Login

References for Colorblindness vs. Multicultural Post

Several readers have asked for references to the studies cited in my post “The Problem With ‘I Don’t See Color’”: Among dominant-group members, multiculturalism predicts lower bias against minority-group members, while colorblindness predicts greater bias. Source: Plaut, V. C., Thomas, K. M., & Goren, M. J. (2009). Is multiculturalism or color blindness better for minorities? Psychological Science, 20, 444-446. A
Read More →

What To Think About Kids and Gender Stereotypes

Boys like trucks, and girls like dolls—displaying gender-typical toy preferences before they’re even old enough to know what gender is. That’s the finding of a a new study conducted by Brenda Todd of City University London and published in the journal Infant and Child Development. Todd and her coauthors tested the toy preferences of children aged 9 to 32 months
Read More →

How Parenting Affects Your Intelligence

Here’s an academic paper title that every parent can relate to: “Infant Cries Rattle Adult Cognition.” Recently published in the journal PLOS One, the study starts out by reviewing a number of experiments looking at how the sound of a baby’s crying affects adults’ thinking processes. Some highlights: • One study asked mothers to solve arithmetic problems while hearing a
Read More →

Your Smartphone Is Making You Miserable

Here’s a simple way to boost your productivity and elevate your sense of well-being: silence your phone and put it out of sight. In a study recently reported at the 2016 Computer-Human Interaction Conference, authors Kostadin Kushlev, Jason Proulx, and Elizabeth Dunn carried out a two-part experiment: For one week, participants (drawn from the general population) were asked to maximize
Read More →

The Problem With “I Don’t See Color”

In America’s political sphere, and on our university campuses especially, the question of how we should handle differences—racial, ethnic, cultural—has assumed front-and-center importance. You might say there are two approaches available. One is to assume the posture of “colorblindness”: to downplay differences, to say “I treat everyone the same.” The other is to adopt the stance of “multiculturalism”: to acknowledge,
Read More →

Using the Social Brain to Promote Learning

What’s going on in teens’ brains when they’re looking at Instagram? Researchers at UCLA have an answer: “The same brain circuits that are activated by eating chocolate and winning money are activated when teenagers see large numbers of ‘likes’ on their own photos or the photos of peers in a social network, according to a first-of-its-kind UCLA study that scanned
Read More →

Shaping Our Tools To Fit the Brain

It’s being called (with a bit of Silicon Valley hyperbole) the “mobile engagement crisis.” People are interested in apps, they’re downloading apps—but often, they’re not actually using them all that much. A new study by the firm Localytics finds that 23 percent of users abandon an app after just one use. Localytics defines successful “user retention” as the use of
Read More →

Against “Personalized Learning”

A couple of years ago, Benjamin Riley kicked up a fuss with a blog post provocatively titled “Don’t Personalize Learning.” Personalized learning, of course, is a very popular notion; as he slyly noted, it’s “a head-nodder phrase”: “Sprinkle the word into virtually any conversation or speech regarding education, and you’ll typically see at least a handful of heads nodding in
Read More →

How Money Worries Make Us Less Intelligent

A few days ago I heard a very interesting segment on NPR, titled “Researchers Find Surprising Results After Testing A New Way To Measure Poverty.” This new approach, NPR reporter Pam Fessler explained, “takes into account the hardship and deprivation faced by an individual or family: How often do they have trouble getting food, paying bills, or getting help for
Read More →

Secrets of a Math Master

This morning I had the privilege of watching John Mighton teach math. If you haven’t heard of John and his JUMP program, please do yourself a favor and read this excellent New York Times article, “A Better Way to Teach Math.” I’ll quote briefly from it here: “The experience of some educators in Canada and England, using a curriculum called
Read More →