Thursday, January 14, 2010

Desire Influences Perception

Psychological Science reports that simply desiring something affects our perception as well as our behavior.

In one experiment half of the participants were given salty pretzels while half were given water to drink. Afterwards, a water bottle was placed in front of each group and each was asked to estimate its distance. The salty pretzels group, i.e. the thirsty volunteers, estimated the water as closer to them than volunteers who drank water earlier.

In another experiment individuals tossed a beanbag towards a gift card worth $25 or $0, winning the card if the beanbag landed on it. Volunteers threw the beanbag much closer if the gift card was worth $25 vs. $0 — they underthrew the beanbag when attempting to win the $25 gift card because they saw the card as being closer to them.

The findings further the notion that when we see a goal within our grasp, we push ourselves to go for it.

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