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Showing posts from 2021

Toxic questions, surplus problems and psychological interventions

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Every person has to deal with all kinds of problems in all areas of life. This is normal. But in addition to problems, we can also have surplus problems . A surplus problem is a secondary problem that arises from the way you think about and deal with another primary problem. 

A growth mindset about morality

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Is morality hereditary or mainly dependent on upbringing? What is your answer to this question? And to what extent do you think your answer to the question affects your moral self-image? In other words, what is the influence of your morality mindset? Read more.

Checklist progress-focused organizational change

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Progress-focused principles and techniques are not only useful in individual conversations and team facilitation, but also in guiding organizational change. Here are some progress-focused principles that you as a manager can use in organizational change.

5 Ways in which mindset is relevant to health care professionals

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In this article I explain why the growth mindset is an important pillar of the progress-focused approach . Next, I describe five ways in which the growth mindset is relevant to health care professionals.

Organizational mindset: what are its characteristics and consequences?

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Carol Dweck's mindset theory is usually associated with individuals: do they see individual abilities and traits as malleable or not? But there is also such a thing as a mindset culture. A mindset culture reflects shared ideas in an organization about the malleability of capabilities. In a fixed mindset culture there is the belief that abilities cannot be developed. In a growth mindset culture, there is a belief that abilities can be developed through effort. Organizational mindsets can affect the thinking and acting of individuals in those organizations in important ways.

Meaning in life

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Frank Martela , a Finnish philosopher and psychologist, has written a book entitled A wonderful life. Insights on Finding a Meaningful Existence . In the book he addresses questions such as: "Is life about finding happiness?" and "What can the basis for meaning still be in a time when religion is less and less the self-evident framework?" He invites the reader to think differently about meaning and comes up with some simple ideas for experiencing meaning.

Pursuing the happiness of others

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Pursuing your own happiness is something many find good and normal. The American Declaration of Independence states that every American has the right to pursue his or her happiness. But does pursuing your own happiness bring happiness? Titova & Sheldon (2021) investigated it and came to a surprising discovery.

The Dunning-Kruger effect: Why does it happen? Why is it so tricky?

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The assessment of one's own knowledge and skills is an important skill. Unfortunately, it is not easy to accurately assess yourself. This is reflected, among other things, in the Dunning-Kruger effect (DKE). In this article I discuss a study by Rachel Jansen and her colleagues into two possible explanations for the DKE. I also explain why the DKE is so tricky and why we intuitively tend to think that especially others are vulnerable to it.

Self-downing and the fixed mindset

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"I'm just stupid. Just a loser," said a 19 year old boy after he failed his final exam. A sad response. New research sheds some light into how such response may happen. 

Wisdom and values: does what we value determine how we think about wisdom?

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Wisdom is something to pursue. Many people would like to be able to act wisely in complex situations. And for many people it is an attractive perspective to, as they get older, become wiser. But what  precisely do we mean when we talk about wisdom? May what we call wisdom merely be a reflection of our personal values? May what one person views as wise be something completely different from what the other views as wise? In this article I discuss research from Gl├╝ck, et al. (2021) which gives some interesting answers to these questions.

The synergistic mindsets intervention

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In this article I describe new research by David Yeager and his colleagues into how mindsets about abilities and mindsets about stress can reinforce each other, in a positive and negative sense.

Mindsets are important in all areas of our lives

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Mindsets are important in all areas of our lives. We know the concept of mindset from the work of Carol Dweck . She made the word widely known through her 2006 book . Dweck and her colleagues did a lot of research into the effects of how we think about the malleability of intelligence. But Alia Crum (photo), assistant professor at Stanford University, comes up with a broader definition of the concept of mindset. Her work shows how important our mindset is in about everything we encounter in life. Mindsets play a significant role in our health, our well-being, and our performance. 

Interview with Greg Walton

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- Coert Visser  Gregory M. Walton , associate professor of psychology at Stanford University, does research and teaching focused on wise interventions which target psychological processes involved in individual and major social problems. These wise interventions may shift how people think about themselves and their situations and may help them flourish, even over long periods of time. Recently he co-edited, with Alia Crum , the Handbook of Wise Interventions. How Social Psychology Can Help People Change . We talk about what these wise interventions are. Why use the word ‘wise’ to describe them? What are some examples of these interventions? How can it be that these brief and simple interventions sometimes have such long term benefits? 

6 principles of progress-focused directing

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Progress-focused directing is an approach to make expectations clear to someone. This is done in such a way that the person understands what is needed to do and why it is necessary to do. The person who directs takes the other person's perspective seriously, even if he or she raises other objections or objections. The other person is also given the opportunity to decide for himself or herself how he or she can meet the expectation. Below you can read 6 principles of progress-focused directing.  By practicing progress-focused directing techniques during training sessions, participants often learn the following things:

3 Tips for teachers for promoting a growth mindset

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Dave Paunesku, former student of Carol Dweck, is now the director of PERTS, an applied research center at Stanford University. Among other things, he was involved in large-scale research at the Khan Academy. Below I describe three simple tips from Dave Paunesku on how to show a growth mindset to your students and support them in developing a growth mindset themselves.

We prefer pairs

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A new study by Peperkorn et al. (2020) shows that as humans, we prefer social contact in pairs. What does this mean and what are the reasons for this? 

How are the self-determination theory and the theory of planned behavior related?

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Two psychological theories that you may have read about on this site are the self-determination theory and the theory of planned behavior . A new study ( Chan et al., 2020 ) maps the relationships between these two theories.

Can you cultivate wisdom in work situations?

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Whether you see the benefit of cultivating wisdom in work situations depends on whether you believe that wisdom can be developed at all. Recent experimental research has shown that the important components of wisdom are indeed malleable. In a new book chapter, Igor Grossmann (2020) lists what is known about the malleability of wisdom. He also offers suggestions for how wisdom can be cultivated at work. 

Answers to four critical questions about the growth mindset

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The growth mindset is the belief that personal characteristics such as intellectual abilities can be developed through effort and strategy. David Yeager and Carol Dweck have written an article which addresses four critical questions about the growth mindset:  Does a growth mindset predict student outcomes?  Do growth mindset interventions work and do they work reliably?  Are the effect sizes meaningful enough to merit attention?  Can teachers successfully be taught a growth mindset and instill a growth mindset in their students?  Below I summarize the article without going into all the finer points and arguments in the original article. Think of my summary as an introduction to the article and do read the article itself to get the details behind the arguments and conclusions of the authors.