5 Psychology Tricks You Can Use to Influence People

Human psychology is a very complex thing as people have a wide range of emotions and behaviours.

Unlike animals, who are relatively simple compared to people, human beings tend to be somewhat unpredictable.

However, recent studies show that there are certain factors that influence the way that people behave.

If you need to influence people in some way — whether it is selling a product as a salesperson, or teaching your child as a parent, knowing the following psychology tricks will make you more successful in influencing somebody else in a non-abusive, amicable way.



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What Makes People Do What They Do

Human psychology is a scientific discipline that focuses on the behaviours of people and what causes them to behave in a certain way.

Human psychology is the study of knowing what makes people behave in the way that they do.

There are many aspects to psychology and they focus on a wide range of topics relating to human behaviour.

However, there are four intrinsic aspects of psychology that shapes a person’s mental functions.



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Understanding Operant Conditioning


Since my article about classical conditioning has proven to be relatively popular, I have decided to write a follow up article about operant conditioning. If you remember, I have included a link to a video that explains the difference between the two in my previous article.

While operant and classical conditioning can be related, the two are fundamentally different. While classical conditioning uses biological responses paired with a neutral stimulus to instil certain behaviours in a subject, operant conditioning uses negative and positive reinforcements to create certain behaviours.

You will often see operant conditioning at work when it comes to disciplining children, whether at home or at school. A good example of this kind of conditioning is the use candy as rewards for good behaviour.

For example, there is a child who is trying an after school club in London for the first time but is afraid of leaving home and would rather stay inside. The mother, in order to entice her child to go to the school club offers him candy for every day that he attends without making a fuss.

The child agrees and does his best to do as he is told, and is rewarded with candy. If he refuses, his mother scolds him and punishes him by not giving him any candy.




This example shows examples of positive reinforcement and a combination of positive punishment. The positive reinforcement is the reward of a candy for good behaviour. On the other hand, the positive punishment is in the form of scolding. I will discuss the differences below in a moment.

Operant conditioning has two branches: reinforcement and punishment. Reinforcement is defined as the stimulus that increases the behaviour in a subject, while punishment is reflected in the decrease of a certain behaviour. Both branches can be classified as negative and positive.


Here is a video showing the examples of Classical Conditioning and Operant Conditioning:



Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is characterised by the presence of a stimulus. If the stimulus is presented to the subject, it reinforces a certain behaviour that is paired with it. In children, the example would include offering a child candy for good behaviour.

Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement on the other hand, is the removal of a stimulus that helps increase a behaviour. It is classified into two subsets: active avoidance and escape. Escape is when a subject removes the noxious stimulus after the correct behaviour is presented, while active avoidance leads to  a subject to behave in such a way that they can avoid the noxious stimulus.





Positive Punishment

Positive punishment uses a noxious stimulus to decrease the behaviour of the subject. Spanking or scolding in children is a common form of positive punishment in everyday life.

Negative Punishment

Meanwhile, negative punishment is all about the removal of a stimulus to decrease a behaviour in a child. This kind of punishment in everyday life is coupled with the loss of certain freedoms. A child for example, can be sent to bed without dinner if they have been misbehaving. This is a negative punishment because a specific stimulus is removed.


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Pavlov’s Dogs and Classical Conditioning

Anyone who has attended even a basic psychology knows of the psychological phenomenon called classical conditioning. Classical conditioning is defined as the learning that occurs when a subject is manifests two kinds of paired stimuli – namely a conditioned stimulus and an unconditioned stimulus.


In layman’s terms, classical conditioning can be called a form of “training”. However, examples in daily life are not so straight forward. For example, jobs in teaching are so rewarding, but only if the teacher feels that she is receiving good compensation for it. She starts looking forward to teaching, because she receives something good out of it that creates a positive psychological response.


In psychology, the conditioned stimulus is usually a neutral stimulus that creates no specific response in an individual. The unconditioned stimulus on the other hand is typically biologically potent and creates a specific response in the individual.


The conditioning, or learning, occurs when the neutral stimulus is constantly paired with the unconditioned stimulus, resulting in a conditioned response. What happens is that the neutral stimulus, now the conditioned stimulus creates a strong conditioned response even in the absence of the unconditioned stimulus.


The most famous example of this is the experiment conducted by Ivan Pavlov in the 1800s. Pavlov was a Russian physiologist who put together an experiment that gave birth to classical conditioning. He started using dogs as his test subjects after he noticed that his pets would salivate whenever he would enter the room that they were in.


Salivation is an example of an unconditioned response, caused by the biologically potent need to feed. It is a perfectly normal response whenever an animal or a person is eating. In general, these responses are not learned responses – these are hard wired into the brain and serves a biological function.


In Pavlov’s experiment, he decided that is unconditioned response would be the presence of salivation in his dogs, while his unconditioned stimulus would be food. He measured how much saliva a dog produces in response to the unconditioned stimulus, and recorded that as his control group.


Meanwhile Here is An overview of the difference between the Classical And Operant Conditioning:


Next, he used a bell as his neutral stimulus that he intends to convert into a conditioned stimulus. He allowed the dogs to listen to the bell without the presence of food, and measured their saliva production.


Over a series of days, he started pairing the sound of the bell with the food. He would present the food to the dog and ring a bell, and measure how much the dog would salivate.

Eventually, he removed the food, or the unconditioned stimulus, and rang only the bell, which is the neutral stimulus. He observed that the dogs who heard the bell would start salivating, even without the presence of food. The neutral stimulus is now a conditioned stimulus.

These learning behaviours are not just limited to Pavlov and his dogs. In fact, many animals and even humans can be trained using classical conditioning. Learning how classical conditioning works gave way to a variety of applications, including treating phobias, improving education, and the enforcement of laws.



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Cultivating Social Awareness

One of the things that makes psychology tick is social awareness. If you plan on becoming a psychologist or a psychiatrist, or simply want to be able to read people a little better, cultivating your social awareness should be one of the first things that you do as an individual.


A socially aware individual knows how to form relationships and understands how the dynamics between one person and another person works. Social awareness helps build your emotional intelligence, giving you a more empathetic  outlook on life.


On the meantime, here is a video about the levels of Self awareness:


Even a social care training courses, which focus on improving the quality of life and the overall subjective well-being of an individual or of a group will require a high degree of social awareness in order to reach your goal.


Knowing how to prevent a crisis and how to deal with social justice issues is just one of the many things that a social care worker does on the field. And this all leads to elevated levels of social awareness.


There are a few things that you can do in order to cultivate your social awareness. I have listed some of them below.


Learn how to empathise


Empathy is the state of mind where you commiserate with others to understand their feelings. Some people have less empathy than others, but this can be fixed with enough practice.

You have to be able to understand someone else’s feelings and consider their needs. This applies whether you are working with just one person or with a group.


Improve your organisational awareness


Improving your organisational awareness boils down to how well you understand the internal struggles and politics of a specific group. Understand how those social constructs work and how they affect the individuals in a group and whether or not it has a positive or negative effect on their well-being.


Learn how to listen


It is all too easy to get caught up in trying to figure another person out, especially if you are taking this from a psychologist‘s point of view. Remember that you should learn how to listen, and learn how to understand what is being said to you.

Listening is always the first step you should take and also the last step that you can take when it comes to becoming more socially aware.




Offer your services


Being socially aware is not limited to sitting around and dissecting people’s needs and wants. A socially aware individual knows how to pinpoint a person’s needs and separate them from their wants.

He or she should also know how to reach out and meet their needs, helping in every way that he or she can. Remember that you will have to communicate with the people or groups that you are caring for.


Be Sensitive


Be sensitive to people’s needs and understand their cultural and personal backgrounds as well.

It is easy to misinterpret a person’s actions if placed out of context, so you need to become more sensitive to cultural diversity and personal backgrounds.


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How to Deal With Depression

depression-imageDepression is one of the most common psychological afflictions in the world and reportedly affects as much as 18% of the world’s population.

In fact, as many as 25% of adults in the UK have reported that they have experienced at least one major depressive episode in their lives.

Depression can often be the side effect of deeper psychological issues such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. It is also quite common in people who have anxiety disorders and phobia.

There are several types of depression, including Major Depressive Disorder, Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), and many more.

As one of the leading causes of suicide, depression may not always obviously manifest itself to an outsider. However, symptoms of depression can include changes in appetite, changes in physical activity, and a loss of socialization skills.

Depression can become a disability as it negatively affects the life of a person who is suffering from it. If you think you have depression, try the following tips to help you manage its symptoms.

 1. Get Help from a Psychiatrist


A psychiatrist is always the best place for you to start if you need to cope with depression. A psychiatrist can help you pinpoint what is causing you trouble and what you can do to improve your life.

If you think that you do not have the money to pay for sessions with a psychiatrist, you can try to get compensation, especially if your depression was caused by an accident or an injury.

After all, accident compensation will also cover any psychological effects, and you will need all the help that you can get, not only for emotional and psychological issues, but for financing as well.

2. Find a Support Grouphands-image

A support group can include anyone, from your friends, your family, or from a lover. Of course, if you feel that you have absolutely no one, you can find support groups online.

Sometimes, talking with strangers who have similar problems to you can help you deal with the stress and the anxiety to feel while you are depressed. You can also listen to some of their success stories to find out what has worked for them.

3. Use Prescription Medication


Using anti-depressants and anti-psychotics can help manage some of the more difficult symptoms of the disorder. Note that you should only take the medication as directed by your psychiatrist. Taking more than the recommended amount can have negative side effects.

Note that medication can only do so much — it will not get rid of the negative feelings that you are experiencing. They are only used to help with some of the moods.

4. Build Relationships


You should always try to get out and talk to others, as shutting yourself off from the world will only make the symptoms worse. Build relationships with others, and keep on socialising even if you do not feel like it.

Explain to others what you are going through, and vent out some of those negative feelings.


Now here’s a few good tips on how you can defeat depression,overcome anxiety and sharpen your mind from Dr. Mark Hyman:


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How to Become a Psychologist

psychologist-imageSome of you may be wondering how to become a psychologist in the UK. Here, I will be talking about how to become a clinical psychologist specifically.

After all, there are many subsets to psychology and many different jobs that will require a background in psychological studies, so to avoid convolution, I will focus only on becoming a clinical psychologist.

While it is possible to get into a psychology career after gaining a coaching psychology diploma, there may be several more requirements that you would have to submit in order to be allowed to practice freely.

First of all, you need to have a psychology degree that is accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS). You also need to have classification of 2:1 or above. It is a good idea to check out the BPS website to see what courses are accredited.

You also have to make sure that you make the cut at the university that you are applying for, so make sure that your high school grades are good and that you take the application tests for the courses seriously.counseling-image

Alternatively, you can also obtain a Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC), especially if your course happens to not be credited by the BPS.

There are several ways in which you can get a GBC:

1. Take the qualifying exam of the BPC

2. Take and complete a BPC qualified post-graduate programme

3. Complete a BPC accredited conversion course

If you wish to gain a doctorate in clinical psychology and wish to pursue a chartered status, you may also be required to take a post graduate programme for a minimum of three years. On top of that, you may need to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to be fully eligible for practice.

In order to be able to take on the training phase, you will also need to have a minimum of 6 months of clinical work under your belt.

One of the easiest ways to gain relevant experience is to become an assistant psychologist on the field, or to volunteer to provide services to individuals who are experiencing mild mental problems.psychologist1

You can also try being a research assistant at a psychology clinic, as clinically geared studies on the subject is a plus.

One of the things that you can expect from the qualifying courses is that other aspects of your personality is considered before you are allowed to become a practising clinical psychologist.

You must have great people skills and be very empathetic, in order for you to be able to approach your clients in a person-centred way.

You should also be mentally sound and be able to handle a good deal of stress, and be able to respond positively
in times of crises.

Becoming a clinical psychologist is no joke and will require years of training and gaining experience. Just remember that as a psychologist, you will be helping a lot of people out, especially if they are undergoing a personal crisis.

Now here’s a preview of what does a Psychologist do…


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What it Really Means to Have PTSD

PSTDI have noticed that movies tend to throw around the term “PTSD” rather casually, as though it is something mild and relatively easy to cure.

Others even use PTSD as a type of running gag for their show, using people’s anxiety triggers as a source of humor.

However, I do not agree with Hollywood’s portrayals of this serious anxiety disorder, as sufferers have very real problems that are no laughing matter.

They can experience extreme fear and anxiety constantly, and the quality of their lives are severely impaired.

I have decided to dispel some of the myths that surround PTSD so that people will understand what it really means to have it.

PTSD stands for Post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after someone experiences a traumatic experience, which could be anything ranging from an accident, abuse, sexual assault, or any situation that lead to a threat of death.

I once knew someone who got into a car accident and hurt her legs. She was eventually diagnosed with PTSD — she was so afraid of getting into a car accident that it severely impacted her daily routine.

anxietyFor one thing, she never drove again and cannot even leave her home for fear of getting into another accident.

Since the accident severely impacted her quality of life, and since the accident is not her fault, her solicitor convinced her to file a car accident claim.

The claim will provide her with enough compensation to allow her to get psychiatric help for her PTSD.

PTSD is different from the normal response to trauma in that the symptoms are chronic and persistent.

Pretty much anyone will display some symptoms of PTSD following a traumatic experience, but sufferers of PTSD never quite recover.

“Time heals” is not the reality for those who have this anxiety disorder — it is a constant waking nightmare.

If you suspect that you have PTSD, it is better that you get treatment for it early on before the symptoms become worse. There are several routes for getting treatment for PTSD.

The most common is cognitive -behavioral therapy, which is often coupled with family therapy.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy will focus on exposing the PTSD sufferer to the negative emotions and triggers of the traumatic experience in a controlled way.

Since most PTSD sufferers will often avoid triggers, it is important that some of the fear is balanced and stabilised.

Generalised-Anxiety-DisordeThis helps the sufferer to regain some of their composure.

Of course, medications may also be prescribed to deal with some of the secondary effects of PTSD, which include depression and anxiety. Anti-depressants and occasionally even anti-psychotics can help with some of the secondary symptoms of the disorder, by keeping them in control.

One of the most important aspects of treating PTSD is that you find a trustworthy therapist who specialises in PTSD cases.

Your comfort and your trust is extremely important in order to be treated.


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A Short Introduction to Child Psychology

psych1Child psychology, often called developmental psychology, is the scientific study of a child’s psychological profile as he or she grows up.

Developmental psychology’s scope starts from infancy to post-pubescent young adults.

Some psychologists prefer to study the psychological development of children up until adulthood and old age, to act as a form of comparison to the psychological development of a child early on.

Everyone knows that children have a very different mindset from adults.

A child’s behaviors are still being molded, but there are some inherent behaviors that already manifest themselves from birth.

A child’s early development is also largely reliant on the sense of touch, so putting them in a school with daycare playground gear can help them build their motor skills.

Being able to touch different things at a playground will allow them to learn more about the world, while simultaneously building their social skills with other children.

If you allow children to play freely, you will notice that they will quickly form cliques even without adult interference.

Child development, and all human development is a mix of genetic and environmental variables.

A child’s psyche is greatly affected by its environment as well as natural instincts and inborn behaviors.

Here are some of the major subjects that child psychologists discuss. It is a wide field with many subcategories.

psych3Prenatal Development

Prenatal development discusses how children develop before birth and what aspects will influence their personality.

Genetics plays a large role in this, but oftentimes, the mother’s activities and diet affect the child’s mental development after birth.

Environmental Influences

Many child psychologists study a child’s environment including how a child was raised and what kind of environment they are surrounded with during their developmental stages.

Children who grow up in abusive homes for example, tend to exhibit anxiety disorders and mental disorders as they grow up.

Cognitive Development

A child’s cognitive development is how they perceive and understand the world. Psychologists agree that children have about for stages of cognitive development, each with their own purpose.

For example, the first stage is the sensorimotor stage, which is the stage that toddlers are in. At this stage, they understand the world purely in colours, and have a tendency to rely a lot on touch and taste.

Personality Development

psych2People have varying personalities and they are developed early on.

In fact, studies show that a child’s personality remains constant as early on as 6 years old. Of course, traumatic experiences and other external factors can still affect a child’s personality as they grow.

Sexual Development

Children’s sexual development is also studied by many child psychologists.

From an early age, children already understand the difference between male and female, and even sexual orientation can be predicted early in a child.

The onset of puberty is when sexuality takes center stage, as both physical and psychological changes occur.

Child psychology has many more subsets and there are experts in every field. Child psychology tells us what makes children tick.


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