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Includes bibliographical references and index. Performance—Psychological aspects. Performance— Physiological aspects. Performance technology. Thank you to Sabina Hulbert for providing helpful comments, particularly on the latter section, as well as the much-valued support given throughout. I would also like to acknowledge the support of my colleagues in the Psychology team as well as the helpful comments from external reviewers and the editorial team at the Psychology Press: Sharla, Tara and, in particular, Lucy for the initial positive response.

I am also grateful to Canterbury Christ Church University for providing me with the support and academic freedom to pursue my research. It has always been about asking interesting questions. Finally, to the memory of James Adamson, who helped to make my life more interesting than I would have believed possible. Thanks Jim. The following quotes appear with permission.

Quotation by Charles E. Quotation by Miller from N.

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Miller, T. Barber, L. DiCara, J. Kamiya, D. Shapiro and J. Stoya eds , Biofeedback and self-control An Aldine annual on the regulation of bodily processes and consciousness pp. Reprinted by permission of Aldine Transaction, a division of Transaction Publishers. Carl Sagan Human potential The concept of human potential stems from a movement which began in the s cultivating the belief that there remains a large degree of untapped potential in people, which, if accessed, would help them break through any barriers and perform at their peak.

Implicit within such an approach is the belief that everyone has the ability and the desire to be more than they are at present. The idea that an individual is motivated to strive and develop their full potential is related to the notion of self-actualisation, a central tenet of humanistic psychology.

A core concept within this approach is the idea that the behaviour of each individual is driven by a hierarchical set of motives see Figure 1. Such ideas form the basis of much of the interest shown in the arena of personal growth and self-help. To help people achieve their full potential a number of techniques have been developed to enhance some aspect of performance. There is also the issue of which techniques to include and which to exclude. For those interested, it should be 2 Introduction Figure 1. Ranging from the lower physiological desires to the higher goals of self-esteem and self-actualisation.

Enhancing performance Each individual throughout life is capable of performing any number of distinct behaviours. These can range from simple behaviours, such as remembering a shopping list, to more complex behaviours, such as playing a musical instrument or learning a new language. Thus, the aim of enhancing performance, or peak performance training, is not to bring individuals from the negative to the normative region of the spectrum of performance, but to encourage non-pathological healthy individuals to move beyond the normative level to achieve peak or optimal levels of performance.

In order to help people achieve such peak levels of performance, Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi have suggested that psychological science may need to shift its focus. Traditionally psychology has been interested in attempting to understand and explain human behaviour and the mental processes that underlie it. The aim of performance enhancement training is to move individuals from the normative range up towards the peak range. However, this is changing due to the emergence and growth of positive psychology Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi Positive psychology represents an attempt to take a more coherent and in-depth look at the measures and behaviours that encourage people to achieve their full potential.

This shift in focus may help provide a more coherent approach to understanding the positive aspects of human psychology, leading to increased attempts to understand what peak performance represents. The idea here is that, when carrying out any behaviour, the individual uses her full potential and performs at an optimal level. Thus, peak performance is a way of functioning rather than a type of activity.


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The aim of enhanced performance training is to increase the occurrence and duration of peak levels of performance and in doing so help people to reach their full potential. However, before we look at such techniques it is worth spending a little time addressing one of the more pervasive myths concerning the notion of peak performance, and this is that an individual uses only 10 per cent of her brain.

The 10 per cent myth The notion of untapped potential is often so strong and so pervasive that over time myths have emerged to support such ideas. One of the most enduring, most often cited and least accurate myths is the notion that an individual uses only 10 per cent of her brain. The idea here is that the brain contains hidden resources, or latent innate abilities, that are unused and that with training the individual can tap into these and enhance her performance.

It is not clear where this myth came from but there are several lines of evidence which question the notion that vast regions of the brain remain unused. An elegant and insightful study by Merzenich et al. However, a reassessment of the map a few months later following amputation of the third digit showed that the area of cortex originally given over to the third digit had disappeared see Figure 1. This remarkable demonstration shows that the cortex is able to reorganise itself following alterations to sensory input.

It is not the case that the region of the cortex initially given over to the third digit remained unused simply because it no longer received any input.

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Rather, it seems that the brain craves stimulation to such an extent that it is capable of restructuring itself in order to obtain it. Furthermore, a plethora of research using a variety of brain imaging techniques shows that the vast majority of the brain does not lie dormant during the cortical processing of a particular stimulus. Although certain functions may utilise one region of the brain to a greater extent than another, complex tasks will invariably result in the activation of multiple cortical regions see, e.

Thus, there is no evidence that a large dormant section of the brain remains unused and is simply waiting to be stimulated in Introduction 5 Figure 1. Re-drawn from Merzenich et al. The research outlined above by Merzenich et al. As such, the myth that an individual uses only 10 per cent of her brain is at best a misguided interpretation of what is known about the brain and the way it works.

The desire to enhance performance There could be any number of reasons why an individual adopts a particular approach or technique to enhance her performance. For example, she may be interested in acquiring a new skill or maintaining and improving a current skill or ability. In addition, there are the increasing pressures of working and living in a modern technological society where there is an implicit need to perform well and succeed. Individuals from all walks of life are under increasing pressure to gain an edge to their performance, whether it is improving memory or a golf handicap.

Given this, it is unsurprising that people spend large sums of money on techniques purported to enhance performance. Evidence The veracity of evidence used to support the various techniques represents a fundamental issue that serves as a recurring theme throughout the book.

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Of course, when examining any sort of evidence the key question soon becomes what information should be used as evidence and from where? It is unclear what the provider must have thought about such a claim, or why they deemed it supportive, given that the aim of sleep learning is to facilitate the learning of material presented during sleep, not learning how to sleep Introduction 7 per se.

Thus, while testimonials may encourage belief in a technique, they are inherently subjective, inaccurate, unreliable and biased. Even if testimonials provide compelling support for a particular technique, they may represent only a small proportion of the total sample and as such represent a selfselected bias. Furthermore, individuals who invest in a particular approach to enhancing performance may be highly motivated and actively desire a particular change.

Any change in behaviour could therefore simply emerge from these motivational factors rather than the actual technique itself. An alternative is the inductive approach, which is often used as a precursor to the hypothetico-deductive approach as it begins with the collection of data. Once the data have been collected, information derived from them is used to formulate a theory that can then be tested using the hypothetico-deductive approach. Both approaches provide some clue as to the importance of a theory in the development of any idea.

This can set up a negative feedback loop whereby the lack of a coherent theory results in few if any predictions being made, leading to a lack of explicit testing and, as a consequence, there is an absence of feedback to update or modify original ideas. The often cited gold standard approach in terms of controls is the doubleblind placebo controlled paradigm.

The range of techniques Any selection of techniques used to enhance human performance will inevitably include some methods and exclude others. Yet the selection was made with a particular rationale in mind, providing the reader with a balanced view of techniques across two dimensions see Figure 1. The second relates to the dimension of time, distinguishing between traditional and contemporary techniques. Traditional approaches include hypnosis, hypnopaedia and subliminal perception, with audio and visual entrainment providing a contemporary contribution. Introduction 9 attention in a particular way, or learn to become consciously aware of some aspect of their own physiology in an attempt to obtain some measure of control and enhance their performance.

Traditional approaches include meditation, the use of mnemonics and speed-reading, with more recent contributions from the domain of biofeedback and mental imagery practice. Selecting a sample of traditional and contemporary techniques from both passive and active domains provides the reader with a range of interesting and distinct approaches to enhancing performance. Part I Passive techniques 2 Hypnosis The intimate nature of the hypnotic condition, when once induced, can hardly be said to be understood.

William James This chapter launches the exploration of passive techniques by focusing on the use of hypnosis. Hypnosis aims to enhance performance by encouraging the individual to relax whilst repeatedly providing positive or encouraging suggestions. The chapter begins by outlining what hypnosis is and provides a brief history of its development from mesmerism. The chapter then covers the two main opposing theoretical perspectives of hypnosis encapsulated as non-state versus state approaches.

Following this there is an examination of the evidence from various settings assessing whether hypnosis can enhance human performance. What is hypnosis? Although Hypnos represents the Greek god of sleep and the Greek word hypnoun refers to the process of putting one to sleep, researchers and clinicians alike agree that hypnosis does not actually mean putting a person to sleep. Nevertheless, there is continued debate surrounding precisely what hypnosis is, with some disputing its very existence, whilst others, particularly from the clinical domain, insist that it has therapeutic value. Hilgard , one of the pioneering researchers in hypnosis, has suggested that it is a process which involves the individual setting aside critical judgement whilst responding to suggestions from a hypnotist.

Such a process 14 Passive techniques may represent a distinct psychological state, which is induced by certain ritualistic procedures, during which the individual reduces his level of attention to external stimuli and, as a consequence of direct suggestions from the hypnotist, may experience changes in perception, memory and behaviour. Whilst the debate continues as to what precisely hypnosis is, there is a common misconception that a hypnotised person gives up his free will and control as part of the hypnotic process and can easily be forced to carry out what he may normally consider to be abhorrent acts, or divulge personal information.

Such claims raised certain sceptical concerns and, in , a royal commission set up by Louis XVI investigated the concept of mesmerism and found that the cures were mainly the result of imagination on the part of the patient. Later, in the early part of the nineteenth century, a surgeon by the name of James Esdaile attempted, with some degree of success, to use mesmerism to help relieve the pain of one of his patients during an operation Gauld From then on, interest in hypnosis has waxed and waned, with contributions from a range of clinicians, including Freud. This led to a resurgent interest in the use of hypnosis, particularly within clinical settings, which over time led to the setting up of various societies in Britain and America to oversee training and provide information on the topic.

Since then, the use of hypnosis has expanded beyond its original therapeutic domain into areas of peak performance. Today, there are a plethora of hypnotic recordings available on audiotape as well as in video format, and increasing numbers of practitioners who argue that hypnosis represents a powerful tool for personal development.

Hypnosis 15 The hypnotic procedure Many hypnotists follow a similar hypnotic procedure, which goes through a number of stages. First, the participant is screened to identify his level of hypnotic susceptibility. Hypnotic susceptibility The rationale for measuring hypnotic susceptibility is that this will let the hypnotist know how well, or not, he can expect the participant to respond to the suggestions made. Table 2. The more often the participant responds positively to each of the suggestions, the higher their hypnotic susceptibility.

However, it is much more likely that a person undergoing hypnosis will be asked to stare at a spot on a wall or ceiling and, after a period of time, be encouraged to simply close his eyes and relax. Nevertheless, the broad consensus is that the induction encourages the individual to achieve an intensely focused state of consciousness. In this way, the procedure is designed to heighten the readiness of the individual to follow suggestions given by the hypnotist.

The induction procedure itself may incorporate the use of detailed suggestions as well as the use of imagery to encourage the individual to reduce his level of reality testing. Reality testing refers to the natural process that involves an individual comparing his internal perceptions and beliefs with information from the world outside to see whether they match or not. A good example of reduced reality testing can be seen when someone is deeply involved in playing a video-game, particularly one that involves driving a car.

Thus, by encouraging the participant to reduce their level of reality testing, the hypnotist hopes he will become absorbed by the positive suggestions made. Triggers can be words, sounds or images, or a natural part of the routine of the individual, which, when encountered, will trigger a response usually obtained during the hypnotic procedure. For example, a trigger which represents a normal part of the routine may be holding a golf club for a golf player, holding the ball for a basketball player or holding a pen for a student.

Thus, a golfer may be given the suggestion that when he next grips his golf club he will feel completely relaxed and perform his best ever shot. In this way, the positive feelings of relaxation experienced as part of the hypnotic process can be linked to events outside the hypnotic procedure. Hypnosis 17 Theoretical perspectives on hypnosis Many of the theories of hypnosis revolve around the issue of whether it represents a distinct state of consciousness or not.

For the sake of convenience, these have been divided into non-state and state approaches see Figure 2. In other words, the hypnotised person is simply following the instructions of the hypnotist because this is what is expected of them. First, the hypnotised person makes assumptions about what is expected. Second, he adopts a number of strategies to ensure his behaviour falls into line with these expectations. For example, Spanos found that during a hypnotic procedure that encouraged participants Figure 2.

If a person under hypnosis receives the instruction that he will be unable to smell anything, what happens if he is then presented with ammonia? The hypnotic state State theorists believe that hypnosis represents an altered state of consciousness. One of the most prominent advocates of this view is Ernest Hilgard , who put forward a neo-dissociation theory of hypnosis. This theory suggests that hypnosis is best characterised by a change in the normal cognitive processes of memory, attention and perception in such a way that these processes become dissociated from a centralised control see Figure 2.

According to Hilgard ibid. In general, a non-hypnotised person can maintain this for about 25 seconds. In contrast, a hypnotised person, once given the suggestion that they will no longer feel any pain, can keep their hand in the water for about 40 seconds. Recent research using brain imaging techniques has also shown that hypnosis can elicit distinct patterns of brain activity.

In one instance, researchers found that hypnotised participants instructed to perceive colour, irrespective of whether they were shown coloured or grey scale stimuli, exhibited greater levels of activity in the colour processing areas of the brain Kosslyn et al.

Interestingly, such areas showed a decrease in activation when Hypnosis 19 participants were hypnotised and told to see grey scale images, irrespective of whether the stimulus was grey or coloured. However, Kihlstrom and McConkey maintain that it is possible to see such views as complementary rather than competing. Enhancing performance using hypnosis Over the years hypnosis has been used in a wide variety of applications.

These include health and therapeutic settings as well, with victims and witnesses of crime. Here, however, the focus will be on its use to enhance performance. This section examines the evidence from each of these areas in turn. Figure 2. However, the research in this area has produced mixed results. White et al. They compared recall of nonsense paired associates e. Following the encoding of the material, participants from one group underwent a hypnotic induction procedure, which involved suggestions for enhancing memory recall. They found that participants in the hypnosis group recalled more information than those in the non-hypnotic control group, but only for poetry and visual scenes.

Shields and Knox tested this idea by presenting lists of words to three groups of participants and requiring them to process the words in either a deep or shallow fashion. One group was played a hypnotic tape with suggestions to encourage hypermnesia, another was given a relaxation tape and asked to simulate Figure 2. Others have suggested that highly susceptible people may be more prone to exhibit hypermnesia following hypnosis Crawford and Allen ; Dhanes and Lundy For instance, Dhanes and Lundy found that only highly susceptible participants who had received a hypnotic induction exhibited an improvement in memory recall see Figure 2.

Adapted from Shields and Knox Figure 2. Crawford and Allen ibid. Many researchers have shown that hypnotic procedures do not reliably improve memory beyond that achievable under normal non-hypnotic conditions Dinges et al. Nogrady et al. The second group were provided with an imagination strategy to aid their recall and the third group, acting as controls, were given no particular instructions as to what strategy to adopt. Adapted from Nogrady et al. For example, Dywan and Bowers gave two groups a set of pictures to learn and recall.

One of the groups received a hypnotic induction to help them improve their memory, whilst the other received no such induction. They found that those in the hypnosis group recalled over twice as many items as those in the taskmotivated control group. However, the majority of these items were incorrect see Figure 2. Thus, hypnosis elicited only a small increase in accurate recall but a threefold increase in incorrectly recalled information. Dywan and Bowers ibid. Such a shift may be the result of demand characteristics, social cues or changes in expectation as a result of the hypnotic induction.

They suggest that when hypnotised participants are actively encouraged to guess or produce a set number of responses, this leads to greater levels of recall, but at a large cost to the accuracy of the material recalled. Thus, what hypnosis appears to do is to increase the level of incorrect material produced. Adapted from Dywan and Bowers 24 Passive techniques et al.

For instance, Nogrady et al. Thus, it seems that hypnosis encourages a false sense of accuracy in the information recalled. Dinges et al. A forced-recall procedure requires the participant to recall a set number of items, usually the same as the number of items encoded, and well above what would be expected using free recall. A further attempt was made by Dinges et al. The rationale behind such an approach is that, once an individual has reached a ceiling level in terms of the amount of information recalled, if hypnosis can facilitate memory then simply by using such a technique he should be able to recall more information.

This led them to suggest that there is clearly no advantage in using hypnosis to aid in the recall of correct information. Thus, the evidence for hypnotic hypermnesia is at best equivocal. For instance, De Vos and Louw used hypnotic training to improve student learning. Such programmes are thought to contribute towards student learning by encouraging a more focused attention span combined with an improved ability to concentrate. Once this has been accomplished, the Figure 2. Motor performance Outside sport, the use of hypnosis to enhance motor performance has produced some mixed results.

Others, however, have reported less success when using hypnosis to enhance motor performance. Half the participants from each typing group received hypnotic instructions to facilitate their typing speed, whilst the remaining half received motivating instructions without hypnosis. As would be expected, performance corresponded closely to skill levels, with advanced typists producing more words per minute than intermediates and beginners.

In fact, both the beginners and intermediates produced fewer words following the intervention. Jacobs and Salzberg ibid. They suggest that such individuals are likely to be highly motivated to change their behaviour and improve performance, unlike those taking part in an experiment.

However, this is a speculative possibility that remains as yet untested. Sport Hypnosis is widely used in sport to encourage athletes to remain physically calm and mentally relaxed, both characteristics of peak performance. Hypnosis has been suggested to enhance performance in a range of sports, including, inter alia, the shooting performance of basketball players Pates et al.

Pates et al. This involved establishing an initial baseline level of performance for each participant, followed by a hypnotic induction that focused on encouraging participants to learn how to relax and re-live a previous best performance, which was then associated with a trigger, such as the ball. This hypnotic procedure was repeated over a number of days using a taped recording, after which participants once again practised shooting basketballs.

Whilst it is clear from Figure 2. Schreiber also attempted to show that hypnosis can enhance the shooting performance of basketball players and had the foresight to include a control group as part of his approach. Shooting performance for each of the participants was monitored across a number of games and compared to each 28 Passive techniques Figure 2. Adapted from Pates et al. Schreiber found that the hypnosis group produced more high and intermediate scorers compared to the control group see Figure 2. The pattern of results seen in Figure 2. Schreiber ibid. In particular, there is a lack of stringent controls.

Adapted from Schreiber Figure 2. Then a comparison between the two groups would help to elucidate the potential impact of hypnosis on sport. So far, however, no study of this form has yet been conducted. One of the most obvious is the level of hypnotic susceptibility of the participant. Hypnotic susceptibility Hypnotic susceptibility refers to the level of responsiveness of the individual undergoing hypnosis. This can be measured using one of a variety of standardised scales to classify the person as either highly susceptible or of a low susceptibility. The population distribution between high and low is reasonably normative, with approximately 10 per cent of the population exhibiting behavioural symptoms associated with levels of high hypnotisability, a further 10 per cent failing to show any response to hypnosis and the remaining 80 per cent falling somewhere in between these two extremes Shor and Orne Despite some popular beliefs to the contrary, hypnotisability is not correlated with personality traits such as suggestibility, hysterical character or intelligence Hilgard There are, however, a number of factors that do appear to dispose an individual towards higher levels of hypnotisability.

For example, both vividness of imagery ability and absorption are related to hypnotisability, so that those with poor imagery tend to exhibit low levels of hypnotisability ibid. Absorption refers to the ability to become deeply involved in an experience with a low level of distractibility. However, there is little research that has focused directly on such issues. One seemingly obvious point would be the length of the hypnotic induction and the amount of hypnotic practice. They performed a standard induction on two groups of participants. One group were told that their suggestibility was going to be tested whilst in hypnosis; the other group were told that their suggestibility was going to be tested whilst being relaxed.

Before and after the induction process participants performed a range of standard suggestibility tests and Ghandi and Oakley found that those given the hypnotic induction showed greater compliance to suggestions than participants told it was simply a relaxation procedure. For example, there is a widespread belief that hypnosis has the ability to enhance memory, which may encourage those participating in hypermnesia studies to misinterpret thoughts and fantasies as possible memories.

Crucially, one of the hypnosis groups was told that hypnosis enhances memory, whilst the other was warned that hypnosis can lead to false recall. They found that those told that hypnosis improves memory produced more inaccurate information than controls, whilst those given the warning did not.

For example, if a person completes a hypnotic induction which includes suggestions that he will perform better on a task, and then immediately completes the task, performance may be enhanced. For example, relaxation hypnosis, which involves suggestions of calming restfulness, is thought to encourage participants to feel more relaxed and sleepy, producing low levels of activity. Active-alert hypnosis, in contrast, invariably involves providing suggestions of alertness and energy to encourage a heightened attention span, along with feelings of excitement.

Liebert et al. Such possibilities are speculative and would need to provide some sort of criterion for assigning meaning to a task in order to denote which tasks are meaningful and which are not. Early suggestions by Rosenthal were that material which elicits high levels of emotional arousal during the hypnotic process may facilitate learning because this helps to stimulate the individual.

DePiano and Salzberg ibid. In addition, they found that the level of recall was higher in the low-arousal condition and decreased as the level of arousal increased see Figure 2. This would suggest that hypnotic induction procedures encouraging low levels of arousal may be more successful in eliciting a positive outcome. Despite the lack of consensus regarding what hypnosis is, many would agree that it involves the individual setting aside his critical judgement and becoming absorbed by the hypnotic suggestions.

The hypnotic process is invariably a three-stage procedure, beginning with an assessment of the hypnotic susceptibility of the individual. This is followed by the induction process, which often, although not always, includes suggestions to Figure 2. Adapted from DePiano and Salzberg 34 Passive techniques relax, encouraging a focused and dissociated state of consciousness. Theoretical accounts of hypnosis have traditionally been divided into either a non-state or a state approach.

In contrast, the state approach maintains that hypnosis represents a state that is distinct from everyday waking consciousness. Certainly the evidence from brain imaging studies showing distinct patterns of cortical activity associated with hypnosis would concur with state theory in suggesting that it produces an altered state of consciousness. However, few would contend with the view that social and motivational factors can also play a part in the outcome.

Thus, it may be that a more comprehensive account lies with the multi-level approach, which attempts to incorporate both non-state and state views to produce a more detailed understanding of hypnosis. In terms of the use of hypnosis to enhance performance, the results are often mixed and ambiguous. However, due to such schemes adopting a multi-technique approach, it remains unclear precisely what, if any, role hypnosis alone plays in this.

However, many of the studies are plagued by methodological weaknesses restricting the interpretation of data and limiting the possible conclusions that can be drawn. Overall, the evidence that hypnosis can enhance human performance is suggestive but inconclusive.

However, as mentioned previously, a more stringent methodology is needed to clearly isolate the possible performance-enhancing role of hypnosis. Joan Klempner Imagine someone retiring to bed for the night. However, just before they switch out the light they select Polish language lesson one on their audio player, insert their earphones and press play. Throughout the night as they sleep, a gentle voice can be heard in the background pronouncing a variety of Polish words and their English counterparts: Dzien dobry — Good day Jak sie masz?

Jestem bardzo dobrze — I am very well When the sleeper awakes the following day she is now able to recall and utilise a range of new Polish words and phrases. This scenario outlines the idea behind sleep learning: that it is possible for an individual to learn new information while she sleeps, which can subsequently aid her behaviour when awake.

Thus, this chapter examines whether information presented to a sleeping person can subsequently aid learning and enhance performance. The chapter begins by establishing what sleep learning is and how it emerged. Given the premise that learning occurs during sleep, the chapter provides a brief outline of the nature of sleep and its various stages.

This is followed by a summary of the sleep learning procedure and the rationale underpinning the notion that learning can occur during sleep. The chapter then examines whether it is possible for an individual to perceive a stimulus during sleep which can be recalled later when awake. Following this, the chapter examines evidence suggesting that information given to a sleeping person can enhance some aspect of her later waking behaviour. This is based upon a number of assumptions.

Second is the notion that such information is retained for later use when awake. The practical implications of being able to learn during sleep are considerable, particularly as most of us spend quite a proportion of our lives asleep see Box 3. For example, Hugo Gernsback produced a magazine article at the turn of the twentieth century describing a machine called the hypnobioscope, which transmitted information directly into the Box 3. People generally spend a large chunk of their lives sleeping. For example, if the average woman were to sleep for eight hours each day of her life and live for the allotted three score years and ten, she would spend approximately , hours sleeping.

To put this into context, this would equate to approximately just over days, or a little over 20 years! These ideas have continued to pervade public consciousness and pique public interest. A central assumption made by proponents of sleep learning is that sleep itself represents lost or wasted time, or, at the very least, time that is not used productively.

It is beyond the scope of this chapter to provide a comprehensive summary of the nature of sleep. Sleep as the thief of time Sleep is far from a uniform state that a person enters shortly after retiring to bed and then exits upon awakening. Here, the EEG shows irregular brain waves of relatively low amplitude. As sleep deepens, the number of slow brain waves in the EEG increases, leading to stages 3 and 4, which are sometimes referred to as regions of slow wave sleep SWS.

Stage 3 marks a transition from relatively light to a deeper sleep and here the EEG begins to show more low-frequency high-amplitude waves known as delta waves. Stage 4 is the deepest level of sleep and corresponds with the appearance of delta waves in the EEG. These changes in EEG show that a sleeping person moves from a relatively shallow sleep in stage 1 to a deeper sleep in stage 4. Whilst these stages may suggest a simple ordered set of events, periodically throughout the night, Table 3. Other changes occurring alongside this include alterations in breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.

Thus sleep consists of two distinct states, NREM sleep, which contains four stages, ranging from light to deep sleep, and REM sleep, which occurs periodically throughout the night. With the distinction between REM and NREM sleep, as well as between the various stages of NREM sleep, it should come as no surprise that a number of theories have been put forward to account for what happens during sleep.

These range from energy conservation, biological adaptation and body restoration to memory consolidation see, e. Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Laddas ned direkt.

Exploring Techniques Used to Enhance Human Performance

Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. Throughout time, people have explored the ways in which they can improve some aspect of their performance. This book examines a range of techniques that are intended to help improve some aspect of performance, and examines how well they are able to achieve this. The various performance enhancing techniques available can be divided into those where the individual remains passive receiving a message, suggestion or stimulus and those where the individual needs to take a more active approach.

Human Potential looks at a range of techniques within each of these categories to provide the reader with a sense of the traditional as well as the more contemporary approaches used to enhance human performance. The techniques covered include hypnosis, sleep learning, subliminal training and audio and visual cortical entrainment as well as mnemonics, meditation, speed-reading, biofeedback, neurofeedback and mental imagery practice.

This is the first time such a broad range of techniques has been brought together to be assessed in terms of effectiveness. It will be useful to all psychology and sports science students, practicing psychologists, life coaches and anyone else interested in finding out about the effectiveness of performance enhancement techniques. In an ecological dynamics rationale of skilled movement and coaching praxis, athlete openness for interactions within a performance environment is considered as attunement and utilization of affordances.

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Affordances are opportunities or invitations Gibson, ; Withagen et al. Within ecological psychology, information can be perceived as relational and influenced by the specific intentions of the athlete and opportunities to act within the environment van Dijk and Rietveld, Therefore, affordances emerge when lawfully-specified possibilities and athlete intentionality i. The organization of an athletes' behavior is not imposed from inside e. Providing a departure from traditional approaches to creativity, and aligned with these ideas Orth et al. Supporting the concept of behavior as self-organized under constraints Orth et al.

Therefore, the design of tranining environments and manipulation of constraints becomes focal for practioners aiming to foster exploratory behavior and creative moments. Exploratory behaviors emerge from the metastable dynamics of system self-organization. It is within the self-organization of intertwined action, cognition, and perception processes that constraints impinge upon these systems and influence our movement behavior Hristovski et al.

Creative moments might arise from the idiosyncratic configurations and interactions of systems continually shaped by the sociocultural, personal, environmental, and task constraints in each athlete-environment interaction Hristovski et al. In sport contexts, the interdependence of affordances and effectivities individual action capabilities helps to capture the relationship between performer constraints and elements of the environment Fajen et al. From the perspective of developmental psychology, learning about affordances requires children to explore novel activities which might expand their effectivities and diversify skills Gibson, As a child's perceptual systems develop, exploratory activities are used to discover affordances relevant to their current stage of development.

To exemplify, in football, analysis of competitive performance at under 17 and senior professional levels, may reveal that the there is less time and space to shoot at a senior level. The implication is clear for the design of training sessions for the younger age group. Athletes of varying developmental capacities might be assigned different challenge points less time and space progressively in a shooting practice and work through different shooting tasks at their own pace, sampling specific actions and exploring their creative potential for creating goal-scoring opportunities Santos et al.

It is possible that futsal experience in developing athletes may enrich their skill sets so that there is potential to exploit a toe-poke to deceive defenders and a goalkeeper when there is restricted time and space in the penalty area in association football. Furthering understanding of how creative potential for specific actions might be explored in practice, Hristovski et al. The affordance landscape confronting the trainee boxers was significantly changed with variations in scaled distance to the punch bag, resulting in different values of scaled distance affording the emergence of different hitting actions.

Recent studies within multiple team sports e. These ideas suggest that as expertise develops, the detection of critical information could be progressively scaffolded by task constraints that promote potentially novel critical information sources. For example, football players might become attuned to gaps between defenders, then spaces emerging between lines of defenders, and perhaps even the weight distribution knee and hip angles of a defender when attempting to dribble past them in a football match.

Founded in the ecological dynamics rational, non-linear pedagogy aids practitioners in attempting to scaffold athlete attunement to critical information in a performance environment. We propose that by first identifying and then manipulating sociocultural, task, and environmental constraints on learning, sport coaches might be able to design practice environments that more readily afford opportunities for learners to explore functional performance solutions, develop skill and enhance their creativity.

Such practice session design would support the self-organization and adaptability of athlete behavior in relation to changing constraints in the sporting environment Esteves et al.


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An example of football practice session design and constraint manipulation founded on the principles of non-linear pedagogy can be seen in Video 1. This type of pedagogical approach aims to avoid the traditional tendency in sport to rehearse and reproduce specific actions proposed by a teacher or coach Chow et al. Due to the sociocultural embeddedness of the interactions between task, athlete, and environmental constraints, experience differs in myriad ways. Each individual might perceive and experience the performance landscape shaped by many influences, including interdependence of affordances and basic psychological need satisfaction differently and, therefore, engage in differential exploratory potentially creative behavior as a result of their unique athlete-environment system Hristovski et al.

Therefore, there is the need to recognize that any application of principles of non-linear pedagogy takes place in a sociocultural context, and that this context, plays its role in affordance emergence. Rietveld and Kiverstein have suggested that affordances are dependent on the skills available within a particular ecological niche, sociocultural context or wider macrosystem for an illustration see Figure 1. Due to their relational nature, the variety of affordances are as rich and varied as the abilities i. These authors have argued that it is the availability of sociocultural practices constituted by beliefs, skills, habits, customs, attitudes that defines a dominant form of life or way of doing things Rietveld and Kiverstein, A form of life Wittgenstein, can be described as regular behavioral patterns e.

The relevance is furthered when we appreciate that each sporting context is contained within its own form of life, which will facilitate engagement with some affordances, while limiting interactions with others. For example, compare the opportunities to dance in England and Brazil; will an English or Brazilian form of life cultural context afford football players more or fewer opportunities to explore movement potential through dance Uehara et al.

The openness to, and discovery of, novel affordances allows the application and diversification of skill within different aspects of the environment, creating potential novel movement patterns or forms of creative behavior Rietveld and Kiverstein, This is perhaps best depicted in football by the historical Brazilian style of play and particularly evident in football players exposed to the acculturation and skilling of samba and capoeira, alongside the assimilation of ginga and malandragem a culturally endorsed value characterized by cunning, street smarts and trickery Uehara et al.

Exploring the relational nature of affordances is essential for creative movement professions Rietveld and Kiverstein, because it places further emphasis on the need to understand and explore the interaction between the openness of both the athlete and their environment. The openness of the human perceptual system a sub-system of the athlete and the openness of the form of life and playing style systems related to the environment , might become critical interdependent factors in fostering creativity.

From this perspective, we propose that it might be beneficial to zoom in and out on the athlete-playing style system and conceptualize it as relevant field of affordances within a form of life van Dijk and Rietveld, In order to do so, it is important that we can justify the playing style as an interdependent manifestation of the wider environment; a network of interdependencies that includes constraints emerging from the macrosystem and other sociocultural contexts and practices Rossing and Skrubbeltrang, Within team sport, the dominant form of life might be conceptualized as the deeply acculturated, socially accepted, and often taken for granted nationally or regionally or trending playing style.

For example, affordances for football interactions, such as risking ball possession with long balls or maintaining ball possession with short passing, will be constrained by the many interdependent influences that shape a dominant playing style. Here it is proposed that a playing style is an emergent sociocultural artifact Rossing and Skrubbeltrang, , which embodies the manifestation of the relational environment when playing football.

As an example, consider the case of F. Barcelona: In recent history the club has exhibited a style of play that often aims to maximize passing opportunities as affordances to maintain ball possession while simultaneously creating the space needed to score goals. As part of a development process, F.

Barcelona academy players become attuned to the width of playing areas and simultaneously co-create a varied range of passing affordances which continuously emerge and decay from the co-creation and sharing of space in learning designs. Barcelona exemplify the hypothesis that the sociocultural context form of life influences training session design, player attunement and playing style. The Catalan culture is renowned for an egalitarian passion for width which manifests in the co-creation and sharing of space, particularly evident in seventeenth century Catalan gothic church architecture Hughes, Playing styles, both team and individual, emerge from myriad transdisciplinary constraints.

These include but are not limited to a self-organizing degrees of freedom in a complex adaptive system; b the culturally defined task challenge or goal ; c dynamic affordance landscapes; d socio-cognitive motivational climates; and e , sociocultural values and narratives. Too often, dominant playing styles tend to reinforce movement reproduction and conformity, limit engagement with exploratory affordances and restrict deviation from prescribed behaviors Hristovski et al.

Constraining movement behavior, in this way, will limit an athlete's capacity to become progressively attuned to information that specifies the rich abundance of affordances within a particular sporting environment Rietveld and Kiverstein, , thus limiting athletic potential. Coaches working within one cultural context too often focus on the content— the what of coaching session plan, game model, tactical plan —taking for granted the culturally constituted methods of delivery— the how of coaching Stambulova and Ryba, Recognizing coaches as agents working within complex adaptive systems Bowes and Jones, , subject to sociocultural constraints, reinforces the need to reflect on the contextualized, culturally sensitive how of coaching.

What coaches direct athlete attunement toward i. Coulter et al. They suggested that if a group i. When accepted as an evident truth, this solution can become a sociocultural constraint that influences future problem solving and movement behavior of group members players and future group members. Sociocultural constraints might be considered as an explanation for the emergence of traditional, distinct playing styles. For example, Brazilian football players and teams were once characterized stereotyped?

They provide the formative conditions for the ecology while also shaping its dynamics and constraining the emergence of new ontological, epistemological or ethical features. Barcelona micro environment , an egalitarian passion for width might represent a key value and sociocultural constraint emergent in the macro context constituting, constraining and reinforcing the clubs unique playing style. A playing style or football ecological niche in which players perceptual systems and effectivities develop in interaction with an intention to share space and create a diverse range of passing opportunities i.

It becomes particularly appropriate to appreciate what critical information is privileged by such communication and how —in its delivery, by coaches or significant others—communication influences the extent of athlete attunement to critical information sources. Currently, athlete openness to affordances and therefore opportunities for creative movement might be constrained by the abilities effectivities or skill sets of those within their ecological niche; form of life; playing style; team; club; culture; nation; global sporting community—many nested systems.

From an objective perspective, Rietveld and Kiverstein stated that affordances are more extensive than standardly recognized. Lopez-Felip and Turvey illuminated affordance-effectivity interdependence as reciprocal dispositional properties, such that when an organism is conjoined with its environment, the re organization of the system degrees of freedom emerges based on the commensurability between the particular kind of physical disposition affordance and the properties of the organism effectivities Turvey, Creativity plays its physical role within this myriad arrangement of degrees of freedom and hints at the underlying thermodynamic processes when higher order states emerge from such non-equilibrium self-organizing systems.

The complex, functional semantics at the core of team sports might pose coaching itself as a wicked challenge. Rather, the suggestion is that what an athlete becomes attuned to i. For example, I may perceive be attuned to affordances for direct long balls and remain unaware of concurrent opportunities to combine short, quick passes in potentially creative ways.

This understanding is critical for coaches and other practitioners involved in continuously shaping and re-shaping the player development environment. The what of athlete attunement is critical in determining the information relational nature of affordances an athlete attends to and therefore the skill they develop; however, how athletes become attuned might hold potentially more influence in regard to ongoing engagement with, and exploration of affordances.

Crucially, affordances only emerge to be engaged with if perception is intentional. Therefore, intentionality i. For example, when coaches instruct players to pass wide or switch the play as part of a performance or game model , they coerce behavioral outcomes rather than educate attention or attunement.

Controlling commands aimed at specific behaviors inhibit the development of learners in achieving their potential. This prescriptive pedagogical methodology often disregards the critical information or lawfully specified possibilities spaces, gaps, teammate, and opposition dynamics that coordinate with intentionality of individual learners e.

It is recommended that future research explore the interdependence between player intentions and the form of life they are embedded or acculturated within. Transdisciplinary inquiry incorporating ethnography and guided by the skilled intentionality framework might prove generative in this area van Dijk and Rietveld, A contextual analysis is a productive approach for investigating the sociocultural contexts in which phenomena are historically constructed Uehara et al.

The following contextual analysis demonstrates a transdisciplinary point of departure and introduces literature that illuminates some social, cultural, and historic constraints on creative development Hristovski et al. Critically, a macrosystem carries the information, ideology, and values that influence events and experiences at embedded levels. For example, the macrosystem influences contextually embedded microsystems—classrooms and coaching sessions—in which children develop Kasser and Linn, We illustrated this perspective using the football specific example of an athlete talent development environment in Figure 1.

The following analysis illuminates the wickedness of the challenge that constitutes developing creativity and reaching our potential due to macro level sociocultural constraints. Embracing transdisciplinarity and recognizing creativity as a collaborative interdependent endeavor Eisler et al. Here, for example, it could be argued that wicked problems like climate crises Kasser, , dis-engaging educational programs Taylor et al.

Path dependency is a system process demonstrating that once a system is set on a development path, the historically derived paradigmatic modeling and emergent organizational structures constrain its trajectory Djelic and Quack, American corporate capitalism as opposed to Nordic, Asian and developing world versions of capitalism is described as a dominate brand of capitalism that spread via globalization and had the largest worldwide influence at the turn of the millennium Kasser et al.

The ideology, values and path dependency of corporate capitalism continue to shape social contexts and organizational structures that over-emphasize individuality, competitiveness, hierarchy, and extrinsic rewards, often to the detriment of psychological wellbeing Kasser and Linn, and at the expense of learning, creativity, and innovation in developmental and performative tasks.

At the level of the individual, the psychological influences of corporate capitalism promote high materialistic value orientations that make people more likely to compete and less likely to collaborate Sheldon et al. Over-emphasis on extrinsic rewards and competition is likely to reinforce social comparison, divisions between sub-groups, and insecurities, fear of failure, scarcity mentalities, and contexts that reproduce the controlling behaviors of teachers and coaches, currently evident in many educational environments Taylor et al.

An over-emphasis on internal and external competition has led to corporate organizational structures and governance practices being applied to elite and grassroots sport e. This approach might induce controlling extrinsically rewarded social contexts that fail to satisfy basic psychological needs, eroding intrinsic and self-determined forms of motivation that subsequently shape thoughts, affect, and behaviors Deci and Ryan, ; Vansteenkiste et al.

The problem with corporatist methods of working e. Such controlling management processes often extrinsically reward and reinforce individual competition and compliance at the expense of collective, potentially creative collaboration. Research has long suggested Davids et al. According to Guilford problem solving occurs in diverse ways, through convergent and divergent thinking.

In comparison, divergent thinking fosters multiple solutions and was conceptualized as a foundation for creativity Guilford, To overcome the suppression of creativity, Barron , has suggested that the benefits of complexity and variability conceptualized here, as self-organization and disequilibrium need to be better understood, promoted and recognized as conditions that inspire adaptive creativity.

Recently, Bocchi et al. Here they noted:. The problem is that our society is not designed for creativity but for machine conformity. Most importantly it does not support creative ideas. Let's just look at academia; having a good mind in academia means, among other things, to be razor sharp in critique. We immediately learn to attack and critique. We make jokes about people with their odd approaches. So as Oscar [Wilde] put it, art keeps people sane, but it is the environment that kills creativity in people, and arguably kills many creative people Bocchi et al.

The work of Bocchi et al. Fostering emotional connectedness with others is an important characteristic for teammates in sport but also for theorists addressing wicked problems. The imbalance between competition and collaboration in scientific and coaching communities see Potrac et al. A culture that underscores competing over co-operation keeps extra-disciplinary influences at bay, privileging orderly purity, despite arguments for complex inter- or cross- or even transdisciplinary work.

When competition and self-interest dominates, educational systems are likely to focus on the extrinsic comparisons and generic measures that inhibit creativity, learning, and subsequent development. Mechanistic approaches to coaching for extensive critiques see Davids et al. This path dependent myth has monopolized the application of seminal creativity research by E. Paul Torrance Kim, The Torrance tests of creative thinking have been largely mis used to identify gifted individuals, even though this was not the creator's intention.

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When administrating the tests, Torrance highlighted that environmental factors, like motivational conditions and psychological climate, would have an influence on peoples' creativity Kim, To summarize, we have aimed to illustrate how sociocultural constraints might emerge in interaction with macrosystem path dependency to inhibit the conditions necessary for creative development. As an example at some levels of analysis we have considered the tendency of corporate capitalism to foster an over-emphasis on competition rather than collaboration Kasser et al.

This imbalance might be considered a sociocultural constraint on creativity. Located at the level of the macrosystem, corporate capitalism might inhibit creative development by suppressing people's basic psychological need satisfaction and subsequent internal motivation experienced in the micro environments under its influence, such as workplaces and educational establishments including offices, classrooms, learning and training centers, and academies. Therefore, while calls to foster creativity in daily life Runco, , education Robinson, , and team sport Memmert, are well-established, many organizational structures and pedagogical approaches remain fundamentally unsuited to fostering creativity due to these often unseen sociocultural and historical constraints.

In previous sections of this paper, we have argued that these constraints, which operate at a communal and societal levels, may be dominated by traditional forms of life imposed in bygone eras see Rothwell et al. This conceptual analysis proposes that the first step toward nurturing creative moments a wicked challenge in sport, is cultivating an in depth understanding of culture and context alongside a nuanced appreciation of athlete-environment interdependence.

We propose that conceptualizing a form of life and sociocultural constraints through the lens of ecological dynamics Rothwell et al. We contend that long-term athletic development and moment-to-moment creativity emerge from deeply contextualized athlete-environment interactions. Interactions that are shaped by, and subject to, a continually changing dynamic of constraints. From this vantage point, practitioners might aim to design movement environments that encourage the discovery and exploration of novel affordances to better foster creative moments for achieving potential.

We propose that the skillful manipulation—dampening or amplifying—of sociocultural constraints on behaviors is central to developing an environment conducive to creativity. Manipulating constraints in the moment and over time by coaches and other support personnel in football clubs, sports organizations, and governing bodies can better co-create the environmental conditions, customs, habits, and ways of doing things, in a form of life that constrain and afford creative moments.

However, this is by no means a straightforward endeavor, it is wicked challenge whereby sociocultural constraints are addressed at multiple levels. For example, consider a form of life and emergent playing style that promote an over-emphasis on intra team competition often conducive to anxiety leading to individualistic play. At the level of the micro environment a coach might aim to dampen this influence by designing training sessions with task constraints that require teamwork and collaboration.

It is important to problematize the manipulation constraints in social systems at multiple levels, recognizing that outcomes are transient and unpredictable and that issues may shift and re-emerge due to the unpredictable consequences of wicked problems. As such, the ways in which sociocultural constraints may be manipulated differ from context to context.

What is possible in Stockholm might not be possible in Barcelona. Therefore, what works in one context is often unhelpful in another. This is why it is crucial that any framework aiming to aid practice is flexible, contextualized and co-created from the bottom up as much as the top down. This is the promise of transdisciplinary endeavor, because it foregrounds the need for a reciprocal top down, bottom up dialectic Songca, between academics, practitioners and athletes.

We suggest that future research seeks to explore the sociocultural constraints that continually influence our ecological niche and co-create a form or life, which shapes the available field of affordances needed for advancing potential through learning and development programs. This holistic ecological perspective on skill acquisition encourages educational, pedagogical, coaching, and research approaches to adopt a transdisciplinary process of inquiry and aim to re-conceptualize creativity and human development as one of connection and interdependence within a surrounding ecology of complex adaptive systems.

Transdisciplinary approaches guided by the skilled intentionality framework and ethnographic endeavor are recommended as avenues for future investigation van Dijk and Rietveld, We also propose that some playing styles, by virtue of the affordances offered to learners and basic psychological need satisfaction in athlete development, might cultivate creative development and well-being more than others. In this way, transdisciplinary lines of inquiry might represent fertile ground for fundamental changes in the approaches we use to enhance learning and development of human creativity both on and off the field of sport.

JV carried out the drafting, conception, and design of the manuscript, wrote the general topics of the article, conceptualized the combination of theoretical models. CM contributed to drafting, conception, and design of the manuscript, ensuring that the ideas presented were appropriately investigated and articulated, critically revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. KD was involved in drafting the manuscript and ensured that the ideas presented were appropriately investigated and articulated with particular respect to ecological theories and system processes.

PP revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content, in particular revising the structure and providing analysis and interpretation of the sociological perspectives and coaching approaches. ML-F reviewed the manuscript for important intellectual content and revised sections articulating concepts from ecological psychology and football praxis. The remaining authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

The experiential and theoretical knowledge shared was extremely valuable in the development of this manuscript. Video 1. Football training design founded on the principles of non-linear pedagogy. Alhadeff-Jones, M. Complicity Int. Ecological approaches to cognition and action in sport: ask not what you do, but where you do it. Sport Psychol. Google Scholar. What exactly is acquired during skill acquisition?

The ecological dynamics of decision making in sport. Sport Exerc. The role of ecological constraints on expertise development. Talent Dev. Ecological cognition: expert decision-making behaviour in sport. Ashby, R. An Introduction to Cybernetics. London: Chapman and Hall. On the relatedness and nestedness of constraints. Sports Med. Open Sport science integration: an evolutionary synthesis. Sport Sci. Barron, F.