Four Steps to Success

When confronted with a difficult problem take a step back—literally…

It’s what a study conducted at Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands suggests.  Thirty-eight volunteers took a test that presented words written in different colors.  4stepsThe goal was to identify the colors, not the words—a task that was especially tricky when a word related to a color, such as “blue,” appeared in a different color, such as red.

As the volunteers stood by computers for the test, they were told to take four steps away in various directions.  Remarkably, their performance on the test was significantly faster after they took the steps backward, compared with forward or sideways, says psychologist Severine Koch, who headed the study.

She explains that because backing away “is usually performed in dangerous or problematic situations,” doing so apparently tends to prompt the brain to concentrate in order to meet a challenge.  This experiment corroborates a study that the researches published in 2008, which found that extending one’s arm —as if warding something off-enhanced cognition compared with flexing the arm in a beckoning position.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 at 2:05 pm and is filed under Adult living, Articles, Life Lessons, Psychology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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