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Study Finds That What You Wear Changes The Way You Think Of Yourself

Study Finds That What You Wear Changes The Way You Think Of Yourself

The old saying says that the clothes don’t make the man. But science might be able to prove that wisdom wrong.

According to a recent study, people who wore expensive clothes from recognizable brands tended to be more confident.  The researchers also found a correlation between smart dressers and higher levels of performance.

Of course, it was not the clothes themselves that resulted in a job well done. But the clothes on your back have a significant placebo effect that is hard to ignore.

In the study, researchers told participants that they were using a Nike golf putter when swinging their club. In reality, they were using a generic club. When the participants believed they were holding the same clubs that golf pros like Rory McIlroy uses, their performance improved by around 20%.

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Yet, the boost is not all physical. The researchers also gave a math quiz to some participants while the participants wore earplugs. The researchers told them that the earplugs came from 3M and were a high performance variety.

The participant performance on the math quiz improved by 20% when they thought their earplugs were high end.

Basically, this study proves that your lucky suit or lucky glove is not lucky per say. But these items might really have the boost on your performance that you believe they do. That’s good news

Frank Germann, an assistant professor at Notre Dame who worked on the study, said “when you think that you have this performance brand, you have higher-state self-esteem. As a result, you feel better and your self-confidence is elevated at a certain task. In turn, you’re less anxious, and because of that, you’re performing better.”

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That means, if you’re going on a work trip any time suit, it would be a good idea to pack your favorite suit, because you’ll get much more out of a conference or networking event if you do.

Great Marketing Performance

The products themselves don’t just have an effect on how you feel about yourself. In fact, the brand power alone can change the way you think and act.

In another study performed at Duke University and published in 2008, researchers found that people’s exposure to logos may cause people to change their behavior. The behavior changers are based on the traits they associate with the brand attached to the logo.

In the study, participants were asked to complete a task after seeing to an Apple logo or an IBM logo. Those who saw the Apple logo completed the task with a creative flair compared to those exposed to the IBM logo.

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Apple ran a now infamous “Think Differently” marketing campaign in the late 1990s. It featured advertisements that included prominent creative figures like Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, Jim Henson and John Lennon.

It helped prominently position Apple against established companies and made IBM look like a dinosaur.

The “Think Differently” campaign would go on to cause viewers to associate Apple with genius and creativity.

Similarly, participants exposed to the Disney Channel television logo behaved more honestly than those who viewed the E! Entertainment channel logo.

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The innocence of Mickey Mouse likely had a strong impact on those who saw the logo. This was especially true in comparison to the channel best known for hosting the Kardashian clan.

The strange thing about the change in these behaviors was that the change was automatic. People weren’t thinking about them and they weren’t shown the emotive advertisements. They reacted to the images in real time and adjusted themselves according to their perceptions of the brand.

A Real Placebo Effect

Through these studies, science is telling people what they already know. A great outfit or product is like social armor. The right item can make you feel empowered, confident, humble, smart or strong. The closer your attachment is to it, the stronger your feelings will be.

So don’t deny yourself the flashy tie or Jimmy Choo heels. If you associate them with positivity and success, these items may help bring it to you in spades.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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