Study: Our Brains Are Hard-Wired To Find Problems To Focus On

Being a worry wart can be exhausting, but it turns out our brains are just wired to find problems to focus on. Harvard researchers had participants look at a series of computer-generated faces and decide which ones seem ‘threatening.’ The faces had been carefully designed by scientists to range from very intimidating to very harmless. The results showed that as participants were shown fewer and fewer threatening faces, they started calling faces threatening that they used to define as harmless. Researcher Dr. David Levari writes in The Conversation that other studies suggest that this kind of behavior “is a consequence of the basic way that our brains process information– we are constantly comparing what is in front of us to its recent context.” He adds that, “Human brains have likely evolved to use relative comparisons in many situations, because these comparisons often provide enough information to safely navigate our environments and make decisions, all while expending as little effort as possible.”