This Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM) game is used to train the thoughts and habits (of healthy people) away from negativity and focus on the positive and optimism.
A cognitive bias is a pattern deviation in judgment that prevents you from being rational. This happens because you might developed a negative bias and am influenced by social situations or find confirmation in others.
This free game presents faces and wants you to click the happy ones, the main purpose of this is to overcome the focus on negativity in social situations. But because this changes a pattern of how you think, it will change a common mental habit and you will more likely focus on positivity for other situations too. It trains your brain to be more active in parts that cause optimism.
The method of training is used within therapies such as for anxiety, depression and addiction. In most cases this is done without medication and is more flexible than other treatments. Helpful tools such as this game don't require therapist, thus is also low cost.
So why practice this game? At first this game seems like a simple repetitive game by just becoming faster in clicking. But it is very similar to other games such as brain training. Most likely you will think it's weird at first, and you might not understand the purpose. But that's normal! Gaining control over automatic mental habits is difficult and takes time. Like strengthening a muscle. As you repeat this training each day, it will become easier to do, and you will be faster and more accurate. As a result you are more likely to focus on positive and optimism which can result in less stress, being more productive, faster decisions and most importantly more happyness!
For example, people with anxiety have a tendency to focus their attention on negative information. This habit is so automatic that it is very difficult to catch or change consciously. However, just like other habits, such as typing or riding a bicycle, with practice we can change these mental habits and have new ‘nonanxiety-related’ habits become automatic.
I really recommend watching this fun 8 minute video, which shows that things that have become 'automatic' like riding a bike, can be unlearned. Why is this video related? It is good for one to know how we work and what causes you to be less optimism. But knowledge is not understanding. You'll have to practice to change, just like you would learning to ride a bike a different way:
Recently I have become quite interested in fighting bad habits due to life changes which put me in a position to think about myself. Why does stuff happen to me? Even when I can put it all in perspective.
It's very interesting how our mind and body works. When we feel anxiety, within milliseconds our body pumps in its own remedies that make us very alert with more anxiety. Ready to run or fight! The result is, even when you understand what's happening, it's already too late because your body reacted. In my case it can take me several hours to recover and enjoy my day again. My mind can't stop thinking about it, even when I am forcing myself. I keep turning to the dark side. Just from one little thought!
I saw the CBM method of training on the GREAT BBC documentary The truth about personality :
Sadly I only found mobile apps for Android and IOS (iPhone), both which I don't own. The original (from BBC) is created in flash which does not work on many modern devices.
As a advocate for the web, I have decided to build this html5 version which is entirely free and should work on any device!
Most modern browsers will work. Having issues? Please report or consider upgrading your browser.
Please provide me with feedback so I can improve the game. Or contact me for any other reason.
All images used are free and found across the web. Attribution goes to: