Internet Self Improvement

6 Mind-Blowing TED Talks About Psychology & Human Behavior

Joel Lee 30-03-2012

human behaviorThe human brain is complex and confusing, which explains why human behavior is so complex and confusing. People have a tendency to act one way when they feel something completely different.


How many times have you been asked “What’s wrong?” only to answer “Nothing,” even though something truly was wrong? Personally, I’ve lost count. Humans are strange creatures, indeed.

And yet, the craziness of human behavior doesn’t end there. There are hundreds–even thousands–of different aspects to our behavior that have a strange science behind them. Some of what you believe may actually be false.

Here are a few interesting TED Talks 2 Ways To Easily Download TED Videos To Your Desktop If any video site that gets talked about most after YouTube, its TED – at least amongst us who seek knowledge for the sake of it. Now, who wouldn’t want to preserve these idea capsules... Read More that delve into human psychology and try to explain why we are the way we are.

The Paradox of Choice

The secret to happiness is low expectations.

With a quotable snippet like that, I think it’s easy to see that the giver of this TED Talk is very entertaining in his delivery and insightful in his material.

In this 20-minute clip, Barry Schwartz talks about the gradual increase in choices that we have as consumers and how making the right decision in a sea of choices can have a negative impact on our lives. He calls it the paradox of choice, and it all stems from a simple assumption: more freedom leads to more happiness.


Watch this video and learn why the availability of choices can actually be a detriment to your happiness as an individual.

A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

Alain de Botton, a Swiss philosopher, presents a philosophical discussion on the modern world’s idea of success and how the structure of society influences our notions of success and failure. With a number of insightful illustrations and analogies, I think Botton successfully challenges the popular understanding of individual success.

He’s articulate, eloquent, and quite witty with his comments and remarks. Plus, he’s just plain funny. Even if the subject matter bores you (which I guarantee it won’t), you’ll still be entertained by his delivery style and his intelligent jokes.

Watching this clip was a pleasure and you won’t be disappointed.


The Surprising Science of Motivation

In this talk, Daniel Pink discusses the outdated notion of extrinsic motivators in the modern world. Outside factors, like increased pay and other incentives, can actually be damaging to creativity, inspiration, and motivation.

While the idea of extrinsic motivation was useful and effective in the 20th Century, Pink argues that this outdated idea must be replaced by a new one: intrinsic motivation 8 Inspirational Videos That Will Instantly Pump Up Your Motivation How do you feel about motivational videos? You may think that they’re nothing more than glorified, digital pep rallies where overly optimistic people preach empty words of success, victory, and ultimately happiness. And to some... Read More . Because 21st Century tasks differ so fundamentally from 20th Century tasks, new motivational forces are required.

This is a mind-blowing talk that confirms what we, as humans, already know: productivity is heightened when we want to do something rather than when we are only encouraged to do something. A must-see clip, indeed.

How We Read Each Other’s Minds

In this TED Talk, scientist Rebecca Saxe discusses a region of the brain–called the Right Temporo-Parietal Junction–that is used when you make judgments about other people and what they’re thinking.


Through a series of experiments, Saxe shows how the development of this area of the brain contributes to how you view other people, their thoughts, and their motives behind their actions. In other words, underdevelopment of the RTPJ results in a lessened ability for representing and understanding another’s beliefs.

If you love science jargon and scientific analysis, this one’s for you.

What You Don’t Know About Marriage

Nowadays, it’s a well-known fact that marriages–at least in America–are more likely to end in divorce than a happily-ever-after scenario. However, writer Jenna McCarthy presents her researched findings about the factors that are common in all successful marriages.

As a writer, McCarthy has injected jokes and humor into her presentation. Some may find her cute and pleasant to listen to. Others may be put off by her attempts to make the subject matter funny.


Nonetheless, if you are interested in making your current marriage work or if you want to know how to bulletproof your future marriage 8 Creative Ways to Pop the Question Online Read More , this is the TED Talk for you.

The 8 Secrets to Success

Secrets? Perhaps if you’re young or if you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last decade. The topic of success–and how you can achieve it–has been examined and studied to death. Everyone wants to be successful, but not everyone is successful.

How can you increase the chance for your own personal success? In this TED Talk, Richard St. John tells you in eight simple words.

But beware: even if these are the secrets to success, they are not shortcuts to success. There are no shortcuts to success. So buckle yourself down, watch this video, and prepare yourself for the mental fortitude that you’ll need in order to cross the line from failure to success.

Do you follow TED Talks? Tell us about your picks in the subject of your choice.

Image Credits: Psychology Image Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Geeky Science, Online Lecture, TED Talks.

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  1. Unknown
    April 26, 2015 at 3:28 am

    Real phycology: Phycology is fake and meaning of words are not what people really think they are for instance. Why do some words give off different type of energy feel with the meaning of how they/you interpreted it. If you pay attention which some people can not and will never be able to pick up on this because of there comprehensions in the mind of understanding sound waves and other things. What does the different type of energy feeling mean with these specific words like killing, control, hatred and sometime words that do with specific body parts. Though no one will never understand this but a lot will and will never say anything like Women. Since they created this shit. To help and same time so use it for control so what ever its a bunch of crap

    • Patrick
      November 16, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Phycology? Phycology is the scientific study of algae!

      The above presentation was on Psychology; the study of behavior and mind.

  2. sarika
    January 2, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    Less expectations more happiness is very beautiful thought l believed and followed

  3. Chris Hoffman
    April 9, 2012 at 5:41 am

    I'm not a big Apple fan for other reasons, but part of the reason Apple is so successful is because it provides so little choice. Just a few solid products. Meanwhile, it seems like each PC manufacturer offers 50 different laptops.

    Lots of companies and industries could learn from that video (and Apple).

    • Joel Lee
      April 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      I definitely agree with you. Even though I'm an Android user, it's easy to see how the iPhone holds some advantages.

      All iPhones are standardized, so if you know how to use an iPhone, you know how to use it. Period. Whereas if you know how to use a certain Android ROM, that doesn't mean you won't be lost when trying to use your friend's phone when he has a different ROM.

      Too many choices can be burdensome, indeed.

      • Kushal
        April 19, 2012 at 4:54 pm

        I may disagree with the proposition on less choices. Apple may be the one with few choices and yet successful , but what it has got other than visual appeal . Other platforms like android have surpassed apple just due to flexibility it gives to users. Technically too ,apple is far more inferior than Android.
        Choices are neccessary , We just have to tailor it our needs in a best possible manner . Those who cant do that , there is a word for them which starts with "L".

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  8. Z.B. Manfred
    April 6, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I'd heard someone mention TED Talks before, but only the name; I didn't realize it was an acronym, and thought it was just videos of random people named Ted. (YouTube has a reputation for being random like that.) Ted Kennedy, Ted Turner, Ted Williams... but probably not Ted Kaczynski.

    I thought this was a spoof on "Steve Notes," the unofficial term for Jobs' keynote speeches at Apple, and that there'd be others named "Bob Talks" and "John Talks" or something like that. ("D*ck Talks" would probably be one that 4chan would put up.) ;-) Thanks for educating *me* that intelligent life does indeed exist somewhere in the realm of Astley, Bieber, and Chanonymous. :-D

  9. Humza Aamir
    April 3, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Amazing and thought provoking. Thanx for the wonderful share.

    • Joel Lee
      April 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      Thank you. Glad you found it as awesome as I did. :)

  10. Jijin
    April 3, 2012 at 7:53 am

    You should mentioned this too.

    • Joel Lee
      April 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm

      I tried to confine this list to official TED Talks, but that TEDx talk was great, indeed. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  11. Chris
    March 31, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Great list. Other notable mentions in the field of neurology: , , . Also it's a bit ironic to posts youtube links for TED talks.

    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2012 at 3:09 am

      I intended to link directly to the TED links, but there was no easy way to embed the videos into the article. No matter though, as the YouTube videos that are linked in this article are owned by the TED YouTube account.

  12. Suhel
    March 31, 2012 at 3:57 am

    Thanks I will check it out :)

  13. Espen
    March 31, 2012 at 2:17 am
    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2012 at 3:10 am

      I actually had this video queued up, ready to watch, but at some point I lost that tab and wasn't able to find it again. Thanks for the link! :)

  14. Jeff Layden
    March 31, 2012 at 1:14 am

    I have seen all of these but you just gave me an excuse to review them. Very good stuff. I think if someone were to watch these on a daily bases, they would be very "successful".

    • Joel Lee
      April 1, 2012 at 3:12 am

      I agree that if someone were to watch these every day, their mindset would transform into one of "success." I believe that one of our problems as human beings is not that we don't know, but that we often forget.

      Great point, Jeff. Thanks for sharing.