If You Need Some Motivation This Morbid Pep Talk Is Scientifically Proven To Work

by 2 years ago
Hoosiers Pep Talk Gene Hackman

YouTube / Hoosiers

Are you in need of some motivation and/or inspiration? Are you reading this from your cell phone while playing sudden death-OT beer pong and need to get your partner all jacked up? Well, this pep talk is scientifically proven to produce positive results even though it’s a rather morbid concept.

A study published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology found that enhanced performance can be produced with a pep talk about death. In the study, researchers discovered that when basketball players received pep talks remind them of their own mortality those ballers went on to take more shots AND score more points.

Alexis Blue of UANews reports:

In two studies, the results of which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, basketball-playing participants scored more points after being presented with death-related prompts, either direct questions about their own mortality or a more subtle, visual reminder of death.
Researchers say the improved performance is the result of a subconscious effort to boost self-esteem, which is a protective buffer against fear of death, according to psychology’s terror management theory.
“Terror management theory talks about striving for self-esteem and why we want to accomplish things in our lives and be successful,” said UA psychology doctoral student Uri Lifshin, co-lead investigator of the research. “Everybody has their own thing in which they invest that is their legacy and symbolic immortality.”

In one of the studies, researchers found that basketball players who were confronted with death-related pep talks performed 20% better than the control group, a marked increase in performance. This is the first study to show real-world results for the terror management theory which psychologists have long believed to be true, and that theory suggests ‘reminders of death arouse a need for terror management and therefore increase self-esteem striving though performance on relatively simple laboratory tasks’.

There’s all sorts of analysis on this study over on UA News, so FOLLOW THAT LINK to keep on reading!

…(h/t ArsTechnica)…

TAGSbasketballMotivationpep talkpsychologySports

Join The Discussion