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Showing posts from 2020

"Do you really believe I can change?"

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  Growth mindset interventions can sometimes have a enormous positive impact in lives. That shifting from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset can lead to meaningful changes in the lives of individuals is something I've seen up close several times in my own environment. In a recent book there is an impressive example of such a strong positive impact. Here are the words of the founder of mindset theory, Carol Dweck :

Upward spiral between autonomy support and autonomous motivation

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Research in self-determination theory has shown that individuals who are autonomously motivated make more progress and feel better. Research has also shown that autonomy support by parents, teachers or supervisors increases the autonomous motivation of children, students and employees respectively. That sounds logical and simple. But there is a little more to the interplay between these variables. New research by Levine et al. (2020) shows that an upward spiral occurs between autonomous motivation and autonomy support.

4 Elements of Wise Leadership

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Who still wants to have a leadership role in a large organization in these complex times? The role of leaders seems quite challenging. To begin with, organizations themselves are often extremely complex. As a leader within organizations, you are faced with all kinds of problems, differences of opinion and diverse interests. As a leader, how can you ever have the information, knowledge and skills to bridge these contradictions and to find solutions to these problems? In addition to that, consider the environments in which organizations have to operate. These are also characterized by enormous complexity, change and uncertainty. As a leader in all this turbulence, how can you ever know for sure which way the organization should go? Doesn't being a leader require almost superhuman energy, capabilities, and social skills? 

How wisdom is needed to solve complex problems

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Traditionally, philosophers have studied wisdom. But within psychology, this subject has received relatively little attention until recently, especially when compared to a subject like intelligence. But this has changed in recent years. There has been more consensus on what we mean by wisdom, to what extent it occurs in humans and what it correlates with. Grossmann & Brienza (2018) describe in a new article how wisdom can make a unique contribution to solving the complex issues of our time.  

The importance of wisdom and how we can teach it

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Intelligence is relatively important in both psychology and Western societies. Two Canadian psychologists have pointed out the importance of other aspects of our cognitive functioning that they consider to be just as important and have wrongly received less attention. One is Keith Stanovich who argues for much more attention to rationality. The other is Igor Grossmann who points out the great importance of wise reasoning. In two new articles that he co-wrote with colleagues, he explains what wise reasoning is, why it is so important and how we can teach it. 

4 Differences between Maslow's Pyramid and the basic psychological needs from self-determination theory

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The " Pyramid of Maslow " is one of the more famous ideas in psychology. Abraham Maslow formulated the basis for this idea in his publications " A Theory of Motivation " (1943) and Motivation and Personality (1954).  In short, this idea implies that people have hierarchically ordered basic needs that are essential for healthy development. This idea has proved intuitively appealing as it has become very popular within and outside of psychology. That it is popular in psychology is shown by the fact that it is hardly missing in any introductory psychology handbook. That it has become popular outside of psychology is shown, among other things, by the fact that a joke in which WiFi has been added as a new basic need to the  Maslow pyramid is immediately understood by almost everyone. It is therefore not surprising that we regularly receive questions about how Maslow's pyramid differs from the now dominant motivation theory within psychology, the self-determination

19 Wise interventions from social psychology

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The recently published Handbook of Wise Interventions (Walton & Crum, Eds., 2020) provides an overview of wise interventions through contributions from leading researchers. These are brief interventions based on social psychological research that lead to shifts in the way people understand themselves, others and social situations. These other ways of thinking can help make progress in a variety of contexts. Think of school performance, health, well-being and personal relationships. The effects of these types of interventions can sometimes lead to long-term improvements ( read why ). 

Implementation science for higher education

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The relatively new scientific discipline of implementation science aims to bridge the gap between science and practice. Soicher et al., 2020 wrote an introduction to implementation science for higher education. Below I briefly summarize their paper. 

The illusion of understanding

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The illusion of understanding is our tendency to overestimate how well we understand things. This illusion, also known as "knowledge illusion" and "illusion of explanatory depth," occurs in all of us.  The book The Knowledge Illusion by cognitive scientists Steven Sloman & Philip Fernbach is devoted entirely to this cognitive bias. Below I explain what this illusion entails and why it is important to know about it. 

Which characteristics of situations mainly evoke differences in how we behave?

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People don't always behave the same. One situation evokes something different in us than the other. That's why we behave differently in different situations. But which aspects of our personality are relatively stable and which are relatively situation-dependent? And which characteristics of situations mainly evoke differences in how we behave? A new study sheds some light on these questions. 

Autonomy-supportive teaching works (also in Chinese schools)

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Does autonomy-supportive teaching also work in other cultures than Western cultures? Researchers Yu et al. (2016) conducted a longitudinal study of the effects of autonomy support among Chinese students transitioning from primary to secondary education (N = 236). The study lasted 18 months. The researchers administered questionnaires at 4 times: in the autumn of the 1st class (T1), in the spring of the 1st class (T2), in the autumn of the 2nd class (T3) and in the spring of the 2nd class ( T4).  Content of the questionnaires  These questionnaires related to  Teacher Autonomy Support (TAS), experienced autonomy support by teachers. Scale consisting of 5 items.  Basic psychological needs satisfaction (BPNS), fulfillment of basic psychological needs. Scale consisting of 18 items.  School engagement . Scale consisting of 15 items.  Anxiety and depression . Scale consisting of 8 items.  Expectations  Based on the self-determination theory, the researchers expected that autonomy support

Self-concordant goals, optimism and well-being

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  A new study ( Sheldon et al., 2020 ) combines the self-concordance theory with the attribution theory. 

Towards a better definition of student engagement

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  Student engagement plays an important role in achieving good school performance. Traditionally, researchers have assumed that there are three ways in which students can be engaged (behavioral, emotional and cognitive). In two longitudinal studies, Reeve et al. (2020 ) show that student engagement needs to be redefined in two ways.

Do motivation and mindset predict life outcomes of older people?

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Recent research by Lee et al. (2020) links self-determination theory and mindset theory . The research provides insight into how mindset and motivation are relevant to a good life in older people. The research also provides insight into how the fulfillment of basic psychological needs and mindset are related.

How a fixed mindset is related to depression

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  Mindset is about more than learning and performing. A new paper by Seo, et al. (2020) shows how the relationship between a fixed mindset and internalizing symptoms (such as depression) comes about.

Save American Democracy

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  Here are some thoughts on the importance turning around the downward slide of American democracy which has been going on for decades and which is now accelerating.

Meta-analysis: antecedents and consequences of motivation in teachers

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In a recent article, Slemp et al. (2020) present the results of a meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of controlled motivation and autonomous motivation in teachers. The meta-analysis, which analyzed 1117 correlation coefficients from 102 samples, tested important predictions of the self-determination theory .

Why vegan?

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Book description: In Why Vegan? , Singer brings together the most consequential essays of his career to make this devastating case against our failure to confront what we are doing to animals, to public health, and to our planet.

How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk?

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As parents, we think few things are more important than that our children are doing well. Fortunately, through the way we raise them, we can have a significant impact on their mental health. In order to be able to use that influence properly, it is important to know what works well in parenting. Joussemet et al. (2018) are currently conducting research of which the results are not yet in. Their description of their research is interesting anyway because it provides insight into some key aspects of effective parenting.

8 Autonomy-Supportive Practices for Raising Toddlers

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Autonomy support is useful in many contexts such as leadership, teaching, and parenting. Research provides indications that autonomy support by parents contributes to children functioning well, developing well and feeling good. A study by Andreadakis et al. (2019) examines how parents can provide autonomy support to toddlers in situations where toddlers need to do things that are important but not interesting to them, such as cleaning up, taking a bath, washing hands, etc.

Donald Trump is very dangerous but eventually he will lose

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When Donald Trump was a nominee in 2015/2015 I was very surprised that Trump, despite his apparent incompetence and amorality, appeared to be practically unstoppable. First, he defeated one after the other of his Republican rivals.  Then, he defeated one after the other of opponents within the Republican party establishment. Rivals, who clearly saw Trump for what he was (a liar, a narcissist, a con man, an autocrat) like Nikki Haley , Marco Rubio , Ted Cruz , turned into loyalists.  Many people aware of Trump's autocratic ambitions said that checks and balances would prevent a slide into autocracy. But journalist and author Masha Gessen warned: "Institutions will not save you". What happened next?

The problem as the beginning of progress

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In the progress-focused approach , a problem is often viewed as the potential beginning of progress. Both individual conversations and team sessions often start with discussing problems, things that are not going well or things that have gone wrong. Having problems is, of course, unpleasant and can lead to dissatisfaction, frustration or even a feeling of powerlessness.

How teachers' motivation and mindset predicts how they teach

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A new study ( Vermote et al., 2020 ) examines how the motivation and mindset of higher education teachers (N = 357) relates to their teaching styles. This research is interesting for the following reasons: It investigates the circumplex model of motivational styles . Aelterman et al. (2019) have previously investigated and confirmed the circular structure in secondary schools. The current study does this in higher education,  It looks at the separate relationship between motivation and mindset on the one hand and teaching styles on the other.  Does teacher motivation predict their teaching style? Does the mindset of teachers predict their teaching style? Read answers to these questions below.

Making psychological knowledge available to managers

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In an email I received the following question: “Do you have any ideas on how to deal with the fact that there is so much psychological knowledge that it is difficult for the typical manager to remember it in the moment, even if they have learned it? I keep leaning towards AI solutions, but that could be technophilia. ” Off the cuff I wrote an answer to his question:

We must give psychology away

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George Miller was one of the founders of cognitive psychology and psycho-linguistics. He reached fame with his article The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two , in which he showed that the capacity of human short-term memory is limited to the capacity to remember roughly 7 elements. When Miller became president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1969, he made a statement that appealed to me.

12 quotes from Michael Cohen's book Disloyal

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I read Michael Cohen's book Disloyal . Here are some quotes from the book and some thoughts about the book and Trump. 

Social Progress Index 2020: Is the world making (enough) progress?

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The Social Progress Index (SPI) of 2020 has been published today. The SPI uses non-economic indicators to chart how well countries are doing. Read below how it works in the 163 countries described in the SPI. Overall, is the world continuing to make progress? How is your own doing? Are there certain things that clearly need improvement? Which countries are progressing the fastest? Which countries are actually declining? How is the United States doing in the era of Donald Trump?

Difficult Conversations: Dealing with the tension between honesty and benevolence

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We all have had to have difficult conversations at some point, like conversations where we say no to a request, give negative feedback, or communicate a negative decision or assessment. In these kinds of bad news conversations, people often experience a tension between two moral motivations, namely to be honest and to be benevolent. Emma Levine, Annabelle Roberts, and Taya Cohen explain, in a new paper , that people often make ineffective choices in how to deal with that tension, and they provide practical tips on how to better approach situations like this.

How do you address each other? A situational communication model

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In most professions the quality of work performance depends mainly on human actions. In this human action, not only technical knowledge and skills are important, but also cooperation and communication skills. Collaboration is often important because people are usually responsible for achieving results together. They have to inform each other, support each other, teach each other things and clarify expectations. The situational communication model below can help you determine how to communicate effectively in different situations.

Four questions to make your feedback as effective as possible

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Feedback can be very valuable. Feedback, information about the effects of our behavior, can help us get better at what we do. By definition, we ourselves only have a limited insight into the effects of our actions. Other people look at what we do from a different perspective and can therefore see different things. Moreover, they may have more or different knowledge and skills, so that their feedback can be extra educational for us. Whether these positive effects of feedback are realized depends on what the feedback is about and how effectively the feedback is delivered. Here are some questions to make your feedback as effective as possible.

Unmaskers unmasked? A different perspective on replication studies

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A paper by Bryan, Yeager & O'Brien (2019) sheds a new light on the replication crisis in psychology. An image that has emerged here and there of original authors as tinkering cheats and replicators as holy defenders of scientific morality must be revised. Replicators often take too many liberties, both in the design of their research and in the way in which they analyze data.

How do you react to repeated transgressions of your child?

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As parents, we play an important role in how children develop. We have a lot of influence on what they consider important and how they behave. But how we can best fulfill our role as a parent is not always easy to imagine.

Classic research Edward Deci (1971): the undermining effect of rewards on intrinsic motivation

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If you had to point out one starting point in the development of self-determination theory , it should probably be Edward Deci's classic research into intrinsic motivation. He published that study in 1971, and it was the first major publication in a large series of publications that would follow from Ed Deci and Richard Ryan and an ever-expanding network of researchers . Here you can read a brief description of that study.

5 Principles for Reframing Negative Events

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A recent publication by Walton & Brady (2019) describes 5 principles for reframing negative events. These principles can be applied by the person who has experienced a negative event. But also by others such as, parents, teachers, doctors, managers, and so on.

Beyond money: primary social goods, basic needs and well-being

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A recent study links John Rawls's vision of a just society to the basic psychological needs of self-determination theory.

How to motivate students? Use a dual process!

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The dual process model provides insight into how teachers can support student motivation. Self-determination theory offers important clues for how teachers can improve student motivation. This article provides a summary of these types of interventions. When teachers apply these interventions, students are likely to feel better, become more engaged in lessons and learn and perform better. Jang, Kim & Reeve (2016) show that a two-track approach, or, as they call it, a "dual process model", is needed to achieve this.

Growth mindset debunked? Not so much. Simple re-analysis of Li & Bates (2019) shows that Mueller & Dweck (1998) is not debunked, but confirmed

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One of the best-known studies in relation to mindsets is the study by Mueller & Dweck (1998) . Here I discuss that article in detail. Li & Bates (2019) recently conducted a replication study by Mueller & Dweck and said they had not found the originally found effects. But in a response to this article, Dweck & Yeager (2019) show that Li & Bates' replication study does not meet the requirements that are currently set for replication studies. Moreover, they show that by correcting for some of the simplest deviations from those requirements, Li & Bates' data does not invalidate Mueller & Dweck's conclusions, but corroborates them.

Mueller & Dweck (1998) Classic Study: The Undermining Effects of Intelligence Compliments

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One of the most influential papers by Carol Dweck and her colleagues is the Mueller & Dweck (1998) paper entitled Praise for Intelligence Can Undermine Children's Motivation and Performance . Over the years, this study has been criticized or disputed from various quarters, sometimes largely justified , sometimes largely unjustified. Knowing these criticisms, I argue that Mueller & Dweck (1998) is a classic publication that has lost little or nothing of importance. Here you can read a brief description of that research.

Confirmation of the importance of deliberate practice in the development of excellence

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For the past ten years or so, deliberate practice has become quite well known (although many are more familiar with Malcolm Gladwell's incorrect interpretation of it as the 10,000 Hours Rule ). As can be read in popular publications (such as the book Peak ), deliberate practice is a form of practice that plays an important role in building excellence. But in recent years, a number of publications have appeared (such as Macnamara, 2014) that suggest that deliberate practice plays a less important role than previous research showed. Anders Ericsson, p ioneer in research into deliberate practice, along with Kyle Harwell, responds to the recent criticisms in recent paper.

Long-term effects of psychological interventions: explanations and examples

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Much research has been done into which interventions help students learn and perform well. Until now, emphasis has mainly been on examining short-term effects of interventions. Understandable, because you want to do things that help students quickly when they have difficulties in learning and performing. But what do we know about the long-term effects of interventions?

Meta-analysis: relationship between motivation types and student functioning

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Students' functioning is influenced by their motivation. A new meta-analysis (k = 344, N = 223209) by Howard et al. (2020) maps the relationship between different types of motivation as distinguished within self-determination theory , and different aspects of student functioning. Below I discuss some of the highlights of this research.

Brief social belonging intervention provides lasting benefits for students from ethnic minority groups

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Currently, one of the most interesting and practically useful research areas within psychology is that of short-term psychological interventions . A new article in Science shows how one of these types of interventions, the social belonging intervention, can play an important role in solving the disadvantages of ethnic (and other) minority groups.

10 Growth mindset suggestions during the Coronacrisis

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The Coronacrisis is challenging for almost everyone and therefore particularly a period that requires a growth mindset.

Nourishing ARC basic needs during the Corona crisis

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Right now, the world is still in the grip of the Coronavirus. Many are diligently looking for ways to deal with this troubling and challenging situation. Countless professionals, for example in healthcare, work hard to keep society running as smoothly as possible. We are looking for ways to keep in touch with each other in groups, for example through online meeting tools. An enormous amount of creativity and helpfulness is released. There is a lot of advice on social media on how best to survive this difficult time. I would also like to make a small suggestion.

A common model of wisdom

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Both in our own everyday life and in society, we are often confronted with important issues that are difficult to solve with knowledge and rationality alone. The reason for this is that these issues are complex, surrounded by a great deal of uncertainty and often involve different perspectives and interests. Consider how to deal with the Corona crisis, the rise of artificial intelligence and the possible ethical consequences, political polarization and the spread of misinformation. Many philosophers and psychologists think that wisdom is necessary to tackle these kinds of issues effectively. But what is wisdom?

What are values and how do they develop in children?

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In a new study, Jiseul Sophia Ahn & Johnmarshall Reeve (2020) provide more insight into how our values ​​develop during childhood. They make use of the self-determination theory (SDT) distinction between intrinsic values ​​and extrinsic values.

Basic psychological needs: overview and developments

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Basic Psychological Need Theory (BPNT) is one of the six mini-theories that make up Self-Determination Theory (SDT). In a new paper Maarten Vansteenkiste, Richard Ryan and Bart Soenens give an overview of the developments within the BPNT. Here I briefly summarize the article.

Personal control: an important psychological resource in difficult times

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A new study by Nguyen  et al. (2020) looks at the extent to which a sense of personal control can protect people's well-being in difficult times.