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The Science of Why We Do What We Do

Psychology is the science of our mind

When someone asks you why you do what you do, what’s your answer? Are you able to rattle off a few reasons without even having to think about it? Or do you wonder why you keep doing the things you do and whether or not they’re working out well in your life? If you fall into the latter category, then this blog on the science of why we do what we do might help bring some answers to the surface of your mind. We’ll take a look at four main aspects of our behavior and how they can be influenced by the various incentives in our lives.

Psychology Looks at Human Behavior

Psychology is the science of the mind and behavior. It's an academic discipline that is dedicated to understanding how people think, behave, and feel. Psychologists explore topics like memory, learning, perception, personality, intelligence, emotion, mental health and interpersonal relationships. They also study how these factors relate to each other in order to understand patterns of human behavior

We are often under the impression that human behavior is largely unpredictable. However, psychologists have discovered a number of patterns in human behavior and thinking. These include: cognitive dissonance, reinforcement theory, and priming. Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when people's beliefs or behaviors come into conflict with one another. Reinforcement theory argues that behaviors are likely to be repeated if they are followed by a pleasant stimulus, while behaviors followed by unpleasant stimuli are less likely to be repeated.

Our Attitude Shapes Our Behavior

If you want to change your behavior, change your attitude. If you want to change someone else's behavior, start by changing their attitude. Changing a person's attitude is the key because it influences how they see the world, how they see themselves and how they see their future.

Attitude is what drives us; it tells us what we're capable of achieving and where we belong in society.

Our attitudes are formed from past experiences and as long as our attitudes don't conflict with reality, we can work towards anything. However, if our attitudes are at odds with reality, then there will be conflicts that may lead to cognitive dissonance or self-sabotage. The most common reason for bad attitudes (self-fulfilling prophecies) is not having high enough expectations.

Let’s see how this works in practice

There are many different factors that influence human behavior, and these factors can work in a variety of ways. For example, some behaviors are reinforced by rewards, while others are given a punishment. Behavior is also influenced by emotions, thoughts and environmental cues. Understanding how these factors work together can help you determine the best course of action to take when trying to change someone's behavior.

Some organizations use reward-based systems such as points or money to incentivize certain actions. Other organizations use punishments such as fines or termination of employment to discourage bad habits like smoking on company time or driving without a seatbelt.

How to change your attitude?

There are a few different ways to change your attitude and outlook on the world. One way is called reframing. When you reframe something, you change the way that you think about it so that it's more positive or less negative than it was before.

For example, if someone has a chronic disease and they can't do anything about it, they're going to be very depressed. But when they look at their situation in another light, instead of focusing on what they cannot do any longer because of their illness, they focus on what they still have left to live for. They see that there's much more out there for them in this world-even if they don't have many years left.

Another thing people do to change how they feel about things is called cognitive restructuring. Cognitive restructuring is a psychological term which refers to changing how one thinks about a problem by looking at it from an entirely new perspective.

Essentially, it means turning bad thoughts into good ones. It doesn't involve making up lies or telling oneself happy stories that may not be true; rather, cognitive restructuring often involves examining a thought from all angles and coming up with alternatives to it.

In essence, cognitive restructuring is just a fancy word for brainstorming ideas until you find one that makes sense and is satisfying. It's never a bad idea to sit down and list every single possible reason behind something - even if you end up drawing a blank. You'll never know what creative idea may pop into your head!


Overall, the scientific understanding behind how and why we behave the way we do is a critical part of creating sustainable behaviors. To change a behavior requires more than willpower, it requires knowledge and effort. The more you learn about how people act, the better able you will be to shape lasting changes to your life.

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