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Ed Webb

Why hard work and specialising early is not a recipe for success - The Correspondent - 0 views

  • dispelling nonsense is much harder than spreading nonsense.
  • a worldwide cult of the head start – a fetish for precociousness. The intuitive opinion that dedicated, focused specialists are superior to doubting, daydreaming Jacks-of-all-trades is winning
  • astonishing sacrifices made in the quest for efficiency, specialisation and excellence
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  • Most things that people want to learn do not resemble language, golf or chess, but rather a game in which the generalist has an advantage. A hostile learning environment
  • Seemingly inefficient things are productive: expanding your horizons, giving yourself time, switching professions. 
  • early specialisation is a good idea if you want to become successful in certain fields, sports or professions. In fact, in some cases, it’s the only option. Take chess, for example: if you don’t start early, you won’t stand a chance at glory.
  • learning chess is not a good model for learning other things. Epstein explains this using the work of psychologist Robin Hogarth, who makes the distinction between friendly (kind) and unfriendly or hostile (wicked) learning environments.
  • In a friendly learning environment, such as chess, the rules are clear, the information is complete (all pieces are visible on the board), and you can (ultimately) determine the quality of every move. In other words, the feedback loop
  • friendly learning environments are the exception. The world is not as clear-cut as golf or chess. So early specialisation is often a bad idea. 
  • In hostile learning environments without repetitive patterns, mastery is much harder to achieve. The feedback loop is insidious. Unlike chess, experience does not necessarily make you better. You may stick with the wrong approach because you’re convinced it’s the right one. 
  • The better a teacher scored on their own subject (i.e., the higher the grades their students got in that subject), the more mediocre students’ scores were across the complete programme (all modules). The explanation? Those teachers gave their students rigidly defined education, purely focused on passing exams. The students passed their tests with high marks – and rated their teachers highly in surveys – but would fail later on. 
  • In learning environments without repetitive patterns, where cause and effect are not always clear, early specialisation and spending countless hours does not guarantee success. Quite the opposite, Epstein argues. Generalists have the advantage: they have a wider range of experiences and a greater ability to associate and improvise. (The world has more in common with jazz than classical music, Epstein explains in a chapter on music.)
  • Many modern professions aren’t so much about applying specific solutions than they are about recognising the nature of a problem, and only then coming up with an approach. That becomes possible when you learn to see analogies with other fields, according to psychologist Dedre Gentner, who has made this subject her life’s work.
  • Another advantage generalists and late specialists have is more concrete: you are more likely to pick a suitable study, sport or profession if you first orient yourself broadly before you make a choice.
  • Greater enjoyment of the game is one of the benefits associated with late specialisation, along with fewer injuries and more creativity.
  • which child, teenager or person in their 20s knows what they will be doing for the rest of their lives?
  • Persevering along a chosen path can also lead to other problems: frustrations about failure. If practice makes perfect, why am I not a genius? In a critical review,
  • The tricky thing about generalist long-term thinking versus specialist short-term thinking is that the latter produces faster and more visible results.
  • specialising in short-term success gets in the way of long-term success. This also applies to education.
  • (Another example: the on-going worry about whether or not students’ degree choices are "labour market relevant".)
  • Teachers who taught more broadly – who did not teach students readymade "prescribed lessons” but instilled "principles" – were not rated as highly in their own subject, but had the most sustainable effect on learning. However, this was not reflected in the results. These teachers were awarded – logically but tragically – lower ratings by their students.
  • the 10,000 hour gang has considerable power with their message "quitters never win, winners never quit".Epstein’s more wholesome message seems weak and boring in comparison. Some things are simply not meant for everyone, doubt is understandable and even meaningful, you can give up and change your choice of work, sports or hobby, and an early lead can actually be a structural disadvantage. 
  • "Don’t feel behind." Don’t worry if others seem to be moving faster, harder or better. Winners often quit.
Vicki Davis

Strong Work Friendships Reduce Social Conflict in Female Workforce | Psych Central News - 0 views

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    "New research suggests an employer-facilitated workplace culture that supports positive, social relationships between women coworkers reduces the risk of conflict among women employees." - Interesting study relating to gender in the workplace.
Vicki Davis

It's not just lack of sleep: why pupils with an "owl" chronotype get lower grades - Res... - 0 views

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    Students do better when they have a clock more aligned with their own body clock. Actually most kids may actually test better in the afternoons! Interesting study.
Vicki Davis

What Parents Can Do To Avoid Passing Anxiety On To Their Kids | MindShift | KQED News - 2 views

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    "Children of anxious parents are more at risk of developing an anxiety disorder. But there's welcome news for those anxious parents: that trajectory toward anxiety isn't set in stone. Therapy and a change in parenting styles might be able to prevent kids from developing anxiety disorders, according to research published in The American Journal of Psychiatry Friday."
Vicki Davis

Endorphins: 8 Natural Boosters | Reader's Digest - 3 views

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    Natural ways to boost endorphins in your brain.
Vicki Davis

You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours... - 2 views

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    If you want to learn some very cool things here is a synopsis of watching more than 70 hours of TED talks with links. I love these types of summary posts (any wonder?)
anonymous

Grab the great career option with psychology course - 1 views

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    Psychology courses can benefit your career immensely and give a boost to the company's progress.
anonymous

How is the online psychology programs standing out among regular campus courses? - 4 views

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    The online psychology program is provided by some of the best institutions in UK via online. Here you can know how you build a successful career in psychology field.
Vicki Davis

Conditioning - Resources - TES - 2 views

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    Interesting lesson on conditioning that leads into a conversation about Pavlov's dogs.
Ed Webb

Hamlet and the Power of Beliefs to Shape Reality | Literally Psyched, Scientific Americ... - 9 views

  • the more someone believes in improvement, the larger the amplitude of a brain signal that reflects a conscious allocation of attention to mistakes. And the larger that neural signal, the better subsequent performance. That mediation suggests that individuals with an incremental theory of intelligence may actually have better self-monitoring and control systems on a very basic neural level: their brains are better at monitoring their own, self-generated errors and at adjusting their behavior accordingly. It’s a story of improved on-line error awareness—of noticing mistakes as they happen, and correcting for them immediately.
  • If we think of ourselves as able to learn, learn we will—and if we think we are doomed to fail, we doom ourselves to do precisely that, not just behaviorally, but at the most fundamental level of the neuron.
Ed Webb

Does Your Language Shape How You Think? - NYTimes.com - 13 views

  • Some 50 years ago, the renowned linguist Roman Jakobson pointed out a crucial fact about differences between languages in a pithy maxim: “Languages differ essentially in what they must convey and not in what they may convey.” This maxim offers us the key to unlocking the real force of the mother tongue: if different languages influence our minds in different ways, this is not because of what our language allows us to think but rather because of what it habitually obliges us to think about.
  • When your language routinely obliges you to specify certain types of information, it forces you to be attentive to certain details in the world and to certain aspects of experience that speakers of other languages may not be required to think about all the time. And since such habits of speech are cultivated from the earliest age, it is only natural that they can settle into habits of mind that go beyond language itself, affecting your experiences, perceptions, associations, feelings, memories and orientation in the world.
  • When speakers were asked to grade various objects on a range of characteristics, Spanish speakers deemed bridges, clocks and violins to have more “manly properties” like strength, but Germans tended to think of them as more slender or elegant. With objects like mountains or chairs, which are “he” in German but “she” in Spanish, the effect was reversed.
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  • once gender connotations have been imposed on impressionable young minds, they lead those with a gendered mother tongue to see the inanimate world through lenses tinted with associations and emotional responses that English speakers — stuck in their monochrome desert of “its” — are entirely oblivious to
  • our experience of a Chagall painting actually depends to some extent on whether our language has a word for blue
  • if you saw a Guugu Yimithirr speaker pointing at himself, you would naturally assume he meant to draw attention to himself. In fact, he is pointing at a cardinal direction that happens to be behind his back. While we are always at the center of the world, and it would never occur to us that pointing in the direction of our chest could mean anything other than to draw attention to ourselves, a Guugu Yimithirr speaker points through himself, as if he were thin air and his own existence were irrelevant
  • one conclusion that seems compelling is that while we are trained to ignore directional rotations when we commit information to memory, speakers of geographic languages are trained not to do so
  • some languages, like Matses in Peru, oblige their speakers, like the finickiest of lawyers, to specify exactly how they came to know about the facts they are reporting. You cannot simply say, as in English, “An animal passed here.” You have to specify, using a different verbal form, whether this was directly experienced (you saw the animal passing), inferred (you saw footprints), conjectured (animals generally pass there that time of day), hearsay or such. If a statement is reported with the incorrect “evidentiality,” it is considered a lie. So if, for instance, you ask a Matses man how many wives he has, unless he can actually see his wives at that very moment, he would have to answer in the past tense and would say something like “There were two last time I checked.” After all, given that the wives are not present, he cannot be absolutely certain that one of them hasn’t died or run off with another man since he last saw them, even if this was only five minutes ago. So he cannot report it as a certain fact in the present tense. Does the need to think constantly about epistemology in such a careful and sophisticated manner inform the speakers’ outlook on life or their sense of truth and causation?
  • The habits of mind that our culture has instilled in us from infancy shape our orientation to the world and our emotional responses to the objects we encounter, and their consequences probably go far beyond what has been experimentally demonstrated so far; they may also have a marked impact on our beliefs, values and ideologies. We may not know as yet how to measure these consequences directly or how to assess their contribution to cultural or political misunderstandings. But as a first step toward understanding one another, we can do better than pretending we all think the same.
Ed Webb

How to Land Your Kid in Therapy - Magazine - The Atlantic - 11 views

  • Meanwhile, rates of anxiety and depression have also risen in tandem with self-esteem. Why is this? “Narcissists are happy when they’re younger, because they’re the center of the universe,” Twenge explains. “Their parents act like their servants, shuttling them to any activity they choose and catering to their every desire. Parents are constantly telling their children how special and talented they are. This gives them an inflated view of their specialness compared to other human beings. Instead of feeling good about themselves, they feel better than everyone else.” In early adulthood, this becomes a big problem. “People who feel like they’re unusually special end up alienating those around them,” Twenge says. “They don’t know how to work on teams as well or deal with limits. They get into the workplace and expect to be stimulated all the time, because their worlds were so structured with activities. They don’t like being told by a boss that their work might need improvement, and they feel insecure if they don’t get a constant stream of praise. They grew up in a culture where everyone gets a trophy just for participating, which is ludicrous and makes no sense when you apply it to actual sports games or work performance. Who would watch an NBA game with no winners or losers? Should everyone get paid the same amount, or get promoted, when some people have superior performance? They grew up in a bubble, so they get out into the real world and they start to feel lost and helpless. Kids who always have problems solved for them believe that they don’t know how to solve problems. And they’re right—they don’t.”
  • I asked Wendy Mogel if this gentler approach really creates kids who are less self-involved, less “Me Generation.” No, she said. Just the opposite: parents who protect their kids from accurate feedback teach them that they deserve special treatment. “A principal at an elementary school told me that a parent asked a teacher not to use red pens for corrections,” she said, “because the parent felt it was upsetting to kids when they see so much red on the page. This is the kind of self-absorption we’re seeing, in the name of our children’s self-esteem.”
  • research shows that much better predictors of life fulfillment and success are perseverance, resiliency, and reality-testing
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  • “They believe that ‘average’ is bad for self-esteem.”
  • Jane told me that because parents are so sensitive to how every interaction is processed, sometimes she feels like she’s walking on eggshells while trying to do her job. If, for instance, a couple of kids are doing something they’re not supposed to—name-calling, climbing on a table, throwing sand—her instinct would be to say “Hey, knock it off, you two!” But, she says, she’d be fired for saying that, because you have to go talk with the kids, find out what they were feeling, explain what else they could do with that feeling other than call somebody a “poopy face” or put sand in somebody’s hair, and then help them mutually come up with a solution. “We try to be so correct in our language and our discipline that we forget the true message we’re trying to send—which is, don’t name-call and don’t throw the sand!” she said. “But by the time we’re done ‘talking it through,’ the kids don’t want to play anymore, a rote apology is made, and they’ll do it again five minutes later, because they kind of got a pass. ‘Knock it off’ works every time, because they already know why it’s wrong, and the message is concise and clear. But to keep my job, I have to go and explore their feelings.”
  • “The ideology of our time is that choice is good and more choice is better,” he said. “But we’ve found that’s not true.”
  • Kids feel safer and less anxious with fewer choices, Schwartz says; fewer options help them to commit to some things and let go of others, a skill they’ll need later in life.
  • Most parents tell kids, ‘You can do anything you want, you can quit any time, you can try this other thing if you’re not 100 percent satisfied with the other.’ It’s no wonder they live their lives that way as adults, too.” He sees this in students who graduate from Swarthmore. “They can’t bear the thought that saying yes to one interest or opportunity means saying no to everything else, so they spend years hoping that the perfect answer will emerge. What they don’t understand is that they’re looking for the perfect answer when they should be looking for the good-enough answer.”
  • what parents are creating with all this choice are anxious and entitled kids whom she describes as “handicapped royalty.”
  • When I was my son’s age, I didn’t routinely get to choose my menu, or where to go on weekends—and the friends I asked say they didn’t, either. There was some negotiation, but not a lot, and we were content with that. We didn’t expect so much choice, so it didn’t bother us not to have it until we were older, when we were ready to handle the responsibility it requires. But today, Twenge says, “we treat our kids like adults when they’re children, and we infantilize them when they’re 18 years old.”
  • too much choice makes people more likely to feel depressed and out of control
Kim Yaris

Seven Sins of Our System of Forced Education | Psychology Today - 2 views

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    Great, though provoking article
Tero Toivanen

The Vygotsky Project - 12 views

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    This is really interesting project about Vygotsky "The Man and his Ideas".
Ed Webb

Leigh Blackall: Student authored, open, psychology text book - 5 views

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    Hot-diggity
Ed Webb

Mind - Research Upends Traditional Thinking on Study Habits - NYTimes.com - 3 views

  • instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing. “We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Instead, we walk around with all sorts of unexamined beliefs about what works that are mistaken.”
  • The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.
  • Cognitive scientists do not deny that honest-to-goodness cramming can lead to a better grade on a given exam. But hurriedly jam-packing a brain is akin to speed-packing a cheap suitcase, as most students quickly learn — it holds its new load for a while, then most everything falls out. “With many students, it’s not like they can’t remember the material” when they move to a more advanced class, said Henry L. Roediger III, a psychologist at Washington University in St. Louis. “It’s like they’ve never seen it before.”
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  • cognitive scientists see testing itself — or practice tests and quizzes — as a powerful tool of learning, rather than merely assessment. The process of retrieving an idea is not like pulling a book from a shelf; it seems to fundamentally alter the way the information is subsequently stored, making it far more accessible in the future.
  • “The idea is that forgetting is the friend of learning,” said Dr. Kornell. “When you forget something, it allows you to relearn, and do so effectively, the next time you see it.”
  • An hour of study tonight, an hour on the weekend, another session a week from now: such so-called spacing improves later recall, without requiring students to put in more overall study effort or pay more attention, dozens of studies have found.
  • “Testing not only measures knowledge but changes it,” he says — and, happily, in the direction of more certainty, not less.
  • “Testing has such bad connotation; people think of standardized testing or teaching to the test,” Dr. Roediger said. “Maybe we need to call it something else, but this is one of the most powerful learning tools we have.”
  • The harder it is to remember something, the harder it is to later forget. This effect, which researchers call “desirable difficulty,”
Mireille Jansma

Daniel Willingham: Brain Based Education, Fad or Breakthrough? - 21 views

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    I really liked this discussion. Every educator being exposed to the latest "scientifically based learning strategy" should watch this first.
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