10 Psychological Phenomena We Might have Experienced but Never Really Heard About

by Unbelievable Facts5 years ago

6 Semantic Satiation: a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener who then perceives the speech as repeated, meaningless sounds.

Semantic Satiation Brain Psychology Phenomenon

Has it ever happened to you that a perfectly normal word, when being repeated over and over again, suddenly sounds weird and loses its meaning?

This phenomenon occurs due to prolonged viewing of the word and hearing its active repetition and is termed “semantic satiation.” It is a psychological phenomenon that refers to the subjective loss of meaning that is a result of prolonged exposure to a word.

In 1962, doctoral research student Leon Jakobovits James coined the phrase “semantic satiation” in his doctoral dissertation at McGill University.

According to James, it is a form of “reactive inhibition” where the brain cells fire increased energy to repeat the word. When you hear, read, or speak a word, your brain does not really listen to its sound, rather it spends time translating the sound into an idea.

The idea is strung together with other words to form a complex idea. When a word is repeated often, the brain ceases to recognize it as a word and breaks it into sounds.

The idea of semantic satiation is used to develop various techniques to reduce speech anxiety by stutterers. Repeating a word continuously leads to a reduction in the intensity of negative memories and emotions that are triggered while speaking. (source)

7 Reminiscence bump: a phenomenon in which older adults have an increased tendency to recollect memories which occurred from 16 to 25 years of age.

Reminiscence bump Phenomenon

The reminiscence bump is an ability in older people to recollect events that occurred during their adolescence and early adulthood.


It is related to the study of autobiographical memory and plotting of memories to form a lifespan-retrieval curve. Researchers were able to find that people tend to remember events from their teens and twenties better than from any other time.

There are three possible explanations for this phenomenon such as a cognitive account, a narrative/identity account, and a biological/maturational account. Cognitive account deals with memory that occurs during a period of rapid change followed by a period of relative stability.

The narrative/identity account occurs due to a sense of identity that develops during adolescence and early adulthood. Biological/maturational account suggests that genetic fitness improves by having many memories that fall within the reminiscence bump.

Finally, the occurrence of the reminiscence bump is perfectly explained by the life-script account. It refers to a series of culturally important transitional milestones. These milestones occur in a sequential manner at an expected time during one’s lifespan.

It may be decades since you might have experienced your first love, first job, first car, or your first heartbreak. These memories are subjective and tend to stick to our mind as they are considered special. (source)

8 Dunning-Kruger Effect: a term to explain why ignorant people tend to boast about their confidence in spite of being wrong, and wiser people often have doubts about their knowledge.

Dunning-Kruger Effect in psychology

At some point in our lives, we might have come across annoying individuals who brag about themselves but are clueless about things and possess an inflated ego.

The term “Dunning-Kruger Effect” was coined in 1999 by psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger. It is a cognitive bias in which incompetent people fail to recognize their incompetence but rather feel confident thinking about their competitive nature.


In an online survey, only 39% of employees were able to handle constructive criticism and were able to identify why they are being criticized. Whereas the remaining 61% were scorned and found to exhibit the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

It also frequently known as “illusory superiority,” where people tend to overestimate their good points in comparison with others.

The occurrence of Dunning-Kruger effect surged during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and in the following months. The effect is dangerous when someone with influence or the means to do harm doesn’t possess anyone who can honestly point out their mistakes.

Many critical situations can be avoided if the person embraces criticism in a constructive manner. (1, 2)

9 Mean World Syndrome: a phenomenon in which violence related to mass media content makes viewers believe that the world is a dangerous place than it actually is.

Mean World Syndrome one of Psychological Phenomena

When was the last time you checked the news? Were you able to feel good afterward? News that is being broadcasted nowadays tends to sensationalize danger and wrongdoings.


This reporting mechanism evokes a sense of fear, danger, and negative effects on society. Mean world syndrome is a term coined by George Gerbner that describes violence-related content reported by mass media that makes viewers believe that the world is a dangerous place.

The term is a conclusion of his “Cultivation theory.” It states that there is a high number of TV viewers who are susceptible to mass media and believe that the claims are true and real.

The viewers tend to believe that the world created by television is an accurate depiction of the real world and also the aggression associated with it. Many parents try to shield their children from violence on television, but Gerbner argues that instead of shielding the children, one has to question the ways in which the violence is portrayed by the media.

Gerbner feared that excessive violence shown on television can glorify aggressive behavior and make viewers desensitized. To combat the negative effects of violence shown on media, one can check the integrity of the source and disconnect from media from time to time. (1,2)

10 Impostor phenomenon: a phenomenon in which an individual questions their accomplishments and faces anxiety of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Impostor psychological phenomenon

Famous celebrities such as Neil Gaiman, Meryl Streep, and several others have fought the imposter syndrome.


According to clinical psychologist Jaruwan Sakulku, around 70% of people have experienced the syndrome at some point in their lives.

Imposter syndrome is a pervasive feeling of self-doubt and insecurity. The individuals doubt their accomplishments and experience a persistent feeling of being criticized as a fraud.

The individuals attribute their success to sheer luck or a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent than others. Numerous research has pointed out that the occurrence is increasingly found among high-achieving women but also affects men as well.

Despite external validation and numerous accolades, the individuals lack the internal acknowledgment of their accomplishments.

Experts believe that the impostor phenomenon might have stemmed from various factors such as gender stereotypes, childhood family dynamics, culture, and attribution style. The people who experience this syndrome tend to showcase symptoms related to depression, anxiety, and low self-confidence.

The way to overcome this syndrome is by enjoying what you love rather than obsessing over the worthiness factor. (1,2)

Also See:
14 Amazing Psychology Facts You Should Keep to Yourself!

Page 2 of 2
Find us on YouTube Bizarre Case of Gloria Ramirez, AKA “The Toxic Lady”
Picture 10 Psychological Phenomena We Might have Experienced but Never Really Heard About
You May Also Like
10 of the Weirdest Birds You Never Knew Existed Picture
10 Unbelievable Facts About Space Picture
This Is What Everyday Foods Look Like Before they Are Harvested Picture
The Mysterious Disappearance Of The Sri Lankan Handball Team Picture
How Were Dinosaur Fossils Not Discovered Until The 1800s? Picture
Why Does Time Go Faster As We Grow Older? Picture
Why Aren’t Planes Getting Faster? Picture
10 Events That Can Wipe Out Humanity Picture