Focus & Finding What You Are Looking For

  • Child Development
  • Health and Wellness
Jennifer Gravlee

Each Monday, Leadership Coach Jennifer Gravlee shares a inspiring message with our team, called "Monday Motivation." She recently shared this and we thought families might enjoy the read and reminder about our focus!

An experiment was done where subjects were told to look at thousands of dots on a screen. They were told If a blue dot flashed, hit the button that reads "blue" and if a purple dot flashes hit the button that reads "not blue." The psychologists were researching something called prevalence-induced concept change. Most of the dots were blue, some were purple and some were a shade in between the two. The study showed when they showed mostly blue dots the subjects were pretty accurate, but once the amount of blue dots went down the subject began to mistake purple for blue. This experiment continued with faces that appear aggressive, friendly and neutral. They then took it even further with job proposals and the subjects had to decide between ethical and unethical proposals. The results were all the same once they decreased the number of unethical proposals people began to see ethical ones as unethical. 

This research showed the more we look for something the more we will see it. We will look for threats in a comfortable and safe environment if that is what we are watching for. If the world, your situation or environment is actually improving people may still see good things as negative now as their perception changed and they are conditioned to look for something negative. Most people are living more comfortable lives than they ever have, but we continue to complain with all that is wrong. Our minds will amplify our problems to match the degree of stress we expect to experience. 

I am working on overcoming the "blue dot effect." I encourage you all to really be present and ask yourself "is this situation/moment that bad or am I looking for negativity? Remember to try and quiet the noise and really look at the "dot." Is it actually blue? 


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About the Author

Jennifer Gravlee, Aspen Youth Leadership Institute & Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute Coach

Jennifer was born and raised in Bartlett, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Memphis with a major in Elementary Education. She brings 7 years of teaching experience to Aspen and loves helping children grow and learn. She can best be described as energetic, outgoing, passionate and optimistic.



B.S., Elementary Education & Special Education, University of Memphis