August 3rd, 2012

doubting your doubt

Some interesting psychological observations around doubt and hestitation.

For their research Wichman et al. (2010) recruited people who were chronically uncertain. They were then given a test which unconsciously encouraged them to be uncertain about their uncertainty. This was done by getting them to unscramble sentences which were related to uncertainty, like: “her speaker doubt I explanations” (you’re allowed to drop one word, in this case ‘speaker’).

Ironically it didn’t increase their uncertainty further but reduced it. This suggests that doubting your doubt can be useful. Of course this wasn’t a permanent solution, but it did momentarily reduce their levels of uncertainty.

Just the same effect could be seen when participants in a second study shook, rather than nodded their heads. The physical action of shaking their head while thinking about their uncertainty caused one to cancel out the other. Through this they temporarily reduced their doubts.

The second study suggests to me that being made aware of your hesitation encourages you to consciously shake it off.

More at psyblog


0 Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

 





Powered by Wordpress. Theme info.
Original content © MMIX Jonathan Beaton, all rights reserved.