What are some facts about psychology students

Unnecessary knowledge: 13 unexpected facts about you to be amazed

Is there any useless knowledge? That's in the eye of the beholder. The only thing that is certain is that there are facts that are so bizarre, so funny and so special that you wouldn't even think about researching them. As a fan of Italian desserts, you may have remembered that “tiramisu” translated means “pull me up”. But did you also know that when you lick a stamp, you eat 5.9 calories? We have collected even more "useless knowledge" here: 16 fascinating things about yourself that you did not even know ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Unnecessary knowledge: the desire for curious facts

You will like this paragraph. Its lines are narrow, the sentences short. But did you know that you can read long lines much faster? It's because of the way we skim! Many such details are regularly classified as “useless knowledge”. Admittedly, at first glance, knowledge does not offer us more than a small aha experience. A mini-realization that we can still live well without.

At first glance. In fact, useless knowledge offers undreamt-of added value. It promotes the desire for unusual topics. It not only amazes us (which some research), it also arouses our curiosity. And thus stimulates reflection and lateral thinking. On top of that is a great conversation starter at parties and small talk.

Examples of useless knowledge

Knowledge without direct use is an infinite field: Every day new “useless knowledge facts”, questions and curiosities appear. The magazine “Neon” has even made it a cult and offers “useless knowledge of the day”. Funny! We have therefore listed a few examples here to help you get warm:

  • There are 989 professional shepherds in Germany.
  • In Germany you spend an average of seven minutes at a supermarket checkout.
  • Alcohol is not allowed to be sold in Norway on election days.
  • Pointed squirrels are the alcoholics of the animal kingdom. They feed on palm sap, which contains four percent alcohol.
  • 4.3 million Germans drink alcohol at work.
  • Around 96 percent of all American children recognize Ronald McDonald.
  • Children ask around 400 questions a day.
  • Justin Bieber likes the music of Helene Fischer.
  • The rhinoceros beetle is the strongest animal in the world: it bears 850 times its body weight.
  • Maryland bans taking a lion to the movies.
  • Koalas, monkeys and humans are the only living things with an individual fingerprint.
  • Romantic music actually helps with flirting.

13 facts about you that will never be forgotten

Unnecessary knowledge can also be quite useful for a career. After all, man is quite a miraculous being - full of surprises. Therefore, you will now find a lot of useless knowledge and facts about yourself that you probably did not know ...

1. You are easier to influence than you think

We are all highly manipulable. Right down to the tips of your hair. We just don't admit it to ourselves. In science, the phenomenon has long been called the “third-person effect” or “third-person effect”. It was discovered by W. Phillips Davison. He realized that we love the idea of ​​being in control. In fact, we are controlled by someone or something from outside every day. Mostly unconsciously. If we do notice, many get a guilty conscience and talk about the matter nicely that they took off with whom. Sorry if you don't like the first point of this list: Please read on anyway because it's worth it!


Did you know that the brain automatically ignores unnecessary information? Just like the second "that" in the first sentence.

Reading tip:That's why we're kidding ourselves

2. Synchronous movements make you more capable of working in a team

Whether choirs, cheerleaders, football fans in the stadium or soldiers: as soon as they synchronize their movements, they immediately connect. Stanford scientist Scott S. Wiltermuth was able to show that people who had previously synchronized any behavior, then cooperated more closely with one another, even if they had to make personal sacrifices to do so. If that reminds you of the "mirror technique" or the chameleon effect: no coincidence! Sympathy and harmony can only be manipulated by imitating the micro-gestures of our counterpart. Just please never ape!

3. Shortly before the goal, we try harder

The closer we get to our goal, the more we stick in. Psychologists also call the tremendous ambition before graduation the “goal gradient effect”. Sounds good at first. But it is an enormous gateway for manipulation. Loyalty cards work on the principle. And bosses also (unconsciously) use the technology by suddenly setting shorter deadlines for their employees in order to motivate them even more.

4. Thirty percent of your time is lost in your mind

We cannot concentrate for more than 90 minutes at a time. After that, our gray matter needs a short break. But our thoughts also wander elsewhere - more often than we think: According to Jonathan Schooler of the University of California in Santa Barbara, we spend 30 percent of our time daydreaming. If we do a monotonous job, it is even up to 70 percent.

Reading tip:The unexpected effect of daydreaming

5. You're more likely to choose the first on a list

Please read the following terms out loud: “Tips, tricks, application, etiquette, creativity, office, reputation, success, career, job.” Now close your eyes: which terms do you remember? Most people remember the first words (primacy effect) and the last words (recency effect), but hardly any of the ones in the middle. Hermann Ebbinghaus also called this the "serial position effect". It has a dangerous side effect, known as the “order effect”: What is at the top of a list is often more important to us. For example, Marc Meredith and Yuvall Salant from Northwestern University found that this effect can influence elections: In various attempts, the first candidate on the list was noticeably often chosen - and only because he was the first.

6. The more uncertain, the more you defend your idea

Vehemence replaces substance. Unfortunately, this can be experienced again and again in everyday life. The more insecure we are (or become) about our cause, the more we will justify and defend ourselves. This is called "forward defense" in technical jargon. According to Leon Festinger, there is a psychological disturbance behind this, known as "cognitive dissonance". Particularly strong dissonances arise when a previously stable, positive self-image is jeopardized (“I'm not as the checker as I thought!”). Some then become downright aggressive. As in the quote: "Only dogs that are hit bark."

7. You cannot have more than 150 friends

At the beginning of the 1990s, the British psychologist and anthropologist Robin Dunbar investigated how many contacts or friendships our brain can even coordinate. The result was the so-called Dunbar number: There is a maximum of 150 (in fact 148) people with whom we can maintain stable relationships. Some have far more friends, fans and followers on Instagram, Facebook or Linkedin. For the majority, however, this also levels off at an average of 100 and 200 contacts. So everything is normal!

8. Those who ask for favors become more personable

When we persuade someone to do US a favor, it makes us more sympathetic to them. Sounds paradoxical. Shouldn't the person who helps others be more personable? Think! It's the other way around - and is called the Benjamin Franklin Effect. The reason is also a kind of self-deception: We unconsciously try to justify our behavior to ourselves. "Why am I doing this a favor? I don't have to! Oh, definitely, because I like him / her! ”So, to a certain extent, we adapt our attitudes to our behavior. Or as Benjamin Franklin recognized: "The one who has shown you a kindness is more likely to be more willing to show you another than the one you have been kind to yourself."

Reading tip:Where does the bribe start?

9. If you get yelled at, work harder

The result of the Israeli study could now encourage the wrong ones. Unfortunately, it is like this: If you are yelled at by your superior, for example, you actually work harder (but not more creatively) afterwards. Explanation of the scientists: When we are yelled at, our brain switches to a kind of black and white mode. We get something like tunnel vision - and focus more on the goal.

10. Your subconscious knows more quickly than you do

The original attempt to do this came from the US neurologist Antonio Damasio from the University of Iowa. He connected test subjects to a kind of lie detector and let them play with prepared cards. Some stacks of cards were marked. With them you won more often. From the 50th card, it dawned on most of the test subjects - and they mostly drew cards from this pile. However, the evaluation of the detector brought a sensation: The instinct had already warned the test subjects from the 10th card. The Bremen brain researcher Gerhard Roth is even convinced that the subconscious can process a few million pieces of information per second, but the conscious mind can only process 0.1 percent of it.

Reading tip:The power of gut decision

11. Those who step out of line enjoy higher status

Usually people try not to attract attention. That leads to a great deal of conformity. For example, with uniform dress codes or general rules of behavior. But there are situations and professional groups in which the status only rises through non-conformity. In front of professors or creatives and artists, we almost expect them to be a bit quirky. The more disheveled the hair and the shrillier the clothes, the more likely we are to assume a genius. This can even be used in doses in everyday life!

Reading tip:How you can increase your status by deviating

12. You cannot resist giving an explanation

Do you remember the first point? After all, you have read on to this point because we promised you it would be worth it. Whether that's true or not is irrelevant. The word “because” was decisive. Reasons - whether useful or not - have an amazing effect on our psyche. The psychologists Ellen Langer and Robert Cialdini were able to prove this. Do not you believe? Then read this article because you should read it!

13. Physical impossibilities

This self-test also belongs to the category “useless knowledge”: Please sit on a chair and lift your right leg. Now swing your right leg clockwise in a circling direction. While you continue to circle your leg to the right, please look straight ahead and draw a 6 in the air with your right hand (!) - starting at the top ... What is your leg doing? Caught! Either it stands still - or it turns to the left. Why? Because our brain cannot coordinate opposing movements on the same body axis. With right leg and left hand - no problem. But with right leg and right hand - not possible! Anyone who claims the opposite: Video evidence, please!

Reading tip:42 free self-tests on personality, job & intelligence

Would you like to memorize the useless knowledge facts even though they are useless? No problem: Download the overview of all facts as a free PDF file here.

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