How Being Bad Can Raise Your Will Power

How Being Bad Can Raise Your Will Power

Could imagining yourself doing bad or good increase your will power? Psychologists have been aware for decades of a phenomenon known as “priming.”  In which thinking about a concept can cause you to behave in ways aligned with that concept. For example, in one study having college students complete crossword puzzles that had words such as “old” in it caused them to behave in ways more stereotypically associated with old people.  As a result, they walked down a hallway much…

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How To Improve Memory By 20%

How To Improve Memory By 20%

Researchers wanted to see what effect a mere walk in the woods would have on people’s memory.  So they gave participants some challenging memory tasks – they had to recite lists of numbers backwards. Then they had half the participants take a walk in nature and the other half walk around the city. Then all participants took the same test again. The results:  Those who took a walk in the urban environment had the same performance on the second memory…

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Think Of This To Boost Creativity In 43 Seconds

Think Of This To Boost Creativity In 43 Seconds

Research has shown that many types of creativity require abstract thought.  And thinking of events in the future causes people to think more abstractly. So researchers set up several experiments to answer the question “Does thinking about the future improve creativity?” Here’s what they did in one experiment. They divided participants into two groups.  One group was asked to think about their lives one year from now to get them to think about the future.  The other group was asked…

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Think Of This To Boost Creativity In 43 Seconds

Think Of This To Boost Creativity In 43 Seconds

Research has shown that many types of creativity require abstract thought.  And thinking of events in the future causes people to think more abstractly.  So researchers set up several experiments to answer the question “Does thinking about the future improve creativity?” Here’s what they did in one experiment. They divided participants into two groups.  One group was asked to think about their lives one year from now to get them to think about the future.  The other group was asked…

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A Common Self-Help Technique That’s Proven To Cause Failure And What To Do Instead

A Common Self-Help Technique That’s Proven To Cause Failure And What To Do Instead

Many a self-help book touts the power of positive visualization to help you achieve your goals.  However, recent research shows that a common type of visualization often advocated in these books can actually keep you from achieving your goals. In one study done at UCLA, one group of students was encouraged to visualize getting a great grade on their upcoming final exam.  Another group was not asked to visualize.  Both groups logged their study hours and exam results.  The group…

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Could This Video Lower Your Stress In 60 Seconds?

Could This Video Lower Your Stress In 60 Seconds?

The short answer according to recent research is yes. Having animals around you has been known for many years to lower stress.  However, researchers wanted to know if just watching videos of animals would lower stress as well. So they assembled volunteers and put them into three groups. One group watched videos of animals.  Another group watched a soap opera and a final group watched a blank screen.  Each group was then exposed to a stressor – reading aloud to…

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How To Increase Your Will Power In 60 Seconds

How To Increase Your Will Power In 60 Seconds

Do you know of someone who has great will power?  Do you ever wish you could borrow some of their self-control when you need to resist a tempting cookie or to get yourself to the gym. Well, recent research suggests that actually thinking about that person can give you some of their self control. Michelle vanDellen of the University of Georgia did several experiments that show that just thinking about a person with great will power can increase your own….

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How Being Negative Can Get You To The Gym

How Being Negative Can Get You To The Gym

Most self-help gurus will tell you that if you want to motivate yourself to do something focus on all the benefits you’ll gain from taking action.  However, if you’re procrastinating current research suggests that a very different approach may be even more helpful.  A specific kind of negative thinking and feeling may be much more motivating than a positive feeling. Researchers assembled 229 people with gym memberships and asked half of them to think about how much they might regret…

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How A Sexy Poster Can Increase Your Will Power

How A Sexy Poster Can Increase Your Will Power

There’s a whole area of study in psychology called priming.  It’s the study of how things that are often outside our awareness can influence our behavior without our knowing it. Well, in one study of priming researchers wanted to know if just seeing the right kind of image could cause participants to think of dieting and be more resistant to “unhealthy” food items. So they got together 4 groups of women but I’ll only discuss the two groups that mattered. …

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How To Reduce Pain With A Simple Photograph

How To Reduce Pain With A Simple Photograph

Past research has shown that having loved ones present or holding your hand can reduce pain.  In a recent study, they wanted to know if a simple photograph of a loved one would produce the same results. They assembled 28 women in long-term relationships and their partners.  Researchers took photos of the partners for use in the experiment. They tested the women’s ability to resist pain with a thermal stimulation test.  They then exposed them to each of 6 different…

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