Change your mindset, change the game | Dr. Alia Crum | TEDxTraverseCity

Change your mindset, change the game | Dr. Alia Crum | TEDxTraverseCity

Translator: Queenie Lee
Reviewer: Peter van de Ven So today, I’m going to talk
about how our mindsets matter in virtually every facet of our lives. But I want to begin by telling a story
about a group of researchers in Italy. Dr. Fabrizio Benedetti and his colleagues studied a group of patients
undergoing thoracic surgery. What you should know
about thoracic surgery is that it’s a very invasive procedure. Patients are put under anesthesia
while the surgeons make major incisions into the muscles of the sides and the back in order to gain access
to their hearts and to their lungs. Now, about an hour
after the anesthesia fades away, the pain starts to set in. Fortunately, patients are given
strong doses of morphine sulfate, a powerful painkiller. This is routine treatment
for thoracic surgery, but Dr. Benedetti and his colleagues
made a few subtle tweaks: half of the patients
were given the dose of morphine by a doctor at their bedside; the other half was given
the exact same dose of morphine, but it was administered into their IV
by a pre-programmed pump. You would think that both
of these groups of patients would experience the same relief, but this was not the case. The group that received
the morphine by the doctor reported significant reductions
in their pain levels. The other group – the group who received
the same exact amount of morphine but wasn’t aware of it – they didn’t seem
to experience the same benefit. So Dr. Benedetti and his colleagues
didn’t stop there. They used the same procedure to test the effectiveness
of other treatments – treatments for anxiety, treatments for Parkinson’s disease,
treatments for hypertension. What they found
was remarkable and consistent. When the patients
were aware of the treatment and expected to receive the benefit, the treatment was highly effective. But when they weren’t, that same drug, that same pill,
and that same procedure was blunted, and in some cases
not even effective at all. So I read about these studies when I was a student
at Harvard University, and at the time, I was heavily immersed
into the literature on the placebo effect. And the more I read, the more I started thinking
about the true nature of placebos. So what is the placebo effect really? Well, most people
discount the placebo effect as just some magical response
to some fake pill or some faux procedure, but that’s not what the placebo effect is. The placebo effect
is not about the faux pill, or the sugar pill, or the fake procedure. What the placebo effect really is, is a powerful, robust
and consistent demonstration of the ability of our mindsets – in this case, the expectation to heal, to recruit healing properties in the body. So what is a mindset? A mindset is quite literally
a setting of the mind, it’s a lens or a frame of mind
through which we view the world, we simplify the infinite number
of potential interpretations at any given moment. Now, the ability to simplify
our world through our mindsets is a natural part of being human. But what I want to suggest to you today is that these mindsets
are not inconsequential, and instead, they play a dramatic role in determining our health
and our well-being. So while I was at Harvard, I had the opportunity to work
with Professor Ellen Langer. She is a professor of psychology and when she heard that I was also
a division one athlete, laughed at me. She said, “You know,
exercise is just a placebo, right?” (Laughter) Now, I was kind of offended
because at the time I had been spending up to four hours a day
training my body to be in optimal shape. But she did get me thinking about mindsets and how they might matter
outside of medical laws. Was I getting fitter and stronger because of the time and the energy
that I was putting into my training? Or was I getting fitter and stronger
because I believed that I would? What about the other extreme? What if people were getting
an extraordinary amount of exercise but weren’t aware of it, would they not receive the same benefit? We decided to test this, and to test this we found a really
unique group of women – a group of 84 hotel housekeepers working in seven
different hotels across the US. These women
are on their feet all day long. They’re using a variety of muscles, and they’re burning
an extraordinary amount of calories, just doing their job. But what’s interesting is that these women don’t seem
to view their work in this light. We asked them; we said,
“Do you exercise regularly?” And two-thirds said “No.” (Laughter) So we said, “Okay. Well,
so, on a scale of zero to ten, how much exercise you get?” And a third of them said,
“Zero. I get no exercise at all.” So we wondered what would happen
if we could change their mindset. So we took these women,
we split them into two groups. We measured them on a variety of things, including their weight,
their blood pressure, their body fat, their satisfaction with their job. And then we took half of them and we gave them
a simple 15-minute presentation. We gave them this poster and we said, “Your work is good exercise. It satisfies the Surgeon
General’s requirements, which are quite simply
to accumulate about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. You should expect
to receive those benefits. 15 minutes. We came back four weeks later
and we measured them again. Not surprisingly, the groups that didn’t receive
this information didn’t change, but those that did looked different. They dropped weight, they had a significant reduction
in systolic blood pressure, they dropped body fat, and they were reported
liking their job more. (Laughter) So what does this tell us? To me, it was fascinating that just as a result
of a simple 15-minute presentation, the whole game changed, producing a cascade of effects
on both their health and their well-being. Presumably without even changing behavior. Now some of you might be thinking, “How do you know they didn’t
change their behavior, because that must have been
what produced the effects? We know they didn’t work any more, and the room attendants
themselves assured us that they didn’t join
the sports club down the street. But of course, we can’t know for sure if they weren’t putting
a little more oomph into making their beds. So this question really plagued me. Is there a direct, immediate connection
between our mindsets and our bodies? So to test this, I worked with my colleagues at Yale, Kelly Brownell, Will Corbin
and Peter Salovey, and we did so by making
a big batch of milkshakes. So we made this big batch of milkshakes, and then we invited people
to come to our lab to try the milkshakes, and in exchange
we would give them 75 dollars. Sounds great, right? The less appealing aspect of the agreement was that while they
were drinking the shakes, we had them hooked up to an IV so we could get their blood samples. We are out to measure ghrelin. Ghrelin is a peptide secreted in the gut, the medical experts
call this the hunger hormone. So when we haven’t eaten in a while, our ghrelin levels start to rise, signaling to the brain,
“It’s time to seek out food,” and slowing our metabolism,
just in case we don’t find that food. Now say we go out, we find and we devour a milkshake,
a hamburger, some french fries, our ghrelin levels drop,
signaling to our brain, “Time to stop eating,”
and revving up the metabolism so we can burn the food
that was just consumed. So the participants came in,
we hooked them up to an IV, and then we gave them
a milkshake, Sensi-Shake. This is zero percent fat,
140 calories, zero added sugar, this is guilt free satisfaction. So they drank their shake, and in response
their ghrelin levels dropped but only very slightly, signaling to the brain
that some food had been consumed but not a whole lot. So a week later,
they came back to our lab, we hooked them up to an IV again,
and we gave them this shake. (Laughter) 620 calories, 30 grams of fat,
56 grams of sugar: now this, this is decadence you deserve. (Laughter) And in response to this shake,
their ghrelin levels dropped again, but this time
at a significantly steeper rate, about three times more
than the shake they had before. Now, this would make good sense
to any metabolic nutritionist who understands
that the drop in ghrelin is proportional to the amounts of calories consumed. But there was a catch: in this study, even though the participants thought
they had consumed the sensible shake, and the indulgent shake, in reality, we gave them
the exact same shake at both time points. So what does this tell us? Just as in the case
when the same amount of morphine produced more or less of an effect
depending on our awareness, and just as in the case
when the same amount of exercise produced more or less of a benefit
depending on how it was construed, here again our mindsets proved to matter. In this case suggesting it might not be
just calories in and calories out, or the precise makeup of fats,
nutrients, but what we believe, what we expect, what we think
about the foods we eat that determines our body’s response. So in light of this, it behooves us to consider our own lives: what are our mindsets? And how might we begin
to shift them, to alter them, to have them be more beneficial? So take the stress, for example. What’s your mindset about stress? If you’re like most people, you have the mindset
that stress is bad: bad stress. Now, this is not surprising
considering that everywhere we look there’s warnings, labels
yelling at us, reminding us about the negative effects of stress. But the truth of stress
is not so clear-cut, and in fact, there’s a robust
and growing body of research showing that stress
can have positive effects, enhancing effects on our health,
our well-being and our performance. Now I’m not here to try to persuade you
that the effects of stress are enhancing, but rather to point
out that the truth of stress is like most things in life, and that is, it is uncertain. And therefore to raise the question: do our mindsets about stress
determine our response? So to test this question, I worked with Shawn Achor
and Peter Salovey, and we worked
with a group of 300 employees. This was after 2008 financial collapse, and we decided – they were stressed, they had just heard
that ten percent of their workforce was going to be laid off, and they were overworked. We decided to see
if we could change their mindset. And we did so by having them
watch simple video clips. So I’m going to show them
to you here simultaneously, but half of the participants
saw the one on the left, half saw the one on the right. (Video starts) [“Stress is debilitating”]
vs [“Stress is enhancing”] (Video ends) So you get the point, yes? So here we are … in the dark. (Laughter) So here we are – they’re watching facts,
research, anecdotes, all true, but oriented
towards one view or the other. What we found was interesting: those who watched
these simple three-minute video clips before the bell rang,
before their job began, over the course of the next few weeks
reported fewer negative health symptoms, fewer backaches,
less muscle tension, less insomnia. And they also reported a higher level
of engagement and performance at work. So at this point
I’ve presented four studies – four studies that demonstrate
the power of mindsets in medicine, in exercise, in diet, and in stress. There are many other
very talented scholars tackling this phenomenon as we speak. Carol Dweck’s research demonstrates us that if we can shift our mindset
about intelligence and talent as something that’s fixed to something that’s changeable over time, it can dramatically alter our academic
and professional success. Yale epidemiologist
Becca Levy’s research shows us that if we can change
our mindsets about aging, from viewing aging as an inevitable
process of deterioration to a process of gaining wisdom,
gaining growth, not only shapes the course
of how we grow old but even extends longevity. Ted Kaptchuk and his group
at Harvard’s program for placebo studies
is doing cutting-edge work understanding
how we can begin to harness and ethically utilize the placebo effect
in clinical practice. So though the context is different,
the message is the same. Our mindsets matter. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying
that medicine doesn’t work, or that there are no benefits of exercise, and that what we eat
doesn’t matter; it does. But the psychological
and physiological effect of anything in our lives can and is influenced by our mindset. So is the power of mindset limitless? Probably not, but what I hope I’ve done for you today is inspire you to reconsider
where those limits really are. Because the true task ahead is to begin reclaiming
this power for ourselves, to acknowledge the power of mindset and know that just like this, (Snaps her fingers) in just the blink of an eye, we can change the game
of any facet of our life quite simply by changing our mindset. Thank you. (Applause)

100 Replies to “Change your mindset, change the game | Dr. Alia Crum | TEDxTraverseCity”

  1. Remember in Space Jam when Bugs Bunny has the Tune Squad drink Michael's Secret Stuff and they all pump up and play better basketball…

  2. Wonderful presentation! Basing future expectations on past events is how most people react, but limiting our results! Change your mind, change your life!

  3. She’s nervous but doing it anyway. Wow!

    Never allow fear paralyze you
    Go ahead, do it afraid, hands trembling, feet shaking but keep on your motion.

    I ❤️ her, she’s a clear definition of “I CAN’T BE STOPPED”. Only if we can all approach life then s way!

    Great presentation here 👏 👏 👏

  4. I see comments so I can remind myself that there are people who watches marvelous videos like these and stay motivated and positive. Whenever I lose hope, I come to see the amazing supportive comments

  5. Could the difference be that having the Doctor there is also comforting, and a sense of love, and being taken care of, and the extra human interaction is beneficial? People need love.

  6. What an eye-opening speech! Strongly supported by scientific research and conveyed with passion. Kudos!

  7. This doesn't factor in that people may respond based on fear of not getting treatment if they don't emphasize that they are not ok. So those not getting personal care may have same results, but greater apprehension about care influencing reporting.

  8. She sounds like a grown up Louise Belcher stressing out, but learned to keep it cool over the years.

  9. Alia Crum did an outstanding job! This is great content and very much what my industry needs. Alia, thank you for being so passionate about this as your research is invaluable. I have also read some of your papers and have gained momentum from your hard work. Please continue to do great things!!

  10. Best video I’ve seen. Thank you. I believe you can change things with how you think.
    Where can I get those 3 minute stress video clips from. Love to try that.

  11. I don't like to be a bother. for instance I can remember having surgery and not complaining to the nurse and doctor.

  12. Great topic, wrong speaker. It’s OK though, out of 10 TEDTalks you get one bad speaker, I’ll take it. It was just too hard to focus with her constant hard breathing

  13. Wonderful speech Dr.Crum! Thank you so much, it’s amazing how this few minutes of your educational video have changed my life. My husband was overweight by more than 100Lbs, using some of your data, I designed a psychological assurance plan to help him loose weight. When he gets dress daily I assure him that he most be eating a lot less, because he has dropped significantly weight. To begin this, I bought a mimic of his daily outfits one size bigger, cut all labels and washed them to make them look used. Hid away the real ones and one morning after a few days of good encouragement he noticed that his clothes were loose. He looked at himself different, his bp is more controlled, getting rid of his diabetes, he has lost 30 pounds so far. Our kids encouraged him too ,we are getting him healthy again:) this worked better than anything we have tried over a span of 20 years!!! Thank you so much!!

  14. So, if one is aware of its benefits and downfalls, could that diminish the whole effectiveness of the effect, seeing as all the big results were based off of tricking people. seems like it's more effective the less your aware of the placebo effect, just curious…

  15. Amazing talk, loved the studies really hammers home how amazing our minds can be if we just believe and have helpful expectations.

  16. amazing . as for some comments about her nervousness , i dont think she was nervous at all , her voice was shivering with emotions all the time of this presentation , as far as i can tell was because of being overwhelmed by the positive emotion on account of passion she has with the subject of mindset .

  17. Those are not exercises, they are physical activities. Exercises are systematically designed sets of physical activities which have expected gains in return. Whilst physical activities are any set of movements which make you spend more calories than your basal metabolic rate. What she is speaking of isn't as mathematical as she is making it seem. I Still agree with her anyways… It's impossible not to.

  18. AS YOU THINK SO YOU SHALL BE !!!!! Dr Wayne Dyer . This is so true ! If you think only positive thoughts , then the outcome will be positive every time. If you have only certain thoughts then you create only things from those thoughts. So make it positive and you have it whipped. I am a nurse and back in the day when we gave placebos , which by the way was the Drs way to prevent opiod abuse and it worked. They ordered a psych consult and iv saline every 2 hrs. But I learned how to push it slow and at the same time you suggest to them that this would make them sleepy and asked them to not get up by themselves. OH THE POWER OF SUGGESTION. !!!! Yes we were lying to them but we were saving their lives also by not contributing to their addiction, while the dr suggested that with chronic pain comes depression, so then they would accept the psychological help that worked on why they weren't afraid to die, and why their life was not worth living . This would fix their wrong choices with drugs and uncovered the reason they were medicating their pain. We would literally watch the patient nod off and get drowsy and yes this helped. Saline saved their lives based on what they were told to believe. This reaction justified the uneasy feeling of lying to the patient that I as a nurse felt slightly bad about. But it was only caring for a patient and saving their lives and healing them. Yes what you believe is exactly what you create. And instead of overdosing and dying we healed their negative thoughts and saved their lives . There is the answer to solving the opiod epidemic America !! Fix the negative thoughts that these people are so sadly experiencing. And they will want to be alive and well. I will always blame the Drs. for not having the balls to reisist the profits that were offered to them , over their duty to the care of the patient. Thoughts and beliefs are so overwhelmingly powerful that people allow them to give up and then sadly I saw healthcare change from caregiving to a business. I will give the Drs a little when lawsuits became something that people abused to the point where im sure the profits were tempting because they had families to care for and malpractice insurance became overwhelmingly expensive. When you advertise to the public that they can win a bunch of money and a way of life by suing a Dr for side effects of medications, this in my opinion is the turning point in healthcare. People are prescribed blood thinners to prevent a heart attack or stroke , then patients started to control the Drs by taking them to court and suing them for bleeding , which is a side effect of blood thinners , however the court system allowed something so absurd to punish Drs for caring for their patients. Alternative to bleeding is instant death, they never got to defend themselves . Sorry to rant but back to the point of this wonderful Ted talk : WHEN YOU THINK ONLY POSITIVE YOU CAN CONTROL THE OUTCOME TO BE POSITIVE !!! AND IT IS TRUE !! I KNOW THO FROM EXPERIENCE AND LIFE LESSONS THAT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS , GUILT AND SHAME ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN ANYTHING YOU EVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH, BECAUSE THE ONLY OUTCOME OF THESE THOUGHTS ARE OF COURSE NEGATIVE. AS YOU THINK AND BELIEVE YOU WILL CREATE. VERY POWERFUL AND SOMEONE CAN TELL YOU ALL DAY YOU ARE WORTHY AND DESERVE IT , BUT UNFORTUNATELY THEY CANT MAKE US BELIEVE IT. I MYSELF AM GOING THRU TRYING TO REFUILD SELF ESTEEM AND YOU GET REAL GOOD AT CONVINCING PEOPLE YU ARE GETTING THERE BY FAKING IT. THE ANSWER IS IN THIS TALK YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO LIKE YOU AGAIN AND BELIEVE YOU ARE WORTH IT AND THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS AND REFUSE TO ACCEPT NEGATIVE !!!! THEN AND ONLY THEN DO YOU CHANGE YOUR SELF DESTRUCTION AND NEGATIVE THOUGHTS . I believed I was pathetic so strong that I actually got good in self destructing so that I not only believed it I created proof. Sorry folks this talk revved me up so please just ignore my life story, or if you can relate then I say that I truly understand how hard it is to learn to believe positive again. But you have to believe with your heart and soul that you are worth it. Its not easy. I pray every day for a ted talk that helps me learn how !!! Verbal abuse , in my opinion ought to be punished the same as physical abuse, or with longer sentences !!! People need to realize the power their words can actually have on a persons mind. It changes a person over the years into being the very person you told them they were. And in turn ruins their lives, ability to have relationships , parenting, careers suffer because you lose yourself in a world of abuse that came from words that can never be shown to be published. I would rather be beaten physically, at least wounds and broken bones are seen , and can be punished . Verbal abuse changes a person forever ..Thanks to all who have listened as I got a little bit better lol !!!

  19. Great talk. However, it's HOW to change one's mindset that matters. People know that placebo is a thing.. we are flooded with information about what things help us. But we don't have any practical advice on how to implement such things, especially in a society that pressures to view things (e.g. stress) in a negative way (as shown in the video).

  20. wow check out the audience, they're 20 years her senior…no wonder she's nervous "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"

  21. Thank you for sharing this brilliant video and for opening up my eyes that we are in charge of our lives again

  22. people are talking about concerntrating on your content rather than presentation of speech but I'm sorry the truth is I can't hear you ever for a minute because your broken voice is too damn irritating for my ears to bear it I can't even watch the full video even though I want to don't attack me for telling the truth !!

  23. Thank You VERY MUCH To Those Whom Have Allowed This EXCELLENT PRESENTATION To Be Viewed!!!! Dr. Crum, MUCH Continued Success, Both Personally and Professionally!!! I Believe 100% in What Your Research Shows, and I Have Shared Your Presentation To My Facebook Page and Have Also Saved It in My "Favorites"!!! Warmest Regards, Daniel Patrick Young Istanbul Turkey.

  24. Ok, am confuse here. Is mindset equals placebo effect? To change your mindset about something there is no need to put in the work just image change or goals and puff, problem gone. I have been doing it all wrong then. Waking up at 5am just so l can get my workout done before l start my day when l could have achieve this goal by simply imagining it……….Ghana lady

  25. Placebo effect isn't an example of "mindset" – there's a difference. Placebo we are unaware of – it's the brain communicating directly with the body at an unconscious level and not the "mind", as in a thought process or thought pattern. Mindset is a value set in our consciousness that talks to us inside our head. It responds to cognitive therapy.

  26. We were created for relationship. Our bodies working is only a means to that end. This is why the doctor administering the medicine worked better. We are not machines.

  27. Gorgeous women, brilliant, and a beautiful voice. Delivering incredible information. Loved it ! Speak the truth doctor !

  28. I honestly think she was excited to share her info more then her sounding nervous. To me it seemed she was truly passionate about her speech and couldn’t wait to share. Great video!!

  29. I applaud anyone who attempts to help people by sharing information. I can't help sense that perhaps the nervousness is more about the content itself. I find this research shaky. A 15 minute presentation to hotel workers that creates significant weight loss and lowers their blood pressure with no actual change in behavior? If this sounds to good to be true, well, it just might be. What I've noticed in our society today is the casual use of the term research in news stories and presentations like this, as if we are supposed to take all that research as pure fact just because we have heard the word research or Harvard or Yale. We need to stop taking "research" for granted and start asking questions about research. A great deal of research is bogus because of how it was designed and/or how it was carried out. If we don't know about the design or methodology or implementation—if they don't share this, I have no reason to believe what I'm hearing. My understanding of research comes from years of studying research at the Masters and PhD level. I have designed and completed research myself, so perhaps i am more sensitive to this issue of research. The expectation that we should all just take whatever research says as fact concerns me. The fact is that a great deal of research can be debunked by simply looking closely at the initial assumptions and how a hypothesis was proven correct or not.

  30. We as people must internalize and accept this phenomenon and share this great scientific wisdom (with people) as we gain insight into how it helps our personal lives! If we dont really give this all we've got then we become sitting ducks who have been given the keys to the kingdom and success but thrown it all away! (because of our hesitation and lack of faith)

    I believe that this is all leading to humans realizing just how much our intentions manifest and co-create our physical dimension. I am positive that in the next few years studies will prove that setting intentions and emotions themselves have the same effect on achievement and outcomes where we bring our desires into reality seemingly by mind alone! (Look up the power of acceptance, the Wim Hoff Method, the film "WTF do we know?", and reality as quantum waves)

    As I'm sure you know our earth is rapidly changing and we have to change with it. You may not be able to solve the weather, but you can damn sure ask for a raise, take that leap of faith, and decide to consciously take control over your own life to become who you really are!

    If we as individuals do this, then big change will occur through a natural chain explosion process of evolution [ordering/restructuring] in our societies. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now I understand what president JFK meant before he was assassinated.

    We've got much to live for! I hope everyone here knows, you are valuable. 👊🤙👍

  31. She talks about 4 studies as it relates to mindset. What a difference mindset makes. Its worth listening to her talk.

  32. I think she may be nervous that she will miss part of what she wants us to understand. She is obviously VERY passionate about this topic! I didn't get the whole nervous voice thing, as much as I did what she said and how emphatically she said it. You GO, Girl!!! Great job!

  33. Dr. Crum kept pushing through her nervousness and stayed focused on her message. I take my inspiration from her and you should too.

  34. I was in the same situation with same fear at the front of audience. After shameful performancing, I decided to visit a phsycotherapist and after treatment became fearless! So, I strongly recommend to visit doctor!

  35. It's not nervousness, it's her voice., i had a teacher who is very bold but her voice looks shake and nervous when she speaks louder,

  36. Wow her presentation and the content was amazing…donno if she's nervous or excited but it was lovely. Mindset changed.

  37. "Is there a direct, immediate connection between our mindsets and our bodies?"

    As someone who has had panic attacks, going from a relaxed body to a completely stressed out one in a matter of seconds because of thoughts in my head, I'd say yes there is a connection.

  38. She doesn't look nervous, she's looks determined. Her voice is her voice, it's what she endeavouring to share thats interesting.

  39. Here's a fairly simple summary of the power of mindset. There are many people who view life as a glass half full while others view it as a glass half empty. There are no studies (that I am aware of) on this simple MINDSET orientation. However, my hypothesis is that those who consistently view life as a glass half full tend not only to feel as if their lives are better–their lives ARE, in fact, objectively better.

  40. At the end her mindset leads her to giving a successful presentation inspite of continuous kicking of adrenaline

  41. My grandma was a nurse In the 60s and she would give addicts a shot of saline and they actually got high from it thinking it was morphine

  42. Another scientifically agnostic approach which in the long run will have minimal impact. Unfortunately doctor you will not live to be 125 and this video will dissolve along with all the fools who believe. Come to Christ. He is the way to endurance, vivacity, peace and splendor. Let the Holy spirit guide your mindset. Also next time you go on stage, do a little deep breathing, prayer and exercise. It truly relaxes the nerves and subsequent heavy breathing .

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