4 everyday examples of psychology in action | The Chicago School (2023)

Die American Psychological Associationdefines “psychology' than the study of mind and behavior.

With this definition, studying psychology is often associated with the experience in the four walls of a therapist's practice and the common image of sitting on a couch. Or maybe you associate it with the research and statistics found in academic textbooks. While each of these examples is certainly a part of it, the truth is that psychology is all around us.

From the decisions we make every moment of the day to the people we interact with, understanding human behavior is at the heart of psychology. Look around your world and you will find many everyday examples of psychology in action. Read on to learn how psychology plays a big part in five areas of everyday life.

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psychology in advertising

Have you ever noticed that certain ads appeal to you - or even convince you to buy something? It was probably because this ad used an advertising tactic based on psychological principles.

Three promotional tactics that take advantage of social psychological concepts are:

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  1. The principle of scarcity
  2. consensus
  3. The Mere Exposure Effect

The principle of scarcity means that people want what they cannot have, or what they think they can have but others cannot. Advertisers simulate scarcity by highlighting things like limited-time offers, last-chance products, and rare items. This makes products and services appear more valuable and desirable.

Just think about the last time you heard something you wanted was going to be permanently out of stock. how did you feel? Have you thought about a purchase before?

Advertisers use consensus to show that an item is popular and well rated. When an ad highlights positive testimonials and reviews, or how many happy customers they have, they want to show you the positive consensus about their service or product. This gives you more trust in the advertiser and the service or product.

Many online marketers integrate reviews of products into their stores to help consumers make better decisions. However, there has also been controversy over whether advertisers fake their reviews and/or censor the number of bad reviews for the same reasons.

The mere exposure effect means that people who are more exposed to a stimulus are more likely to prefer that stimulus. Companies want to see their advertisements in front of you as often as possible so that you become familiar with their products and maybe even buy them.

Many of us can sing along to popular commercial jingles almost as well as songs on the radio. Or we get some well-crafted headlines in our head like "Can you hear me now?", "A diamond is forever", "The breakfast of champions", "Just Do It" or "Got Milk?", among many others . These marketing hits help with the exposure effect.

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Healthcare Psychology

Psychology also influences how we think and act about our diet and exercise.

For example,a degree in psychologyshows that people under stress tend to eat high-calorie foods. People who think with a “live for today” mentality ate 40 percent more calories than the control group.

This shows how much our mental state can affect healthy eating habits. And if our eating habits are affected by our mental state, so can other lifestyle choices and choices, such as exercise.

Another studyillustrates how "gamifying" exercises improved performance. Seeing accelerating results on a screen encouraged people to expend more energy and work harder. Although the results were meaningless, they still had a clear psychological and physiological impact on study participants.


Psychology and understanding human behavior also play a role in the development of our closest relationships. According to researchers, positive relationships have an important impact on your mental and physical health, as can eating healthy and not smoking.

As a matter of fact,studieshave shown that children raised in stable homes with positive family relationships are happier with age compared to other children.

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The hormone oxytocin, produced in the hypothalamus, is key to building and maintaining strong social bonds. Oxytocin not only helps parents and children build these bonds, but it also impacts the romantic relationships we form in life.

According to researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Oxytocin's effects on the brain give partners "rose-colored glasses" and a more positive outlook on the bigger picture of the relationship.

If you are interested in learning more about how psychology can affect relationships, a degree with a specialization in the field ofMarriage and Family Therapycan give you even more insight.

psychology in the workplace

One of the most stressful situations in the workplace is asking for a raise. To build your confidence and increase your chance of getting what you ask for, it's important to be prepared. Some psychological principles, such as awareness of actuality bias, can help with this.

Recency bias is when people remember things that happened more recently instead of things that happened a long time ago. Keep this in mind when contacting your manager. Make a list of your successes, positive feedback, and important contributions over a long period of time and highlight them specifically. This will help combat possible recency bias and remind your manager that you deserve more.

Psychological concepts can also help you become a better manager. Companies like Google and Aetna have emphasized the importance of mindful management.Victor Lipmann, author ofThe type B manager,explains how to become more confident, empathetic and patient to become a more effective and attentive manager.

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If you are interested in the interplay of psychology and employee engagement, retention, and productivity, you may consider studying psychology with aunderage in business.

psychology in politics

Have you ever thought about how psychology affects the political world and your political views?

Childhood can actually anticipate what political leanings one might have as an adult.A UK studyfound that a child's early personality traits can be linked to their political views in adulthood. The study found links between traits such as anxiety and hyperactivity and political dissatisfaction as adults.

Psychological concepts can also be used to increase voter turnout.Studies suggest sothat candidates who show genuine gratitude to their potential voters before an election are more likely to have their constituents running. This appeals to our desire to feel important and needed as voters and can work for civic engagement.

Ready for a Career in Psychology?

The Chicago School offers a variety of general psychology programs that are proven to develop a foundational and multicultural understanding of psychology to work in many professional settings.

psychology degrees

  • BA in Psychology (Chicago,The angel,San Diego,Online)
  • Certificate in Child and Adolescent Psychology (Online)
  • BA in Psychology, minor in Applied Behavior Analysis (Online)
  • BA in Psychology, minor in Health Sciences (Online)
  • BA in Psychology, minor in Addiction Research (The angel,Online,Chicago)
  • MA in psychology, focus on applied behavior analysis (Online)
  • MA in psychology, focus on child and adolescent psychology (Online)
  • MA in Psychology, Generalistic Concentration (Online)
  • MA in Psychology, specializing in Forensic Psychology (Online)
  • M.A. in Psychologie, International Psychology Concentration (Online)
  • M.A. in Psychologie, Organisational Leadership Concentration (Online)
  • MA in Psychology, Focusing on Public Health (Online)
  • MA in Psychology, Social and Community Concentration (Online)
  • MA in Psychology, Suicide and Cyberbullying Prevention Concentration (Online)
  • PhD in Psychology, specialization Behavior Analysis (The angel)

Would you like to find out more?

Using a psychological lens, you can find more and more applications of psychology in action in our everyday world.

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If you are fascinated by the impact of psychology on daily actions, a psychology degree could be the right choice for you. Fill out the form below to request more information about the different programs we offer, or visit ourgeneral psychology program pageto find out more about our various minors, majors and specializations.


What are some examples of psychology in everyday life? ›

Psychology also impacts how we think and act about our diet and exercise. For example, a study in Psychological Science demonstrates that people under stress tend to eat high-calorie foods. Individuals who think in a “live for today” mindset ate 40 percent more calories than the control group.

What are examples of the four goals of psychology? ›

A Word From Verywell. The four primary goals of psychology—to describe, explain, predict, and change behavior— are similar to those you probably have every day as you interact with others.

How do students use psychology in everyday life? ›

It studies human nature and its influence on their behavior. It is the application of knowledge to understand health issues, relationships, employment, education, etc. Psychology will help you while making decisions, stress, and time management. It is a subject that includes humanities and natural sciences.

What are the 5 ways in which psychology is applicable to everyday life? ›

Psychology is the study of people's behavior, cognitive attitude, performance, and mental functioning. It is used to better understand and help people with psychological disorders, treat mental health problems and improve the education system, workplace behavior, and relationships.

What is everyday psychology? ›

Psychology In Everyday Life is a well-known psychology textbook written by the bestselling authors David G. Myers and Nathan DeWall, and offers students a thorough and inclusive introduction to the field.

What is everyday thinking in psychology? ›

We will explore the psychology of our everyday thinking: why people believe weird things, how we form and change our opinions, why our expectations skew our judgments, and how we can make better decisions. We'll discuss and debate topics such as placebos, the paranormal, medicine, miracles, and more.

What are the 5 main goals of psychology? ›

People's behavior is studied through scientific methods. Psychology, as science has basically the following main aims or goals: understand, predict, describe, influence, and control behavior, and improve the quality of life.

Why psychology is important in our daily life? ›

Essentially, psychology helps people in large part because it can explain why people act the way they do. With this kind of professional insight, a psychologist can help people improve their decision making, stress management and behavior based on understanding past behavior to better predict future behavior.

What are the 4 specialized areas of psychology? ›

Psychology includes four major areas: clinical psychology (counseling for mental and behavioral health), cognitive psychology (the study of the mental processes), behavioral psychology (understanding behavior through different types of conditioning), and biopsychology (research on the brain, behavior, and evolution).

How is psychology used in school? ›

It studies the factors that affect the growth and development of individuals. Educational psychology helps educators understand what students need to succeed at school and at home. They also help teachers plan lessons and evaluate student progress.

How is psychology used in the classroom? ›

That's why psychologists working in the field of education are focused on identifying and studying learning methods to better understand how people absorb and retain new information. Educational psychologists apply theories of human development to understand individual learning and inform the instructional process.

How will you apply psychology to solve everyday issues? ›

9 Ways Applied Psychology is Solving Real-World Problems
  1. Proving the Importance of Paid Sick Leave. ...
  2. Determining How to Group Students for Academic Performance. ...
  3. More Education Needed Regarding Title IX Regulations. ...
  4. Criminal Stereotyping and Forensic Bias. ...
  5. Helping Veterans with PTSD and Substance Use. ...
  6. Teamwork in Space.

What is psychology examples? ›

If you think about it for a moment, some common examples of psychology in everyday life are when you: smile to portray warmth and approachability. use body language to attract or repel advances. appeal to people's vanity and self-indulgence to get what you want.

What is basic psychology example? ›

Basic Research Examples

Basic research in psychology might explore: Whether stress levels influence how often students engage in academic cheating. How caffeine consumption affects the brain. Whether men or women are more likely to be diagnosed with depression.

What are psychological examples of behavior? ›

Examples of human behavior include conflict, communication, cooperation, creativity, play, social interaction, tradition, and work.

What is social psychology in everyday life? ›

Social Psychology of Everyday Life focuses on the relationship between the individual and society and thus, on how people's practice as individuals and as participants in groups, relate to their socio-cultural conditions.

What are everyday examples of critical thinking? ›

Deciding how you use your time is another example of critical thinking. Continually evaluating how you spend your time can help you discover tasks and activities that may change how you prioritize your duties.

Which is an example of all or nothing thinking psychology? ›

Examples of all-or-nothing thinking in this scenario may include: “I never feel happy; I always feel sad.” “Everything is terrible; nothing good ever happens.” “It's always going to be like this.”

What are the 5 types of thinking? ›

While we all have unique minds, our tendencies have been summed up into five recognized thinking styles: synthesists, or the creative thinkers; idealists, or the goal-setters; pragmatists, or the logical thinkers; analysts, or the rational intellectuals; and finally, realists, or the perfect problem-solvers.

What are the 3 parts of psychology? ›

Freud's personality theory (1923) saw the psyche structured into three parts (i.e., tripartite), the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives.

What are the 4 types of psychology PDF? ›

There are different types of psychology, such as cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology.

What are three importance of psychology? ›

Psychology sheds light on human behavior and helps us understand why we act the way we do. The field offers insights into our human experiences, helps us connect with others, and can mean the difference between a life well-lived and a life of challenges.

What are the 6 types of psychology? ›

The 6 main psychological perspectives used today are:
  • Psychodynamic.
  • Biological.
  • Behavioral.
  • Cognitive.
  • Evolutionary.
  • Humanistic.
Sep 6, 2021

What are the 6 schools of psychology? ›

Major Schools of Thought in Psychology
  • Structuralism.
  • Functionalism.
  • Gestalt Psychology.
  • Behaviorism.
  • Psychoanalysis.
  • Humanism.
  • Cognitive Psychology.
Aug 25, 2022

How is social psychology used in schools? ›

Educational social psychology extends the factors affecting student learning from the school to the social level. It emphasizes how students use their own positive psychological factors to overcome problems such as school weariness and advocates finding every student in education.

How do schools use positive psychology? ›

Applying positive psychology in school settings involves helping students set, prioritize, and place clear markers on what they want to achieve. Once students achieve the goals they have set, they may feel more accomplished and experience positive emotions, such as satisfaction.

Why is school important psychology? ›

School psychologists synthesize information on developmental mechanisms and contexts, and they translate it for adults responsible for promoting healthy growth and development of children and youth in a range of contexts to address: Educational and developmental problems that impact instruction and learning.

What are the 7 types of learning in psychology? ›

The 7 styles of the theory are:
  • visual.
  • kinaesthetic.
  • aural.
  • social.
  • solitary.
  • verbal.
  • logical.
Jul 1, 2021

What is positive psychology in the classroom? ›

A learning environment that uses positive psychology focuses on giving all students a chance to build their resilience and learn to cope with and manage challenging situations. Positive psychology in the classroom can also have practical benefits.

What is an example of education psychology? ›

For example, educational psychologists have researched the instructional applicability of Jean Piaget's theory of development, according to which children mature through four stages of cognitive capability.

How can you use positive psychology in our everyday life? ›

What are some examples of positive psychology?
  1. Focusing on your strengths. ...
  2. Recording your experiences. ...
  3. Being grateful. ...
  4. Showing gratitude. ...
  5. Developing skills to increase positivity.

What are 3 ways we solve problems psychology? ›

Many different strategies exist for solving problems. Typical strategies include trial and error, applying algorithms, and using heuristics.

What is test example in psychology? ›

Psychological tests are classified into several types, including intelligence tests, aptitude tests, vocational tests, aptitude tests, and personality tests. Psychological testing is primarily used for psychological diagnosis, job screening, academic placements, identifying specific behaviour, research purposes, etc.

What is psychology simple answer? ›

Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists are actively involved in studying and understanding mental processes, brain functions, and behavior.

What is psychology as a student? ›

A psychology major examines the science of human behavior and mental processes. This includes the study of the mind, the brain, and human and animal social interactions. The major touches on many different areas of psychology like social, cognitive, abnormal, personality and developmental.

What is psychology with example? ›

Psychology is the study of behavior and the mind. There are different types of psychology, such as cognitive, forensic, social, and developmental psychology. A person with a condition that affects their mental health may benefit from assessment and treatment with a psychologist.


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