categories: psychology

How to Get Yourself to Do Things

You finish a thing by starting it until it’s done via How to Get Yourself to Do Things.

Costs of Financial Innovation

In “Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting”, the author argues that the liquidity brought by modern finance is not a good thing. By enabling the consumer to instantaneously borrow against illiquid assets, financial innovation eliminates the possibility for partial commitment. This has two effects on the welfare of the current self. First, the current self no longer faces a self-imposed liquidity constraint and can therefore consume more in its period of control.

Read more →

Memorization and Repetition Still Needed for Learning

I believe in learning for understanding, critical thinking, and inquiry-based learning. But even so, real fluency still requires some drill-and-kill. The problem with focusing relentlessly on understanding is that math and science students can often grasp essentials of an important idea, but this understanding can quickly slip away without consolidation through practice and repetition. Worse, students often believe they understand something when, in fact, they don’t. via How I Rewired My Brain to Become Fluent in Math – Issue 17: Big Bangs – Nautilus.

Read more →

Predicting happiness when making choices

From “Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth” by Diener and Biswas-Diener, 2008: There are several predictable thinking errors people commonly make that lead them to incorrectly predict their own future emotions in general, and future happiness in particular: Focusing on a single salient feature or period of time in a choice, rather than looking at the big picture. Overestimating the long-term impact of our choices. Forgetting that happiness is an ongoing process, not a destination Paying too much attention to external information while overlooking personal preferences and experience.

Read more →

Distraction and Attention

From In Defense of Distraction: “Where you allow your attention to go ultimately says more about you as a human being than anything that you put in your mission statement,” [Merlin Mann] continues. “It’s an indisputable receipt for your existence. And if you allow that to be squandered by other people who are as bored as you are, it’s gonna say a lot about who you are as a person.

Read more →

Positive emotions make us more vulnerable

From What Makes Us Happy?: … positive emotions make us more vulnerable than negative ones. One reason is that they’re future-oriented. Fear and sadness have immediate payoffs—protecting us from attack or attracting resources at times of distress. Gratitude and joy, over time, will yield better health and deeper connections—but in the short term actually put us at risk. That’s because, while negative emotions tend to be insulating, positive emotions expose us to the common elements of rejection and heartbreak.

Read more →

Self-control via strategic allocation of attention

From Don’t in the New Yorker: What, then, determined self-control? Mischel’s conclusion, based on hundreds of hours of observation, was that the crucial skill was the “strategic allocation of attention.” Instead of getting obsessed with the marshmallow—the “hot stimulus”—the patient children distracted themselves by covering their eyes, pretending to play hide-and-seek underneath the desk, or singing songs from “Sesame Street.” Their desire wasn’t defeated—it was merely forgotten. Once you realize that will power is just a matter of learning how to control your attention and thoughts, you can really begin to increase it.

Read more →

Fred C Yankowski

Batavia, U.S.A.
Email me

Developing applications for edtech and blockchain in Go, Python, Elm, and PHP