This Is Easy! How to Do Anything BetterIf you want to do something better--be it running the mile faster, saving more for retirement or keeping your house cleaner--just tell yourself that you can do it better. And then you likely will do it better. That's the word from British researchers who have determined that self-talk is a highly effective motivator no matter what the task.
The study: Led by Andrew Lane in conjunction with the BBC Lab UK, the team coordinated 44,000 people who took part in the experiment to determine which motivational techniques actually work. To this end, the researchers divided this extraordinarily large study group into 12 experimental groups and one control group to test which psychological skills would help people improve their scores in an online game.
This complex study examined if one motivational method would be more effective for any specific aspect of a task. The methods tested were self-talk, imagery and if-then planning. Each of these psychological skills was applied to one of four parts of a competitive task: process, outcome, arousal-control and instruction.
The results: Those who used self-talk as a motivator--that is, saying "I can do better next time"--performed better than the control group in every portion of the task.
The greatest improvements were seen in self-talk-outcome (telling yourself, "I can beat my best score"), self-talk-process (telling yourself, "I can react quicker this time"), imagery-outcome (imagining yourself playing the game and beating your best score), and imagery-process (imagining yourself playing and reacting quicker than last time).
The study findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
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