Ellen Langer, a social psychologist at Harvard University, conducted a study in the 1970s in which she presented the Snellen eye chart upside down to a group of older adults. The Snellen eye chart is a tool commonly used to measure visual acuity, or the clarity of vision. It consists of a series of letters or symbols of decreasing size arranged in rows on a chart, and the patient is asked to stand a certain distance from the chart and read the letters or symbols from top to bottom.
Langer’s study found that when the Snellen eye chart was presented upside down, the older adults in the study had significantly improved visual acuity compared to when the chart was presented right side up. This finding suggests that visual acuity may not be solely determined by the clarity of the eye, but may also be influenced by the patient’s expectations and beliefs about their own vision.
Langer’s study has been widely cited as an example of the power of expectations and beliefs on physical performance. It highlights the importance of considering psychological factors when assessing visual acuity and the need to control for these variables in order to obtain accurate results.
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Disclaimer: The “Just Suppose & Level Up Blog” shares ideas in exploring personal progress as derived from various sources. It is intended as information only and is not intended as advice to engage in any specific physical or mental activity. Always consider whether these ideas, concepts, techniques & activities are right for you & always confer with your health professionals.