In an interesting twist to the enduring nature vs. nurture debate, a new study from Stanford University finds that just thinking you’re prone to a given outcome may trump both nature and nurture. In fact, simply believing a physical reality about yourself can actually nudge the body in that direction—sometimes even more than actually being prone to the reality.
The researchers, publishing in Nature Human Behavior, were interested in two areas—endurance during exercise and satiety during eating. For the endurance part, they did genetic testing on the participants to see whether they carried variants of a gene that make a person more or less prone to tiring easily. They also had people run on a treadmill to measure their endurance. Then, they randomly split the participants into two groups, telling one they had the gene variant that made them tire easily and the other gene variant that’s linked to endurance—the catch was that they’d randomly divided the participants into these two groups, so some were being given accurate results and others the exact opposite. Continue reading.
Originally posted on Forbes.
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