Learn Psychology: How Your Mind Works in Six Lectures | Andre Klapper, PhD | Skillshare

Learn Psychology: How Your Mind Works in Six Lectures

Andre Klapper, PhD, Researcher, Neuroscientist, Psychologist

Learn Psychology: How Your Mind Works in Six Lectures

Andre Klapper, PhD, Researcher, Neuroscientist, Psychologist

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
8 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:21
    • 2. What is psychology?

      4:00
    • 3. How our perception really works

      6:21
    • 4. The truth about our memory

      7:57
    • 5. Why emotions are so messy

      7:08
    • 6. Why our self-image tends to be inaccurate

      4:19
    • 7. Our social nature and why good people do bad things

      7:52
    • 8. Bonus: How our brain understands people (empathy)

      5:55
38 students are watching this class
  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.

4,955

Students

--

Projects

About This Class

Our mind doesn’t work the we think.

This course takes you on a short journey through the basic topics of psychology and teaches you how your mind really works.

Discover how our brain secretly edits what we perceive and remember, why emotions make our life messy, and how our social nature influences our behavior.

What you will learn in this course

  • What psychology (and a psychologist) really is

  • How your perception works

  • How your memory works and why you often shouldn't trust it

  • Why emotions can make life messy and the hidden mechanisms behind this

  • Why most people have an unrealistic self-image and why this is actually healthy

  • How our social nature influences our behavior

Learn key lessons from the most essential psychology topics in just a few lectures and get a completely different perspective on yourself and the world.

When I was a psychology student, I was often baffled by the things I learned.

“How can this not be common knowledge?” I thought.

Many of the lessons seemed crazy to me but it is hard to argue with decades of rigorous research.

In this course, I want to share psychology insights that completely changed the way I look at the world.

So get started now and find out how your mind really works.

You can start with any lecture and see for yourself what it has in store for you.

And you can ask me any question you have about the human mind.



Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Andre Klapper, PhD

Researcher, Neuroscientist, Psychologist

Teacher

Psychology & Neuroscience researcher with more than 10+ years of training and experience.

Learning how our mind and brain work and conducting research on these topics has been incredibly fascinating for me and it definitely enriched my life.

My mission is to share my experience with other people and help them to get the most out of themselves.

I have courses on Psychology, Neuroscience, and research.

Why learn from me?

- 700+ enthusiastic reviews from people all over the world.

- Short and concise lectures - straight to the point without any unnecessary information.

- Simple and easy approach - complex ideas are broken into bite-sized chunks.

- Quality content. PhD, 10+ years of training and experience, scientific publica... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
    0%
  • Yes
    0%
  • Somewhat
    0%
  • Not really
    0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.

phone

Transcripts

1. Introduction: I'm welcome. My name is Andre, and I'm a psychologist and neuroscientist with more than 10 years of experience in these fields. And in this course I want to give you a basic understanding of how our mind works and the things that our brain is doing secretly outside of our awareness. And I want to do that in the fastest and easiest possible way in each electorate will just take us a few minutes to get right into the heart of a certain psychological topics such as perception, memory, emotions, social behavior and some more. After this course, you will have a better understanding of how our mind works and can apply that to your everyday life. You will most likely see things that you haven't seen before in your everyday life. And if you a little bit like me, then you will find that an incredibly enriching experience for me, learning about psychology has been one big roller coaster, right, with many fascinating insights, some actually very shocking. But overall, they have all enriched my life very much, and I think that this course can give the same to you. This course is for everybody who wants to learn about the human mind and for everybody wants to do that in a fast and easy way. I think you will have a lot of fun, and I look forward to see you in the course. 2. What is psychology?: hi and welcome to the first lecture on the question. What is psychology? And the first thing that you might thinking off when you think about psychology is a guy lying on a bench with another guy sitting on the other side. Andi basically listening and talking to that guy, right? That's what we all think of psychologist is. But actually, that's not really about up psychologist ISS And there are three things that people typically confused, which is psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrist. So I want to walk you through what the differences between the three are. And I'm going to do that with a little analogy by using something that you're more familiar with, which is the distinction between biologists, physiotherapists and medical doctor. So we all know what a biologist is biologists, somebody who studied biology and for the sake of the example, let's say that this is a human biologist. So this is somebody who knows a lot about the human body, and then we may expect that this guy knows a lot about how our digestive system works. How are home? Own system works. How are heart works? He just knows a lot about our body but he doesn't necessarily know how to fix problems with our body. So say we have some pain in our body and we wanted to be fixed. Then we may better be advised to go to a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist can diagnose the source off the pain, and then he can give us a massage or prescribe us and exercise that can hopefully get rid of the pain. Alternatively, we can also go to a medical doctor, and what the medical doctor may do is, for example, prescribe us some anti inflammatory pain killers. This distinction between biologists sees a therapist and medical doctor is actually quite similar to the distinction between psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists. So what's a psychologist? Psychologists? Somebody was studied psychology, and somebody who has studied psychology simply knows a lot about the mind about the human mind. He knows how our perception works. He knows how memory works. You know how our emotions work. He just generally knows a lot about the human minds. But he doesn't necessarily know what to do if there's a problem. So say, for example, that you having panic attacks. In that case, you may want to go to a psychotherapist psychotherapists. Somebody was trained in giving psychotherapy. I'm psychotherapy is kind of the physiotherapy for the mind. For example, the psychotherapist might teach you how to control your breathing, or he might teach you some meditative exercises that help you deal with your panic attacks . Alternatively, you may want to go to a psychiatrist. Yep. Psychiatrist is actually nothing more than a medical doctor. It's a medical doctor with a specialization in psychological disorders. And what he will most likely do is prescribe you some medication. The psychiatrist is where you get your antidepressants, and that's a Cadres can also prescribe you something that will make you feel less anxious so that he can deal better with your panic attacks. So there you have it. That's the distinction between psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists. And in this course we gonna look at psychology. So basically, I'm going to turn you a little bit more into have psychologist, and that means that we're gonna look at how the human mind works. Now, I could tell you general definitions off what psychology is, but I don't find them particularly helpful. What I want to do instead is get right into the lecturers and teach you right away. Web psychology, ISS So, without further ado, let's get into the topic of psychology 3. How our perception really works: but welcome to lecture to on perception and reality. Perception and reality are two topics that really belong together. Because basically, there isn't anything we know about reality that we didn't originally perceive. Everything we know about the world came in either through our eyes, our ears, we felt it through our skin. Everything was perceived. And the question I want to start with is can we trust our perception? Usually people think that perception is something relatively passive. It works pretty much like a camera. What? It just records what's in the world without doing anything to the recording. But what if I told you that perception is actually something very, very active where our brain ad, it's what we perceived before we even became aware of it. So in other words, what I'm saying here is that what we perceive is not the same as what our eyes see. Okay, I'm gonna walk you through two examples now, and the first example has to do with these two tables. And my question to you is, do you think that this shape on this shape are different shapes or do you think they are the same shapes? And if you're like most people. You will have the impression that this shape is a little bit longer here, while this shape is a little bit closer to a square. Now let's just compare the two shapes. So what I'm gonna do is we're going to strip away the lax of the table here, and then I'm gonna move the shape on top of the other. And, as you can see there exactly identical. So what is happening here? Why do most people think that the two shapes look different even though they are really different? And the short answer is that the brain has added it what we see. But why does it do that? The answer is that our brain is trying to solve a problem here. And the problem is that the shapes we see don't necessarily match the shapes of the object . Let's take an example. Let's look at these three doors. Does the shape we see in our eyes when we look at the door, match the actual shape of the door when you come to think about it than in most cases, that's not the case. The actual shape of the doors rectangular, but do we actually see a rectangular when we look at the door? Well, if we send right in front of it than the shape we see is actually rectangular. But once we send at an angle to the door, which is basically most cases, the shape we see is not rectangular. It actually looks very asymmetric, even though the door itself is not asymmetric. So in most cases, when we look at the door, the shape we see does not match the actual shape of the door. And that's a problem. And so what our brain does is it doesn't necessarily accept the shapes that our I see as the actual shape. Instead, it tries to make an educated guess with the rial shape of the object might be. And the crazy thing is that we are not at all aware of this. All of this is unconscious. The only thing we are aware of is the conclusion off this process. Okay, that's example. Number one. The second example has to do with color and let me start by saying that this color and this color are exactly the same. But if you're like most people, then you will think that this color looks actually a little bit brighter than that car, right, But is not true. Both colors are exactly the same. Okay, what I will do now to convince you that what I'm saying is true is I'm gonna take a piece of each color and I'm gonna put them next to each other. I'm gonna take a piece from here and a piece from there, and I'm gonna put them here. Okay? Are you ready for it? Here it comes. 321 And as you can see, both colors are exactly identical. Can put them back. And I can put them next to each other again. And they're identical again. Okay, this is usually the point where people start accusing me that I added, It's something that I put in some animation that changed the color. But I didn't. And to prove that to you, I will go out of my presentation. And what I will do is I would just take these tiles here, and I'm gonna move them around just through dragging and dropping. So I'm gonna take this piece here. I'm gonna move it there, and now I'm going to move it here and As you can see, the colors are exactly identical. Could do the same with the other one and then can just move it here and here and here and here. And as you can see, the colors are identical and there's no animation going on here. This was just dragging and dropping. If you saw the color change, that was not because I changed it, but because your brain changed it. Okay, let's get back into the presentation. And let's talk about the question why our brain actually does this and the answer is pretty similar is for the shapes. The problem is that what our I see is not necessarily the same as what's out there. So here, for example, our I see two equal colors to colors that I exactly the same. But does the fact that you're I see two equal colors mean that the two objects have equal colors? Well, of course not, because this one is in a shadow, and that makes the color of darker than it actually is, and you bring corrects for that again. Our brain is doing some detective work here, and it's trying to figure out to the best of its ability what the actual color of the object is correcting for light and shadow. And again, the only thing we are aware off is the conclusion of this detective work. All the detective work is unconscious. And if you just take a moment to look around in the world, you will appreciate how complex the problem is that our brightness solving for us. If you look at the grass in this picture, you can get the impression that there may be, ah, 100 different colors off the grass. But still, somehow we know that the grass is only having one color. Okay, let's get back to original question. I said to you at the beginning that perception is often seen as passive recording like a camera desert, but is actually active editing. And I hope by now you can see that based on the examples. Okay, that was the lecture on perception. And in the next lecture, we're gonna look at memory 4. The truth about our memory: welcome to lecture three on memory and again reality and right at the beginning, I would like to ask the question. What actually is memory? The first things that came to my mind when I was an undergraduate student and I would think about memory where things like reading books, studying, learning for exams and basically learning things by a heart. But that's not what memory is. This is such an understatement of what memory actually is. And so I want to give you a different perspective on that. And to do that, I want to tell you about an experiment that involved babies to be more precise. There were two types of babies. There were babies. There were only a couple of months old and there were babies that were already a year old. And we're going to start with the very young babies with the babies that were only a couple of months old. So what happens in the experiment is that the baby is sitting at a table and it is offered a toy. And then, at some points, an obstacle is placed between the baby and the toy, and what happens with the young babies is that they lose all interest in the toy. It's almost as if the toy has never existed to them but doesn't turned out in the experiment. The older babies behave quite differently. Even when they can see the toy anymore, they still try to reach for it. They want toe, get the toy that is hidden from the review. So what's the difference between the young and the old babies? And essentially, the difference is that the young babies don't have memory it, while the old babies already half memory so for the young babies, wants the toys out of their sight, it's also out of their mind. It's almost as if the toy has never existed to them, while for the old babies, even if the toys, our of their side is still very much in their mind because they remember it and they want it. Okay, why am I telling you about this experiment? The reason is that I think that this experiment illustrates very well what memory actually is and what it means to us in our life, because memory is literally everything. What you know beyond what you currently perceive everything else only exists in your memory and that involves things like the place behind your back, your current location, basically your whole knowledge about the world and where you are in that world, but also every person you know, your family, your friends and your own past your identity. So we could say that memory is pretty much our world. So memory is really a lot more than just learning things by heart. And I just wanted to make sure that that's clear before we get into the main part of the lecture. So having said that, let's get into the main question off this lecture and you will find that this question looks very similar to the question of the last lecture. And the question is, is memories something passive working pretty much like a hard drive? Or is it something active where the things we remember happen additive and you know the drill Already? From the last lecture off course, I will try to convince you again that there is a lot more active editing involved in our memory than we generally think. And to do that, I want to get right into an experiment on memory. So here it comes the participants in this experiment see a simulated car crash and after the car crash there ask questions about it. And there were two groups of participants. The first group was asked, How fast were the cars going when they hit each other? And the second group was asked, How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other? So the difference years between the hit and it smashed into each other. So what did the participants answer in the hits group? The participants, on average estimated that the cars were going at a speed of 34 MPH, while in the smash group, the average estimate was 41 month power, and this was statistically significant. So statistics confirm that this is not just a fluke, but this is a reliable difference. In addition, 14% of the participants reported in the first group that they saw broken glass. By the way, there wasn't any broken glass, but still 14% thought that there was broken glass. And in the smash group, 32% reported that they saw broken glass, and again there wasn't any broken glass. So what can we learn from this experiment? One thing we can learn is that the way you ask the question changes where people remember there remember a different speed. And another thing that is even more remarkable is that sometimes people remember something that wasn't even there. The broken glass and this was also, to some degree caused by the phrasing off the question. So it seems that you can actually plant a fake memory in another person. And when researchers realized this, they became more and more ambitious in their experiments and basically asked What's the craziest memory we can plant in another person? And I know that this will sound a bit crazy, and I think that the researchers themselves were actually very surprised that this works. But here are three examples off false memories that were planted, another people. So here they come one. They planted the memory that the participants nearly drowned to. They planted the memory that the participants were attacked by a vicious animal, and that success rate in this experiment was actually 50% and number three they planted the memory that the participants were processed by a demon, and these are just examples from a huge body of research on memory. So it is downright shocking what kind of memories you can plant in another person. So let's get back to original question. Is memories something passive, or does it involve some active editing? Where are our memories have been changed after they were acquired. And I think you can see by now that there is some active editing involved. Now, the question is, why is that? So why does our memory have to change its content? Why can't you just leave the content as it ISS? To understand why that is the case, you need to know that we actually remember a lot less than we think we do when we remember actually just fragments. And the problem faced by our brain is to try to figure out what happened based on these fragments. So again, our brain is doing a kind of detective work here, trying to reconstruct what happened based on the clues it has. And so, overall, our memory is not passive. It is reconstructive. Okay, I can imagine that this is a somewhat abstract idea, and so I want to walk you through an example so that he can see in a bit more detail how this reconstruction works and the example I want to use is witness testimony in court. So if the witness says, I saw this person committing the crime, does that mean that the person really committed the crime? It used to be the case that we just take for granted that witness testimony is accurate, But after a lot of psychological research, we know that it's actually open, very inaccurate. And part of the reason for this is that we often don't remember the details off. For example, a person we saw, especially if we saw that person just a single time, and only for a short moment. And then what our brain does is it tries to fill in the blanks. So if we see a brown haired woman in courts or brain might think, didn't see a brown haired woman, I guess I did. And did she have brown eyes? I guess you had, and the problem is that we are not aware of this guesswork. All we are aware of is the conclusion off the process, which is I think I saw that person so overall oh, memories, not just passively storing information. It's very actively reconstructing what happened. And sometimes it makes mistakes in the reconstruction. And so we gotta be very careful with not taking our memory too literal. Especially if the memory is based on only a single short experience. Okay, that was the lecture on memory. And in the next lecture, we're gonna look at emotions. 5. Why emotions are so messy: welcome to lecture four on messy emotions. Emotions are a great topic because they essentially the spice off our life. They can take us to the highest places, and they can also take us to the lowest places. And in this lecture, I want to talk about something that is really correct heuristic of emotions, which is that emotions are messy, and what I want to do now is I want to have a closer look with you how exactly emotions are messy. And then later, at the end of the lecture, I will give you some inside why they are so messy. So one way how emotions are messy is that they can get transferred. For example, ever heard of the expression Don't shoot the messenger. It's an expression we commonly used to refer to the phenomenon that we sometimes get angry at a messenger just for bringing a bad message. It's killing of the messengers fault if it's a bad message, but still, somehow our emotion gets transferred from the message to the messenger. So that's one example where our emotion gets transferred. Let's do another one. Suppose that you want to ask you grandpa for a favor maybe you want to ask him for some money. Would you do that on a rainy day where your grandpa is in a grumpy mood? Always. You rather do that on a sunny day when your grandpa is in a great mood. And if we think purely logically that we would say it shouldn't really matter, right? I mean, what does the weather have to do with my favor? But we know that in reality it does matter because emotions get transferred and in this case, they get transferred from the weather or the general mood of the grandpa to your favor so emotions can get transferred. And that's one way how emotions are messy. Here's another way emotions can flip, and what I mean by that is that sometimes an emotion can quite suddenly turn into almost the opposite emotion. And the typical example is when you are in love with somebody and everything is great and you just love that person, and then your partner does something seriously wrong. For example, your partner may cheat on you, and then what can happen is that our love turns into anger or even hate. And that's another way. How emotions are messy. Sometimes they flip. They turn from one emotion into a different emotion. Here's another one to add to the messiness. Sometimes emotions flip because they were transferred so they get transferred. And as they get transferred, the emotion changes, and this one is a little bit more septal and harder to observe in everyday life. And so I want to tell you about an experiment that has demonstrated this. And the experiment works as follows at the beginning of the experiment that participants have to walk over a scary bridge and then on the other side of that bridge there is a attractive woman waiting, and she wants to interview the participant, and it doesn't really matter so much what the interview was about. What matters is that by the end of the interview, the attractive woman gives the participant her number, just in case. The participant has any questions. And by the way, the participants were all men, and the researchers knew from previous experiments. And we just know from general experience that if a man is attracted to a woman, he will most likely call her. And so they took the amount of participants who called the woman after the experiment as a measure of how attracted they were to that woman. And there were two groups in the experiment in Group Number one. The interview was immediately after passing the bridge, whereas in Group number two the interview was after a few minutes of rest. Okay, let's have a look at the results. Let's have a look how many participants called in each group and in group number one, the percentage of participants who called was 50% whereas in group number two the percentage was only 12%. So there's a clear difference. You and the question is now what happens. And the answer is that in Group One, the participants still had their heart pounding while they had the interview. So they were looking at that attractive woman, and their heart was pounding version group to they had some rest, and they're hard, right, already returned to their normal level. And so they're hard wasn't pounding anymore when they looked at that woman. And so what happened in Group One was that the participants walked over the bridge. The bridge made their heart pound, and then the participants misinterpreted that heart pounding as feeling attracted to that woman. So in a way, the few gets transferred from the bridge to the woman, and then it flips into attraction. So I think at this point it's safe to say that emotions are very messy, and I want to turn to the question now Why are they actually so messy? And this is actually a big question. But I want to show you one of the reasons why emotions are so messy. If you would write down a formula for what an emotion is, it could look like this. An emotion is a physiological effect, plus interpretation, and by physiological effect, I basically mean everything that is going on in your body thinks like your heart pounding, sweaty Palm's whatever is going on in your body isn't physiological effect. And the interpretation is how you think about the current situation. Okay, let's have a look at an example to make that less abstract. For example, when you feel fear, your heart is pounding and at some level you think that you're in danger. Otherwise you wouldn't feel fear. Rest in attraction. Your heart is also pounding, but you don't think that you're in danger. You just think that the person in front of you is very nice. So what we can see here is that fear an attraction are actually very similar. The physiological level, but very different at the interpretation level. Let's do another example if we love somebody than our heart starts to pound, once we see that person and at the same time we think that this person is amazing, whereas in hate, our Hartman also be pounding while we're looking at that person. But we don't think that she's amazing. We think that she is terrible. So the big difference between love and hate is not so much what's going on in our body, but just what we think at the same time. And so part of the reason why our emotions can flip is because they're physiologically so similar. If you love for somebody that even though that's subjectively very different from hate, physiologically were already a little bit closer to hate, then we would be if it would not care about the other person. And one consequence of this is that emotions can flip because many emotions are similar to each other. On a physiological level, it only takes a reinterpretation to get from one emotion to the other and at the same time , that's also part of the reason why emotions can get transferred because they're very ambiguous of the physiological level. And so it can easily happen that an emotion gets ascribed to the wrong source. Okay, that was my little tour through the messiness of emotion, and I want to sum it up a little bit since I covered a lot of points. So emotions are messy in the sense that they can get transferred. They move from one thing to the other. They're messy in the sense that they can flip their turn from one emotion into an entirely different emotion. And sometimes it's both at the same time. And one of the main reasons why that all happens is that emotions are often so similar to each other at the physiological level. Okay, that was it about emotions. And in the next lecture, we're gonna have a look at how we look at ourselves 6. Why our self-image tends to be inaccurate: welcome to lecture five The deluded self in this lecture. We're gonna look at the question. How do people actually look at themselves? And the first question we're going to look at is what image do people have of themselves? What do they see when they look at themselves and how do they think about themselves and to give you some impression? I want to show you an experiment that was conducted in prison and in that experiment that prisoners were basically just asked, Do you think you're better or worse than average in many, many things with regard to how moral these people are trustworthy, honest, dependable, compassionate, generous, self controlled kind and law abiding. And let's get right into the results with regard to moral. Their prisoners thought that they are better than average, trustworthy, better than average honesty better than average. And this just continues until we are at law abiding and law abiding is, of course, a very interesting one, because it is so obvious what the correct answer is right if you imprisoned and obviously you violated the law so you're not law abiding. But did the prisoners think so themselves? As it turns out, they found themselves as law abiding as the average person. So something seems to be very often the self perception of these people. And you might think, What do you expect? I mean these air prisoners, they have already shown that they have very poor judgment. So is it really surprising that they have poor judgment off themselves? Maybe not. But let's just have a look at how people in general answer these types of questions, and what I want to show you now is the percentage of people just general, everyday people. So not people were imprisoned, who raid themselves as better than average with regard to lots of different things. So here comes the percentage of people who see themselves as better than average. It's roughly 70% which is very high. And if you have some basic understanding off how averages work, then you should be thinking. Now, wait a second. This can really be. That's not how averages work is very unlikely that 70% or better than average. So what is going on here? And it seems to be that people have a general tendency, and we call that self enhancement. They have a general tendency to have positive illusions about themselves. They think of themselves more highly than they realistically should. Okay, now we have an idea what image people generally have of themselves. Now let's move to the question. Why do people actually do this? Why do they engage in self enhancement? Why can't they just see themselves as they really are? And to understand why that is the case, it helps to know that there is one group of people who actually is quite realistic about themselves, and that's depress people. One would expect that depressed people are quite negative about themselves, and sometimes they are. But overall there actually more realistic about themselves than healthy people. And that gives us a hint why people may engage in self enhancement. Because if you think about it, what's worse? Is it worse if you think too lowly off yourself? And if you think you're worthless in that case, you may fall into a depression. You may lose your motivation to engage with your life, and in the worst case, you may even become suicidal. You may kill yourself, Or is it worse to think that you are awesome, even though you're just okay? overall thinking, too lowly off yourself seems to be a lot more harmful than thinking. Holly off yourself and soap psychologist started to think that self enhancing may actually be part of a psychological immune system. It may be a way of protecting us from harmful thoughts about ourselves that may cause us to fall into a depression. And so, overall, even though we seem to be deluded about ourselves, it doesn't seem to be a bad thing. Actually, it may even be a very healthy thing. All right, that was the lecture on the delude itself, and in the next lecture, we're gonna look at our social minds. 7. Our social nature and why good people do bad things: welcome to lecture six and already the last lecture of this course. And in this lecture, I want to tell you a little bit of, ah, social minds. And as I often do, I want to start with a question. And the question is, do you think that our behavior is mostly caused by internal causes? So I'm talking about things like our goals, desires emotions or believes. So, do you think that our behavior is mostly caused by internal causes? Or do you think that is more strongly caused by external courses such as social pressures? I know that this may seem a little bit like an odd question, but I invite you to answer it anyway. And by the end of the lecture, we will see whether your preference have shifted a little bit. Okay, All right. Now I want to tell you about one of the most famous experiments ever conducted in social psychology, and it's called the Milgram Experiments. The general set up of this experiment is actually quite simple. There three people the experimenter, the teacher and the Lord. The only real participant of the experiment is the teacher. And what the teacher does is he is supposed to check the answer. The learner gives on a task that he's doing. And whenever the lunar makes a mistake, the teacher is supposed to give him a shock, and the intensity of that shock increases every time. Or at least that's what the teacher thinks. The teacher thinks that he's delivering shocks to the learner, but in reality they are no shocks. And the teacher also thinks that they're learner is another participant. But in reality, the learner is an actor, which is pretends to be a participant. So the whole situation is fake, and the actual question of the experiment is how far will the participants go? When is the point where they say I don't do this anymore? Okay. What we gonna do now is we're gonna have a look at each of the three people to better understand the situation. The teacher is enduring the experiment, and we're going to start with a teacher himself. So with the participants and what the participants seizes this Boggs off switches and the switches go from left to right and on the left side of the weaker shocks and the more one goes to the right the stronger the shocks get, and they started 15 volts and they end at 450 fold. With this box of switches and fund of him, the teacher basically just listens to the responses that Lerner gives on his task and the teachers. All the correct response is so he can compare. And whenever there's a mistake, the teacher has to use one of the switches. And for every new mistake, the teacher has to make the shock 15 volts stronger, which basically means that he moves one. Switch to the right. Okay, that's the teacher. Now let's have a look at the experimenter, and the experiment is the authority. Person here was trying to push the participant as far as possible with giving the shocks. And actually, he doesn't even do that much. Most of the time, he's just sitting in the back and doing his own stuff and Onley. When the participants says that he wants to stop, he tells him to continue, and that's all he does. Now let's have a look at the learner. The learner is sitting in a separate room, and the teacher can only hear the learner, but he cannot see the learner and the learner also has a script. What he's supposed to do when he's receiving a shock. He doesn't really receive any shock, but of course he acts as if he does. And he is what he does. At 75 old, he starts to grunt every time he receives a shock. Then, at 120 volt, he starts to complain. Then, in 150 volts, he starts to ask to be released, and he does it with increasing vigour. And it repeats doing that for a long time, until 285 vault and a 285 old he doesn't ask to be released anymore. He just screams. At some point, he starts to complain about heart pain. Then, at 330 volt, he fall silent and, of course, of the participant. It looks as if he's either unconscious or worse. And now the big question is, How far did the participants go? When did they say I don't want to do this and I want to show you first with psychiatrist at the time, thought how far participants would go and they thought that only apps psychopath would go through until the end, and there aren't that many of psychopaths. And so they reason that roughly 1% may go through till the end. So that's what the Contras thought. Here's what really happens. 65% went through till the very end. So to make that absolutely clear, that didn't stop with the learner asked to be released. They didn't stop when the learner was screaming terribly and they didn't stop when the loner stopped responding at all. And in addition, nobody stopped before 300 volts. And as a reminder at 150 volts, the learner already started to ask to be released. Okay, so these are some pretty heavy results. And we gotta be very careful now how we interpret these results and the question I want to address now first, is what is wrong with these people? Were they all psychopath and I just want to show you that they were not. And to show you that I want to give you a quotation from Stanley Milgram himself. So the guy who conducted the experiment in which he describes one of the participants. So here comes I observed a mature and initially poised businessman enter the laboratory smiling and confidence. Within 20 minutes, he was reduced to a twitching, stuttering rack was rapidly approaching a point of nervous columns. He constantly pulled on his ear lobe and twisted his hands. At one point, he pushed his fist into his forehead and muttered, Oh, God, let's stop it! And yet he continued to respond to every word of the experimenter and obey to the end. So the point I want to make here is that when you think of a person torturing another person, it is very easy to see a psychopath, a person who doesn't really care about the feelings of other people or maybe even enjoys torturing another person. But that's not who these participants were. Instead, a much more accurate image of the participants is this. They were suffering from their own actions, but they continued anyway. So where the Milgram experiment shows very effectively is that it is necessary for a person to be a cycle path to do terrible things. In fact, people seem to have such a strong tendency to just obey when an authority person gives an order that it seems that almost anybody could be pushed to do terrible things. Okay, at this point, I want to get back to my original question, which was, Do you think that our behavior is mostly caused by internal causes, or do you think that is mostly caused by external costs? And I hope by now this question makes a lot more sense. So in the Milgram experiment, the internal causes would be the feelings and believes off the participants, which are clearly against torturing the learner and the external cause, would be the pressure exerted by the experimenter, who just keeps saying, Please continue. The experiment requires that you continue, and what the Milgram experiment shows very effectively is how strong external causes are and how easily they can overrule our internal causes. And you might be thinking why. But this is actually all part of our social mind and is not generally a bad thing. The Milgram experiment gives us rather dark perspective, but in general our tendency to obey an authority person is essential for our society to work. And this is an example of a general story that many, many experiments in social psychology have told. Social behavior is so natural and so automatic to us that open. We don't even realize how much it governs us and how easily it overrides our internal drives. 8. Bonus: How our brain understands people (empathy): welcome to a bonus lecture on how we make sense of other people. In the previous lectures, we looked at some very general topics off psychology such as perception, emotions, and although that's a very good way to start, it also limits us and how deep we can go. And so what I would like to do in this lecture is the opposite. I want to pick a very specific topic and drag you very deep into that topic within just a few minutes, and the topic of chosen is how we make sense of other people. So, for example, when you look at this girl, you can probably easily tell that this girl is happy. You don't even need to think about it. And in fact, you may even feel a little bit happy while you look at that girl. So it is very easy for us to read another person's emotions. And likewise, it's also easy for us to read another person's intentions. If somebody has bad intentions, even though that person is probably trying to conceal those intentions, we can open sense it and again, that's something that comes easy to us. And in this lecture, I want to discuss how we do this. How do we look into the mind of another person and to understand that we're gonna have a look at three topics. First, we're going to look at Social Mimic Re, and I'm going to explain in a minute where that is, then we're gonna have a look at the underlying brain mechanisms off Social Munich Re. And then that's gonna help us understand how people make sense off other people. And we're gonna start with social mimicry. Did you ever look at another person was yawning and at the same time you felt that you have to you on yourself. In fact, you might feel an inclination to yawn right now just by looking at this picture. And this is one example of social mimicry. Social mimicry is when we automatically imitate another person's actions just because we see it and their many examples of this in our everyday life. Another example would be posture. Have you ever been in a conversation and you switch your posture, for example, you cross your arms and then you notice that a little bit later, the other person crossed the arms as well. That actually happens very open, and it's another form of social mimicry. We also magically imitate the actions that we see as another example. Suppose that you're in a conversation with somebody, and suddenly that person lowers his or her voice, and you don't even know why. Chances are that also, medically, without even thinking about it, you also lower your voice, right? It will be very weird to speak loudly where the other person is speaking very silently, and that's another example of social mimic re. We automatically match the volume at which another person is talking. So, in essence, social mimicry is the automatic imitation off other people's actions. And social mimicry is the first puzzle piece that will later help us understand how we look into the mind of another person. Let's move to the second puzzle piece, which is mimic re in the brain. Gimmickry in the brain is a groundbreaking finding from neuro scientific research, and it goes like this when we perform in action, then this activates certain areas in the brain, and we call those areas motor areas because their brain areas that are responsible for controlling our actions. So far, nothing surprising, however, if we see somebody performing the same action then in our own brain, the same brain arrogance active as if we were performing that action. So in a way, you could say that there is a mimic re going on in our brain. Even when we're not mimicking the other person's action, our motor system in the brain is okay. Until now, I cover two pieces to the puzzle. How we understand other people. First, their social mimic re. We automatically imitate other people's actions. And second, even when we don't imitate than our brain is imitating, because in our brain, the responsible most areas for that action become activated. As if we were mimicking the action we see, researchers used these two puzzle pieces to come up with the theory how we look into the mind of another person. So how do we look into the mind of another person? Here is one off the most prominent theories of how that works. When we see another person doing something, say, we see another person smiling, then what that does in our brain is it activates the corresponding motor areas, and the idea is that this is because our brain tries to simulate the action it sees. It kind of pretends it's doing the same thing without actually doing it. And then this activates feelings and intentions that are associated with that action. And the brain looks for these kinds of signals to figure out what the other person might be feeling and what the other person might be wanting. And that's also the reason why when we see another person, we don't just know what might be going on in the other person, but we literally feel it. However, sometimes accidentally, our motor simulation gets sent through to the muscles and in that case is not a simulation anymore. But it's actual execution. So rather than just simulating what the other person is doing, we literally do what the other person is doing. So we engage in social mimicry, and if we look at a smiling person, this would mean that we smile. So in other words, social gimmickry seems to be a byproduct off our effort to try to understand other people. We simulate other people's actions in order to figure out their feelings and intentions, and as a result, we sometimes accidentally actually performed the same action and This is the reason why when we look at this girl, we immediately see that this girl is happy. In fact, we can pretty much feel it. And we might be inclined to smile just like the girl. That's why we're looking at the girl. Smile. Okay, That was the bonus lecture on how we look into the mind of another person. I hope you found it interesting. I prisoner like this topic very much because he can go all the way from the behavior up into the mechanisms going on in our brain and as both of psychologist and neuroscientist. I find that very fascinating. And I hope you liked it too. If you haven't done so yet. I would be very happy if you could write this course. This is always super important feedback for me. And if you have questions or there's something specific you want to have covered in the next course, please let me know. Thanks very much. And see you in the next lecture.