How Science Shows Success Is Achieved Through A Strong Vision
Self-Confidence is a critical factor in believing you can achieve a goal you have set yourself. In research carried out by Ohio State University, they found it wasn’t sufficient to tell people they had the right skills and aptitude to achieve success, and pursue their dream career. They had to flesh out their future in more detail for them so they could see the path in front of them, reducing their doubts and giving them the confidence to pursue a powerful personal vision.
These findings were first published in 2014 in a study of 67 undergraduate students at Ohio State. The experiment saw the students all sign up to meet a career advisor to discuss what they believed to be a real master’s degree programme in business psychology. The programme was in fact fictitious but the programme, as described to the students, was for “business psychologists in high paid consultancy roles.”
The goal of the study was to get the students interested in the programme and to test their reactions to different methods used by the career advisor to validate their deeply held dreams and career goals of becoming a successful business psychologist. Before talking to the careers advisor all 67 students were asked about their self confidence, their interest in becoming a business psychologist and their interest in the master’s programme itself. They were also asked to put down their GPA (Grade Point Average).
The students were then split into 4 groups: a control group which gave no information regarding the GPA requirement for the programme, and three other groups where students were handed information that that they just met the requirement to apply. In one of these 3 groups, the career advisor simply told the students that their GPA was higher than needed. In the second group, the advisor told the student not only would they qualify but they were exactly the type of person the programme was looking for. In the last group, the students were given the strongest validation possible where the advisor said to the student they would not only excel and graduate, they would also have plenty of job opportunities at the end of it.
All 4 groups were then questioned again after talking to the career advisor. The control and the second group (where they were simply told they’d qualify if they apply) saw no increase in self confidence levels or change in desire to apply for the programme. The third and fourth groups, (where the advisor actively encouraged the student to apply, detailing in vivid detail their prospects of success), saw a marked increase in self-confidence and desire to apply for the programme.
Patrick Carroll, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University’s and study author explained:
“Students who have chronic self-doubt may need an extra boost to pursue the dreams they are certainly able to achieve. This study finds that what they really need is a vivid picture of what will happen if they succeed.”