Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.
Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.
OCR for page 65
65 the programs that have already been developed, such as SALT or biofeedback. After all, if a program works, in a pragmatic sense it does not matter what the causal agent is, be it expectations or the treatment as originally conceptualized. The decision of whether to pursue these programs depends in part on the cost of the program compared to the cost of us ing a program specifically designed to enhance expectations. It also depends on how well the expectancy effects generalize from the laboratory to applied contexts, a question that needs to be addressed empirically. Conclusion The quest for the enhancement of human performance has captured the imaginations of men and women for centuries. Much progress has been made as our approaches have become more scientific and theoretically based. But as the reviews in this paper have shown, much work remains to be done. In many of the areas covered here, we cannot at this point conclude with confidence that the treatment works, and we have pointed out in each section ways in which research designs could be improved for future studies. At the same time, however, enough data exist in terms of anecdotal evidence and the studies conducted so far to indicate that most of these domains are well worth further exploration. Continued research on these techniques would also help to specify those variables that are critical in enhancing performance, variables that could be then be incorporated in other more cost-effective training packages. A final thought concerns the attitude of researchers and critics in these areas. When dealing with controversial areas such as the five covered in this paper, it is best to adopt a skeptical but open attitude. People's reactions to these areas vary across a long continuum, and we feel that reactions at both tails of this distribution are not helpful. Advances in our understanding
OCR for page 65
66 of these areas are not likely to be made by proponents of an area who are so convinced of the utility of a technique that they do not entertain the possibility of negative results, or by critics who are so convinced that a phenomenon does not exist that they do not accept positive results. We support the spirit of the meta-analytic approach, an approach that says "show me the data" and does not make premature judgments either about "what is surely true" or about "what cannot possibly be e t'