The Importance of Self Worth.
Reflecting on better times can help the downtrodden take steps to escape their poverty. In an experiment conducted in a New Jersey soup kitchen, 150 participants were asked to recount a proud moment or memorable achievement prior to taking a series of problem-solving tests. A control group took the tests without a positive affirmation beforehand. The affirmation group performed dramatically better than the control group with a difference in scores representing roughly a 10-point increase in IQ. Participants in the affirmation group were also more likely to seek out help from local government or charity programs that are used by only a fraction of those eligible.
Psychological Science, December 2013