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Computer experts identify fourteen themes of creativity The elusive and complex components of creativity have been identified by computer experts.
Peer victimization in schools: Two studies explore types, repercussions As many as 75% of children and adolescents report experiencing some sort of peer victimization, researchers estimate, with 10 to 15% experiencing more severe and prolonged victimization. Two new studies explore victimization by peers to shed light on who is victimized and the repercussions of such actions. The studies are particularly pertinent with increased attention on bullying; this includes mandates to report instances of bullying as well as efforts to develop prevention programs and interventions that are effective and developmentally appropriate. Both studies suggest that earlier interventions are more likely to be successful in helping address peer victimization and its outcomes.
Join Us for World Mental Health Day on October... Next week on October 10th, we’re celebrating World Mental Health Day. If you’re a blogger, we’d like you to join us for our 6th annual blog party. World Mental Health Day is promoted by the World Health Organization to help raise awareness about mental health … ...
Freedom of Speech on Campus Universities have a long history of hiring professors who hold strongly liberal perspectives. This fact has led to a major lack of viewpoint diversity. And this is a problem.
2084: Digital Choice Curation for a Non-Orwellian Economy Understanding online decision making can help us overcome society's choice paradoxes, and help us deal with the Age of Big Data.
Women's better verbal memory skills may mask early signs of Alzheimer's Women may have better verbal memory skills than men even when their brains show the same level of problems metabolizing glucose, which occurs in people with Alzheimer’s disease, according to research.
Today I Love This Perfect Summer Day Today I love this perfect summer day set down right in the autumnal month of October. I love that yesterday there were beautiful autumn colors to see out on the … ...
Study demonstrates role of gut bacteria in neurodegenerative diseases Exposure to bacterial proteins called amyloid that have structural similarity to brain proteins may lead to an increase in clumping of proteins in the brain, research has revealed. Aggregates of misfolded amyloid proteins are seen in the brains of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
A Force More Powerful Than Anti-Vaxxers? Economics! Price negotiations need to set a balance between protecting public purses and promoting public health.
3 Tips for Helping a Patient with Social Anxiety As humans, we are biologically wired to form connections with others. This behavior makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint, as traveling in groups helped to ensure our survival as a species. Strong relationships have been shown to have significant benefits in regards to one’s overall … ...
How to Teach Happiness at School Health is part of every public-school education. But what is health? It’s more than just nutrition and gym class. As early as 1947, the World Health Organization defined health as a state of mental and social—not just physical—well-being. Today, more and more schools worldwide are integrating social-emotional learning into their curriculum, teaching skills such as self-awareness, empathy, and active listening. Research demonstrates that happy people are successful across multiple life domains, including marriage, relationships, health, longevity, income, and academic and work performance. They are better able to multitask and endure boring tasks, and are more creative, trusting, helpful and sociable.  So how do we teach the skills of well-being to students? A few years ago, working with my colleague Lucy Ryan, we developed a comprehensive Well-Being Curriculum that is now being implemented in many elementary schools and high schools in the UK, France, Japan, and Australia. The Well-Being Curriculum is based on the principles and findings of positive psychology, and can be used with students from about 9-14 years of age. Every other week, for 50 minutes, students learn about the major factors that seem to influence well-being, and they try out happiness-enhancing practices and activities. A recent study of the program showed that it protected students against the decline in satisfaction with self, satisfaction with friends, and positive emotions—and the increase in negative emotions—that typically occurs in the first years of middle school. Other studies have shown that the schools teaching happiness skills academically outperform the schools teaching a standard health curriculum. In other words, focusing on well-being can even contribute to the core mission of education. Here are my suggestions for teachers who want to share these lessons with their students. Teaching positive emotions The “broaden-and-build” theory of positive emotions, developed by Barbara Fredrickson, shows that positive emotional experiences have long-lasting effects on our personal growth and development. Specifically, positive emotions broaden our attention and thinking, enhance resilience, and build durable personal resources, which fuel more positive emotions in the future. During this part of the program, we teach the important adaptive functions of both positive and negative emotions, ways to cope with our tendency to focus on the bad things in life, and how to enhance positive emotions through savoring and reminiscence. We also talk about the importance of relationships, one of the best predictors of happiness. It is well known that strong social ties are at the very core of our well-being, regardless of whether we are introverts or extraverts. Many of the valued strengths, such as kindness and forgiveness, are of an interpersonal nature. Close friendships (not the mere number, but rather their quality) have far greater influence on our happiness than an increase in income. This part of the program focuses on the basic relationships skills, such as being able to form and maintain friendships, negotiate, listen, and, even more importantly, hear. Forgiveness, kindness, and gratitude are also included, as the main relationship strengths. The stream finishes with happiness across cultures, a lesson that highlights factors that allow countries to flourish, taking the scope of relationships to the planetary level. How to get started 
Teachers often feel pressure to concentrate on forthcoming tests and exams, and spend significant amounts of time on “firefighting”—i.e., dealing with discipline and conflicts. These constraints often mean that it might be difficult, if not impossible, to schedule a well-being class every week. In this situation, we advise teachers to use the Personal Well-Being Lessons (as well as many other available educational volumes) as piecemeal resources, picking up interventions and activities that can be run one at a time. Here are a few examples of short activities that you could incorporate into a day’s lesson:
 Create a What Went Well wall (a whiteboard with colorful markers would do just fine) and ask all students to write three things that went well for them during the lesson, school day, or school week. Run the “Can you hear me?” exercise. Ask the class to form pairs. Instruct student A to talk to Student B for one minute about a topic that excites them, such as a holiday, a hobby, or an adventure. B is instructed to deliberately not listen, appearing uninterested and distracted, though they should not leave their seat or walk away. The teacher stops the exercise as soon as 60 seconds is up. In round two, A is instructed to continue talking for a further minute (again about a topic that excites them), and this time, B should listen, acting genuinely interested without going completely over the top. Students are asked to tell the teacher the emotional effect it had on them when they were being ignored vs. when they were being listened to, and the teacher confirms with students how important it is for us to be listened to. Play “Go fish” with cards from the Happiness Box that also encourage your class to participate in evidence-based positive psychology exercises. As you begin teaching well-being, don’t be surprised if some of your fellow teachers are a bit skeptical. When we brought the Well-Being Curriculum to two schools in London, one teacher talked about facing resistance from other staff. “They think it’s just loads of clap-trap” because, she said, “it’s not real work, you are not writing stuff down, you are not being tested every week…and there is no nice little certificate that you can have at the end of five years.”  Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Given their importance for the future mental health of our nations, happiness and well-being skills deserve to be taken seriously—and teachers can lead the charge, one classroom at a time.
3 Strategies for Supporting a Loved One with Depression... Your loved one has depression. Maybe they’re isolating themselves. Maybe their energy and mood have taken a nosedive. Maybe they’re irritable and angry. Maybe they aren’t enjoying much, if anything, anymore. Maybe they’re having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Maybe they’ve mentioned feeling … ...
Journaling and Creating through Tough Times: Q&A with Author... Journaling is a powerful way to capture our messy, muddy emotions and inner experiences. Because when we write about what’s happening inside our hearts and minds, we can process it. We … ...
Can Cycling Be Addictive? There has been an increasing amount of research into exercise addiction and it's sub-types. One such type is 'cycling addiction' but can it really be classed as an addiction?
Altered reward expectancy found in individuals with recent methamphetamine dependence Adults with a history of methamphetamine dependence have altered reward expectancy in key regions of the brain, according to a recent study published online this September in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The results highlighted an impaired ability to evaluate future risks and benefits, which may increase the likelihood of future risky behavior in adults with [...]
A Profile of Siddhartha Mukherjee A profile of the Pulitzer Prize winning Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee
Students of all races prefer teachers of color, study finds Middle and high school students, regardless of their race and ethnicity, have more favorable perceptions of their Black and Latino teachers than of their White teachers, finds a study by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. “Minority teachers may be perceived more favorably by minority students because they can serve as role [...]
Men and women prefer different faces when seeking social allies After being on the losing side of a fight, men seek out other allies with a look of rugged dominance about them to ensure a backup in case of future fights. Women in similar situations however, prefer to seek solace from allies whose faces suggest they can provide emotional support. There is an evolutionary root [...]
Study reveals how the teenage brain is adapted to learning Teenagers are often portrayed as seeking immediate gratification, but new work suggests that their sensitivity to reward could be part of an evolutionary adaptation to learn from their environment. In a Neuron study publishing October 5, adolescents performed better than adults in a picture-based game that required learning from positive and negative reinforcement cues. The [...]
Study shows infants pay more attention to native speakers Almost from the moment of birth, human beings are able to distinguish between speakers of their native language and speakers of all other languages. We have a hard-wired preference for our own language patterns, so much so that the cries of very young infants reflect the melodies of their native language. The connection between language [...]