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Psych 101


Loss Aversion

Are people more sensitive to losses or gains?  This is the question that Nobel Laureate Daniel Kanheman asked and set out to prove.  He ultimately showed that people will react far stronger to a loss of something they already have, then gaining something new.

This is an unfortunate psychology backdrop that cause a lot of distress for those with hair loss.  Since we are all born and develop into adulthood with hair, the process of losing hair is priming our innate psychological wiring that causes additional distress.

Self Fulfilling Prophecy

A self fulfilling prophecy is a "prediction that causes itself to be true, due to the positive feedback between the belief and behavior."

This is a major hurdle for many with hair loss or beginning to have hair loss to overcome.  Many believe that when they start losing hair, there is nothing that can be done.  Often, they draw this experience from their personal life and from older people they have met with thinning hair or who are bald and think nothing works.

The world has changed quite a bit since that era, with advancements in technology and science creating possibilities that are radically different than what was created in the past.  Since hair loss is progressive, the worst thing someone can do is not use any treatment.  If most users simply had started treating proactively instead of waiting to see the hair loss, they would maintain a cosmetically acceptable level of hair.

Confirmation Bias

Have you ever read or posted something on a message board to find multiple people strongly posting an opinion?  They may be correct from their experience, but there is a possibility they may be victims of conformation bias.

This type of bias happens often at hair loss message boards.  Someone will ask a question such as "are there any other treatments that work outside of minoxidil and finasteride."  Then, there will be a few loud vocal commentators who will confidently proclaim that there is nothing else that works.  This echo chamber creates a perception to the outside viewer that nothing has changed in the world since 1990.

These echo chambers, or false opinions repeated loudly, create an environment of confirmation bias.  This is the tendency for information to be interpreted in a way that confirms one's existing beliefs.

Experiential Overlap 

Have you ever wondered why if you tell people that hair loss bothers you, if they haven't experienced it their reaction is often to brush it off and act like its not a big deal?  This is the result of experiential overlap.

There are many events in life that can be very isolating.  Extreme examples are battling cancer or being a war veteran.  For people who have gone through these intense experiences, if is often difficult for people living normal lives to relate to them.

Hair loss carries its own isolation problems.  Unless you are speaking to someone in your age group who is actively going through hair loss, it is often difficult for people to relate to you.  

Dogma

Put simply, dogma is living with the results of other people's thinking.  A natural reaction for many with hair loss is to ask their friends or family if their hair matters.  The problem with this approach is this is just dogma.  They may all say it doesn't matter, but if it bothers you, then it does matter.  The only solution to this is to develop a higher level of self awareness about your hair loss.