I’ve been researching doubts these last few weeks; here is a fascinating experiment I found.
This experiment shows a sad truth about people with high self-doubt.
In 2002, researchers put 301 students in front of a computer with the following question:
“Please write down a few examples of self-confidence.”
For some of these students, the researchers requested two examples. For others, they asked eight examples of self-confidence. And more to others.
The students also filled a few tests that measured:
- How difficult it was to retrieve the memories,
- How confident they felt.
With all these results, the researchers analyzed the data and extracted two groups:
- 😎 People with high self-esteem
- 😶 People with low self-esteem.
When they looked at the rating for each group, this is what they found:
If you have high self-esteem, when I ask you to recall memories of the times you felt confident, you will be more confident at the end of the exercise.
If you have low self-esteem, and I ask you to recall the same thing, you will end up with LESS confidence.
😎 x 💭 = 😎😎 😶 x 💭 = 😶😶
Thinking about confidence multiplies your confidence or your lack of one.
🧐 That is frustrating.
People with high self-doubt seem to be stressed by the difficulty of the exercise.
The others don’t.
🙃 The irony.
I find this (edited) quote almost hilarious:
The irony is that those with high self-doubt could have taken advantage of the CONTENT of the memory. Instead, they focus on the PROPERTIES of the retrieval experience.
📔 So here is a tool we can all try:
What if we keep a journal of the GOOD past decisions we took and make it easy to access. In our bookmark bar, for example.
😶 x 🔖 = 😎 ?
Would that lets EVERYONE focus on the CONTENT of the memory?
- Hermann AD, Leonardelli GJ, Arkin RM. Self-Doubt and Self-Esteem: A Threat from within. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 2002;28(3):395-408.
I wrote software for large distributed systems, web applications, and even robots.
I love the technical challenges, but I worry about privacy-invading ecosystems.
Now I care about decentralization, overly-engineered software, and frugal innovation.
I help companies around the world build products through SingularGarden.