Following right on my Inside Out post about spending a little time each morning in front of the mirror talking about how great a person you are, I heard the 60 Second Science podcast Affirmations Improve Minority Student Grades. This talks almost specifically about how simply talking ourselves up can improve our grades, the study looked like this
Half of the students wrote about any neutral topic over the course of a year. The other half were asked to write about why they cherished certain values. The grades of African-American affirmation kids improved about a quarter of a point on a four-point scale, compared with the control group. And the lowest initial African-American performers upped their scores more than four-tenths of a point. Two years later, the scores continued to track higher among the group that practiced affirmations.
Interestingly, for White students who took part they didn't see a difference, which could be attributed to ethnic minorities feeling "particularly anxious that doing poorly could confirm other people’s negative expectations about them." While this may apply to grades or appealing to other people, I still believe that, regardless of your ethnicity, you can build yourself up simply from talking (or writing) yourself up.