If you're looking for a simple way to increase your intelligence, buy a pen. No, you won't actually gain any IQ points, but you will feel significantly better about your brain, a study says.
The Journal of Consumer Research recently reported that small actions can make people feel less insecure. Study authors examined what they call the “shaken self” phenomenon, the idea that seemingly insignificant deeds can either build or break a person’s confidence. For example, the study asked participants to write an essay about health-conscious behaviors. Some were instructed to write with their dominant hand and others with their non-dominant one. Then participants were asked to choose between an apple and a candy bar.
The study showed that participants who wrote with their non-dominant hand experienced a momentary loss of confidence, or a shaken self, and were more likely to choose the apple than the dominant-hand writers. The authors concluded that the shaken-self participants subconsciously chose the apple to restore confidence in their healthy ways.
Need a professional boost? Buy a pen and write down why you're great at your job—but be sure to write with your good hand. Click here to share your little "pick-me-ups."