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Attitude Counts

I THINK I CAN! Believing in yourself can boost your brain’s problem-solving ability. JONATHAN KIM—GETTY IMAGES

Positive thinking leads to greater achievement. That’s the finding of a new study from Stanford University, in California. Researchers gave a math test to 240 children ages 7 to 10. The study found that when children believed they were good at math, they did better on the test. Brain scans revealed that positive thinking motivates the brain’s memory center. That boosts problem-solving skills.

Previously, scientists thought it was important to enjoy math in order to be good at it. But the new study shows that it’s also important to believe you can become good at something. That’s what improves your ability to learn. Lang Chen is the study’s lead author. He says, “A good attitude opens the door to high achievement, which means you then have a better attitude, getting you into a good circle of learning.”