From seeing a UFO to advancing a conspiracy theory, often the simplest explanation is the most likely one. Yet we still tend to fancy convoluted ideas with lots of moving parts, just because they sound good to us.
What we refer to as "reverse psychology" is more or less a strategy of deception based on expected defiance, and any short term gratification is often met with long term problems. So why has reverse psychology become such a trope in parenting or dealing with contrarians?
In the heat of the moment, revenge can be an appealing idea to consider but often it has devastating results with fleeting satisfaction. Revenge narratives permeate popular media and we dislike when a wrongdoer goes unpunished, so why don't we actually decide to carry out justice ourselves?
We're used to seeing certain people in one context, but why do we get so thrown off when we see them elsewhere? How do cultural differences in collectivism and individualism shape the way we may perceive people in a variety of settings?