A psychological approach to what belief really means; Seeing is believing.


Well-known member
Psychologist Ellen Langer and her colleagues at Harvard effectively reversed the biological age of a group of old men by a simple shift in awareness.

The subjects, all 74 or older and in good health, were asked to meet for a week's retreat at a country resort. They were not allowed to bring any newspapers, magazines, books, or family photos dated later than 1959. The resort had been set up to duplicate life as it was twenty years earlier. The men were asked to behave entirely as if the year were 1959. All talk had to refer to events and people of that year.

Measurements were taken of physical strength, posture, perception, cognition, and short-term memory, along with thresholds of hearing, sight, and taste.

The premise of their experiment was that seeing oneself as old or young directly influences the aging process itself. To shift their context back to 1959, the subjects wore I.D photos taken twenty years before. They were instructed to talk in the present tense.

The results were improved memory and manual dexterity. They were more active and self-sufficient. Before and after pictures indicated a visibly younger age of three years on average. Fingers had lengthened, stiffened joints were more flexible, and posture was straighter. Muscle strength, hearing and vision were also improved. IQ tests also showed improvement over the five day experiment.

Some of the conclusions were that time is not necessarily objective, and that our bodies respond to subjective time. The signs of aging can be reversed using psychological intervention.

If you scroll down to the second response on the article in the link you will get a more comprehensive description of the test.