What Do People Expect of Cognitive Enhancement?

Sheida Rabipour, Ronald Andringa, Walter R. Boot, Patrick S. R. Davidson
2017 Journal of Cognitive Enhancement  
Enhancing cognitive function through mentally challenging exercises (Bbrain training^) or non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) is an enticing yet controversial prospect. Although use of these methods is increasing rapidly, their effectiveness remains questionable. Notably, cognitive enhancement studies have typically failed to consider participants' expectations. However, high expectations could easily make brain-training approaches appear more effective than they actually are. We addressed
more » ... re. We addressed this major gap in the literature by assessing the perceived effectiveness of brain training and NIBS in a series of surveys. Our results suggest that people are optimistic about the possibilities of cognitive enhancement, particularly through brain training. Moreover, reading a brief message implying high or low effectiveness of such methods can raise or lower expectations, respectively, suggesting that perceptions of brain training are malleable-at least in the short term. Measuring expectations in brain training and NIBS is important to determining whether these cognitive enhancement methods truly are effective.
doi:10.1007/s41465-017-0050-3 fatcat:q2aj5i6g6bfyfbkm77gjjus6jm