25 Psychology Hacks to Control (Almost) Any Situation

Posted by , Updated on March 10, 2017

What if we told you that there are Psychological tips that will help you take control of almost any situation? Well there are and we have compiled them together in today’s list! Just to get this out of the way – we here at List25 don’t condone manipulating people. That is not the point of this list. Having said that, however, there are some interesting ways we can leverage psychology to make the most out of various situations. These are 25 Psychology Hacks to Control (Almost) Any Situation.

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Especially with kids, frame things in a way that always gives them a choice and makes them feel like they are in control. For example, “Do you want to wear your red shirt or your blue shirt?” Either way, they know it’s time to put on a shirt.

chooseSource: empoweringparents.com, Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Choose_(15853086440).jpg

Try to replace filler words like “um” with short pauses (to gather your thoughts)

speechSource: scottyoung.com, Image: https://pixabay.com/en/speech-stage-lecture-microphone-1015285/

When asking for favors (like cutting in line) try to use the word “because”. Researchers have found that no matter how dumb the reason, the word “because” has the potential to short-circuit people’s brains and make them think it must be okay because there is a reason.

keep calm because im backSource: jamesclear.com, Image: https://www.sketchport.com/drawing/5018032057352192/keep-calm-because-i-m-back

Note: this is actually based on a famous study in 1977 called the Copy Machine Study done at Harvard University. To summarize, a researcher would walk over to somebody waiting in line to use the copy machine. They would then ask one of 3 questions:

Version 1 (request only): “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the Xerox machine?”
Version 2 (request with a real reason): “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I’m in a rush?”
Version 3 (request with a fake reason): “Excuse me, I have 5 pages. May I use the xerox machine, because I have to make copies?”

Although version 3 seems a bit senseless, the results were as follows:

Version 1: 60 percent of people let the researcher skip the line.
Version 2: 94 percent of people let the researcher skip ahead in line.
Version 3: 93 percent of people let the researcher skip ahead in line.

It seems that just using the word “because” and giving a nonsensical reason is quite effective.


Try to have zero expectations when you are first going into something, it has the potential to prevent disappointment

expectation and realitySource: psychologytoday.com, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjornmeansbear/4305366199

Stand up straight. Not only will people see you as more confident, you will actually feel more confident.

confidence levelSource: nerdfitness.com, Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/59632563@N04/6664212003

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