Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Sunday August 23 2020, @07:33AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-am-Bytram! dept.

The ‘Batman Effect’: How having an alter ego empowers you:

A few years ago, assistant psychology professor [at Hamilton College in New York State, Rachel] White took a group of six-year-olds and set them a test of concentration on a computer, in which a series of images flashed and they had to press the space bar whenever they saw a picture of cheese. The task was designed to be rather boring, but the children were told that it was “a very important activity” and that they would be a “good helper” if they worked on the task for as long as possible – increasing their motivation to persevere. As a potential distraction, the researchers also left them with an iPad, with a much more fun game designed to lure them away.

Beforehand, the children were told that it could sometimes be helpful to think about their feelings, if the task got too boring. Some were told to think “Am I working hard?” while others were encouraged to think in the third-person (“Is Hannah working hard?”). A third group were given the option to change persona entirely by inhabiting the role of their favourite fictional hero, such as Batman or Dora the Explorer. They were even given props to dress up, and when they got bored, they were told to consider their behaviour as if they were the actual character, asking, for instance, “Is Batman working hard?”

The researchers had suspected that the alter ego would be a more extreme form of self-distancing, and the results showed exactly that. While the children thinking in the third person spent about 10% more of the total available time on the task that those thinking in the first person, it was the children inhabiting their alter egos who stuck it out for the longest of all. Overall, they spent 13% more of the total available time on the task than those thinking in the third person (and 23% more than those thinking about their behaviour in the first person).

White has also found that adopting an alter ego can also help children to concentrate on a complex card game, in which they had to follow complex rules that kept on changing. Once again, “the Batman effect” seemed to have increased their resolve and concentration, improving their “executive function”.

[...] If you want to try it yourself, White suggests picking a different person for different types of goals – maybe a wise member of your family for a personal dilemma, or a work mentor for a professional problem. “When I was a postdoc, we had a little saying in our lab that if you're an undergrad, pretend to be a grad student. If you are a grad student, pretend to be a postdoc, and if you're a postdoc, pretend to be the leader of the lab – just to get you to that next level,” she says.

Journal Reference:
APA PsycNet, (DOI: 10.1037/emo0000491)
Redirecting, (DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2016.11.008)
Sanda Dolcos, Dolores Albarracin. The inner speech of behavioral regulation: Intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as a You, European Journal of Social Psychology (DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2048)
Distanced Self-Talk Enhances Goal Pursuit to Eat Healthier:, Clinical Psychological Science (DOI: 10.1177/2167702619896366)
Rachel E. White, Emily O. Prager, Catherine Schaefer, et al. The “Batman Effect”: Improving Perseverance in Young Children, Child Development (DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12695)


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Fuck You Niggers on Sunday August 23 2020, @07:41AM (6 children)

    by Fuck You Niggers (12375) on Sunday August 23 2020, @07:41AM (#1040705)

    Holy fuck this site is garbage! This article is fucking retarded psychobabble bullshit. Don't ever post bullshit garbage like this again. That's what happens when you let dipshits like aristarchus and Azuma Hazuki influence the site. I still can't get over how bad this shithole site has become. Get rid of the psychobabble and the niggers posting here. Remove the leftist shitbags, too. Those would be good ways to start improving stuff around this piece of shit site.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Booga1 on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:08AM

      by Booga1 (6333) on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:08AM (#1040711)

      Oh man, if you think this site is bad, just wait until you see the rest of the internet!

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Bot on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:39AM (1 child)

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:39AM (#1040718) Journal

      spotted the aristarchus' alter ego...

      --
      Account abandoned.
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:46AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:46AM (#1040721)

        Gotta go for the extremes, read an article about this very phenomenom recently, let me see if i can find the link...

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @02:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @02:44PM (#1040795)

      You know, people can submit stories to the site. If there were enough quality news submitted then fluff would get pushed to the bottom.

      Unfortunately it is also true that even the larger, more popular, news sites have devolved in to publishing fluff and clickbait. Partly due to cost cutting and also not much news going on due to the pandemic.

      Back in the late 90s early 00s, every day would have dozens of fresh interesting nerdy news stories, about exciting new technologies, projects, discoveries, etc. These days most tech news is about things falling apart, or big companies turning tech against us. The rest of the "news" is just AI generated fluff literally optimized around generating clicks.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by Tork on Sunday August 23 2020, @06:29PM

      by Tork (3914) on Sunday August 23 2020, @06:29PM (#1040882)
      Heh. So who'd you lose an argument with?
      --
      Slashdolt Logic: "23 year old jokes about sharks and lasers are +5, Funny." 💩
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @07:30AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @07:30AM (#1041070)

      since you are a little slow let me break it down for you

      psicobabble in NY got funds to manipulate children to think obey and work for other people is fulfilling and you are being told that these things are empowering. Next time just keep your whore mouth shut

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by linkdude64 on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:23AM

    by linkdude64 (5482) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:23AM (#1040713)

    Personal experience is that putting on a persona to approach any number of tasks - going into work, getting onto the motorcycle, has always helped me singularly accomplish those goals.

    Has it had existential consequences? Absolutely. Nothing is free.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:36AM (7 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:36AM (#1040717)

    this study was commissioned by a bunch of CEOs trying to devise a method to convince their workers to put up with longer hours and more menial tasks without complaining.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Unixnut on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:51AM (6 children)

      by Unixnut (5779) on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:51AM (#1040725)

      > This study was commissioned by a bunch of CEOs trying to devise a method to convince their workers to put up with longer hours and more menial tasks without complaining.

      The answer has always stared them in the plain in the face. Pay more. Amazing how they go to such lengths to find alternatives to this simple rule, then wonder why they can't make their employees "more productive".

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by BsAtHome on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:30AM (1 child)

        by BsAtHome (889) on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:30AM (#1040732)

        The answer has always stared them in the plain in the face. Pay more.

        Well, now they can argue that you just have to imagine to be payed more and become exceptionally rich after you have performed the work, just as in an alter ego rich man universe. Then you should be doing 23% more work for the same pay. However, clever beancounters will start to calculate and soon you will be doing the same amount of work for 23% less pay to compensate for your imaginative wealth!

        (I'll get my coat now)

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 23 2020, @05:47PM

          by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday August 23 2020, @05:47PM (#1040872) Journal

          Well, in that case I would suggest them to imagine how my work is exceptionally valuable for the company, and how a salary raise for me will cause the company to increase their profits considerably. ;-)

          OK, I admit this idea has a major flaw: Bean counters generally lack imagination.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hendrikboom on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:06AM (2 children)

        by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:06AM (#1040737) Homepage Journal

        Is it that paying more motivates your existing employees?

        Is it that paying more lets you hire better employees?

        Is it that paying more lets your employees pay attention to the work instead of worrying about being able to afford food?

        • (Score: 5, Informative) by Unixnut on Sunday August 23 2020, @12:21PM (1 child)

          by Unixnut (5779) on Sunday August 23 2020, @12:21PM (#1040753)

          > Is it that paying more motivates your existing employees?

          It can do, unless they have hit their capacity/skill limits and can't work any better.

          > Is it that paying more lets you hire better employees?

          Yes it does, assuming your interview can pick them out. You will get people with more experience and skills applying if nothing else.

          > Is it that paying more lets your employees pay attention to the work instead of worrying about being able to afford food?

          Yes, but it applies to more than just food. Things like affording shelter, paying off debts (that would otherwise cause them anxiety and affect their office work). Indirectly less arguments at home with spouse over bills and money will translate to better ability to concentrate and work, so a net benefit.

          #-----#

          I admit my original comment was a bit flippant. It just reminded me of a past company I worked for. Upper management was trying to get the employees to work harder in order to meet some big contracts the Sales team had committed us to. Cue lots of "team building" exercises, forced "company fun time" things, free food/drink and paid transport home if you worked past 11pm. It made very little difference to productive output.

          At the end, one of upper management came to me and asked what could be done to motivate us, as they were worried about hitting the deadlines. It backfired badly when they used upper management themselves as an example of dedication to the company. How upper management would work from 7am to 11pm during crunch time, work weekends, etc... and we should follow.

          I pointed out to them, that all of upper management had been given shares in the company, valued between 5 and 10 million dollars worth. If the company manages to deliver the big contracts on time, they can expect a windfall in share price, and in increased dividends for all of them, so no wonder they are working like mad for it. They are motivated by the large amount of money as the prize.

          However us normal employees, we have no shares, we are on salary (nowhere near the million USD mark), we get no raises, or bonuses if we meet those deadlines. Perhaps if they paid us more, we would work more. If you want us to go "above and beyond" for the company, make us feel like we are part of it by having a share of the prize at the end.

          Did it happen? Of course not. Rather they realised the "carrot approach" was not going to work, so decided to use the "stick". Namely non stop performance grading/management, and whoever is at the bottom of the performance curve gets let go every quarter. Cue a mad rush for everyone to outdo each other in amount of work done so they are not "the bottom" come "culling day" as we would call it.

          I hate to say, it worked. Fear can motivate almost as well as money, and is cheaper for the company to boot. In my opinion it was a long term strategy failure though, because what happened is all the good people left of their own accord, so you had only the people who could not find another job easily left behind, and under increasing stress and risk of burnout.
          So it is better for a company to find a way to convince people to work harder/longer for less pay, that the people agree with, but that does not involve sharing more money with them. Hence all these studies, motivational events, attempts to convince us we are a "caring family" rather than a business, etc... I see it at every company, even the one I work at.

          • (Score: 2) by acid andy on Monday August 24 2020, @01:09AM

            by acid andy (1683) on Monday August 24 2020, @01:09AM (#1040981) Homepage Journal

            Gee, I'm getting a little bit angry here on your behalf and I didn't even work there! When an employer starts using stick rather than carrot and not respecting their employees it's pretty sure to demotivate me and make me lose any respect I had for them too. Good on you for pointing out the disparity when they asked how to motivate their staff though.

            --
            Where did that thought come from? And that one? What about this one? Woah, man...
      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday August 23 2020, @01:26PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @01:26PM (#1040779) Homepage Journal

        Don't know about that. Someone who is grossly underpaid, yeah, money is a factor. People who are maybe underpaid a little bit? Maybe money is a factor. What about people who are being paid as well as, and maybe even a little better than their peers who are doing the same job? Not so much.

        How do you account for a supervisor who gets paid three times as much as you are paid, but never seems to get anything right? The human animal is a complex creature, after all. Money is important, but money doesn't solve all his problems.

        --
        "I didn't lose to him!" - The Donald referring to Trippin' Joe
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Bot on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:42AM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:42AM (#1040719) Journal

    what if your fave superhero is a bad guy?

    --
    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by kazzie on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:17AM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:17AM (#1040730)

      Why so serious?

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Sunday August 23 2020, @05:54PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Sunday August 23 2020, @05:54PM (#1040874) Journal

      Then you probably should imagine that completing that task brings you closer to accomplishing your evil plan.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 3, Funny) by RamiK on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:03AM (9 children)

    by RamiK (1813) on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:03AM (#1040728)

    What would Jesus buy? [wikipedia.org]

    --
    compiling...
    • (Score: 3, Touché) by kazzie on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:21AM (1 child)

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:21AM (#1040731)

      Five fishes and two loaves of bread?

      • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:02AM

        by RamiK (1813) on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:02AM (#1040736)

        Well, that would go well with all that cheese... Okay. Touche good sir. Touche.

        --
        compiling...
    • (Score: 2) by leon_the_cat on Sunday August 23 2020, @10:02AM (1 child)

      by leon_the_cat (10052) on Sunday August 23 2020, @10:02AM (#1040734) Journal
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by turgid on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:09AM (4 children)

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Sunday August 23 2020, @11:09AM (#1040738) Journal

      Jesus is God and God owns the whole universe, so there's a simple answer to that question: nothing.

      --
      Don't let Righty keep you down.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by RamiK on Sunday August 23 2020, @12:34PM (3 children)

        by RamiK (1813) on Sunday August 23 2020, @12:34PM (#1040760)

        The way I explain the Trinity doctrine is that in the early days of the Church there were a lot of reasonable and well articulated theories regarding the nature of Christ but they were largely incompatible and had far-reaching consequences on matters of law and government. So, naturally, their proponents ended up locked in a civil war bleeding each other dry for half a century. When it all ended, the least reasonable but most legal-status-quo-compatible theory was elected and made dogma: The Trinity doctrine.

        A victory for game theory, peaceful compromise, and the eternal stupidity of man.

        And to tie it all up, consider the grown man in tights running around at night dressed as a bat being the hero that we raise our children to believe in since we can't express any actual moral values beyond "hitting baddies is good" as they conflict with our (corrupted) ways of life.

        --
        compiling...
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by HiThere on Sunday August 23 2020, @01:52PM (2 children)

          by HiThere (866) on Sunday August 23 2020, @01:52PM (#1040786) Journal

          If you think that's bad, read the Bhagavad Gita.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RamiK on Sunday August 23 2020, @03:41PM (1 child)

            by RamiK (1813) on Sunday August 23 2020, @03:41PM (#1040820)

            They're all bad. It's survivor's bias: All religions, literary role models and dogmas end up authoritarian in reflection of their respective societies or get replaced and perish regardless of how they started.

            It's only that I think we should be expecting a bit more from a published scientific paper on children's psychology. Maybe an anthropomorphic train promoting technological progress and industry or something instead of this batsuit clad vigilante... Whatever.

            --
            compiling...
            • (Score: 3, Funny) by Booga1 on Sunday August 23 2020, @10:28PM

              by Booga1 (6333) on Sunday August 23 2020, @10:28PM (#1040938)

              ...promoting technological progress and industry or something...

              Dude, Batman is the ultimate promoter of technological progress and industry! The suit, the gadgets, the batmobile, the plane, the sub, Wayne Industries, all that stuff and more!
              Sure, he gets a bit out of hand beating up some crooks and mentally ill people from time to time, but that's largely due to a traumatized childhood. He's just as much a victim as everyone else in all this.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:45AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @09:45AM (#1040733)

    I'm Satoshi Nakamoto

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @04:57PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 23 2020, @04:57PM (#1040844)

    n/t

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by EETech1 on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:41PM

    by EETech1 (957) on Sunday August 23 2020, @08:41PM (#1040910)

    My son is living proof of this, for some reason he can fold towels about three times faster if he uses every one of them is a cape first!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @12:16AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @12:16AM (#1040964)

    Somebody read Fight Club.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @02:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 24 2020, @02:29AM (#1041007)

      Just don't talk about it

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by TaxiCabJesus on Monday August 24 2020, @05:28PM

    by TaxiCabJesus (6455) on Monday August 24 2020, @05:28PM (#1041211) Homepage

    My alter-ego consisted entirely of an anonymous account at the blue site (Kuro5hin). In the beginning no one real-world knew about my alter-ego, but I aspired to have 'jesus-y' stories to tell to the small collection of other users at the blue site.

    Michael Crawford correctly guessed my k5 username the second time I went to visit him. He was much calmer that time. The first time was when he was in jail -- he'd made a nuisance of himself at McDonald's helping himself to free ketchup, iirc. I think he'd been kept in solitary confinement (on account of his behavioral troubles), and couldn't stop talking at that first visit.

    I had to confide with the animator I commissioned to help me tell one of my stories: 'my alter-ego is kind of absurd, but it inspired me to go above and beyond when opportunities to be slightly-more-helpful than required presented themselves...'

(1)