The Invisible Hand of Society

Myssle79 Lessons Learned, Mind, Psychology


So after a little inspiration from the legend known as Seth Godin, I decided to write a blog. I’d love to say that I could write every day, but that’s a habit I’ll have to build up. Anyway, on to my thoughts of the day.

Currently reading the book Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger. This author is the same genius behind Contagious. Additionally, this book has been coveted by the father of social psychology, Robert Cialdini.

Psychology and Society

I would say that a large majority of the books I read are in the field of psychology and so I would say I’ve amassed a significant amount of knowledge in this field. In doing so I’ve learned that many people make mistakes due to simple lack of knowledge. Not in what they are doing, but rather why they are performing a specific action in the first place.

One of the biggest delusions we place ourselves under is that we are in complete control of our actions. It’s not to say free will is not a thing, but rather that every decision we make is not solely based on the best outcome for ourselves or others.

Identity Politics

Too often, we protect our identity—or perceived identity—through actions that imitate those around us who best match said identity. We also avoid those actions made by those who do not match our identity or would make us less unique than preferred.

If our identity was chosen by others, or the identity we chose for ourselves is not designed for self-improvement or the improvement of others, this can lead to herd mentality and have damaging effects. Additionally, if you avoid actions by those of a different identity, you may miss out on certain benefits.

The reason these threats are so terrifying is the fact that most people don’t realize they exist!

Cognitive Biases

According to Wikipedia, “Cognitive biases are systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, and are often studied in psychology and behavioral economics.” These cognitive biases hold a great deal of power over our decisions, especially over those who are unaware of them.

This book deals with many of these cognitive biases and so as I continue reading, I will share some of these so as to assist in the avoidance of these pitfalls.

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