Tidying Up the Brain: 5 Reasons to Declutter Your Life – Education Article

You’ve likely heard of the book—and the new Netflix series—featuring Marie Kondo. What we want to know is, how does tidying up your life affect your brain? If you’re tuned into the self-optimization literature, chances are you’re familiar with Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. One common refrain that’s spreading through home improvement and well-being circles around the world is Kondo’s ultimatum, “Does it spark joy?” She urges us to examine our household items and ask ourselves…

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How Your Native Language Affects Your Memory – Education Article

Researchers at the University of San Diego have found that the language you speak may determine the quality of your working memory. Running memory tests on participants in eight different cultures around the world, they found a difference in working memory capacity among speakers of various languages. The difference stemmed from the syntax of a typical sentence and how much the speaker must keep in mind before reaching the main point. The team studied eight languages from Africa, Asia, and…

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How Digital Technology Shapes Cognitive Function – Education Article

Digital technology has enriched our lives in countless ways, and both teachers and students now rely on it for everything from conducting research to collaborating with peers. Tech has also become a big part of our downtime, and this has blurred the line somewhat between work and play. For example, for most of us, it’s become second nature to check our emails while enjoying a meal with family or scroll through Instagram while studying for a test. An unintended consequence…

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How Taking Photos Impacts Our Memory – Education Article

Researchers at Fairfield University in Connecticut have found the way we take a photo of an object makes a difference in our ability to recall it later. The research team, led by Linda A. Henkel, conducted two studies to determine whether taking photos of objects affects our ability to remember details about them later on. After study participants were led on a guided tour of an art museum and told to photograph some objects and simply observe others, Henkel’s team…

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Personality Tests: Do They Help or Hinder Us? – Education Article

We love personality tests because, as Arwa Mahdawi recently put it in an article for The Guardian, “they make us feel normal and special at the same time.” But what do they actually tell us? Which ones, if any, are known to be reliable? Is it possible to do more harm than good by taking a test that isn’t grounded in real research? Types vs. Traits The most famous of these tests is the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality test, created by…

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8 Ways to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones – Education Article

Recently I was listening to Scott Barry Kaufman’s Psychology Podcast, which I highly recommend. Scott was speaking with James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, about the way we achieve growth in our personal and professional lives. Many of us see goal setting as the best approach to achievement, but Clear sees it differently. In his view, habits are the foundation of growth and change, in large part because they help us form our identity: “Every action you take is like…

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Memory Tricks: Clear Speech Enhances Recall – Education Article

At the University of Texas at Austin, linguistic researchers have found that we recall information from conversations better when we’ve been listening to someone who speaks clearly, as it frees up cognitive resources which would otherwise be used to decipher the words themselves rather than the meaning behind them. These findings have promising implications for the classroom. In one experiment, 30 native and nonnative English listeners were asked to listen to 72 sentences, such as “The grandfather drank the dark…

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10 Open Educational Resources You Should Know About – Education Article

A lot has changed since MIT first announced that it would be making its course materials freely available online. Back in 2001, the idea that university-level content could be accessed at no cost by users anywhere in the world was virtually unheard of, and the MIT OpenCourseWare initiative was a major driver in the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement. Today, Open Educational Resources, which allow teachers and learners to freely use, adapt and redistribute educational content, are widespread. In addition…

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10 Books about the brain for 2019 – Education Article

Brain science is more prolific—and popular—than ever before, and with a deeper understanding of how the mind functions comes a coinciding movement surrounding self-growth and neuroeducation. It’s easier than ever before to self-educate and stay up-to-date with the latest trends when you have not only such a wealth of research coming out, but also popular literature making it more accessible and enjoyable to read. From Jonah Sachs’s thoughts on how “unsafe thinking” promotes creativity to Michael Pollan’s insights on the…

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How Taking Photos Impacts Our Memory – Education Article

Researchers at Fairfield University in Connecticut have found the way we take a photo of an object makes a difference in our ability to recall it later. The research team, led by Linda A. Henkel, conducted two studies to determine whether taking photos of objects affects our ability to remember details about them later on. After study participants were led on a guided tour of an art museum and told to photograph some objects and simply observe others, Henkel’s team…

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Overcoming the Cognitive Barriers to Climate Change Action – Education Article

Climate change is hard on the brain. It’s effort enough to do the necessary research to fully wrap our heads around what’s happening to the planet, let alone what we can do to preserve it. For some of us, it’s easier to deny this reality than to confront it and change our habits. Once we accept the reality of it, our brains can become overwhelmed unless we choose a specific way to contribute and make a conscious plan to take…

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Overcoming the Cognitive Barriers to Climate Change Action – Education Article

Climate change is hard on the brain. It’s effort enough to do the necessary research to fully wrap our heads around what’s happening to the planet, let alone what we can do to preserve it. For some of us, it’s easier to deny this reality than to confront it and change our habits. Once we accept the reality of it, our brains can become overwhelmed unless we choose a specific way to contribute and make a conscious plan to take…

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10 Things We Discovered About Learning and the Brain in 2018 – Education Article

The year is coming to a close and, as always, there have been some interesting trends in education, from a renewed interest in “growth mindsets” to more emphasis being placed on things like social inclusion and engagement in learning, project-based learning, and digital literacy and citizenship. Every year, researchers also uncover new evidence about learning and the brain that helps us develop more effective learning and teaching practices. So we’ve compiled ten of the most important discoveries scientists have made…

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10 Keys To Cognitive Flexibility – Education Article

How do we become more efficient at harnessing our experience, knowledge, and imagination to respond most effectively to the situation at hand? Originally coined by psychologists in the 1960s, cognitive flexibility has emerged from the literature and been rebranded as a popular concept in edpsych circles. It is traditionally defined in terms of how well an individual can adopt another perspective, change one’s thinking, or mentally adapt to one’s environment. Common strategies for enhancing cognitive flexibility resemble strategies for boosting…

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10 Books About the Brain for 2019 – Education Article

Brain science is more prolific—and popular—than ever before, and with a deeper understanding of how the mind functions comes a coinciding movement surrounding self-growth and neuroeducation. It’s easier than ever before to self-educate and stay up-to-date with the latest trends when you have not only such a wealth of research coming out, but also popular literature making it more accessible and enjoyable to read. From Jonah Sachs’s thoughts on how “unsafe thinking” promotes creativity to Michael Pollan’s insights on the…

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