When I say 'food', this interesting little study refers specifically to peanut butter sandwiches!
Researchers at Berkeley, California decided to test the effects of food on stress and chose peanut butter sandwiches as the test food. They offered the sandwiches to one group of students taking an exam and measured their anxiety levels at intervals during the exam. Compared to those that didn't get sandwiches, their anxiety levels consistently declined as they ate more.
Personally I'm not sure eating peanut butter is a useful stress busting tactic in the long term!
Pines, A. and Gal, R. (1977), The Effect of Food on Test Anxiety. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 7: 348–358.
Just Get Started - You'll Enjoy It!
Here's a report on a subject close to my heart - intrinsic motivation. I've mentioned before about being wary of simplistic reward programs or bonus schemes as human motivation is more complicated than 'pay 'em more and they'll work harder'.
This piece from the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
illustrates this with reports a a couple of experiments designed to look at levels of motivation before and during an task. Some tasks were boring and others pleasurable; some rewarded more than others.
At least in the lab, people who chose boring tasks but with higher reward expressed more regret about their choie afterwards and the authers conclude with the advice, "Choosing the means to a good end may seem wise, but don’t forget that participating in fulfilling activities is a good end in itself – an insight that can seem elusive from a distance, but which becomes self-evident in the moment."
What Comes 1st Passion or Effort?
In a new version of the chicken and egg conundrum, some research from Academy of Management Journal
looked at entrepreneurs and did a couple of experiments designed to answer what comes first - the passion for a project or the effort needed to get it going?
Interestingly this research suggests maybe it's the effort that will drive the passion, not the other way around.
So next time you have an idea but no 'mojo' just have a go and see if you get more passionate about it!