The Misconception: When your emotions run high, people can look at you and tell what you are thinking and feeling.

The Truth: Your subjective experience is not observable, and you overestimate how much you telegraph your inner thoughts and emotions.
You stand in front of your speech class with your outline centered on the lectern, your stomach performing gymnastics.

You sat through all the other speeches, tapping the floor, transferring nervous energy into the tiles through a restless foot, periodically wiping your hands on the top of your pants to wick away the sweat.

Each time the speaker summed up and the class applauded, you clapped along with everyone else, and as it subsided you realized how loud your heart was thumping when a fresh silence settled.

Finally, the instructor called your name, and your eyes cranked open. You felt as if you had eaten a spoonful of sawdust as you walked up to the blackboard planting each foot carefully so as not to stumble.

As you begin to speak the lines you’ve rehearsed, you search the faces of your classmates.

“Why is he smiling? What is she scribbling? Is that a frown?”

“Oh no,” you think, “they can see how nervous I am.”

I must look like an idiot. I’m bombing, aren’t I? This is horrible. Please let a meteor hit this classroom before I have to say another word.

“I’m sorry,” you say to the audience. “Let me start over.”

Now it’s even worse. What kind of moron apologizes in the middle of a speech?

Your voice quavers. Flop sweat gathers behind your neck. You become certain your skin must be glowing red and everyone in the room is holding back laughter.

Except, they aren’t.

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The Misconception: Your opinions are the result of years of rational, objective analysis.

The Truth: Your opinions are the result of years of paying attention to information which confirmed what you believed while ignoring information which challenged your preconceived notions.

Source: EIL

Have you ever had a conversation in which some old movie was mentioned, something like “The Golden Child” or maybe even something more obscure?

You laughed about it, quoted lines from it, wondered what happened to the actors you never saw again, and then you forgot about it. Until…

You are flipping channels one night and all of the sudden you see “The Golden Child” is playing. Weird. The next day you are reading a news story, and out of nowhere it mentions forgotten movies from the 1980s, and holy shit, three paragraphs about “The Golden Child.” You see a trailer that night at the theater for a new Eddie Murphy movie, and then you see a billboard on the street promoting Charlie Murphy doing stand-up in town, and then one of your friends sends you a link to a post at TMZ showing recent photos of the actress  from “The Golden Child.”

What is happening here? Is the universe trying to tell you something? No. This is called the frequency illusion.

Since the party and the conversation where you and your friends took turns saying “I-ah-I-ah-I want the kniiiife” you’ve flipped channels plenty of times; you’ve walked past lots of billboards; you’ve seen dozens of stories about celebrities; you’ve been exposed to a handful of movie trailers. The thing is, you disregarded all the other information, all the stuff  unrelated to “The Golden Child.” Out of all the chaos, all the morsels of data, you only noticed the bits which called back to something sitting on top of your brain. A few weeks back, when Eddie Murphy and his Tibetan adventure were still submerged beneath a heap of pop-culture at the bottom of your skull, you wouldn’t have paid any special attention to references to it.

If you are thinking about buying a new car, you suddenly see people driving them all over the roads. If you just ended a long-time relationship, every song you hear seems to be written about love. If you are having a baby, you start to see them everywhere. The frequency illusion is often confused with confirmation bias, and the two are pretty similar, but the major difference is that confirmation bias involves an active pursuit for the truth.

The Misconception: People who are losing at the game of life must have done something to deserve it.

The Truth:
The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences.

A woman goes out to a club wearing stilettos and a miniskirt with no underwear. She gets pretty drunk and stumbles home in the wrong direction. She ends up lost in a bad neighborhood. She gets raped.

Is she to blame in some way? Was this her fault? Was she asking for it?

People often say yes to all three in studies asking similar questions after presenting similar scenarios.

It is common in fiction for the bad guys to lose and the good guys to win. It is how you would like to see the world – just and fair. In psychology the tendency to believe this is how the real world actually works is a known cognitive bias called the Just-World Fallacy.