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Law of Attraction: New Support for the Power of the Unconscious Mind

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:19pm
Many of us have heard of or even studied the Law of Attraction, the idea that our minds help to guide us toward a goal and actually attract people and situations to us in order to fulfill the goal. Although there are many stories of successes there is little hard research to support the "Law." A Medline search on Law of Attraction turned up empty handed.

Now, don't get me wrong. I actually believe this stuff and have a number of examples of the success of the "Law" in my life as well as others I know. I just have a hard time explaining it to some of my logically oriented friends. Many times my thinking resides at a kind of crossroads between logical science and metaphysics. Sometimes it goes a little bit in one direction and other times it goes a little bit the other way. It's kind of like being a politician attempting to walk the line between right and left and sometimes waffling one way or the other (well maybe not that bad).

Anyway, the present thinking about the role of the unconscious in obtaining goals is that it only works on what already is learned. In other words the unconscious can't help you learn a new skill. I kind of always thought this was poppycock (excuse my profanity) since as a former athlete and coach I had an intuitive sense that the unconscious really helped in learning new skills, developing new ideas and solving problems.

Now, some new research from Hebrew University psychologists, Baruch Eitam, Ran Hassin and Yaacov Schul shows that the unconscious mind does indeed play an important role in achieving goals.

The researches examined the performance of two groups of subjects in performing a computer simulation of running a sugar factory and learning a sequence of circles appearing on a computer screen. One group was unconsciously motivated by completing a word search task that exposed them to a number of motivating words. The other group performed the same word search with a neutral selection of words.

It turns out that the group exposed to the motivating words performed better than the non-motivated group. The results overturn the old theory that the unconscious mind cannot help in learning a new skill.

The study supports the idea that the unconscious mind plays a much larger role in achieving goals that was previously thought (in the scientific community).

So how would this help to explain the Law of Attraction? I think the "Law" works at least in part by fulfilling people's needs. For example let's say a number of people are unconsciously looking to solve a problem for which you have the solution. Your unconscious mind is looking to provide a solution while they are looking to get a solution. Both your mind and theirs work together to fulfill the need. Since we exist in a complex network it only takes making some connections in order to link up with these people. In a sense they are attracted to you.


Association for Psychological Science (2008, March 8). Profound Impact Of Our Unconscious On Reaching Goals Revealed.

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