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Showing posts from 2024

The Inherence Bias in Preschoolers: How Do They Explain Performance Differences?

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  A recent study by Renoux et al. (2024) sheds interesting light on how preschoolers think about differences in school performance. This study, conducted among 610 French preschoolers, reveals that children tend to pointed to inherent factors (such as intelligence) rather than extrinsic factors (such as access to educational resources) as explanations for why some children perform better at school than others. Read more about what this inherence bias means and what its consequences are.

Gradeless Learning: Better Learning, Less Performance Pressure

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In the current education system, where grades often dominate, concerns about the mental health of students are growing. The emphasis on performance has led to an increase in stress and a competitive atmosphere that can undermine students' intrinsic motivation and well-being. Gradeless learning , an approach that focuses on the learning process rather than numerical assessments, may provide a solution to these problems.

The Benjamin Franklin Effect: The Psychology of Favors

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Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, was not only a scientist and politician, but also an observer of human nature. One of his insights concerns the psychology of doing favors, a phenomenon known as the Benjamin Franklin effect . In this article I discuss the Benjamin Franklin effect, the phenomenon that people like others more after they have done them a favor.

The Continuing Decline of American Democracy

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In October 2020, I wrote Save American Democracy , in which I said that American democracy has been in decline for decades, with Trump accelerating this process. The gap between citizens and politicians is significant, with citizens having little influence on policy. Causes include the electoral system, the Senate, money in politics, the Electoral College, and gerrymandering, making the U.S. vulnerable to tyranny. Has it gotten better or worse? 

The Cell Phone Ban in Schools: Two Teachers, Two Approaches

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From 2024, cell phones, tablets and smartwatches are be banned in Dutch classrooms due to distraction and negative impact on learning performance; schools develop their own policy with exceptions. Of course, both students and teachers have to get used to this new situation. I heard about a conversation between two high school teachers, Ashley and Emily.

Dominance vs. Prestige in Leadership: Ethics and Risk

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Leadership in organizations is important. But not all leadership styles have the same impact. Two prominent styles, dominance-based leadership and prestige-based leadership, have recently been examined to understand their effects on ethics and behavior within organizations. These studies shed new light on how different approaches to leadership not only shape the culture within a company, but also how they can influence the moral behavior of both leaders and their subordinates. The results of these studies provide valuable insights for organizations that strive for a healthy and ethical work environment.

The 3xA approach: Agree, Ask, Answer (or: Agree, Challenge, Explain)

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Having conversations about sensitive topics can be challenging. Emotions run high, and disagreements can escalate quickly. I came across an approach with the YouTuber Debug Your Brain that he calls: Agree-Ask-Answer. You could also call it the 3xA approach.

The Misplaced Trust in the Compliment Sandwich

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Many people understand that giving feedback can be useful and necessary. But they often struggle with how to provide feedback effectively.  A popular way of giving feedback is called the compliment sandwich. In this conversational approach, you start with a sincere compliment, then provide constructive criticism, and end the conversation with a heartfelt compliment again. Does that sound good and logical? In a new article , psychologist Adam Grant explains why this approach doesn’t work.

Social Progress Index 2024: Global Social Progress Recession

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The Social Progress Index is an important tool, providing a lucid picture of global social progress and highlighting areas where nations need to improve. This year’s index, a prodigious collection of social and environmental data, offers a unique lens to evaluate the non-economic dimensions of social performance across the globe. We look at the key findings of the 2024 Social Progress Index, with a special focus on the United Kingdom and the United States.

You Know What You Lose, But Not What You Find

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The New Year's Eve comedy show on Dutch national television was performed by Micha Wertheim . True to his style, it was complex, confusing, and surprising. At the end, he sang the song "You Know What You Lose, But Not What You Find." This song resonates with the times we live in, a period of increasing change and uncertainty.