100_1181Take a ride in a glass elevator, from ground level to rooftop in a single ride. How do you feel?

If you’re like most people, you feel — well, you feel like you’re on top of the world. You feel good about yourself and believe in your ability to overcome any obstacle and conquer every challenge. The only downside is — well, going down. By the time you get to the bottom, not only have your feelings of grandeur evaporated, but now you feel a bit puny, somewhat insignificant, and less than capable.

But wait! you can save yourself the effort. Researchers have discovered that you can awaken the same responses by merely imagining yourself soaring skyward or plummeting earthward. With a little visualization, you can create your own mood.

But what happens next?

That’s what Max Ostinelli, David Luna, and Torsten Ringbergat wanted to find out. According to NPR, the three University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, psychologists had people imagine themselves rising up into the sky, then asked them to solve a series of SAT-style math problems. With all that positive self-esteem pumping up their neural pathways, certainly their performance should have increased significantly. Right?

Wrong. They did worse. A lot worse.