William Liao

March 2, 2022

believing is...

In a 2011 study led by Dr. Alia Crum, participants were given a milkshake that was around 380 calories on two separate occasions. 

On one occasion, participants were told that they would be consuming a 620-calorie ‘indulgent’ shake. 

On the other occasion, participants were told that they would be consuming a 140-calorie, ‘sensible’ milkshake. 

Same milkshake, two pretenses. 

What Dr. Crum and her team found was nothing short of surprising: not only did participants feel more full after drinking the ‘indulgent’ milkshake, their ghrelin levels — a hormone that signals hunger — was considerably lower compared to when they consumed the ‘sensible’ milkshake. 

How is it that the participants could have such drastically different responses to the same shake? 


In another study led by Dr. Crum in 2017, participants were either shown a video that suggests stress enhances performance or a video that suggests that stress is debilitating before participating in a challenge. 

Not only did participants who watch the stress-is-enhancing video report feeling more positive, but they also exhibited a sharp spike in anabolic (“growth)’ hormones compared to participants who watched the stress-is-debilitating video. 

Similar to the milkshake study, Dr. Crum and her team concluded that mindset plays an important role in how we respond to stressful events.

When it comes to beliefs, they’re not just in your head — they impact how you experience and engage the world. And, as Dr. Crum and her team have shown, they can even impact you on a subconscious level. 

Your mindset is powerful.

Believing in yourself — in your ability to be resilient & figure things out — is powerful.