(6 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Oddly enough, researchers at Ohio State University have discovered a simple means of increasing voter participation. I encourage anyone and everyone who has not yet voted to perform this simple technique…call it the scientific version of knocking on wood.
Visual Imagery Technique Boosts Voting, Study Finds
Registered voters who used a simple visual imagery technique the evening before the 2004 election were significantly more likely to vote the next day, a new study found.
I have long known of the power of visual imagery. I utilized it as a martial artist and martial arts instructor with impressive results. There are several complicated techniques, such as the jump spinning wheel kick, that I initially learned via imagery. I tried and tried to learn that technique and was not getting it at all until I sat in calm meditation with eyes closed and imagined over and over again seeing myself perform it flawlessly. I executed a flawless jump spinning wheel kick on the very next attempt.
It really is powerful stuff, and just so simple. One famous study showed that imagining free throw practice by members of a basketball team could produce better results than actual free throw practice.
One surprising thing visual imagery can help to accomplish is the establishment of firm intention. This seems to engage subconscious mechanisms that seek to fulfill that intent.
From the same article in ScienceDaily:
Researchers asked some Ohio college students to picture themselves voting the next day from a third-person perspective – as if they were observers viewing their own actions. Others were told to picture themselves voting in a first-person perspective, through their own eyes.
A full 90 percent of those who pictured themselves voting from a third-person visual perspective reported later that they did indeed vote, compared to only 72 percent who took the first-person viewpoint.
“When participants saw themselves as others would, they were more motivated to actually get out and vote,” said Lisa Libby, co-author of the study and assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
“They saw themselves as more likely to vote and that translated into action.
So tell everyone you know who hasn’t yet voted to sit calmly and quietly with eyes closed and from the third person point of view, visualize themselves walking into that voting booth and casting their ballot.
These lines are long and daunting. People need all the encouragement and help they can get.
So Get. Out. That. Vote!
And remember to STFIL!
Personal Note: On Friday, October 31st, All Hallows Eve, 2008 I had the thrill of watching my eighteen year old son Daniel cast his first ever ballot. It was very moving for both of us as we share a deep understanding of just how important and historic this election is – more so than any election in my lifetime, and I’ve been around a while. There was something of a shared sense of that rippling through the crowd too. You will never feel so plugged into the American Democratic tradition than when you cast your vote…in this election.