Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: Expectancy,Verbal Feedback ,Optimism, and Performance
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Expectancy,Verbal Feedback ,Optimism, and Performance

Additional comments about yesterday’s article on optimism. According to the article, neuroscientist Sara Bengtsson conducted an experiment in which she manipulated positive and negative expectations of college students. During the experiment these students had brain scans while being tested on cognitive tasks. Sara , in the experiment, induced expectations of success using words such as” smart, intelligent, and clever” just before asking them to perform a test. To induce expectations of failure, she primed them with words like”stupid and ignorant” Guess what she found? Students given positive words performed better. Can this be a surprise? Of course there is more to the experiment.
 Tali Sharot went on to comment about expectations and self fulfilling prophecies. He pointed out that brains that do not expect good results lack a signal telling it, “take notice-wrong answer!” Sharot believes that these brains fail to learn from their mistakes and are less likely to improve over time. He added that expectations become self fulfilling by altering performance and actions. In other words expectations transform the way we perceive the world without altering reality.
 In my dissertation, I studied motivation and performance with school age children.  I wanted to answer the question “why do some children fail in school”?   My study focused on the following variables: the relationship between behavior and reward; a personality construct called locus of control (the degree to which individuals perceive themselves to be in control of reward); and pupil expectancy.
In my research study, the experimenter used positive words like  I think you’re going to do” very well” and negative words like  I think you’re going to do” very poorly”. Would an experimenter using positive or negative words change student expectancy on an arithmetic test?   Did the locus of control personality variable influence behavior? What about the expectations of the students-did their expectations of success or failure matter? All in all, I tested six hypotheses. Like Bengtsson, I found that positive words are more effective than negative words in influencing student expectancy. I also found that high expectancy kids did better than low expectancy kids on the task presented to them.
For me, it was clear back in 1973 that our level of aspiration or expectations is a very powerful motivator related to performance. So, we know that we are wired for optimism. We know that our perception of the world is how we see the world regardless of reality. We know that our thoughts influence and are influenced by past behavior, rational and irrational thoughts or beliefs, and our degree of mental health-depression, anxiety etc. We also know that optimists generally work longer hours, make more money, save more, take vitamins, eat low-fat diets, exercise more and likely healthier.
In essence, it is important to create a better lifestyle and perhaps a better way of thinking about one’s life. One way to do that is to follow prescription 7. become inspired and motivated by reading the illuminating profiles of 7 remarkable senior athletes found within the book It Has Nothing To Do With Age. The book is due to come out in October. Watch this blog for the book trailer.
By the way, today’s 10 mile or so training run went well. I turned up Maine Bar while Tony went further by coming up American Canyon. He felt good about his run too. From Tony: Frank didn't tell the whole story about todays run. When we parted at the bottom of Maine Bar (Maine Bar is about 3/4 of a mile straight up) American River Canyon Trail is about 5 miles to ALT the end of our run. Talk about optimism my goal was to beat frank to ALT I knew this was pretty much impossible but the thought kept me going and I ran just about as hard as I could. No I did not beat him but it didn't matter just the thought that I might be able to kept me running hard.


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