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Friday, December 30, 2011

Learning about Learning: Research and Edreform News and Views 12/30/2011



  • Some people look down on the humble. Don't. They may be the one to help you when you most need it. For me, I like to follow people I see helping others on Twitter or Facebook because it tells me about who they are (i.e. the #endslavery tweeting some of us have been doing.) 

    On a note, does this mean that nonprofits who spend all their time sidling up to the arrogant are wasting their time? I don’t know and certainly “judging” people as to whether they are arrogant or humble is risky business. Sometimes I’ve thought a person was arrogant only to later find that they were really an introvert or nervous around large crowds of people.

    “The only other personality trait that has shown any effect is agreeableness, but we found that humility predicted helping over and above that.”

    In most cases, a person’s decision to help someone in need is influenced by temporary factors, such as time pressure, number of bystanders, momentary feelings of empathy, or a person’s own distress, added Wade Rowatt, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, who led the study and co-authored the article.

    “The research indicates that humility is a positive quality with potential benefits,” he said. “While several factors influence whether people will volunteer to help a fellow human in need, it appears that humble people, on average, are more helpful than individuals who are egotistical or conceited.”

    tags: education research learning

  • IF you follow news such as this, here are the RSS feeds from this robust site. I find my RSS reader is an important tool in my PLN and have spent some time cleaning up and adding blogs to my RSS reader.

    tags: education research learning

  • This powerful article is one every research should read. Because researchers care more about being popular and hitting the media (which rightfully unleashes research dollars) they are producing shorter papers on studies with a much smaller sample size. This review at Psych Central of a new research paper studying the study-ers has profound implications. The fact is that researchers need more citations so they are giving people what they want to hear.

    We need to evolve so that scholarly research has a place but that excellence in research is upheld. We also need researcher-leaders like Stephen Downes to help us see when certain things don't measure up.

    "They define “bite-size science” as research papers based on one or a few studies and small samples.

    “We’re not against [being concise or short and to the point],” says Bertamini. “But there are real risks in this trend toward shorter papers. The main risk is the increased rates of false alarms that are likely to be associated with papers based on less data.”

    tags: education research learning

  • "New research has discovered that people with schizophrenia have certain brain cells where their DNA stays too tightly wound. When DNA is too tightly wound, it can stop other genes from expressing themselves in their normal pattern."

    tags: learning psychology schizophrenia

  • Want to keep your brain young, exercise your body! This is a great story of a basketball team of older grandmothers who don't know how to lose. The women love it and they don't look like grandmothers. Why do we just have athletic leagues for the young? Perhaps athletic leagues are the fountain of youth...and the liquid of longer life is sweat.

    "But when Wright studied very active seniors, she found exercise seemed to be protective.' These MRI images show how fat can infiltrate the muscles of a sedentary senior. Compare that a MRI from a 74-year-old tri-athelete, which looks very similar to one from a 40-year-old.

    "We are not destined to go from lean flank steak in our 40s," said Wright. "if you think visually of what our muscles look like, to flabby rump roast. We do not have to become that way if we interject exercise throughout a lifetime.

    It's an important 'if.' Regular, consistent and challenging exercise is key. The Tigerettes work out strenuously, four to five times a week.

    tags: education learning

  • Understanding memory loss. Mini, small strokes may be the "silent" link. The test used MRI's on dementia free adults.

    "Strokes so tiny they are termed ''silent'' may be linked to memory loss in older adults.

    Previously, experts thought that memory loss among older adults was caused by deterioration in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory and other functions. Although that is still true, study researcher Adam Brickman, PhD, says his new research adds another possible cause to the list.

    "What our study suggests is, even when we account for the decline in memory attributed to hippocampal shrinkage or degeneration, that strokes ... play an additional role in the memory decline," Brickman says."

    tags: education learning

  • Why great people never stop learning. This short, thought provoking post points out why we must keep learning. I particularly like the first three paragraphs. One note that I put in comments (awaiting moderation) is that we can learn from the people we meet on Twitter and through blogs. 

    tags: education learning

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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