How To Increase Persistence In 60 Seconds

How To Increase Persistence In 60 Seconds

Would you like to know how to increase your persistence in just a few seconds?

Research done by Ronald Friedman and Andrew Elliot at the University of Rochester shows how.

They asked two groups of people to solve an unsolvable anagram.  One group was asked to place their hands on their thighs.  The other group was asked to cross their arms.

The ‘hands on thighs’ group spent only 30 seconds on the anagram.  The ‘arms crossed’ group spent 55 seconds – nearly twice as long.

Friedman and Elliot reason that this effect may occur because over time we’ve come to associate arm-crossing with persistence.  As a result, arm crossing actually stimulates us to become persistent.

However these two researchers also caution though that crossing your arms may only produce this persistence effect in achievement situations because body position can have different meanings in different contexts.

For example, I suspect that in social situations, this arm movement may cause unwanted effects such as stubbornness or close-mindedness because that is how many people perceive arm-crossing when in a social environment.

So next time you feel a need for a persistence boost when working on a challenging project, or you’re tempted to throw in the towel when things get too tough, try crossing your arms.  This simple act may make a world of difference.

When will you use this idea?  Tell me when and how you’ll use this simple technique in the comments below.

Reference to study mentioned above:

European Journal of Social Psychology
Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 38, 449–461 (2008)

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