A little motivation can improve eyesight

April 30th, 2010 - 2:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Apr 30 (ANI): Eyesight markedly improved when people were experimentally induced to believe that they could see especially well, a new study found.

Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer and her colleagues reported the finding in the April Psychological Science.

The boffins emphasize that such expectations actually enhanced visual clarity, rather than simply making volunteers more alert or motivated to focus on objects.

In the study, “20 men and women who saw a reversed eye chart — arranged so that letters became progressively larger further down the chart, with a giant “E” at the bottom — accurately reported more letters from the smallest two lines than they did when shown a traditional eye chart with the big letters on top. All volunteers had normal eyesight.

These results reflect people’s expectation, based on experience with standard eye charts, that letters are easy to see at the top and become increasingly difficult to distinguish on lower lines, the researchers suggest.

Participants who said they thought that they could improve their eyesight with practice displayed a bigger vision boost on the reversed chart than those who didn’t think improvement was possible, but only for the next-to-smallest line. Both groups did equally well at reading the smallest, topmost line”, reports Discovery News. (ANI)

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