What you think you see is what you get

Giant golf hole ensures you sink the puttToday’s Neurotechnology Tip comes from the world of golf and is based on the fact that our brain does not always have to be grounded in reality.

Finding the hole

For a golfer, success requires that a tiny little ball, traverse across a sea of green and finally pop into a pretty small hole.

To help locate the hole, a big flag advertises its location, but once the golfer has arrived close enough to the hole for him to see it clearly, the flag is lifted out leaving “the hole” as the target. The hole, SHE is not BIG !

But how the golfer sees that hole changes everything.

“Seeing” a bigger hole, helps them sink the putt every time, irrespective of the actual size of the hole.

Bigger holes are easier to play

This is what researchers from Purdue University discovered when they tested the putting skills of 36 golfers.

In their experiment, the size of the hole never changed, but the golfers didn’t know this. Behind the scenes the team used a little technology to create an optical illusion, which left the hole a little bigger than it really was, on some occasions.

When the hole appeared bigger to the golfer – his/her ability to land the ball in it, improved dramatically.

Tiger Woods is seeing BIG

Previous research suggests one of the things which separates elite athletes from their less sporty counterparts, is that they automatically make these kinds of adjustments, allowing them to hit the winner every time.

What you think you “see”, becomes your reality.

What are you seeing ?

Is the idea of getting an A for your next test – a hole the size of a pin head ? Do you see some subjects as easy and others as IMPOSSIBLE ?

Your brain may be doing a pretty good job of summing up the REAL situation – that hole is pretty small. But reality is not everything it is cracked up to be………….

Manipulate your view (a little)

Thinking a litter “BIGGER” is likely to improve your performance by boosting your confidence, so try it …………..

  • On the sports field – try imagine that cricket or baseball bat is a little bigger or the goal post is a little wider.
  • In the classroom – maths (or whatever your nightmare subject is) is difficult, but do able

Don’t be overshadowed by your brain’s realistic view of things, use a little neurotechnology and alter your “reality”.

PS. Just remember there is a difference between thinking “BIGGER” and delusion. Delusion says there is NO HOLE, thinking BIGGER acknowledges the hole but says it is NOT SO SMALL.

Get Me Out of This Slump! Visual Illusions Improve Sports Performance. Psychological Science (2012) 23(4):397-399. J. K. Witt, S. A. Linkenauger, D. R. Proffitt.

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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