Petter Johansson is a Swedish experimental psychologist who has developed an experiment that shows that in reality, we don’t know ourselves as well as we think we do.
This researcher has demonstrated the hypothesis of ‘choice blindness’: Johansson showed individuals images of faces. These people had to choose the face that seemed most attractive to them. Johansson gave them the image they had chosen and they had to justify their answer. But unbeknownst to the individual, the psychologist I had given him someone else’s photo they had not chosen.
The curious thing about the experiment is that only 25% of those investigated realized the change, even when the faces were of different people and with different features, including hair color.
“When I asked them why did you choose this face? They began to explain why this was the preferred face, even when seconds before they had chosen another“, explica Johansson a la BBC.
There were even participants who justified their choice highlighting some feature that was not present in the original choice they had made.
When the truth was revealed to them, the participants in the experiment showed surprise and disbelief.
Johansson’s conclusion is that we ourselves we do not understand why we choose what we choose.
Johansson did another version of the study, this one focused on politics. He asked a group of people questions about their position on political issues that tend to divide people. people on the left and right, like increasing the oil tax or cutting public health.
The psychologist then gave the participants their written responses, but they were also false. Those on the left were taught typical responses from people on the right and vice versa.
As in the first case, the participants they did not detect the change. Thus, an individual who had said that he supported an increase in the gasoline tax began to explain why he believed that the increase should not occur, and with meaningful explanations.
This research shows that in politics, “we support a label or a team”, concludes Petter Johansson.