The power of positivity

A group activity to explore the power of positivity (and negativity) on how you behave

What you will need

You will need...

Timing: 20mins

  • A ball and hoop or a football goal
  • Space outside or indoors
  • A blindfold or scarf


Start by...

Ask two volunteers to step outside the room (or away from the hoop) while you brief other members of the group. One of them thinks that they are rubbish at shooting hoops and the other is pretty accurate. Make sure the two volunteers can't hear what you're saying.

Explain to the group that this is an exercise in positive or negative power from a group. When the first person (who is rubbish at shooting hoops) comes to the net/basket, they will be blindfolded. They will shoot at the ring. The rest of the group will clap and cheer as if they have scored every time.

After a few shots take the blindfold off and keep going until they score a couple of good shots.

Middle bit...

Now bring back the second volunteer (the one that is good at shooting hoops). Put on the blindfold. However, this time the group has been briefed to try and give the impression that they are missing every shot. Then remove the blindfold and keep up the negative vibe. Does it affect their shot?

End by...

Let the two volunteers in on the experiment. Thank them for being such good sports and agreeing to volunteer. Invite group and the volunteers to explain what happened. Discuss what affect it had.

Explain that this demonstrates the power of positivity or negativity. When the group influence is positive it can improve our performance. When it is negative, it can cause us to doubt ourselves and behave in the wrong way.

You are welcome to look at the Young Scot links to dramas on peer pressure.

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