Study: Visualization Method Really Can Change Your Attitude
Researchers have shown that humans can be influenced not only by what we actually experience but also by what we imagine, giving new credence to the visualization method used to achieve success in a given pursuit.
The researchers found the phenomenon is based on activity in a particular location in the front of our brains, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.
Participants in the study were first asked to name people that they like and also people they don’t like at all.
In addition, they were asked to provide a list of places that they considered to be neutral.
Later, when the participants were lying in the MRI scanner, they were asked to vividly imagine how they would spend time with a much-liked person at one of the neutral places.
After the MRI scanning, the researchers were able to determine that the attitudes of the participants towards the places had changed: the previously neutral places that had been imagined with liked people were now regarded more positive than at the beginning of the study.
The authors first observed this effect with study participants in Cambridge, MA, and then successfully replicated this effect in Leipzig, Germany.
The researchers aim is to better understand the human ability to experience hypothetical events through imagination and how we learn from imagined events much in the same way as from actual experiences.