Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Saturday, July 03, 2010

"I will" versus "Will I?"


Some psychology researchers suggest that asking "will I?" rather than declaring "I will" can improve performance. I'm always a bit skeptical of psychology papers, but I thought the idea was interesting. It reminds me of Kent Olsson talking about beginning to prepare for a World Champs by starting with a bunch of questions.

The concept makes sense to me intuitively. You're better off asking yourself "will I run well at the big race?" than saying "I will run well at the big race." Asking the question encourages you to think about what it will take and plan what you need to do. Saying "I will run well at the big race" makes it seem like a conclusion that takes no more effort.

I think that's why encouragement like "I know you can do it" isn't nearly as meaningful as "I know you can do it because you've been doing a lot of running in the hilly terrain and the big race is in hilly terrain."

You can find a newspaper article about the idea and if you're really interested the academic paper (PDF) is available too.

Back to okansas.blogspot.com.

posted by Michael | 2:25 PM


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