Posts tagged with 'Cognition'
Aug 6, 2009
How subliminals influence your ability

Exhibit A: When a group of Stanford undergraduates took a standardized test and were told that it was a measure of their intellectual ability, the white students did much better than their black counterparts. But when the same test was presented simply as an abstract laboratory tool, with no relevance to ability, the scores of blacks and whites were virtually identical. This is stereotype threat.

Exhibit B: Students were asked a series of brain teaser questions. One group of students was told that the questions were invented at their university; the other group was told they were invented in a far away university. Thinking that the test came from far away somehow raised the creativity of the subjects. This is psychological distance.

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Jan 31, 2009
The propensity to play is situated in very ancient regions of the brain. Rats that have had their neocortex removed still engage in normal play."
Jaak Panksepp on the importance of unstructured play early in life

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Aug 1, 2007
All zoogles are boogles. You saw a boogle. Is it a zoogle? Adolescents who make a mistake answering this kind of question on their SAT may not make it to college. But those who get very high scores can still feel a chill of fear when someone from the wrong side of town steps into the elevator.

Many people confuse the statement “almost all terrorists are Moslems” with “almost all Moslems are terrorists”. Such confusion partakes of a trivial, very trivial, logical error. Not even professors are particularly immune to such errors. Complicated equations do not tend to cohabit happily with clarity of mind.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb doesn’t think critical thinking is just about practice.

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Jun 19, 2007
I have a PhD, and I have an uncomfortable feeling everytime I read articles like this.. The feeling isn’t because I am not aware of these tricks and pitfalls. It’s because I don’t truly know them, to the point where they’re drilled into me, second nature. I don’t truly know them because I was never formally taught them. They were just things I picked up in lay reading. High schools should have a class to cover this particular skillset.. But we don’t have such a class. Even though we have known about these skills for decades. The process by which the implications of scientific results percolate through the education system is basically broken.

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Nov 10, 2007
hard work == discipline == genius is the illusory conclusion made by those on the outside looking in. When you are truly inspired, in the ‘flow’, doesn’t that feel like the easiest, most natural state you have ever experienced?

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May 10, 2008
Excellence comes from lots of ordinary habits — selecting them, accreting them over time, and developing them with discipline.

Different levels of achievement reflect vastly different habits, values, and goals.

The notion of talent is useless and tends to mystify excellence.

— Paraphrasing Daniel F Chambliss. via

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May 8, 2008
When we consciously develop new habits, we create parallel synaptic paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.

To decide is to kill off all possibilities but one. A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities.

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May 19, 2007
We propose that the subjective experience of boredom is a first level safety mechanism analogous to pain, that has evolved to keep humans moving about so that they can discover and exploit their environment. This safety mechanism could itself prove fatal in siege situations, such as having to hide quietly up a tree until a predator leaves. So a second safety mechanism has evolved to place a human into a partially conscious standby mode after the human has been bored long enough that it would have moved on if it possibly could. The level of the neuroinhibitor dopamine in the human’s brain rises. This induces a subjective experience of self-absorbed well being, while rendering the human quiescent but sufficiently conscious to notice when it is safe to move..

[The modern consequence:] People can get addicted to boredom, and so lose access to a whole layer of cognitive abilities based on the use of precisely tuned feedback loops in the brain.

Alan G. Carter’s opus with implications for teaching and parenting

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Jan 1, 2008
Learning is something we are adapted for, is pleasurable...unless the pleasure is beaten out of us in childhood...very carefully and very doggedly!" http://www.asimovonline.com/oldsite/future_of_humanity.html

Learning is the answer to what to do with leisure. Just incent people to have impact with what they do in their leisure.

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Mar 31, 2008
Anxiety is at the heart of the psychological understanding of man. Beyond psychology, in the work of existential philosophers like Kierkegaardinfo and Heideggerinfo, the individual’s struggle with anxiety is the preferred route to self-discovery.

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