You see it and hear quite often such as a team having home advantage or a boxer fighting on his home turf with most of the crowd cheering him on. What about a football team on a winning streak because they have one of the best coaches, and a couple of good strong players; and a police officer in full uniform has better control of persons and situations than a plain clothes officer. These are examples of psychological leverage.
There are other forms of psychological leverage. Whenever I can’t solve a problem or find an answer to a question I will often talk to someone about it hoping they can help me. Amazingly, I usually find the answer or solution myself just by discussing it with someone. The process of explaining it, in such a way to get an answer, is what does it. Get yourself a rag doll if nobody’s willing to listen to you!!!
If you’ve had any experience exercising with weights you usually seem to lift a lot more when somebody spots you ie slightly holding onto the weight bar. Nine times out of ten, you end up doing the lift yourself, only because you believed you were getting help. It wouldn’t ordinarily happen if the spotter wasn't there.
Psychological leverage is quite ubiquitous at tournaments based on reputation, rank, size and demeanor. How does one overcome a situation if you come up against someone with that type of leverage? I remember coming up against the Australian Karate Champion in the early ‘80’s and this guy had a bad reputation because he would take your head off if you upset him or he didn’t like you. In this situation I just took a very relaxed approach. He gave me the dirtiest look when we were at the starting lines. I just threw him a friendly gesture only because I was worried what he might do to me.
The fight started and I scored the first point (there was hard sparring in the early days). Then he scored one on me. The bout kept going and it was getting really rough until the referee had to intervene a number of times and you can see the really angry look on his face. I just patted him on the shoulder as he walked back to his line which seemd to passify him and I acknowledged some of the points he scored on me by nodding my head. The scored reached 5 even. I was pretty sure I scored more than he did but I think the referees didn’t want to see him lose the fight. I was more worried he was going to take my head off. He got the last score in which declared him a winner. He ran and picked me up with a big hug. I wonder whether he would’ve done the same if he lost. Everybody applauded because it was the best bout of the day. What I learned that day was relaxation gave me confidence. I was truly amazed with myself that I had almost beaten somebody who appeared to have it all over me. From then on, I found competition easier because I had psychological leverage over others.
Don't ask me where to find these rag dolls!