Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Seeing It and Being It

I just finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's Blink and there was a ton of interesting cognitive and behavioral information in this book. A lot of it seems theoretical, but there is a practical way to apply some of this stuff. Several of the examples show how priming people with words and images sets their brains up to perform in certain ways. Like priming folks with words about old age and death makes them perform a certain way on a seemingly unrelated task, or showing people positive images of black people makes them sort words with less bias than they might otherwise.

Interesting stuff. It got me to thinking that you could prime your own self to perform well in a variety of situations by using words or images to evoke the kind of underlying psychological state that would benefit you. Like for a big presentation, look at images of people facing appreciative crowds, or top athletes crossing the finish line, or whatever. I know it sounds cheesy, but the research suggests that this kind of thing actually gets into your subconscious.

What imagery do you think we should be looking at to get us psyched up to rock out? Maybe not this.

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