Have you ever thought about tracing your family tree? Great, then you probably are already obtaining the benefits to preserving your family cultural heritage, establishing a connection with the past and documenting genetic information about your ancestors’ medical history. But have you ever thought about all of the secondary benefits that come from family tree research?
Recently a clinical study reported that thinking positively about our family roots boosts emotional confidence and even intelligence.
The 2010 study, published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, comprised four studies that pitted those who think about their roots versus those who don't before taking a battery of problem solving and intelligence tests.
In the first study, the subjects consisted of two experimental groups and a control. A third of the subjects were instructed to think about their deep roots from the 15th century, another third to think about their great grandparents, and the control group did no such preparation.
What were the subjects specifically asked to think about? They were told to imagine their ancestors, how they lived, their professions and their families, the trials they faced, and what these ancestors would tell them if they were around today.
Results indicated that both groups that looked back performed significantly better on the problem-solving test than the control.