physical task that you are good at and have done very often, then you can perform that task while you are doing a mental task. Which means if you are walking – not driving! – you can also text on your cell phone. Then again, this may not be an exception. Watch the video of the woman texting on her cell phone while walking in the mall.

Do I hear you asking, ‘But doesn’t the millennial generation multi-task?’ Another urban legend. A Stanford University study published in 2009 found that when subjects were asked to deal with multiple streams of information, they could not pay sufficient attention, could not remember as well, and did not switch tasks as well they thought they would. So do one thing at a time.

FOOD
FOOD
SEX
SEX

Food, sex and danger all in one

3) You can’t resist noticing food, sex or danger.

Why does traffic always slow down when people are driving by an accident? Do you lament the fact that people are attracted by that which is gruesome, and yet you can’t resist looking over as you drive by?

We can’t resist looking at scenes of danger. It’s the old or reptilian part of our brain warning us to pay attention.

Psychologists tell us we have three brains. The new brain is your logical, reasoning brain. The mid brain is the part of the brain that processes emotions, and the “old brain” is the part of the brain that is most interested in your survival.

The old brain developed first and is very similar to the brain of a reptile, which is why it is often called the “reptilian” brain. Its job is to examine your environment and answer these questions: Can I eat it? Can I have sex with it? Will it kill me? That is actually all that the old brain cares about: food, sex or danger.

Think about it. Without food you will die and without sex the species will not continue. And if you are killed the other two questions don’t matter. In the beginning, animal brains developed early on to care intensely about these three topics.

As animals (humans) evolved they developed other capabilities – logical thought and emotions. But they retained a part of their brain to always be aware of what is happening regarding these three critical questions.

This means that you just can’t resist noticing food, sex, or danger. No matter how hard you try to not notice these three things in your surroundings, you will always notice them. It’s the old brain at work.

Of course you do not have to react when you do notice these three things. You do not have to eat a piece of that chocolate bar the moment you see it.

You do not have to flirt with some attractive person you just met.

You do not have to concentrate on that car accident as you pass by. But you will notice all those things whether you want to or not.

If you want to get someone’s attention by your writing or at your website, then what better way that to include images of food, sex or danger? You will definitely provoke attention. Trust me.

4) You have selective attention.

The psychological term is inattention blindness. This means that we often miss or not aware of large changes in our visual field.

Do you doubt that? Then watch this video and test your own awareness for yourself.

Sometimes we miss small changes, too.
Sometimes we miss small changes, too.

* “A little learning is a dangerous thing ... drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring; There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, And drinking largely sobers us again.” - Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

The video is an example of what is called inattention or change blindness . The premise is that we often miss large changes in our visual field. Many experiments have been performed proving that this is true.

So what does this mean if you are writing something to be read online? Or designing a website? It means that you cannot simply assume that just because something is on the screen means that people see it. Remember, just because something happens in the visual field doesn’t mean that people are consciously aware of it. You may have to use repetition.

So there you have it – four strange and peculiar psychological facts about your behavior that I have emphasized by utilizing strange psychological facts number 1 (you can remember 3 to 4 things at a time), and number 3 (images you can't resist).

Footnote: Since I am older than soil, I know many more strange peculiar psychological facts. If I remain on my meds, I may write Part Two about seeking pleasure and . . . zzzzzzzzzzzzzz!

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2012. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So." Includes valuable information for older workers, and how to negotiate salary successfully.

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    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks for noticing. The awareness test is one of the best I have found to prove my point.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      The awareness test is very cool. It proves the point.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Not surprised, Crafty, that you were attracted to the chocolate image. Might as well eat some now - dark chocolate of course - it has a salubrious effect on the brain. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the visit and the kind comment.

      Now go read Part Two.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      I have to admit, my eyeballs went right for the chocolate picture. I have no memory whatsoever any more. If I'm in the kitchen cooking, and someone asks me a question or starts telling me about their day, I will literally stand there in a dug state trying to figure out what I was doing. It's sad, really, but that's what my brain has come to. Mush. LOL Thanks for another great article!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You are probably very good at multitasking by now, KKGals, but you will be even better and more efficient if you try to do just one or two things at a time. Re the video, just proves you are normal, m'dear. It takes most folks more than one viewing to see the 'bear.' Thanks for the amazing, awesome and 'way up there.' Love that last accolade.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Interesting facts. I always thought I was good at multitasking. As for that terrific video - I had to read about the bear, go back and watch the video again, before I saw it. Amazing. Awesome and way up there.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      You are so welcome, molly. Many of our readers enjoy being titillated in one fashion or another so be my guest, cram your hubs with food, sex and danger. And watch your readership grow. Trust me.

      When it comes to chocolate, m'dear, I'm right there beside you. To me, a balanced diet is a chocolate bar in each hand. :)

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      Thanks for the education, Drbj! So, if I want to mess with my readers, I can cram my hubs with ads about food, romance and monsters, 7 or 8 choices each, and all mixed up. I'll let you know what Google Analytics tells me about the HP community's relative survival instincts.

      If there were such things as monsters, I'd probably be slain immediately because I'd be standing there with a chocolate bar in my mouth. XD

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      No sweat, Mrs. BP, most folks fail to see the bear the first time around. Thanks for the very kind comments. Now go take the 'Pig Personality Test.' Try it, you'll like it.

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 4 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      Awesome. Totally failed the awareness test. Great writing---interesting, fun, and smart. :-)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, KK Gals, for finding my hub totally fascinating. I could say the same thing about your comments, m'dear. Isn't it interesting how each of our children can be so different? Now go take a look at Part Two.

      And thanks for the Up.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I love your hub. I found it totally fascinating. I multitask all the time. I always have. Two of my daughter do also and one can only do one thing at a time. Up and awesome.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Ho, ho, Peg ... the other 'thing' was sex, m'luv - thanks for the chuckle. If you can still remember 3 or 4 things at a time, you are okay! Don't worry. And missing the moonwalker just proves you are normal - like most of the rest of us. Thanks for coming to the party, no invitation required. And thanks for the sublime comments. Take a look at Part 2 and give me your considered opinion as well. Happy belated Valentine's Day!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hello Drbj. This one was a fascinating and thoroughly interesting read. I learned a lot. Well, maybe 3 or 4 things as that is all I could remember even though I kept repeating Reptilian brain, reptilian brain, reptilian whatever. Now that was food, danger and can't remember that other thing. I cannot imagine how I overlooked this one for so long. Late to the party, forgot where I put the invitation. I've always been inclined to do one thing at a time even in school. Never could study with music playing in the background. In fact, long ago, I never ate two things at a time, finishing each vegetable on my plate in its entirety before starting on the next. Likely, that is why I only counted 12 passes and missed the moonwalker entirely. One track mind that sometimes that gets derailed. You are a superb writer and thanks for the thought provoking hub. Voted up on all counts. Peg

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you for visiting all the way from Canada, Rolly. Happy you found this fact-filled and appreciate your kind words. Do visit Part Two for more interesting strange psychological facts, my friend.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi drbj... wowo fact filled and something new to learn each day... thank you for all the hard work on this one...

      Hugs from Canada

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Sheri, and thanks for the perceptive, complimentary comments. Love that quote and promise to take advantage of it at the first opportunity. Welcome to Hubpages and Kudos to you, too, m'dear.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 4 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      Well done! My favorite mulitask is to listen to audio books while doing something that does not engage my brain...like housework (yawn) or morning grooming, etc. I heard this somewhere and I guess is slighty revelavant to this hug. "Do not let and education spoil your intelligence"

      Thanks for this. I am very new at Huns and delighted to see such intelligent articles. Kudos!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Delighted to share these strange psychological facts with you, jainismus. Happy you enjoyed them. Be sure to take a look at Part Two - see link above.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I knew that!

      Actually, Glass-Jewelry, some of that information about processors is new to me. Thanks for sharing it. And thanks for finding this hub - it's nice to meet you.

    • jainismus profile image

      Mahaveer Sanglikar 4 years ago from Pune, India

      I never knew about these strange facts, thank you for sharing such a great information.

    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 4 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      In fact, the human brain can not work in multi-tasking because it is a single brain. It could simulate a work of multi-tasking if it used the technique of time-sharing extremely quickly as do the computers. The computers of today normally work in multitasking and are designed in two major ways: they have a single processor, or have two or more processors (four or eight, etc..). Those who have only one processor work in time-sharing, that is in subsequent fractions of time devoted to each of the tasks that must be performed simulating the contemporaneity. While those with multiple processors actually perform more tasks in parallel.

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      We just like to cook, not as a living...and my fiancée is a far better cook than I am.

      My 3rd oldest has the makings of a pro.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Aha, you are a cook, Mitch. Gourmet or simply gourmand? Thanks for making the rounds.

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      As to the food issue. In a word, NO...even with delicious food I will often take one component of the meal and think, "ya know what this would be good in?" I just really like food...cooking and eating it.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, snakeslane. So happy you enjoyed this interesting brainy article and thanks for the 'so darn smart.' You ARE perceptive, m'luv.

      It's true that some folks can multi-task or remember things better than others. But they are not in the majority. Those who are adept at remembering a great number of names or other items generally have the gift of eidetic imagery. They can look at a page in a book, for example, simply scan it, and then tell you almost every word on the page.

      It is a genetic gift and I did have it when I was younger but, sad to say, only a small portion appears to remain. What did you say your name was again, m'dear?

      As you point out, multi-tasking especially at work is the road to burn-out. Hope you have fully recovered by now. Sorry I wasn't there when you needed me. :) Regards backatcha.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Mitch, so nice to see you again and appreciate that you appreciate my 'cerebral/comedic' message.

      Yes, we can text or read or doodle when listening to someone, but we often lose much of the message when we do.

      As to eating and thinking about another food at the same time, it happens often when the food we are eating is not spectacular, but seldom when we are really enjoying our meal. Right? Thanks for the 'Great Hub!'

    • snakeslane profile image

      snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

      drbj, You are so darn smart. I enjoyed this very interesting article about what our brain can do, but I'm pretty sure I can multi-task. Citing years of news writing to a deadline. And I think there are special people who can remember more than 4 things. I read about a waitress in a pancake place who could take the food orders of a few dozen people at a time, and deliver the food to each one using facial recognition, voice and all kinds of tricks, and she was reknowned for it (I think the article was in National Geographic.) Do you think there may be a few freaks out there who break the mold? Regarding multi-tasking, it is a sure way to burn out (again, speaking from experience). Where the heck were you when I needed you drbj?! Regards, snakeslane

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

      Love the interesting blend of the cerebral and the comedic to deliver a message. We often think we can text or read while listening to someone in conversation, but I've come to realize it isn't so. Although I can be eating and thinking about another food... does that count? Great Hub! Keep Hubbing...

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      What a lovely commenter you are, Winterfate. So happy you found this extremely interesting and noted the assorted humor. Thanks for the Up and other nice things.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Scribenet, delighted I could enlarge your already extensive knowledge about speakers rambling and onlookers lingering. With reference to writing hubs, it pays not to ramble so readers WILL linger longer. My pleasure, m'dear. :)

    • Winterfate profile image

      Darrin Perez 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Extremely interesting hub! It's a nice look into human psychology while being humorous as well! Voted up and lots of nice things! :D

    • Scribenet profile image

      Scribenet 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Cool, now I know why rambling people who never get to the point put me to sleep ( I just need to know 3 or 4 points period) and I always did wonder about the traffic at accidents sites!

      Now to apply this to Hubs!

      Thanks! :))))

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Don't lose any sleep over missing the moon-walking bear, Michele. Watch the video again and I guarantee you will see him. Thanks for still loving this hub, m'dear. Now go read Part Two.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Well, I paid attention to the number of times the people wearing white passed the ball, but I did miss the moon walking bear. Heavy sigh....

      Still love this hub -)

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      How nice to meet you, pinkhawk. Thanks for finding this an interesting attention catcher. And the pleasure of sharing is all mine.

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 4 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

      attention catcher, ^_^! interesting... no wonder if comments here will be miles away... ^_^! thanks for sharing!

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Fossillady, welcome back, m'dear. Do not worry your pretty little head about the bear - most folks miss him the first time. Yes, please do store these facts in your long term memory and while you're at it, take a look at 'Strange Psychological Facts - Part Two.' You will enjoy it. Trust me.

      Thanks for the sublime comments and don't stay away so long.

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Not only did I not see the bear,but failed miserably on the count. This was so well done. I found it entertaining, useful and informative! Also, need I not forget, interesting and memorable. I will store it in my long term memory! After being away for so long, it's good to see you're still offering quality articles, my friend! Kathi :O)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Jim. Your profile name should be Jimimagine. Thanks for the clever and imaginative comments - folks like you make it all worthwhile.

      Loved what you learned. Now you're excused, my friend, go dry off.

    • jimagain profile image

      jimagain 4 years ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      Great Hub! From this well written and intriguing primer on primal human behavior, I learned four things about myself; I too suffer from inattention blindness, frequently fall into pools while texting, can only remember 3 to 4 things at one time, and....Hey?!! Where am I and how did I get all wet, and what was number 4????!! Arrrghhhh!

      Drat! Now, excuse me while I go dry off.

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      I know, ps, I could have deleted the second identical comment, but it was so lovely I wanted to have two of them. Heh, heh.

      Thank you for finding this amazing and bookmarking it to return for another reading. My pleasure to share, m'dear. Thanks, too, for the up+++.

      Isn't it annoying when we leave a comment and two of them pop up?

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      This was amazing. There is much to consider in your article so I will be bookmarking it to return and reread since I was trying to multitask while reading it. This was extremely interesting and packed with so much that is of importance to us on so many levels. Thanks for sharing. Voted up +++ :) ps

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      This was amazing. There is much to consider in your article so I will be bookmarking it to return and reread since I was trying to multitask while reading it. This was extremely interesting and packed with so much that is of importance to us on so many levels. Thanks for sharing. Voted up +++ :) ps

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, maggs. Thanks for loving this hub. Delighted you found it entertaining and interesting and please, do not lose a moment's sleep over not noticing the moon-walking bear. The majority of the population doesn't see it upon first viewing.

      And multi-tasking is more a fable than an actual feat. But you did hit the jackpot with your gracious comments, so thanks for the reading, the voting and the Up.

      You might like to view 'Strange Psychological Facts - Part Two', too.

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 4 years ago from Sunny Spain

      I love this hub, entertaining fun, interesting and of course I didn't see the moon walking bear.

      It took me over fifteen minutes to get my wandering attention back out of Youtube following some of the most unusually and bizarre videos I have seen in a long time.

      I think from this you can deduce that multitasking is not my strong point in fact I have trouble staying with the single task in hand lol...

      Best hub that I have read in a long time voting up and hitting the relevant buttons on my way out :D

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Come to think of it, vox, m'dear, cooking and Hub-hanging may not be mutually exclusive. Do be careful. I do so hate to lose a faithful follower.

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      Well, my dinner did burn a few times while I was hanging out on Hubpages lol Thanks for the support, though!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Yes, FP, being older than soil, and perhaps even older than dust, does give me a research advantage. Thanks for finding this very interesting and STOP missing my hubs. We old folks have to be humored.

      P.S. Take a look at Part Two hot off the press.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 4 years ago

      Where do you dig these facts up? Does being older than soil help? :D

      Just kidding...very interesting, as usual! Been missing your delightful hubs!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Don't be hard on yourself, vox vocis. There are always exceptions to every rule and you may be that awesome exception. Trust me!

    • vox vocis profile image

      Jasmine 4 years ago

      I always thought I was great at multi-tasking. Now I'm not that convinced. Great post!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Chris. And I love you for loving it. :)

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Love this post !!!!! :-)

    • drbj profile image
      Author

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      That was a significant lesson you learned, Kelly, from that Child Psych class. Your instructor would be pleased. And so am I, m'dear, whenever I have the pleasure of reading your comments on my hubs.

      It is no less difficult for adults to remember an array of instructions, so Keep It Simple Sweetie usually works. Thanks for the visit, m'luv.

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I absolutely LOVE this stuff! I remember this one thing (haha) from a Child Psych class I took. The instuctor told us little kids can only remember a couple of instructions for a very short and brief period of time (seconds or minutes) and so if I told my child, "go upstairs and get me a book, make your bed and put your PJ's on" by the time they get upstairs they will have forgotten all but one of those instructions!

      That little bit of knowledge helped me in so many ways. It made me always think about that when asking them to do things or having my expectations ruined by simple communication errors:)

      Excellent!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Niteriter, always good to have you visit. Somehow I knew (perhaps by osmosis) that you would not dispute the validity of the title. Delighted you enjoyed this article and subsequent repartee throughout the comments. Not surprising, you know, since all my readers are of above average intelligence.

      Thank you for placing me at the top of your HP reading list - what a supremely gracious compliment.

    • Niteriter profile image

      Niteriter 4 years ago from Canada

      As I read the title of this article I knew immediately that I agreed with every word. "Strange Psychological Facts" is a fine title in which even the most argumentative of readers will struggle to find fault.

      I just thought I should let you know I enjoyed your article and all the repartee interspersed throughout the comments. You are still at the top of my HP read list. Cheers!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      That gal falling in the mall pond does get around, Nell. It's true, advertising agencies do try to work in the three items we can't resist noticing in every ad.

      An ad for milk, for example, would be to include the product, something you can eat, focusing on the fact that it is pasteurized (so it does not present a danger), and for sex? Just look at the happy expression on the cow! Cheers, m'dear.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I have the girl falling in the pond in one of my hubs too! lol! strange facts, I remember reading that every time they do an advert on tv they always try to combine the three in the advert, even if its about an orange, just watch how they place the oranges! I play that game at home when trying not to throw something at the tv because of the stupid ads ruining a program! check out every ad and see the three things in them, even stuff as silly as milk! lol!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Let me know, Linda, how Jacob does on the tests - I'm positive, since he is YOUR nephew, that he is already a winner.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I'm glad you pointed out the pig test as I noticed I didn't see that or some other ones. Again, Older than Dirt. LOL

      I'll have Jacob check out the other tests.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      How nice to see you here, Sally. It was a cinch to remember phone numbers back in the day when they had a name in front of a short number. And we did it without the convenience of cell phones.

      We didn't have a town switchboard operator - too big a city - but we did have a party line. And you could hear some very juicy conversation sometimes when the other party was on the line.

      I'm older than soil since that came before dirt. What's older than soil? Probably dust! Thanks for the visit and finding this delightful. Appreciate that.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 4 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Oh yes, the named phone exchanges...Turner, Hillcrest, Orchard (TU, HI, OR)...made it so much easier to remember phone numbers. I also remember the town switchboard operator. All you had to do was pick up your phone and ask her for Dora's house down the street. That was even better! (What's older than soil?)

      Delightful hub, as usual!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Linda. Delighted this was an educational blast for you and your nephew to read and watch. He's pretty perceptive if he counted all 13 passes and saw the dancing bear/monkey.

      If you are older than dirt than you know we have a lot in common since I am older than soil (it came first). Give my regards to your sweet nephew and tell him to take the "Pig Personality Test." He will enjoy it. Trust me!

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 4 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi drbj~my nephew and I just read this and watched the videos. This was a blast to read as well as educational. You know the hub is good when my 16 year old nephew read and watched the whole thing. LOL

      He saw thirteen passes in the video and I only saw 10. He also saw the dancing monkey and I didn't. YIKES~probably cause I'm also older than dirt. LOL

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Keep it to yourself, Dolores, but I, too, remember the phone number preceded by a word and then a 4 or 5-digit number. Cell phones do keep so much information handy for us that I think we are becoming lazy when it comes to using our memory. Would you agree?

      Thanks for stopping by, m'dear.

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      Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hi drbj - you got me thinking with those numbers. I remember, back in the day, when a phone number was preceded by a word - Tuxedo2 - 8097 or something like that. It was so much easier to remember! Of course no one remembers phone numbers anymore as they are built into our cell phones.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Lizzy. Delighted you were able to pick up a takeaway concerning our ability to generally remember only 3 or 4 things at a time. It's not at all unusual for salespeople to try to tell the customer too much hoping to cover all the bases. The problem is the listener cannot and does not pay attention to too much information.

      So hubby can sell ice to Eskimos? Now that is genuine talent. Loved your remark about having trouble selling tissues to someone with a nosebleed! Now you won't.

      If you were able to process the presence of the bear even if you did not know what he or it was, that is definitely a plus. Most folks do not even see him or it.

      Thanks for voting up, interesting and useful, and sharing this, m'dear.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, PDX... Happy you did see the moonwalking bear even if he had to be pointed out to you. Seeing him is what counts. Thanks for finding this fascinating, the Up and the sharing. It is appreciated.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, happyboomernurse - thank you for your visit, loving the moon-walking bear and the other illustrations. Delighted I was able to make my point. And many thanks for voting Up across the board.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Audrey. How nice to meet someone who does not beat about the bush - whatever that means. Have you ever considered a career in 'time management'? Just wonderin'.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      LOL--welll.... I guess the "3 or 4 things" is true, and I suppose it's why I suck at sales. Hubby can sell ice to Eskimos; I'd have trouble selling tissues to someone with a nosebleed! Why? I guess now I know: I tell too much info at once--I was raised to EXPLAIN everything--give the why's and wherefore's... and it turns out that people TUNE out... ::sigh::

      As far as the video test--LOL! I got the number right--but while I did not particularly notice the bear--as such, or what it was doing--I did process it as "something in the way of what I was trying to see." So I did see it...just not for what it was.

      Voted up, interesting and useful...oh, and shared!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 4 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Fascinating. Up and shared... though i did notice the moonwalking bear (after they pointed it to me, I mean ;-)

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 4 years ago from South Carolina

      Very interesting hub. I loved the moon walking bear video which really drove your point home, and also the other clever illustrations.

      Voted up across the board.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      Very interesting hub!!

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, effer. Diogenes spent much of his life in ancient Greece searching for an honest man. If he were searching for an honest woman, I would have given him your address. So it took three tries to spot the bear? Not unusual, m'dear. Some folks never see it.

      Not surprised of your interest in learning more about human behavior. I know most of the questions on the subject by now, but still searching for all the answers. Thanks for the visit and the Up with pluses.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Never tire of learning more and more about human behavior....even retired, well, actually, especially since retiring.....but now, about that video. I didn't even see that damned bear the SECOND time......because I counted 12 passes....and when I watched the 2nd time, I was intent on counting the pass I missed!!! Finally, on the 3rd. view, I saw that little bugger!....UP+++

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      It was entirely my pleasure, Amy, to share whatever knowledge of the subject I possess. And also my pleasure to receive another fulsome measure of praise from you.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      If I may say so, dear drbj, it doesn't surprise me one iota that you were involved in the psychology of advertising. It is an interesting, wildly intriguing topic. Thank you for your detailed response to my comment. Awesome gem of a piece, my friend.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Yes, Docmo, I got the message. You were multitasking by writing a report while listening to some music and sipping a cup of tea. But only the report-writing was a cognitive task. Right?

      Like you, I have always believed a little learning is a wonderful thing because it leads inquisitve folks like you and me to learn even more.

      Thank you for finding this compendium of cornucopia brilliant, the Bravo, and being unable to resist reading my hub. You are a genuine Hubbuddy! The cup of tea, BTW, is still in the kitchen. :)

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Pleasure to meet you, Break of Dawn. Ingenious name! Thanks for finding this information astute and so true. Women often multititask mindlessly when they are rearing infants: breast or bottle feeding while watching television, for example. But once the little darlings are on their own, supervising them is one fulltime single task.

      Thanks for your visit and finding this a fascinating and interesting read.

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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      There are a number of variables, Amy, that provoke our interest in the images we see in ads both in Vogue and other magazines as well as on television. But when advertisers want to move us to action the most significant variable is real or implied sex. Our old reptilian brain is drawn foremost to the image of beautiful sexy people.

      And Vogue and GQ are not alone in displaying sexually oriented grahics. Even Forbes, acclaimed as a business mag, contains more than its share of said photos. An ad agency these days employs more than graphic artists and copywriters. You can be sure that psychological consultants are also on board. (Been there, done that.)

      So those beautiful ads in Vogue are both artistically intriguing as you point out as well as extremely effective in instilling sexual images in our old brain.

      Thank you, m'luv, for your cogent comments and gracious adjectives. I know you will be thinking about these great truths from now on. Trust me. :)

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      It's so pleasant to have you here, Colin. Thank you for visiting with your usual urbane charm and repertoire of gracious compliments. Love being called a true legend in Hubpages history so long as we are talking about living legends. Right?

      Have a very pleasant weekend as I sign off with my 'infinite wit, charm and enlightenment' - what a lovely comment.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      I was writing a report while listening to some music and sipping cup of tea when this brilliant hub caught my eye. I love little learning like you say drbj it cannot hurt. I love this compendium of cornucopia. Food, sex and danger aside, a drbj hub is hard to resist. Bravo, my friend. another winner. Now where did i put the cup of tea?

    • Break of Dawn profile image

      Break of Dawn 4 years ago

      . . . Without food you will die and without sex the species will not continue. And if you are killed the other two questions don’t matter. . . Lol! So astute and so true! It is said that women are better to do multitasking than men. If that is true or not I do not know? Thank you for a fascinating and interesting read!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      And here I thought I loved all those beautiful ads in Vogue because they were so artistically intriguing. It's funny drbj, because I now understand, as I read your perfectly written, intriguing information about the human psyche, that it is sex appeal that is the hook in advertising. I went back to my latest copy of Vogue, and, I'll be damned if it isn't so. The ads that hold my interest the longest are the enigmatic photos that hint at subterfuged sexual interest. Food doesn't interest me, and I quickly turn the page looking for the next mysterious beautiful human, be it male or female. I always wonder what they are thinking...probably what they are going to buy with their next outrageous paycheck! I've always known that the most brilliant advertising truly understands human psychology.

      Brilliant, as always, drbj. Even though, in the back of my mind, I was subconsciously aware, you make it unquestionably real. I'll never look at Vogue again without thinking about the truth as written by drbj. Promise.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      ...well one thing that's not strange or psychological is that you are one of the true legends in Hubpage history and here is yet another landmark hub presentation to add to your remarkable resume here of great work - sending you warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 9:24pm and thank you for you infinite wit, charm and enlightenment, as always

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Congratulations and Felicitations, Rosemary, you are one of the elite if you noticed the bear, even if he was leaving the game. Few people notice since they are too busy counting passes. Fact of life, m'luv.

      I have not left my keys in my car door lock lately but that's only because they are not needed to open my car. The hard part is remembering to put them in my handbag in the first place. How clever you are to carry an extra set of keys.

      Thanks for the visit, the 'awesome,' and the button pushing. And the smile and the chuckle.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A very interesting hub and one that brought a smile and a chuckle.

      I actually did notice the bear, I have no idea where he came from but I saw him leaving to the left.

      I am laughing at Marties story, which reminded me of the time I had picked the kids up from school, done the shopping and planning dinner, as dumped the shopping in the trunk, bustled the kids in and sat behind the wheel I suddenly realised that I had somehow lost my keys. Luckily I had a spare set in my purse. On arriving home and getting out of the car I spotted them.. still in the door lock. Now why didn't I think to look there. haha. And I thought I was good at multi-tasking.

      Awesome job and pushing all the buttons

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      There is absolutely no penalty, Susan, for not leaving a comment the first time you were here since you returned. And the bear will not hold it against you that you missed him. Hey, you did get the 13 passes! Thanks for finding this fascinating. Me, too.

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Christy, nice to meet you. Thanks for finding this very interesting and amazing as well. So you were blown away when you didn't notice the bear? Do hope you have recovered. :)

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      I'm not sure, Don, how either Emerson or your grad student friend would analyze the meaning of "a little learning is a dangerous thing," but I am almost certain that Pope was trying to emphasize the importance of MORE than a little learning. Because too little learning could cause a problem. Like a physician who makes a mis-diagnosis or a contractor with flawed construction plans, etc., etc.

      You are so right about not trying to do more than one thing at a time if we want to do something well.

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, Drax, thanks for finding this and also finding it very, very interesting.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      I can't even imagine how frustrating it must have been, Nellieanna, attempting to play tennis as a teen with less than stellar vision. Walking and swimming were very wise alternative choices. And do not consider taking up the sport of ping pong - it can be dangerous to your health. Don't feel badly about missing the bear in the video - he understands.

      Your analysis of the factors involved in spotting that bear, BTW, was spot on. And it does take danger, actual or implied, to cause us to remove our focus and get the he!! out of the way.

      Thank you, m'luv, for your sublime, comments. 'Thought-provoking, interesting, fun and informative' happen to be some of my all-time favorites. But you knew that.

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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thank you, Stacy, for your well-developed sense of appreciation for my 'amazing amount of work' in producing one of my 'best pieces.' Congrats on utilizing your memory so well.

      To answer your query, No, looking at that luscious chocolate fellow will not kill you, although you could expire from frustration. Thanks for the visit, m'dear, and the 'work of art' appellation.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, Coge. Delighted you found this fun to read and watch. And it's easy to miss that bear - he's such an excellent athlete (?)

      Although you may have viewed that video before, it is difficult to remember since it was stored most probably in short term memory which DOES fade away.

      Happy that the four facts make sense to you and thanks for the interesting and the Up vote.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hi, arb, sorry about bursting that bubble but look at it this way. Now you know more about why you do what you do then you did before. Look at all the additional ammunition you have to counter anyone's protests.

      And thanks for the thanks.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Nice to meet you, debbiepinkston. Thank you for finding these facts to be interesting. No thanks are necesssary; it was entirely my pleasure.

    • drbj profile image
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      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Hello, Millionaire Tips. Do like your name. Are your tips to BE a millionaire or FROM a millionaire? Just wonderin'.

      Yes, it is sad that we don't really know ourselves as much as we think we do - and most of us probably never will. Thanks for finding this interesting and the Up vote.