Why do we think and act the way we do?
If we just look at our own lives, humans are incredibly complex. We are capable of remembering certain moments in life unfailingly, like a movie playing in our heads. Yet we can't remember what we were just thinking about. When we view a problem as a neutral, it is clear to us that both parties have some right and wrong. But when we are the ones arguing, we can't see this. We are capable of the most vicious acts of violence and aggression, yet also the most selfless acts of kindness. We speak of being "true to ourselves", yet there are times when there seems to be 3 or 4 people in our heads - who is the "true self"?
Just like how our thoughts and behaviour are complex, naturally, so are the explanations behind it. There are a wide range of factors that influence what and how we think and act. For an introduction, check out our page on "what makes us think and act the way we do".
But all these influences share one commonality, one channel through which all the different effects are processed and manifested. The human brain. Every thought, idea, suggestion, judgement, analysis, craving, feeling, action, and reaction we experience in life occurs first in our brains. It is also a brain that is constantly changing - it is changing even as you are reading this right now.
To understand ourselves - what and why we fear, how we get angry, how to learn throughout life, why we make certain decisions, the interaction between our logic and emotions - we first have to understand our brain.
How can we increase neuroplasticity?
5 major influences of behaviour and thinking
The subconscious mind
We filter out information subconsciously. Changing the phrasing of the same choices changes our answers. Holding a warm cup makes us think people are warmer. We are not conscious of many factors that influence us to think and act the way we do.