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Showing posts from August, 2020

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, pioneer 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.

On the principles of democracy

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A.C. Grayling, an English philosopher and author of many books, has written a new book entitled The Good State. On the Principles of Democracy. In the book he deals in a clear and convincing way with essential questions about democracy, such as:  What exactly does democracy mean? What are the essential principles underlying an effective democracy? What is the purpose of governance in a democracy? How can democracy best be protected against undermining forces from outside and within? Who should have the right to vote and who should not? Read more about the book below and why I think it is important.

The strategic mindset improves strategies and performance

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Patricia Chen and colleagues introduce a new concept: the strategic mindset. This mindset appears to be useful when we are dealing with new tasks or setbacks.

Overconfidence: how do you protect yourself against it? (book)

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Don A. Moore, a professor of psychology at the University of California, has written a book called Perfectly Confident, How to calibrate your decisions wisely. The book is about the question to what extent it is good to have a lot of confidence in your own abilities and performance. Many think that a high level of self-confidence can help to perform well and may be a prerequisite for good performance.

But Moore shows that great self-confidence that is not rooted in reality actually does more harm than good. Overestimation seems to do more harm than good, especially in activities that require effort and competence. But overestimation is also common. How can we protect ourselves from it?

How to Argue with a Racist (book)

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Adam Rutherford, British geneticist and writer, has a new book, How to Argue with a Racist. I have read it and think it is an educational, interesting and well written book. It comes at a good time because there is now a lot of talk about racism and what to do about it. We often have conversations about race and racism based on our personal experiences, intuitions, norms and values, and common sense.

This book adds something valuable in that it explains what the science of genetics and the science of evolution show about races and supposed differences between races. That makes the book very interesting. But I also have two critical thoughts about the book.

Calling bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World (book)

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In his 1996 book The Demon Haunted World, Carl Sagan wrote the chapter The Fine Art of Baloney Detection. A recently published book by Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, Calling Bullshit. The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World, can be seen as an extension and update of that chapter. The book is about bullshit, or nonsense claims.

Bullshit is as old as humanity and even older. Many other animal species also employ all kinds of deception. Some animals sound the alarm to suggest that a predator is coming to lure other animals away from food in order to get to it themselves. But besides humans, there are only a few animal species that deliberately mislead. This is because deliberately misleading others requires a fairly complex brain.

The Psychology of Praise (book)

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A new book has been published on the psychology of complimenting: Psychological perspectives on praise (Brummelman (Ed.), 2020). Complimenting is a technique we use often and often with the best of intentions. But the psychology of praise is quite complex. 
The effects of compliments are not always what we expect from them. In this book, 36 researchers in 16 chapters analyze praise from different theoretical perspectives such as the self-enhancement theory, the self-verification theory, the attribution theory, and the self-determination theory. Below I briefly discuss two interesting chapters from the book.

Resistance to Belief Change (book)

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You have probably experienced this. You are talking to someone who stubbornly refuses to admit that he is wrong. You give good arguments for your point of view and explain why the other person's point of view is not correct, but the other person stubbornly sticks to how he sees it. How is this possible? Why don't people just admit they're wrong? The book Resistance to Belief Change by Joseph Lao and Jason Young (2019) answers this question.

Paradigm Shift in Social Science: The Heterogeneity Revolution

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A new essay by Elizabeth Tipton, Christopher Bryan and David Yeager describes a paradigm shift within the social sciences that is underway that they call the heterogeneity revolution.

Who was Anders Ericsson?

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On June 17, 2020, psychologist Anders Ericsson unexpectedly passed away at the age of 72 in Florida, where he lived and worked. He is considered by many to be the world's most influential researcher in the field of expertise development and elite performance. His colleague Neil Charness wrote: “Yes, he was and is a superstar. He shone so brightly, illuminating our field, blazing new paths, lighting the way for so many students and colleagues. He will be sorely missed, but his work will endure. ” Who was this influential psychologist?