Discarding Ideas (Literally)

The Wall Street Journal:

Plagued by unwanted thoughts? Try writing them down and throwing the paper away.

A new study finds that this trick works. First, students were asked to write down positive or negative thoughts about their bodies, and half were told to tear up and discard the paper. Then the students were asked to rate their attitudes about their bodies.

Those who had kept the paper were influenced by what they wrote, but among those who had tossed the page, the written comments had no impact at all. Researchers also found that jotting down one’s thoughts and keeping the paper in a pocket was especially influential on subsequent judgments, suggesting that this might be a useful plan for good thoughts.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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