I've always been fascinated by human thought and behaviour.
People don’t think what they feel
They don’t say what they think
They don’t do what they say
Many of life's great triumphs come when we did much more than we thought we could. Yet, our deepest disappointments come because we were too hasty or we simply never dared to try. We can be inspired by thoughts or a fictional character, yet we can be frightened by our imagination and fictionalise fear.
Many of life’s most beautiful moments are shared with others, of thoughtful selflessness or unexpected forgiveness. Yet, many sad experiences come from failed interactions, when pride escalated small misunderstandings, when minds refused to be changed, or when we chose to look the other way. We can build lifelong trust with just a handshake, yet a handshake could also mask the first step of a convoluted betrayal.
Human thought and behaviour is complex and perplexing. We are influenced by so many factors - from what happened to our ancestors 3 million years ago, to the culture/era we live in, who our parents are, what stimulus we encountered recently, what others are doing, how our experiences shaped our brains and genes, to the type of neurochemical secreted 3 milliseconds ago in our brain. Our thoughts and actions can be deliberately planned or unconsciously performed. Our brains are always changing.
This site aims to provide you with a better understanding of how we think and behave in different conditions, and why. We explore nature and nurture, decisions and impressions, emotions and rationality, thinking and intuition, action and reaction. We combine this understanding with tools and suggestions so we can be better versions of ourselves.
- Why are we more inclined to regularly put in additional effort late, even late into the night, for work, but struggle to find a time to meet our friends?
- Why has racism always been a part of human societies?
- Why are we so prone to becoming polarised by politics?
- Human life is precious - so why are 40% of deaths accelerated by our own actions?
- Why do we find change so difficult? Why do we like to do what others do?
- Why does everything need to marketed before we would adopt it?
- Are we nature or nurture?
- Do we have free will?
I spent thousands of hours reading books and papers, watching university lectures, and listening to interviews & podcasts of scientists around the world. It turns out that there are answers to all the questions above. Not absolutely conclusive, but much more comprehensive then we can imagine.
A terrific amount of work,
Yet terrifying little of which has been communicated to everyone else.
1. Science is organised by fields. Each field focuses on its own work, but thought and behaviour is the collective amalgamation of all these fields. No one field can adequately explain why a thought or behaviour
2. Some content is difficult to understand. Additionally, scientists write with other members of the scientific community as the target audience, in a language and manner unappealing to many.
3. Because the content from the experts is more difficult, nuanced, and well-presented, popular understanding of human thought and behaviour comes from non-experts: motivational speakers, media personalities, coaches/consultants. Content is (over)simplified, sometimes indiscriminately, leading to seemingly persuasive but inaccurate conclusions.
Aknowbrainer was set up to bridge between experts and the wider audience - all of us, for the important questions we face in our daily lives. We work to make sure each article carries scientific backing, presented simply, but without over-simplifcation. We explore findings across different fields of studies, without obsessing over one. And while it would take talent beyond our means to have drier writing than scientists, we do endeavour to provide you with a good read.
(Also, look out for videos and podcasts coming soon)
Have fun exploring!