In short, this app can make you more positive!
We are surrounded by countless stimuli (visual, auditory, sensory…) but our minds can’t focus on them all. So, we ignore most of them and concentrate on what we think is most important. The same way your mind ignores the voices around you right now to read these words! This phenomenon is called Cognitive Bias. Meaning that your mind is unconsciously ‘biased’ towards certain inputs more than the others.
This “cognitive bias” gets affected by our emotional state. The positive person perceives positivities more than others, while the anxious person notices hazards and threats more than others    which makes him/her feel morse!
So, what can we do?
Studies found that some tasks (like choosing the positive pictures from a collection of negative ones) when practiced for long periods, can train the mind to concentrate on positive details in life, hence promote positivity and reduce anxiety and social phobia.
The app is based on many psychological techniques, mentioned below, that has been embedded in a gaming experience, with animations, levels and score. To encourage the user to continue playing to unlock new themes.
To add variety, this app contains 2 games:
- The first game: is based on Visual Search task. One positive picture among many negative ones, and the player has to notice and click the positive picture as fast as possible.
- The second game: is based on Dot-probe task. Two pictures appear for a fraction of a second, one positive and one negative, then replaced by two arrows. The player has to swipe his/her finger in the direction of the arrow that replaced the positive picture. As fast as possible.
At the middle of each level, there is a break. In which a mental exercise appears, asking the player to reflect on his/her own life.
This application uses many psychological techniques to magnify its effect, such as:
- Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM)
The aim is to train the mind to notice and respond faster to positive pictures, instead of focusing on negativities. Researchers describe this technique as “ a cognitive vaccine against depression”.
- Positive interventions
In each level, there is a break contains an instruction. Which can be a mental exercise (inspired by positive psychology interventions that promote happiness and well-being ) or a solution-focused question to increase positive emotions and self-efficacy or a positive quote to enhance the positive mood.
Some mental exercises can be effective in one session, but generally, practicing the one you like more frequently is better.
- Mere-exposure Effect
During playing, especially in “choosing healthy food” and “choosing the positive word” themes, the positive images appear more than the negative ones. Why? Studies have shown that the more the picture repeats, the more it will be acceptable, believable or desirable by the recipient because it becomes more familiar. This unconscious effect has been used in the game to increase the likability of positive stimuli, like healthy food!
- Collective unconscious!
Evolutionary psychologists suggest that anxiety was beneficial for survival in primitive ages, as it drives cautiousness to notice dangers and threatening predators, then we inherited this characteristic over time. The anxious person considers the world a dangerous and worrying place, where he cannot be relaxed and live at ease in clear mind!
Thus, the “jungle theme” trains the mind to focus on peaceful creatures, rather than dangerous predators, to promote a peaceful worldview and reduce anxiety.
Remember that we don’t live in a jungle, and feeling threatened and worry all the time is not useful or healthy in modern life !