Scientists Found A New Way To Boost Self-Confidence

First Posted: Dec 21, 2016 03:00 AM EST

While people gain confidence from being healthy, staying handsome or pretty and having the approval of many, a new study says a person's brain could be manipulated to boost a person's confidence.

EurekAlert reported that a new study conducted by scientists in Japan has identified patterns in the brain activities that could predict a person's level of confidence. This led them to discover that it can actually be manipulated into developing high levels of it.

Self-confidence is the level of a person's belief in one's self and in his or her abilities. While some people succeed in their businesses, jobs and relationships for having high self-esteem, some suffer depression, social anxiety, lack of assertiveness and communication problems for believing they are not good enough.

Published in the journal Nature Communications, Dr. Aurelio Cortese from the Advanced Telecommunications Research (ATR) in Kyoto, Japan, and his colleagues looked at the possibility of enhancing a person's self-esteem.

For the study, scientists used a brain scanning technique called "decoded neurofeedback" to observe the complex patterns of brain activities and eventually identify the part of the brain linked to confidence. This imaging process was used in 17 participants while they were performing specific tasks assigned to them.

The researchers then found a way to use this information in inducing high levels of confidence among the participants. Unaware that their brains were being manipulated, the participants then took part in training sessions where they were given monetary reward whenever a high level of confidence was detected by the decoded neurofeedback.

"The core challenge was [...] to use this information in real-time, to make the occurrence of a confident state more likely to happen in the future," Dr. Cortese explained as reported by Medical News Today. "Surprisingly, by continuously pairing the occurrence of the highly confident state with a reward - a small amount of money - in real-time, we were able to do just that: when participants had to rate their confidence in the perceptual task at the end of the training, they were consistently more confident."

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