Why some find it hard to exercise

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Why do some people struggle more than others to keep off the pounds? Social psychologist Emily Balcetis shows research that addresses one of the many factors: Vision. In an informative talk, she shows how when it comes to fitness, some people quite literally see the world differently from others — and offers a surprisingly simple solution to overcome these differences.

Emily Balcetis

The world around us often seems insurmountable, with all the cards stacked against us -- but as social psychologist Emily Balcetis seeks to show, it doesn't have to be that way. Through her research at New York University she explores how small differences in perception, whether conscious or nonconscious, can have potentially major consequences. For example, in a series of studies conducted in 2009 Balcetis helped show that people who saw Barack Obama as lighter skinned tended to report voting for him in the 2008 presidential election -- and vice versa. Her current work focuses on how video evidence can bias jury members differently and how our vision can work against us when it comes to effective exercise. Balcetis' goal is to show that through our awareness of these biases, we can also overcome them, for an ever so slightly less daunting world.

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