The Value of “Cognitive Humility”

“Quite possibly the best fish and chips in central London.” “Probably the oldest pub in Oxford.” “Might well be the finest Indian curry in Euston.” These are signs I saw on my travels through Britain this past week—advertisements promoted by the restaurants themselves, mind you, not lukewarm reviews on Yelp.com. They struck me in part because they’re so different from
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My One-Line Op-Ed

Last night I went to an event celebrating the launch of NYT Opinion, a newly-available stand-alone subscription to the New York Times’s opinion coverage (complete with dedicated iPhone app). Attendees were asked to write a one-line op-ed. Here’s mine:  

Could You Learn To Love Math?

Over the three years Jordan Ellenberg was writing his book, he repeatedly encountered the same reaction to its subject. “I’d be at a party, and I’d tell someone what my book was about, and then I’d be like—‘Hey, where’d you go?’” What topic was so awful and off-putting as to make people flee at its mere mention? Math. Ellenberg, a
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How We Make Progress

When we think and talk about learning, the metaphors we use matter. The language we employ when we describe how learning works can illuminate the process, allowing us to make accurate judgments and predictions—or it can lead us astray, setting up false expectations and giving us a misleading impression of what’s going on. One of the most common analogies we
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Conflicts At Work: They’re Not About Personality

Why do people come into conflict with each other at work? A clash of personalities is one reason that might come readily to mind. But “most work conflicts aren’t due to personality,” argues organizational psychologist Ben Dattner in a post on the website of the Harvard Business Review. Rather, there are usually situational dynamics at work that turn people into
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Be More Productive—By Doing Less

“Leisure is the new productivity.” That counterintuitive slogan emerged from a panel I attended last week at the annual conference of the New America Foundation, a Washington D.C. think tank where I am fortunate to be a fellow. The panel was anchored by Brigid Schulte, a Washington Post reporter and the author of a new book, Overwhelmed: Work, Love and
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Where To Go For Evidence-Based Parenting Advice

If you’ve surfed the web lately, you know there is no lack of information and advice aimed at parents available on the Internet. As a reader and a parent myself, though, I’ve often been dismayed by the snarky tone, bellicose attitude, or because-I-believe-it’s-true subjectivity of this writing aimed at moms and dads. One place I know I can go to
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Children Need More Structured Playtime, Not Less

The cover story of last month’s Atlantic magazine struck a nerve with many parents. Written by Hanna Rosin, an Atlantic national correspondent, and titled, “The Overprotected Kid,” it describes a generation of children who have experienced hardly an unsupervised or unstructured moment in their lives. Looking for an alternative to America’s risk-averse culture of child rearing, the author takes her
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How Much Should Adults Be Involved In Recess?

I asked a few smart writers to respond to my post on yesterday’s Motherlode blog, about how much adults should intervene to structure and organize recess. Please share your own thoughts in the comments section, below.—Annie Lisa Damour, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Research on Girls, Laurel School: As a clinical psychologist and consultant to schools, here’s my first
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How Studying Or Working Abroad Changes The Way You Think

How does studying or working abroad change you? You return with a photo album full of memories and a suitcase full of souvenirs, sure. But you may also come back from your time in another country with an ability to think more complexly and creatively—and you may be professionally more successful as a result. These are the conclusions of a
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