Study: Thinking You Have Bad Genes Makes You Perform Worse

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A new study out of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California allowed researchers to show that your own thoughts can, indeed, influence your performance and your biology. Researchers had to get ethics approval because the study required them to deceive some of the participants. The participants were given a DNA test and asked to walk on a treadmill to establish a baseline of performance. Then, a week later, they were called in to see their results. Here's where it gets interesting: half of the participants were told that they had a certain genetic variant that caused them to get tired easily. The other half were told they had the opposite gene that allowed them to resist fatigue. The participants then walked on the treadmill again. This time, the first group that was told they had a genetic predisposition to tire easily, actually performed worse than before. This remained true even if they actually did have the opposite gene that allowed them to resist fatigue. The second group that was told they were genetically predisposed to resist fatigue performed better. Again, this remained true even if they actually had the gene that made them get tired faster.

Read the whole article on ScienceMag.org

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