A simple way to improve your vision

The researchers found that when people were told they had excellent eyesight, their vision improved.

New research shows that eyesight markedly improves when people are experimentally induced to believe that they can see very well. Their new beliefs actually increased visual clarity rather than simply increasing alertness.

According to research by Harvard University psychologist Ellen Langer and colleagues, it really is possible to improve your vision simply by changing your mindset. The power of positive thinking does work.

The researchers found that when people were told they had excellent eyesight, their vision improved. They also found that when participants were told their eyesight would improve with practice, it did. The same occurred when people chose to adapt a “try-and-you-will-succeed” mindset — they tried, and their vision successfully improved.

The findings add to the evidence that visual perception depends not just on relaying information from the eyes to the brain, but also on experience-based assumptions about what you can see. Those expectations can lead people to ignore unusual objects and events.

The Discovery News website reported in April 2010 that men and women who saw a reversed eye chart — arranged so that letters became progressively larger further down the chart — accurately reported seeing and identifying more letters. These results reflect people’s expectations that, based on experience with standard eye charts, letters are easy to see at the top and become increasingly difficult to distinguish on lower lines of the chart.

This is a perfect example of what can happen when a person believes or perceives something can occur, and shows once again that the placebo effect is actually very real.

 

Sources: Discovery News, Psychological Science May 1, 2010;21(5):661-6 and www.mercola.com. 

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 6, December 2012/January 2013.

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