A great activity for everyone


By Jon Zajac

As a facilitator who enjoys incorporating icebreaker activities into events, I find that Psychology-themed “This or That” questions can be a great way to engage participants and help them connect on a deeper level. By asking questions related to various psychological concepts, theories, and phenomena, you can encourage people to reflect on their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as learn from one another’s perspectives and experiences.

How to incorporate Psychology themed This or That questions

To incorporate Psychology-themed “This or That” questions into your event, follow these steps:

  1. Prepare a list of questions beforehand that are related to different areas of psychology, such as cognitive psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology. You can find inspiration from textbooks, academic articles, popular science books, blogs, podcasts, or other resources.

  2. Print out the questions on cards or display them on a screen or a poster board. Encourage your participants to form small groups of 3-5 people and take turns asking each other the questions. You can also create a rotation system where each group moves on to the next question after a set amount of time (e.g., 2-3 minutes).

  3. Make sure everyone has a chance to answer each question and listen actively to their responses. Encourage follow-up questions, comments, and discussions that build on the initial answers. You can also share your own insights and opinions about psychology to keep the conversation flowing.

  4. After everyone has had a chance to answer all the questions, gather your participants in a larger group and ask them to share their favorite or most surprising answers. You can also use this opportunity to highlight any commonalities or connections that emerged during the activity.

  5. Consider using some of the insights or stories that came up during the “This or That” icebreaker as a springboard for further conversations and activities throughout the day. For example, you could organize a workshop based on a specific psychological concept (e.g., mindfulness, growth mindset, emotional intelligence), or create a collaborative project that involves applying psychology to real-world problems (e.g., designing a mental health campaign, conducting a research study).

Ideas on different themes of questions

To keep your Psychology-themed icebreaker questions fresh and engaging, you can explore different themes and categories that are relevant to the field. Here are some ideas:

  • Cognitive psychology: Ask questions related to perception, attention, memory, language, thinking, problem-solving, creativity, decision-making, motivation, emotion, learning, and development (e.g., “What is your favorite cognitive illusion?” or “How do you manage your workload and avoid burnout?”).

  • Social psychology: Ask questions related to social influence, persuasion, conformity, obedience, compliance, attraction, prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, intergroup relations, altruism, cooperation, competition, conflict resolution, and negotiation (e.g., “How do you handle peer pressure?” or “What is your strategy for resolving conflicts with others?”).

  • Developmental psychology: Ask questions related to child development, adolescent development, adult development, aging, lifespan transitions, parenting, family relationships, and cultural diversity (e.g., “How has your upbringing influenced your personality and values?” or “What are some challenges you have faced in your personal or professional life and how have you overcome them?”).

  • Clinical psychology: Ask questions related to mental health, well-being, stress management, coping strategies, resilience, self-care, therapy, counseling, diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and prevention (e.g., “What are some strategies you use to manage your stress?” or “How do you maintain a positive mindset and outlook on life?”).

By incorporating these different themes of questions into your Psychology-themed icebreaker activity, you can keep your participants engaged and informed while also fostering a sense of curiosity, empathy, and understanding. So why not give it a try and see how it can enrich your next event!

My favorite Psychology themed This or That questions

  1. Introverted or extroverted?
  2. Brain or mind?
  3. Fight or flight?
  4. Freud or Jung?
  5. Left brain or right brain?
  6. Emotion or logic?
  7. Behavior or thoughts?
  8. Mindfulness or meditation?
  9. Psychology or psychiatry?
  10. Cognitive or behavioral?
  11. Personality traits or character traits?
  12. Self-esteem or self-compassion?
  13. Growth mindset or fixed mindset?
  14. Positive psychology or traditional psychology?
  15. Classical conditioning or operant conditioning?
  16. Behavioral therapy or cognitive therapy?
  17. Psychoanalysis or humanistic therapy?
  18. Social psychology or developmental psychology?
  19. Nature vs. nurture or gene-environment interaction?
  20. Psychosis or neurosis?
  21. Self-actualization or self-transcendence?
  22. Group therapy or individual therapy?
  23. Mental health or physical health?
  24. Psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy?
  25. Childhood trauma or adult trauma?
  26. Mood disorders or anxiety disorders?
  27. Extraversion or introversion?
  28. Emotional intelligence or IQ?
  29. Trait theory or behaviorist theory?
  30. Parenting styles or attachment styles?
  31. Defense mechanisms or coping mechanisms?
  32. Social learning theory or social cognitive theory?
  33. Obsession or compulsion?
  34. Ego or id?
  35. Stress or anxiety?
  36. Freudian slip or slip of the tongue?
  37. Motivation or procrastination?
  38. Flow or mindfulness?
  39. Dream analysis or lucid dreaming?
  40. Hypnosis or meditation?
  41. Positive reinforcement or negative reinforcement?
  42. Stability or change?
  43. Narcissism or altruism?
  44. Aggression or assertiveness?
  45. Empathy or sympathy?
  46. Cognitive dissonance or confirmation bias?
  47. Prejudice or discrimination?
  48. Conformity or individuality?
  49. Self-disclosure or self-concealment?

About the author

Jon Zajac

Jon Zajac

Founder & Chief Icebreaker

I started Icebreaker Spot because I truly believe that strong connections are the foundation of successful teams. I wanted to create a platform that would make it easy for people to find and share icebreakers and team building activities, empowering them to build trust, foster collaboration, and ultimately, achieve greatness together.