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July 28, 2008

Imagine a Bigger Market and You'll See a Bigger Market

Scientists in two studies at the University of Virginia discovered that softball players and golfers who had good days perceived balls and golf holes as larger than the players who had bad days. The question is, Did this difference in perception cause the player to have better days or did the day's performance cause the players to perceive the ball and holes as bigger?

Enter a third study at Vandebilt University. Researchers asked subjects to imagine vertical or horizontal stripes. Then the researchers showed vertical strips to one eye and horizontal strips to the other eye of the subjects. They found that the subjects saw the kind of stripes that they were told to imagine--indicating that imagination affects perception. Read about all three studies here.

Maybe if entrepreneurs imagine that their market sector is larger than what it is, they'll do better. This is an unscientific leap of reasoning, but entrepreneurship requires unscientific leaps of reasoning. If nothing else, I'm going to imagine that a hockey goal is larger than four by six feet the next time I play.

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