Tag Archives: skepticism

A conceptual image of a brain, falsely suggesting that the left hemisphere is computational and the right hemisphere is artistic

Read This Post with Your Right Brain First…

My Twitter feed is suddenly awash with one of those “how does your brain?” work tests. (I should say, “tests.”) If you look at the picture and see an angel, you’re right-brained. If you see a helicopter, you’re left-brained. This

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Woman holding up mobile phono to take photo of speaker and slides

You Should Not (or Should) Let Your Students Take Pictures of Slides

Back in October, I wrote a blog post about a surprise: it turns out that students REMEMBER STUFF BETTER when they take photos of lecture slides. For several reasons — including common sense — I would have predicted the opposite.

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Downside to Oxytocin

Warning: Misguided Neuroscience Ahead

I recently ran across a version* of this chart: As you can see, this chart lists several neurotransmitters and makes recommendations based on their purported roles. If you want to feel love, you should increase oxytocin. To do so, play

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Tree Wind

When Analogies Go Wrong: The Benefits of Stress?

An amazing discovery becomes an inspiring analogy: Researchers at BioSphere 2 noticed a bizarre series of events: their trees kept collapsing under their own weight. Why on earth would trees collapse? It doesn’t happen outside the BioSphere; so why would

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When Do We Trust the Experts? When They Don’t Trust Themselves!

Back in 2010, three scholars published a widely-discussed paper on “Power Poses.” The headlines: when people adopt a strong stance (say, fists on hips, like Superman), they… …take more risks in gambling tasks, …change various hormone levels, and …answer questions

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“Compared to What”: Is Retrieval Practice Really Better?

When teachers turn to brain research, we want to know: which way is better? Are handwritten notes better than laptop notes? Is cold-calling better than calling on students who raise their hands? Is it better to spread practice out over time,

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The 10-Minute Rule: Is The Lecture Dead?

The “10-minute rule” offers teachers practical guidance. It typically sounds something like this: If students aren’t intrinsically interested in material, they can pay attention to it for no more than 10 minutes. Ergo: teachers should do something different every ten

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When Evidence Conflicts with Teachers’ Experience

Here’s an interesting question: do students — on average — benefit when they repeat a grade? As you contemplate that question, you might notice the kind of evidence that you thought about. Perhaps you thought: “I studied this question in graduate school.

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EduTwitter Can Be Great. No, Really…

Twitter has a terrible reputation, and EduTwitter isn’t an exception. The misinformation. The name-calling. The “team” rivalries: all heat and little light. Did I mention the misinformation? You might wonder: why bother? Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t. I

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Neil Lewis 3

How Psychologists and Teachers Can Talk about Research Most Wisely

Dr. Neil Lewis thinks a lot about science communication: in fact, his appointment at Cornell is in both the Psychology AND the Communications departments. (For a complete bio, click here.) He and Dr. Jonathan Wai recently posted an article focusing on

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