A team of Japanese scientists have found scientific proof that people doing exercises appear to perform better when another person compliments them. The research was carried out by a group lead by National Institute for Physiological Sciences Professor Norihiro Sadato, Graduate University for Advanced Studies graduate student Sho Sugawara, Nagoya Institute of Technology Tenure-Track Associate Professor Satoshi Tanaka, and in collaboration with Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology Associate Professor Katsumi Watanabe. The team had previously discovered that the same area of the brain, the striatum, is activated when a person is rewarded a compliment or cash. Their latest research could suggest that when the striatum is activated, it seems to encourage the person to perform better during exercises. The paper is published online in PLOS ONE (November 7, 2012, edition).
Forty-eight adults recruited for the study were asked to learn and perform a specific finger pattern (pushing keys on a keyboard in a particular sequence as fast as possible in 30 seconds). Once participants had learned the finger exercise, they were separated into three groups. One group included an evaluator who would compliment participants individually, another group involved individuals who would watch another participant receive a compliment, and the third group involved individuals who evaluated their own performance on a graph. When the participants were asked to repeat the finger exercise the next day, the group of participants who received direct compliments from an evaluator performed better than participants from the other groups. It indicates that receiving a compliment after exercising stimulates the individual to perform better afterwards.
According to Professor Sadato, "To the brain, receiving a compliment is as much a social reward as being rewarded money. We've been able to find scientific proof that a person performs better when they receive a social reward after completing an exercise. There seems to be scientific validity behind the message 'praise to encourage improvement'. Complimenting someone could become an easy and effective strategy to use in the classroom and during rehabilitation."
This research was funded by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's Sciences Research Grant (KAKENHI).
National Institute for Physiological Sciences: http://www.nips.ac.jp/
This press release was posted to serve as a topic for discussion. Please comment below. We try our best to only post press releases that are associated with peer reviewed scientific literature. Critical discussions of the research are appreciated. If you need help finding a link to the original article, please contact us on twitter or via e-mail.
Research suggests that goalkeepers can influence the accuracy of penalty shots by assuming a posture that mimics a classic optical illusion.
Thousands log on to transcribe handwritten catalogue dating back to 18th century and put 30,000 ancient objects online
When Kim Goodsell discovered that she had two extremely rare genetic diseases, she taught herself genetics to help
East and West African pygmies evolved their stature independently, possibly because it was a beneficial trait in an environment packed with low obstacles
Alastair Bland looks at the dangers to real sharks and the hazards of pseudo-documentaries as another Shark Week draws to a close.
Proof-of-principle experiment shows gene-editing can be used to prevent muscle wasting in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Could the serum contain the spread of the disease? Is the vaccine dangerous? An immunologist gives us the lowdown Ebola: voices from the epicentre of the epidemic
Clouds can carry millions of pounds of water, but that doesn’t mean rain and snow just happen. Hundreds of thousands of water vapor molecules need to freeze together as ice before they are heavy enough to fall to the ground.
Rather than emerging in protected coves, baby blue sharks spend their first years in a big patch of open ocean
Medical breakthrough as researchers uncover the mystery of how hematopoietic stem cells form