Can An Alter Ego Activate The Best You?
The concept of an alter ego is not new. Rock stars, athletes and great orators have spoken about having them. Performance coach Todd Herman teaches people that using an alter ego can activate a higher level of achievement. For more than 20 years, Herman said he has coached Olympians, business leaders and other high achievers by teaching them what he calls the "Alter Ego Effect."
Herman was in San Diego in February as a featured speaker at the Traffic and Conversion Summit. Organizers say with 6,000 participants, the digital marketing conference is the largest such event in the world. Herman spoke about the "Alter Ego Effect" and signed copies of his book bearing the same title.
In "The Alter Ego Effect," Herman explains how alter egos can motivate people to overcome challenging situations. He used the "Batman Effect" as an example. This is the phenomenon of children persevering a challenge by dressing up as their favorite superhero, also known as enclothed cognition.
KPBS news reached Professor Piotr Winkielman with UC San Diego’s psychology department to learn more. Winkielman said research does show enclothed cognition can make a difference but said the effects are modest.