Human Potential: Exploring Techniques Used to Enhance Human Performance, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Human Potential

Exploring Techniques Used to Enhance Human Performance, 1st Edition

By David Vernon


280 pages | 114 B/W Illus.

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Throughout time, people have explored the ways in which they can improve some aspect of their performance. Such attempts are more visible today, with many working to gain an ‘edge’ on their performance, whether it is to learn a new language, improve memory or increase golf handicaps. This book examines a range of techniques that are intended to help improve some aspect of performance, and examines how well they are able to achieve this.

The various performance enhancing techniques available can be divided into those where the individual remains passive (receiving a message, suggestion or stimulus) and those where the individual needs to take a more active approach. Human Potential looks at a range of techniques within each of these categories to provide the reader with a sense of the traditional as well as the more contemporary approaches used to enhance human performance. The techniques covered include hypnosis, sleep learning, subliminal training and audio and visual cortical entrainment as well as mnemonics, meditation, speed-reading, biofeedback, neurofeedback and mental imagery practice.

This is the first time such a broad range of techniques has been brought together to be assessed in terms of effectiveness. It will be useful to all psychology and sports science students, practicing psychologists, life coaches and anyone else interested in finding out about the effectiveness of performance enhancement techniques.


"This is an inspiring read that conveys the vast potential for human development in a variety of situations, and by employing a multitude of techniques." – Helen Henshaw, University of Nottingham, in The Psychologist

'This book provides a comprehensive and highly readable summary of the psychology of human potential. Readers will appreciate the excellent summaries of the theories and techniques that have been developed over the years. This book makes an important contribution to the science of positive psychology and is a must read for anyone with an interest in what works and doesn't work in the areas of human performance and potential.' - Philip J. Corr, Professor of Psychology, Swansea University, UK

'I did not have to get very far into this book before I realized that it offers a very different treatment of the subject of human potential. David Vernon has done an incredible amount of homework in terms of providing not just a review of the extant literature on the various topics, but also at providing the critical evaluations of these studies that are absolutely necessary for the reader to be informed about these techniques.' - Philip L. Ackerman, Professor of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. Part 1. Passive Techniques. 2. Hypnosis. 3. Sleep Learning. 4. Subliminal Audio/Visual Stimulation. 5. Visual/Auditory Entrainment. Part 2. Active Techniques. 6. Meditation. 7. Mnemonics. 8. Speed Reading. 9. Biofeedback. 10. Neurofeedback. 11. Mental Imagery Practice. 12. Peak Performance: Techniques, Themes and Directions.

About the Author

David Vernon is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Canterbury Christ Church University. He has a wide range of research interests covering a variety of performance enhancing techniques, in particular the use of neurofeedback to alter brain activity as a mechanism for improving cognition and behaviour.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology
PSYCHOLOGY / Hypnotism