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Useful Feedback Sane Language

By on May 6, 2016

Recent scientific research on affirmations allows coaches and hypnotists to use ‘Sane Language’ to program their clients for success. But his does this process actually work on a neurological level?

Lisa Legault from Clarkson University and her team may have solved this mystery. Professor Legault used brain scanning techniques to measure a brain function called Error Related Negativity (ERN). ERN is a brain function that lights up when the brain spots an ‘error’, allowing behavior to be adjusted accordingly. You can think of it as the ability to accept real world feedback in real time.

When someone gets defensive, their ERN goes down, meaning they are less able to spot when something is going wrong. As such they are less likely to adjust their own behavior to get what they want.

Positive affirmations that focus on values (a classic ‘Sane Language’ technique), boost self esteem. This boost in self esteem also boosts ERN, allowing the person to adjust their behavior to take into account ‘errors’, things that are going wrong with their plan.

You can read more about Professor Legault’s important research here:

By focusing on the important qualities that make us who we are a process called self-affirmation we preserve our self-worth in the face of our shortcomings. Self-affirmation has been shown to have powerful effects research suggests that it can minimize the anxiety, stress, and defensiveness associated with threats to our sense of self while keeping us open to the idea that there is room for self-improvement. New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explores the neurophysiological reactions that could explain how self-affirmation helps us deal with threats to our self-integrity. Clarkson Psychology Prof Finds That Self-Affirmation Enhances Performance, Makes Us Receptive to Our Mistakes

Picture: Lisa Legault, a psychology professor at Clarkson University

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