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  • JM Wesierski

Psychology Activities

Test how well you can Deduce, Understand, Predict, and Control with psychology using these practice activities!

The Consulting Detective

Deduce as much as you can about a person by paying attention to details.

How well can you read people? This will be the easiest starting with a family member or friend but can eventually be done in public like on transit or in a restaurant.

Pay attention to anything and everything about a single person. Look at their clothing. Do they have any marks; paint, mud, or maybe there's nothing, maybe they are perfectly clean. What does this say about them? Depending on which part of them has mud can tell you a lot about what they've been through. Is it near their hands or their feet? What kind of clothes do they wear or makeup or hair style?

Create a narrative of their day or life but make sure to fit the story to the facts and not the other way around. If you know them personally, ask questions afterwards (or if you're confident, make statements) to confirm or reject what you've deduced. Once you have begun recognizing patterns, you can use what you learn to your advantage. What we reveal when we think no one is watching can be surprising. Without having to share a single word, you can understand someone by simply paying attention to detail. With practice, a single glance can tell you more about an individual than a full conversation. But try not to get caught staring.

The Movie Critic

Understand the psychology of cinema.

The goal of a film maker is to try and get the audience to suspend their disbelief. This means that no matter how absurd, fantastical, or impossible the plot or scene may seem, using visuals, faux logic, or any other type of 'movie magic', they attempt to get the audience to believe it. Your goal is to watch a movie with full disbelief. Recognize and appreciate an actor's ability to perform different scenes.

Avatar, Lord of the Rings, and even Mama Mia were done predominantly using a CGI setting with many computer generated characters and items as well. Try watching a similar movie and think about the lengths the actors go to portray a character or execute a scene. When they're laughing, loving, fighting, crying, or just doing something abnormal because the script calls for it, watch it with the complete mindset that it's fake and enjoy seeing famous people pretend.

Look out for continuity errors which can be as slight as a hair being out of place or change in facial expression between camera changes. The actor most likely started over from that spot.

Also, movies aren't always filmed chronologically, so if the cast returns to a setting, they most likely did all the scenes at that spot at the same time.

Lastly, when watching a scene that makes you overly happy or brings you to the brink of tears, think about what the film did to evoke that emotion in you? What kind of music is playing? Is it raining? How are the characters dressed. A red shirt may be more than just a piece of clothing.

The Bell Hop-Predicting

Predict how early someone is going to leave an elevator.

This one can be done on any type of public transit whether it be a bus, train, or anywhere else you think you can do it. But it seems to be the easiest and most practical on an elevator. Watch your fellow transporters and challenge yourself to guess as early as you can who is getting off on which floor without looking at which button they pressed. The more people on the elevator the harder it becomes so just see how many you can get right.

Pay attention to body language: are their bags on the ground? Would they potentially have a room on a higher floor (wealthier)? Have they tried making their way to the front? Use what you can, the more you pay attention the more patterns you will see and it may not be as hard as you think.

Pavlov's Dog

Control an individual using the art of conditioning.

Conditioning is simple, yet one of the most fundamental parts of psychology. Repeating a stimulus causes a learned response. We're often able to exploit animals, like the one above, to do tricks on command using these means. But it's a little more complex when it comes to humans. Watch Jim from the office use it on Dwight here or Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory use it on Penny here. By repeatedly doing something to someone after a noise, action, or any occurrence, you can train them to expect, anticipate, and react in a certain fashion. Like rewarding a dog with a treat when they sit, they will learn to sit on command.

Some examples of what you can do using these techniques are:

- Act excited anytime you start talking with someone over the phone or in person, this will train them to associate you with happiness and be more likely to want to talk to you.

-Every time you're conversing with someone and they bring up a subject you don't care for, discretely turn your body or your focus away from them. This will lead them to associate that subject with lack of attention, and eventually refrain from mentioning it.

You can as well condition yourself to do some pretty amazing things like lose weight and be more confident but that's for another time, so subscribe below to stay updated!

Do you have more examples of these or other psychology activities? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for reading!


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