A number of you sent me the link to a study just published on the effects on performance after telling golfers that the club they are using was previously owned by a pro-golfer. The study by Charles Lee & Sally Linkenauger, published in PLoS ONE asked students who were avid golfers to putt using a club they were told belonged to ace golfer Ben Curtis. Their performance was superior to a matched group of students who were told that the same club was simply “a really nice putter.” The article goes on to consider several issues related to confidence in sports performance and even mentions an interview with Paul Rozin who of course, brings up positive contagion effects.
I expect many readers are saying,”So what? It is simply association and positive thinking.” This is always a problem when discussing essentialism and contagion effects. Hopefully in the new year we should have some research ready for publication that speaks directly to the “So what, its association” put-down of these findings but for the moment, I am grateful to those of you who sent me this as I have very little time to scan the media for worthy stories at the moment. Must dash!