Cognitive Development Quotes

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When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them.
Criss Jami (Killosophy)
Each holiday tradition acts as an exercise in cognitive development, a greater challenge for the child. Despite the fact most parents don't recognize this function, they still practice the exercise. Rant also saw how resolving the illusions is crucial to how the child uses any new skills. A child who is never coached with Santa Claus may never develop an ability to imagine. To him, nothing exists except the literal and tangible. A child who is disillusioned abruptly, by his peers or siblings, being ridiculed for his faith and imagination, may choose never to believe in anything- tangible or intangible- again. To never trust or wonder. But a child who relinquishes the illusions of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, that child may come away with the most important skill set. That child may recognize the strength of his own imagination and faith. He will embrace the ability to create his own reality. That child becomes his own authority. He determines the nature of his world. His own vision. And by doing so, by the power of his example, he determines the reality of the other two types: those who can't imagine, and those who can't trust.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey)
As parents who make every effort we can to raise our children in loving security, we do not need to feel more guilt than we already do. We need less guilt and more awareness of how the quality of the parent-child relationship can be used to promote our children’s emotional and cognitive development.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
How’s this for fascinating: Heritability of various aspects of cognitive development is very high (e.g., around 70 percent for IQ) in kids from high–socioeconomic status (SES) families but is only around 10 percent in low-SES kids. Thus, higher SES allows the full range of genetic influences on cognition to flourish, whereas lower-SES settings restrict them. In other words, genes are nearly irrelevant to cognitive development if you’re growing up in awful poverty—poverty’s adverse effects trump the genetics.fn24 Similarly, heritability of alcohol use is lower among religious than nonreligious subjects—i.e., your genes don’t matter much if you’re in a religious environment that condemns drinking. Domains like these showcase the potential power of classical behavior genetics.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Since the 1980s, therapists have reported encountering clients or patients who had experienced extreme abuses featuring physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects, along with a premeditated structure of torture-enforced lessons. The phenomena was first labeled "ritual abuse," and, later, as our understanding developed, "mind control.
Alison Miller (Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control)
The cognitive functioning of a human brain depends on a delicate orchestration of many factors, especially during the critical stages of embryo development—and it is much more likely that this self-organizing structure, to be enhanced, needs to be carefully balanced, tuned, and cultivated rather than simply flooded with some extraneous potion.
Nick Bostrom (Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies)
The goal shouldn’t be to make the perfect decision every time but to make less bad decisions than everyone else.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
[Patricia Greenfield] concluded that “every medium develops some cognitive skills at the expense of others.” Our growing use of the Net and other screen-based technologies has led to the “widespread and sophisticated development of visual-spatial skills.” We can, for example, rotate objects in our minds better than we used to be able to. But our “new strengths in visual-spatial intelligence” go hand in hand with a weakening of our capacities for the kind of “deep processing” that underpins “mindful knowledge acquisition, inductive analysis, critical thinking, imagination, and reflection.
Nicholas Carr (The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains)
If a child’s emotional and intellectual freedom is restricted, their development and well-being suffer, which leads to complex problems in later life. Deprivation of thought and emotion results in an irrationality of cognition, feeling, and communication.
Darius Cikanavicius (Human Development and Trauma: How Childhood Shapes Us into Who We Are as Adults)
Self-care is never selfish, but it may feel that way when you live a frenzied life.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Great leaders don’t lead others with bitterness or resentfulness of past mistakes, they lead with hope and knowledge of the past to inform greater decision making in the future.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
One of the most promising developments since the publication of “The Geek Syndrome” has been the emergence of the concept of neurodiversity: the notion that conditions like autism, dyslexia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) should be regarded as naturally occurring cognitive variations with distinctive strengths that have contributed to the evolution of technology and culture rather than mere checklists of deficits and dysfunctions.
Steve Silberman (NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity)
We learn to become more empathic when we slow down, become present, and are fully committed to understanding another person’s uniqueness.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Awareness is the first step in rewriting old stories.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Ask yourself if you’re taking the time to see beyond the surface.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
when you face disappointments and trials in life, your response dictates the character that will be created in you as a result.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
The most common theory points to the fact that men are stronger than women and that they have used their greater physical power to force women into submission. A more subtle version of this claim argues that their strength allows men to monopolize tasks that demand hard manual labor, such as plowing and harvesting. This gives them control of food production, which in turn translates into political clout. There are two problems with this emphasis on muscle power. First, the statement that men are stronger is true only on average and only with regard to certain types of strength. Women are generally more resistant to hunger, disease, and fatigue than men. There are also many women who can run faster and lift heavier weights than many men. Furthermore, and most problematically for this theory, women have, throughout history, mainly been excluded from jobs that required little physical effort, such as the priesthood, law, and politics, while engaging in hard manual labor in the fields....and in the household. If social power were divided in direct relation to physical strength or stamina, women should have got far more of it. Even more importantly, there simply is no direct relation between physical strength and social power among humans. People in their sixties usually exercise power over people in their twenties, even though twenty-somethings are much stronger than their elders. ...Boxing matches were not used to select Egyptian pharaohs or Catholic popes. In forager societies, political dominance generally resides with the person possessing the best social skills rather than the most developed musculature. In fact, human history shows that there is often an inverse relation between physical prowess and social power. In most societies, it’s the lower classes who do the manual labor. Another theory explains that masculine dominance results not from strength but from aggression. Millions of years of evolution have made men far more violent than women. Women can match men as far as hatred, greed, and abuse are concern, but when push comes to shove…men are more willing to engage in raw physical violence. This is why, throughout history, warfare has been a masculine prerogative. In times of war, men’s control of the armed forces has made them the masters of civilian society too. They then use their control of civilian society to fight more and more wars. …Recent studies of the hormonal and cognitive systems of men and women strengthen the assumption that men indeed have more aggressive and violent tendencies and are…on average, better suited to serve as common soldiers. Yet, granted that the common soldiers are all men, does it follow that the ones managing the war and enjoying its fruits must also be men? That makes no sense. It’s like assuming that because all the slaves cultivating cotton fields are all Black, plantation owners will be Black as well. Just as an all-Black workforce might be controlled by an all-White management, why couldn’t an all-male soldiery be controlled by an all-female government?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
When we give and receive empathy, transformation occurs.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
People who help others on a regular basis are ten times more likely to be healthy than people who do not.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Bruce Miller, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco, studies elderly patients with a relatively common form of brain disease called frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. He’s found that in some cases where the FTD is localized on the left side of the brain, people who had never picked up a paintbrush or an instrument can develop extraordinary artistic and musical abilities at the very end of their lives. As their other cognitive skills fade away, they become narrow savants.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
We get smarter and more creative as we age, research shows. Our brain's anatomy, neural networks, and cognitive abilities can actually improve with age and increased life experiences. Contrary to the mythology of Silicon Valley, older employees may be even more productive, innovative, and collaborative than younger ones... Most people, in fact, have multiple cognitive peaks throughout their lives.
Rich Karlgaard (Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement)
Critical race Theory’s hallmark paranoid mind-set, which assumes racism is everywhere, always, just waiting to be found, is extremely unlikely to be helpful or healthy for those who adopt it. Always believing that one will be or is being discriminated against, and trying to find out how, is unlikely to improve the outcome of any situation. It can also be self-defeating. In The Coddling of the American Mind, attorney Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt describe this process as a kind of reverse cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which makes its participants less mentally and emotionally healthy than before.60 The main purpose of CBT is to train oneself not to catastrophize and interpret every situation in the most negative light, and the goal is to develop a more positive and resilient attitude towards the world, so that one can engage with it as fully as possible.
Helen Pluckrose (Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity—and Why This Harms Everybody)
We often trick ourselves into thinking that we possess enough knowledge or control over any given situation to make correct choices. Maybe that is why we hold on to the decisions we make so dearly even when we know we are wrong.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
A remarkably consistent finding, starting with elementary school students, is that males are better at math than females. While the difference is minor when it comes to considering average scores, there is a huge difference when it comes to math stars at the upper extreme of the distribution. For example, in 1983, for every girl scoring in the highest percentile in the math SAT, there were 11 boys. Why the difference? There have always been suggestions that testosterone is central. During development, testosterone fuels the growth of a brain region involved in mathematical thinking and giving adults testosterone enhances their math skills. Oh, okay, it's biological. But consider a paper published in science in 2008. The authors examined the relationship between math scores and sexual equality in 40 countries based on economic, educational and political indices of gender equality. The worst was Turkey, United States was middling, and naturally, the Scandinavians were tops. Low and behold, the more gender equal the country, the less of a discrepancy in math scores. By the time you get to the Scandinavian countries it's statistically insignificant. And by the time you examine the most gender equal country on earth at the time, Iceland, girls are better at math than boys. Footnote, note that the other reliable sex difference in cognition, namely better reading performance by girls than by boys doesn't disappear in more gender equal societies. It gets bigger. In other words, culture matters. We carry it with us wherever we go.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
Then there’s the issue of cognitive capacity. Deep work is exhausting because it pushes you toward the limit of your abilities. Performance psychologists have extensively studied how much such efforts can be sustained by an individual in a given day.* In their seminal paper on deliberate practice, Anders Ericsson and his collaborators survey these studies. They note that for someone new to such practice (citing, in particular, a child in the early stages of developing an expert-level skill), an hour a day is a reasonable limit. For those familiar with the rigors of such activities, the limit expands to something like four hours, but rarely more.
Cal Newport (Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World)
Human beings are not nearly as coolly rational as we like to think we are. Having set up comfortable planets of belief, we become resistant to altering them, and develop cognitive biases that prevent us from seeing the world with perfect clarity. We aspire to be perfect Bayesian abductors, impartially reasoning to the best explanation - but most often we take new data and squeeze it to fit with our preconceptions.
Sean Carroll
Talking to oneself is a recognized means to learn, in fact, self-speak may be the seed concept behind human consciousness. Private conversation that we hold with ourselves might represent the preeminent means to provoke the speaker into thinking (a form of cognitive auto-stimulation), modify behavior, and perhaps even amend the functional architecture of the plastic human brain. Writing out our private talks with oneself enables a person to “see” what they think, a process that invites reflection, ongoing thoughtful discourse with the self, and refinement of our thinking patterns and beliefs. Internal sotto voice conversations with our private-self provide several advantages, but most people find it difficult to maintain self-speak for an extended period. Internal dialogue must compete with external distractions. Writing allows a person to resume a personal dialogue where they left off before interrupted by outside stimuli. A written disquisition also provides a permanent record that a person can examine, amend, supplement, update, or reject.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Our metaphors for the operation of the brain are frequently drawn from the production line. We think of the brain as a glorified sausage machine, taking in information from the senses, processing it and regurgitating it in a different form, as thoughts or actions. The digital computer reinforces this idea because it is quite explicitly a machine that does to information what a sausage machine does to pork. Indeed, the brain was the original inspiration and metaphor for the development of the digital computer, and early computers were often described as 'giant brains'. Unfortunately, neuroscientists have sometimes turned this analogy on its head, and based their models of brain function on the workings of the digital computer (for example by assuming that memory is separate and distinct from processing, as it is in a computer). This makes the whole metaphor dangerously self-reinforcing.
Steve Grand (Creation: Life and How to Make It)
Doing good induces others to reciprocate.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Authenticity soothes the soul.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
It takes enormous courage and humility to be open to others to find out who we really are.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
We live in a world where people believe they have full control of their choices and decisions, but rarely have the holistic knowledge to effectively wield such power.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
We have two choices when it comes to creating impactful change in people’s decision-making process. We can create technology to prohibit or create rules to follow
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Having an understanding of the human mind and how it functions is probably the single most important thing anyone who wants to be successful can do
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Humor today goes hand in hand with our rationality, and not just rationality in the sense of cognitive sophistication, but also in the sense of a rational attitude toward the world. Part of this attitude is viewing things critically, and people with a well developed sense of humor naturally look at things critically, because they are looking for incongruity.
John Morreall
Developing the cognitive control that leads to a more contemplative Christian life is the key to living as free men and women in post-Christian America. The man whose desires are under the control of his reason is free. The man who does whatever occurs to him is a slave. Untold
Rod Dreher (The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians in a Post-Christian Nation)
The greatest leaders in the world fight cognitive bias by developing 'rules to live by' and carefully following predetermined routines to maximize efficiency and control of their environment
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
When Jean Piaget lectured in the United States, he was frequently asked whether the rate at which children attained his cognitive stages could be accelerated—in other words, whether you could train your child to be "ahead" of other children. Piaget was bewildered by the question. In his view of development, being "ahead" or "behind" anyone else was meaningless. But he got the question often enough that he came to associate it with a particular worldview: he called it "the American Question.
Nicholas Day (Baby Meets World: Suck, Smile, Touch, Toddle: A Journey Through Infancy)
Richard Felder is co-developer of the Index of Learning Styles. He suggests that there are eight different learning styles. Active learners absorb material best by applying it in some fashion or explaining it to others. Reflective learners prefer to consider the material before doing anything with it. Sensing learners like learning facts and tend to be good with details. Intuitive learners like to identify the relationships between things and are comfortable with abstract concepts. Visual learners remember best what they see, while verbal learners do better with written and spoken explanations. Sequential learners like to learn by following a process from one logical step to the next, while global learners tend to make cognitive leaps, continuously taking in information until they “get it.
Ken Robinson (Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life)
Poor children face staggering challenges: increased risk of low birth weight, negative impacts on early cognitive development, higher incidents of childhood illnesses such as asthma and obesity, and greatly reduced chances of attending college (only about nine out of every one hundred kids born in poverty will earn a college degree). On top of this, poor children deal with greater degrees of environmental hazards from pollution, noise, and traffic, as well as other stressors harmful to their well-being. In a competitive and global knowledge-based economy, a nation's most valuable resource is its children. And yet we are reckless with this treasure.
Cory Booker (United: Thoughts on Finding Common Ground and Advancing the Common Good)
The word “coherence” literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. … Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels mesh and mutually interlock. We saw this cross-level coherence in the analysis of personality: If your lower-level traits match up with your coping mechanisms, which in turn are consistent with your life story, your personality is well integrated and you can get on with the business of living. When these levels do not cohere, you are likely to be torn by internal contradictions and neurotic conflicts. You might need adversity to knock yourself into alignment. And if you do achieve coherence, the moment when things come together may be one of the most profound of your life. … Finding coherence across levels feels like enlightenment, and it is crucial for answering the question of purpose within life. People are multilevel systems in another way: We are physical objects (bodies and brains) from which minds somehow emerge; and from our minds, somehow societies and cultures form. To understand ourselves fully we must study all three levels—physical, psychological, and sociocultural. There has long been a division of academic labor: Biologists studied the brain as a physical object, psychologists studied the mind, and sociologists and anthropologists studied the socially constructed environments within which minds develop and function. But a division of labor is productive only when the tasks are coherent—when all lines of work eventually combine to make something greater than the sum of its parts. For much of the twentieth century that didn’t happen — each field ignored the others and focused on its own questions. But nowadays cross-disciplinary work is flourishing, spreading out from the middle level (psychology) along bridges (or perhaps ladders) down to the physical level (for example, the field of cognitive neuroscience) and up to the sociocultural level (for example, cultural psychology). The sciences are linking up, generating cross-level coherence, and, like magic, big new ideas are beginning to emerge. Here is one of the most profound ideas to come from the ongoing synthesis: People gain a sense of meaning when their lives cohere across the three levels of their existence.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
...the naive forms of Christian moral motivation - bare threats of hell and the bribery of heaven - stunt moral growth by ensuring believers remain emotional children, never achieving the cognitive moral development of adults. Psychologists have established that mature adults are moral not because of bare threats and bribes (that stage of moral development typifies children, not adults), but because they care about the effects their behavior has on themselves and others.
Richard C. Carrier
Strunk was born in 1869, and today’s writers cannot base their craft exclusively on the advice of a man who developed his sense of style before the invention of the telephone (let alone the Internet), before the advent of modern linguistics and cognitive science, before the wave of informalization that swept the world in the second half of the twentieth century.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Some choices are better than others and we, as mortal humans, cannot be expected to always choose the best ones. What we can control is how we evaluate past decisions. Our readiness to reflect and realize that we were wrong. Our ability to admit our wrongs and move forward. To say we are sorry or make amends for mistakes. To apply what we’ve learned from past follies and choose wiser in the present. I contend that in a random and often chaotic world of choices, that is what we can control.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Imagine a world full of people who take their choices seriously, carefully weighing the options presented to them. I wonder where we would be if people put as much thought into their decision-making process as they do so many other things in their lives.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Even in an age where the answer to almost all of life’s questions is a simple Google search away, we often don’t take the time to read the entire article for the answer. We don’t make time to actively seek out the truth, only the first or most relevant result.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Coonskin caps and silly putty were just not going to cut it anymore. The good mother got her kids toys that were educational, that advanced gross and fine motor skills, that gave them the spatial sensibilities and design aptitude of Frank Lloyd Wright, and that taught Johnny how to read James Joyce at age three. God forbid that one second should pass where your child was idle and that you were not doing everything you could to promote his or her emotional, cognitive, imaginative, quantitative, or muscular development.
Susan J. Douglas (The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and How It Has Undermined All Women)
Comprehension processes [for young readers] grow.... [when] they leave the surface layers of text to explore the wondrous terrain that lies beneath it. The reading expert Richard Vacca describes this shift as a development from "fluent decoders" to "strategic readers"--"readers who know how to activate prior knowledge before, during and after reading, to decide what's important in a text"....
Maryanne Wolf (Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain)
at a seminal yet still little known moment in history, Homo sapiens developed the full battery of cognitive skills that we ourselves possess. After a surprisingly short time, perhaps a mere five thousand years, their descendants moved northward into Eurasia and Europe.
Brian M. Fagan (Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans)
What we value and our priorities in life make us who we are. We are unique not only because of our outward differences, but arguably more importantly, our inward differences. Our values steer our personal and professional lives and have a distinct imprint on the decisions we make.
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
What’s so interesting here is that through the course of development, these secure children increasingly “internalize” their parents’ emotional availability and responsiveness and come to hold the same constant or dependable loving feeling toward themselves that their parents originally held toward them (certainly, a beautiful developmental process to watch unfold in securely attached children). Said differently, cognitive development increasingly allows securely attached children to internally hold a mental representation of their emotionally responsive parents when the attachment figures are away and they can increasingly soothe themselves as their caregivers have done—facilitating the child’s own capacity for affect regulation and independent functioning. Thus, as these children grow older and mature cognitively and emotionally, they become increasingly able to soothe themselves when distressed, function for increasingly longer periods without emotional refueling, and effectively elicit appropriate help or support when necessary. In this way, object constancy and more independent functioning develops—facilitating their ability to comfort themselves and become the source of their own self-esteem and secure identity as capable, love-worthy persons. Furthermore, they possess the cognitive schemas or internal working models necessary to establish new relationships with others that hold this same affirming affective valence.
Edward Teyber (Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model)
hope is not an emotion; it’s a way of thinking or a cognitive process. Emotions play a supporting role, but hope is really a thought process made up of what Snyder calls a trilogy of goals, pathways, and agency.4 In very simple terms, hope happens when We have the ability to set realistic goals (I know where I want to go). We are able to figure out how to achieve those goals, including the ability to stay flexible and develop alternative routes (I know how to get there, I’m persistent, and I can tolerate disappointment and try again). We believe in ourselves (I can do this!).
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
Narratives are the primary way in which we make sense of our lives, as opposed to, for example schema,cognition, beliefs, constructs. Definition of narrative include the important element of giving meaning to events and experiences over time by connecting them as a developing, continuing story.
Jacqui Stedmon
In fundamentalist families, there is a core belief that people are basically bad. Therefore, human errors are interpreted as sins instead of as innocent mistakes. Children are seen as small adults, with the same sinful tendencies and the same need to be saved. There is little recognition of child development, that children are different from adults and that they progress through various stages of cognitive, emotional, and moral development. From a fundamentalist point of view, issues such as egocentrism, aggression, sexuality, and teenage rebellion are treated as problems instead of natural processes.
Marlene Winell (Leaving the Fold: A Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving Their Religion)
Several years ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota identified 568 men and women over the age of seventy who were living independently but were at high risk of becoming disabled because of chronic health problems, recent illness, or cognitive changes. With their permission, the researchers randomly assigned half of them to see a team of geriatric nurses and doctors—a team dedicated to the art and science of managing old age. The others were asked to see their usual physician, who was notified of their high-risk status. Within eighteen months, 10 percent of the patients in both groups had died. But the patients who had seen a geriatrics team were a quarter less likely to become disabled and half as likely to develop depression. They were 40 percent less likely to require home health services. These were stunning results. If scientists came up with a device—call it an automatic defrailer—that wouldn’t extend your life but would slash the likelihood you’d end up in a nursing home or miserable with depression, we’d be clamoring for it. We wouldn’t care if doctors had to open up your chest and plug the thing into your heart. We’d have pink-ribbon campaigns to get one for every person over seventy-five. Congress would be holding hearings demanding to know why forty-year-olds couldn’t get them installed. Medical students would be jockeying to become defrailulation specialists, and Wall Street would be bidding up company stock prices. Instead, it was just geriatrics. The geriatric teams weren’t doing lung biopsies or back surgery or insertion of automatic defrailers. What they did was to simplify medications. They saw that arthritis was controlled. They made sure toenails were trimmed and meals were square. They looked for worrisome signs of isolation and had a social worker check that the patient’s home was safe. How do we reward this kind of work? Chad Boult, the geriatrician who was the lead investigator of the University of Minnesota study, can tell you. A few months after he published the results, demonstrating how much better people’s lives were with specialized geriatric care, the university closed the division of geriatrics.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
A synthesis—an abstraction, chunk, or gist idea—is a neural pattern. Good chunks form neural patterns that resonate, not only within the subject we’re working in, but with other subjects and areas of our lives. The abstraction helps you transfer ideas from one area to another. That’s why great art, poetry, music, and literature can be so compelling. When we grasp the chunk, it takes on a new life in our own minds—we form ideas that enhance and enlighten the neural patterns we already possess, allowing us to more readily see and develop other related patterns. Once we have created a chunk as a neural pattern, we can more easily pass that chunked pattern to others, as Cajal and other great artists, poets, scientists, and writers have done for millennia, Once other people grasp that chunk, not only can they use it, but also they can more easily create similar chunks that apply to other areas in their lives—an important part of the creative process.
Barbara Oakley (A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra))
In a fascinating study, Barrett (1999) demonstrated that children as young as three years of age have a sophisticated cognitive understanding of predator-prey encounters. Children from both an industrialized culture and a traditional hunter-horticulturalist culture were able to spontaneously describe the flow of events in a predator-prey encounter in an ecologically accurate way. Moreover, they understood that after a lion kills a prey, the prey is no longer alive, can no longer eat, and can no longer run and that the dead state is permanent. This sophisticated understanding of death from encounters with predators appears to be developed by age three to four.
David M. Buss (Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind)
Hare and Tomasello think that the social behavior of chimps is constrained by their temperament, and the human temperament is necessary for more complex forms of social cognition. In order to develop the level of cooperation that is necessary for humans to live in large social groups, humans had to become less aggressive and less competitive.
Michael S. Gazzaniga (Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain)
Empathy plays a crucial role in the reduction of stress from the moment of birth.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Empathy allows us to enter the world of another. It allows us to take a mental vacation from ourselves.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Doing good does us good.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Generous people are likely to receive more respect from their peers.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Goodness makes our world a better place because human beings are kinder to each other when we feel safe and secure.
Arthur P. Ciaramicoli (The Stress Solution: Using Empathy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Reduce Anxiety and Develop Resilience)
Personal experiences that disrupt stale routines result in the phenomena of cognitive dissiliency, jolting our minds and enhancing our ability to internalizing new information.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
Toxic stress response can occur when a child experiences strong, frequent, and/or prolonged adversity—such as physical or emotional abuse, neglect, caregiver substance abuse or mental illness, exposure to violence, and/or the accumulated burdens of family economic hardship—without adequate adult support. This kind of prolonged activation of the stress-response systems can disrupt the development of brain architecture and other organ systems, and increase the risk for stress-related disease and cognitive impairment, well into the adult years.
Nadine Burke Harris (The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma and Adversity)
His maternal deprivation had caused what John Bowlby, a famous British psychiatrist, called an “attachment disorder.” Maternal attachment is more important than anything else to a baby—even more important than food. A baby will give up anything to have it. Without it, the child is anxious and unable to explore or deal with the world in any normal way. And attachment disorder doesn’t just affect the relationship with the mother; it affects all social, emotional, and cognitive development. If the child doesn’t experience attachment, that child can’t move forward to step two—trusting and emotionally attaching to others and, eventually, sexually attaching to others. In other words, you can’t grow emotionally if you didn’t have infant attachment.
Catherine Gildiner (Good Morning, Monster: A Therapist Shares Five Heroic Stories of Emotional Recovery)
I’m not suggesting you misrepresent yourself just to win arguments. I don’t think misrepresenting yourself would even work; evolutionary psychology tells us humans are notoriously bad liars. Don’t fake an appreciation for the other person’s point of view, actually develop an appreciation for the other person’s point of view. Realize that your points probably seem as absurd to others as their points seem to you. Understand that many false beliefs don’t come from simple lying or stupidity, but from complex mixtures of truth and falsehood filtered by complex cognitive biases. Don’t stop believing that you are right and they are wrong, unless the evidence points that way. But leave it at them being wrong, not them being wrong and stupid and evil.
Scott Alexander
• A dynamic relationship exists between physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy. • Changes in any one dimension of energy affect all dimensions. 22. Energy capacities follow developmental lines. • First level of development is physical. • Second level of development is emotional/social. • Third level of development is cognitive/mental. • Fourth level of development is moral/spiritual.
Jim Loehr (The Power of Full Engagement: Managing Energy, Not Time, is the Key to High Performance and Personal Renewal)
What separates experts from the rest of us is that they tend to engage in a very directed, highly focused routine, which Ericsson has labeled “deliberate practice.” Having studied the best of the best in many different fields, he has found that top achievers tend to follow the same general pattern of development. They develop strategies for consciously keeping out of the autonomous stage while they practice by doing three things: focusing on their technique, staying goal-oriented, and getting constant and immediate feedback on their performance. In other words, they force themselves to stay in the “cognitive phase.
Joshua Foer (Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything)
Thoughts pass from one individual to another, each time a little transformed, for each individual can attach to them somewhat different associations. Strictly speaking, the receiver never understands the thought exactly in the way that the transmitter intended it to be understood. After a series of such encounters, practically nothing is left of the original content. Whose thought is it that continues to circulate?
Ludwik Fleck (Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact)
Going further back, have the seventy or so turbulent millennia since the Cognitive Revolution made the world a better place to live? Was the late Neil Armstrong, whose footprint remains intact on the windless moon, happier than the nameless hunter-gatherer who 30,000 years ago left her handprint on a wall in Chauvet Cave? If not, what was the point of developing agriculture, cities, writing, coinage, empires, science and industry?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
our ability to feel our feelings as they move as energy through our body with our ability to talk about what we feel. We can sit in therapy, tell sad stories, and talk about feeling sad without ever having the bodily experience of sadness. Psychology has historically focused too much on cognition and behavior while neglecting the process that underlies them both: emotion. But current neuroscientific research reveals emotion (also called affect in the scientific literature) as the central driver behind why we are the way we are, and how we develop and heal.2 We now know that most psychopathology, or mental illness, is the result of the inability to effectively regulate emotion.
Hillary L. McBride (The Wisdom of Your Body: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Connection through Embodied Living)
The development of cognition, motivation, and self-regulation does not end with adolescence; indeed, personality traits do not reach their maximum stability until the third or fourth decade of life. This suggests that life history strategies are partially open to revision for a large portion of the life course -possibly depending on factors such as success in mating and reproduction, major environmental fluctuations, or unexpected changes in health, wealth or status.
Marco del Giudice (Evolutionary Psychopathology: A Unified Approach)
Compared to kids confined indoors, children who regularly play in nature show heightened motor control—including balance, coordination, and agility. They tend to engage more in imaginative and creative play, which in turn fosters language, abstract reasoning, and problem-solving skills, together with a sense of wonder. Nature play is superior at engendering a sense of self and a sense of place, allowing children to recognize both their independence and interdependence. Play in outdoor settings also exceeds indoor alternatives in fostering cognitive, emotional, and moral development. And individuals who spend abundant time playing outdoors as children are more likely to grow up with a strong attachment to place and an environmental ethic.
Scott D. Sampson (How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature)
We live in an age where people pride themselves on individualism and the concept of living authentically. The human race strives towards self-help and desires nothing if not constant self-improvement both inward and outward. So, I ask you, what can be more authentic than learning the truth? How can one form their unique self without first knowing more possibilities? How can a person truly strive for such grandiose dreams of self-improvement without the ability to listen to the advice and knowledge of others?
Spencer Fraseur (The Irrational Mind: How To Fight Back Against The Hidden Forces That Affect Our Decision Making)
Self-reflection enables every person to alter the trajectory of their personal storyline by reviewing a series of episodic occurrences and making value judgments regarding the past. How we perceive our history colors the present, our deeds of today script the future outcome of individual persons, and the outcome of many people making conscious decisions using their cognitive processes including the ability to remember and share memories influences the direction of human development and the progress of society.
Kilroy J. Oldster (Dead Toad Scrolls)
A Duke regenerative biologist, Imke Kirste, working with mice, found that two hours of complete silence per day prompted cell development in the hippocampus, the brain region related to the formation of memory. Studies of humans in the United States, Great Britain, Holland, and Canada have shown that after passing time in quiet, rural settings, subjects were calmer and more perceptive, less depressed and anxious, with improved cognition and a stronger memory. Time amid the silence of nature, in other words, makes you smarter.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
A moral system based on continuous rather than categorical thinking gives us a biological and evolutionary foundation for the expansion of the moral sphere to include nonhuman animals, based on objective criteria of genetic relatedness, cognitive abilities, emotional capacities, moral development, and especially the capacity to feel pain and suffer. This is, in fact, what it means to be a sentient being, and for this reason I worded the first principle of this science-based moral system as the survival and flourishing of sentient beings.
Michael Shermer (The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity Toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom)
What the innate apparatus of the mind contributes is a set of abstract conceptual frameworks that organize our experience-space, time, substance, causation, number, and logic (today we might add other domains like living things, other minds, and language). But each of these is an empty form that must be filled in by actual instances provided by the senses or the imagination. As Kant put it, his treatise "admits absolutely no divinely implanted or innate representations....There must, however, be a ground in the subject which makes it possible for these representations to originate in this and no other manner....This ground is at least innate." Kant's version of nativism, with abstract organizing frameworks but not actual knowledge built in to the mind, is the version that is most viable today, and can be found, for example, in Chomskyan linguistics, evolutionary psychology, and the approach to cognitive development called domain specificity. One could go so far as to say that Kant foresaw the shape of a solution to the nature-nurture debate: characterize the organization of experience, whatever it is, that makes useful learning possible.
Steven Pinker (The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature)
There are, essentially, two compelling reasons why I believe the reading public should care about Fred and his work: First, he recognized the critical importance of learning during the earliest years. No one better understood how essential it is for proper social, emotional, cognitive, and language development to take place in the first few years of life. And no one did more to convince a mass audience in America of the value of early education. Second, he provided, and continues to provide, exemplary moral leadership. Fred Rogers advanced humanistic values because of his belief in Christianity, but his spirituality was completely eclectic; he found merit in all faiths and philosophies. His signature value was human kindness; he lived it and he preached it, to children, to their parents, to their teachers, to all of us everywhere who could take the time to listen.
Maxwell King (The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers)
Women with AD/HD want to connect but because of their difficulties with executive functioning, they often develop emotional barriers. The combination of cognitive struggles and emotional barriers or the intersection of these makes them avoid relationships even more which decreases the likelihood of starting or maintaining relationships or of reconnecting after a break in the connection. Many fears, negative expectations, and much pain surround these areas. They key for these women to take stock of their barriers and make a plan to slowly start getting back on the road to relationships.
Sari Solden (Women With Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life)
Discovery is thus inextricably interwoven with what is known as error. To recognize a certain relation, many another relation must be misunderstood, denied, or overlooked. The operation of cognition [Erkenntnisphysiologie] is analogous to the physiology of movement. To move a limb, an entire so-called myostatic system must be immobilized to provide a basis of fixation. Every movement consists of two active processes; namely, motion and inhibition. The corresponding features in the operation of cognition are purposive, directed determination and cooperative abstraction, which complement one another.
Ludwik Fleck (Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact)
this regard, a hotly disputed topic is whether the spiritual/transpersonal stages themselves can be conceived as higher levels of cognitive development. The answer, I have suggested, depends on what you mean by “cognitive.” If you mean what most Western psychologists mean—which is a mental conceptual knowledge of exterior objects—then no, higher or spiritual stages are not mental cognition, because they are often supramental, transconceptual, and nonexterior. If by “cognitive” you mean “consciousness in general,” including superconscious states, then much of higher spiritual experience is indeed cognitive.
Ken Wilber (Integral Psychology: Consciousness, Spirit, Psychology, Therapy)
As all this suggests our relationship with evidence is seldom purely a cognitive one. Vilifying menstruating women bolstering anti-Muslim stereotypes murdering innocent citizens of Salem plainly evidence is almost always invariably a political social and moral issue as well. To take a particularly stark example consider the case of Albert Speer minister of armaments and war production during the Third Reich close friend to Adolf Hitler and highest-ranking Nazi official to ever express remorse for his actions. In his memoir Inside the Third Reich Speer candidly addressed his failure to look for evidence of what was happening around him. "I did not query a friend who told him not to visit Auschwitz I did not query Himmler I did not query Hitler " he wrote. "I did not speak with personal friends. I did not investigate for I did not want to know what was happening there... for fear of discovering something which might have made me turn away from my course. I had closed my eyes." Judge William Stoughton of Salem Massachusetts became complicit in injustice and murder by accepting evidence that he should have ignored. Albert Speer became complicit by ignoring evidence he should have accepted. Together they show us some of the gravest possible consequences of mismanaging the data around us and the vital importance of learning to manage it better. It is possible to do this: like in the U.S. legal system we as individuals can develop a fairer and more consistent relationship to evidence over time. By indirection Speer himself shows us how to begin. I did not query he wrote. I did not speak. I did not investigate. I closed my eyes. This are sins of omission sins of passivity and they suggest correctly that if we want to improve our relationship with evidence we must take a more active role in how we think must in a sense take the reins of our own minds. To do this we must query and speak and investigate and open our eyes. Specifically and crucially we must learn to actively combat our inductive biases: to deliberately seek out evidence that challenges our beliefs and to take seriously such evidence when we come across it.
Kathryn Schulz (Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error)
In the case of the earliest Connection Survival Style, for example, focusing on changing distorted cognitions is particularly difficult because with early trauma, the cortex is not yet fully developed, and it is mostly the underlying bottom-up nervous system and affective imbalances that drive the cognitive distortions.
Laurence Heller (Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship)
In the scientific world, the syndrome known as 'great man's disease' happens when a famous researcher in one field develops strong opinions about another field that he or she does not understand, such as a chemist who decides that he is an expert in medicine or a physicist who decides that he is an expert in cognitive science. They have trouble accepting that they must go back to school before they can make pronouncements in a new field.
Paul Krugman (A Country Is Not a Company (Harvard Business Review Classics))
Consumption is a universal phenomenon. All humans consume varieties of products, many of which beyond actual necessity, because it activates the brain's reward center. And the more a certain product activates the reward center with its unique characteristics or its predominant social stature, the more that product gets chiseled into the long-term memory of the consumer, making it a fundamental part of the individual's psychological well being. Thus the human mind grows a deep psychological bond with a product. And this bond can grow so strong in time that it would defend itself from all sorts of criticisms. It is the brain's way to maintain its internal purely individualistic well being. Hence, a strong psychological bond between the mind and a product slowly not only becomes invincible to criticisms, but also, develops its own cognitive immune system against such criticisms.
Abhijit Naskar
[That] the driving force of the evolution of human intelligence was the coordination of multiple cognitive systems to pursue complex, shared goals [is called] the social brain hypothesis. It attributes the increase in intelligence to the increasing size and complexity of hominid social groups. Living in a group confers advantages, as we have seen with hunting, but it also demands certain cognitive abilities. It requires the ability to communicate in sophisticated ways, to understand and incorporate the perspectives of others, and to share common goals. The social brain hypothesis posits that the cognitive demands and adaptive advantages associated with living in a group created a snowball effect: As groups got larger and developed more complex joint behaviors, individuals developed new capabilities to support those behaviors. These new capabilities in turn allowed groups to get even larger and allowed group behavior to become even more complex.
Steven Sloman (The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone)
A synthesis—an abstraction, chunk, or gist idea—is a neural pattern. Good chunks form neural patterns that resonate, not only within the subject we’re working in, but with other subjects and areas of our lives. The abstraction helps you transfer ideas from one area to another. That’s why great art, poetry, music, and literature can be so compelling. When we grasp the chunk, it takes on a new life in our own minds—we form ideas that enhance and enlighten the neural patterns we already possess, allowing us to more readily see and develop other related patterns. Once we have created a chunk as a neural pattern, we can more easily pass that chunked pattern to others, as Cajal and other great artists, poets, scientists, and writers have done for millennia, Once other people grasp that chunk, not only can they use it, but also they can more easily create similar chunks that apply to other areas in their lives—an important part of the creative process.
Barbara Oakley (A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra))
It’s worth noting that changing behavior through ABA is often more than enough. But sometimes you want to go deeper, to help a child—or anyone else—understand cognitively and emotionally where they are and who they are in social situations, recognize their options, and decide for themselves what they want to do. Once they learn how to decide for themselves what they want to do, rather than put on reflexive behaviors they’ve been conditioned to show, real growth ensues. ABA is surface; social learning is deep. ABA is more or less robotic; social learning helps you understand social situations and respond according to your own desires and values. ABA is more mechanical; social learning is more supple and human. By coaching children in how to understand social situations and how to develop different ways of handling them, you can teach them not only how to do it but also enjoy doing so that the interaction is not just a matter of going through the motions.
Edward M. Hallowell (ADHD 2.0 : New Science and Essential Strategies for Thriving with Distraction—From Childhood Through Adulthood)
Like first language learners, second language learners do not learn language simply through imitation and practice. They produce sentences that are not exactly like those they have heard. These new sentences appear to be based on internal cognitive processes and prior knowledge that interact with the language they hear around them. Both first and second language acquisition are best described as developing systems with their own evolving rules and patterns, not simply as imperfect versions of the target language.
Patsy M. Lightbown (How Languages are Learned)
Surprisingly, there is a representation of the human hand in Broca’s area, a section of the human brain involved in language processing, speech or sign production, and comprehension. A number of studies have shown that hand/arm gestures and movements of the mouth are linked through a common neural substrate. For example, grasping movements influence pronunciation—and not only when they are executed but also when they are observed. It has also been demonstrated that hand gestures and mouth gestures are directly linked in humans, and the oro-laryngeal movement patterns we create in order to produce speech are a part of this link. Broca’s area is also a marker for the development of language in human evolution, so it is intriguing to see that it also contains a motor representation of hand movements; here may be a part of the bridge that led from the “body semantics” of gestures and the bodily self-model to linguistic semantics, associated with sounds, speech production, and abstract meaning expressed in our cognitive self-model, the thinking self.
Thomas Metzinger (The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self)
Again as during fetal development, synapses that underlie cognitive and other abilities stick around if they’re used but wither if they’re not. The systematic elimination of unused synapses, and thus unused circuits, presumably results in greater efficiency for the neural networks that are stimulated—the networks that support, in other words, behaviors in which the adolescent is actively engaged. Just as early childhood seems to be a time of exquisite sensitivity to the environment (remember the babies who dedicate auditory circuits only to the sounds of their native language, eliminating those for phonemes that they do not hear), so may adolescence. The teen years are, then, a second chance to consolidate circuits that are used and prune back those that are not—to hard-wire an ability to hit a curve ball, juggle numbers mentally, or turn musical notation into finger movements almost unconsciously. Says Giedd, “Teens have the power to determine their own brain development, to determine which connections survive and which don’t, [by] whether they do art, or music, or sports, or videogames.
Jeffrey M. Schwartz (The Mind & The Brain: Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force)
Psychologist J.P. Guilford, who carried out a long series of systematic psychological studies into the nature of creativity, found that several factors were involved in creative thinking; many of these, as we shall see, relate directly to the cognitive changes that take place during mild manias as well. Fluency of thinking, as defined by Guilford, is made up of several related and empirically derived concepts, measured by specific tasks: word fluency, the ability to produce words each, for example, containing a specific letter or combination of letters; associational fluency, the production of as many synonyms as possible for a given word in a limited amount of time; expressional fluency, the production and rapid juxtaposition of phrases or sentences; and ideational fluency, the ability to produce ideas to fulfill certain requirements in a limited amount of time. In addition to fluency of thinking, Guilford developed two other important concepts for the study of creative thought: spontaneous flexibility, the ability and disposition to produce a great variety of ideas, with freedom to switch from category to category; and adaptive flexibility, the ability to come up with unusual types of solutions to set problems.
Kay Redfield Jamison (Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament)
Moreover, nothing entitles us to assume that man has a nature or essence in the same sense as other things. In other words, if we have a nature or essence, then surely only a god could know and define it, and the first prerequisite would be that he be able to speak about a “who” as though it were a “what.”2 The perplexity is that the modes of human cognition applicable to things with “natural” qualities, including ourselves to the limited extent that we are specimens of the most highly developed species of organic life, fail us when we raise the question: And who are we? This is why attempts to define human nature almost invariably end with some construction of a deity, that is, with the god of the philosophers, who, since Plato, has revealed himself upon closer inspection to be a kind of Platonic idea of man. Of course, to demask such philosophic concepts of the divine as conceptualizations of human capabilities and qualities is not a demonstration of, not even an argument for, the non-existence of God; but the fact that attempts to define the nature of man lead so easily into an idea which definitely strikes us as “superhuman” and therefore is identified with the divine may cast suspicion upon the very concept of “human nature.
Hannah Arendt (The Human Condition)
If you’re going to make an error in life, err on the side of overestimating your capabilities (obviously, as long as it doesn’t jeopardize your life). By the way, this is something that’s hard to do, since the human capacity is so much greater than most of us would ever dream. In fact, many studies have focused on the differences between people who are depressed and people who are extremely optimistic. After attempting to learn a new skill, the pessimists are always more accurate about how they did, while the optimists see their behavior as being more effective than it actually was. Yet this unrealistic evaluation of their own performance is the secret of their future success. Invariably the optimists eventually end up mastering the skill while the pessimists fail. Why? Optimists are those who, despite having no references for success, or even references of failure, manage to ignore those references, leaving unassembled such cognitive tabletops as “I failed” or “I can’t succeed.” Instead, optimists produce faith references, summoning forth their imagination to picture themselves doing something different next time and succeeding. It is this special ability, this unique focus, which allows them to persist until eventually they gain the distinctions that put them over the top. The reason success eludes most people is that they have insufficient references of succeeding in the past. But an optimist operates with beliefs such as, “The past doesn’t equal the future.” All great leaders, all people who have achieved success in any area of life, know the power of continuously pursuing their vision, even if all the details of how to achieve it aren’t yet available. If you develop the absolute sense of certainty that powerful beliefs provide, then you can get yourself to accomplish virtually anything, including those things that other people are certain are impossible.
Anthony Robbins (Awaken the Giant Within: How to Take Immediate Control of Your Mental, Emotional, Physical and Financial Destiny!)
If you talk to these extraordinary people, you find that they all understand this at one level or another. They may be unfamiliar with the concept of cognitive adaptability, but they seldom buy into the idea that they have reached the peak of their fields because they were the lucky winners of some genetic lottery. They know what is required to develop the extraordinary skills that they possess because they have experienced it firsthand. One of my favorite testimonies on this topic came from Ray Allen, a ten-time All-Star in the National Basketball Association and the greatest three-point shooter in the history of that league. Some years back, ESPN columnist Jackie MacMullan wrote an article about Allen as he was approaching his record for most three-point shots made. In talking with Allen for that story, MacMullan mentioned that another basketball commentator had said that Allen was born with a shooting touch—in other words, an innate gift for three-pointers. Allen did not agree. “I’ve argued this with a lot of people in my life,” he told MacMullan. “When people say God blessed me with a beautiful jump shot, it really pisses me off. I tell those people, ‘Don’t undermine the work I’ve put in every day.’ Not some days. Every day. Ask anyone who has been on a team with me who shoots the most. Go back to Seattle and Milwaukee, and ask them. The answer is me.” And, indeed, as MacMullan noted, if you talk to Allen’s high school basketball coach you will find that Allen’s jump shot was not noticeably better than his teammates’ jump shots back then; in fact, it was poor. But Allen took control, and over time, with hard work and dedication, he transformed his jump shot into one so graceful and natural that people assumed he was born with it. He took advantage of his gift—his real gift.   ABOUT
K. Anders Ericsson (Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise)
Predominantly inattentive type Perhaps the majority of girls with AD/HD fall into the primarily inattentive type, and are most likely to go undiagnosed. Generally, these girls are more compliant than disruptive and get by rather passively in the academic arena. They may be hypoactive or lethargic. In the extreme, they may even seem narcoleptic. Because they do not appear to stray from cultural norms, they will rarely come to the attention of their teacher. Early report cards of an inattentive type girl may read, "She is such a sweet little girl. She must try harder to speak up in class." She is often a shy daydreamer who avoids drawing attention to herself. Fearful of expressing herself in class, she is concerned that she will be ridiculed or wrong. She often feels awkward, and may nervously twirl the ends of her hair. Her preferred seating position is in the rear of the classroom. She may appear to be listening to the teacher, even when she has drifted off and her thoughts are far away. These girls avoid challenges, are easily discouraged, and tend to give up quickly. Their lack of confidence in themselves is reflected in their failure excuses, such as, "I can't," "It's too hard," or "I used to know it, but I can't remember it now." The inattentive girl is likely to be disorganized, forgetful, and often anxious about her school work. Teachers may be frustrated because she does not finish class work on time. She may mistakenly be judged as less bright than she really is. These girls are reluctant to volunteer for a project orjoin a group of peers at recess. They worry that other children will humiliate them if they make a mistake, which they are sure they will. Indeed, one of their greatest fears is being called on in class; they may stare down at their book to avoid eye contact with the teacher, hoping that the teacher will forget they exist for the moment. Because interactions with the teacher are often anxiety-ridden, these girls may have trouble expressing themselves, even when they know the answer. Sometimes, it is concluded that they have problems with central auditory processing or expressive language skills. More likely, their anxiety interferes with their concentration, temporarily reducing their capacity to both speak and listen. Generally, these girls don't experience this problem around family or close friends, where they are more relaxed. Inattentive type girls with a high IQ and no learning disabilities will be diagnosed with AD/HD very late, if ever. These bright girls have the ability and the resources to compensate for their cognitive challenges, but it's a mixed blessing. Their psychological distress is internalized, making it less obvious, but no less damaging. Some of these girls will go unnoticed until college or beyond, and many are never diagnosed they are left to live with chronic stress that may develop into anxiety and depression as their exhausting, hidden efforts to succeed take their toll. Issues
Kathleen G. Nadeau (Understanding Girls With AD/HD)
A great deal of effort has been devoted to explaining Babel. Not the Babel event -- which most people consider to be a myth -- but the fact that languages tend to diverge. A number of linguistic theories have been developed in an effort to tie all languages together." "Theories Lagos tried to apply to his virus hypothesis." "Yes. There are two schools: relativists and universalists. As George Steiner summarizes it, relativists tend to believe that language is not the vehicle of thought but its determining medium. It is the framework of cognition. Our perceptions of everything are organized by the flux of sensations passing over that framework. Hence, the study of the evolution of language is the study of the evolution of the human mind itself." "Okay, I can see the significance of that. What about the universalists?" "In contrast with the relativists, who believe that languages need not have anything in common with each other, the universalists believe that if you can analyze languages enough, you can find that all of them have certain traits in common. So they analyze languages, looking for such traits." "Have they found any?" "No. There seems to be an exception to every rule." "Which blows universalism out of the water." "Not necessarily. They explain this problem by saying that the shared traits are too deeply buried to be analyzable." "Which is a cop out." "Their point is that at some level, language has to happen inside the human brain. Since all human brains are more or less the same --" "The hardware's the same. Not the software." "You are using some kind of metaphor that I cannot understand." "Well, a French-speaker's brain starts out the same as an English-speaker's brain. As they grow up, they get programmed with different software -- they learn different languages." "Yes. Therefore, according to the universalists, French and English -- or any other languages -- must share certain traits that have their roots in the 'deep structures' of the human brain. According to Chomskyan theory, the deep structures are innate components of the brain that enable it to carry out certain formal kinds of operations on strings of symbols. Or, as Steiner paraphrases Emmon Bach: These deep structures eventually lead to the actual patterning of the cortex with its immensely ramified yet, at the same time, 'programmed' network of electrochemical and neurophysiological channels." "But these deep structures are so deep we can't even see them?" "The universalists place the active nodes of linguistic life -- the deep structures -- so deep as to defy observation and description. Or to use Steiner's analogy: Try to draw up the creature from the depths of the sea, and it will disintegrate or change form grotesquely.
Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash)
Linguistic and musical sound systems illustrate a common theme in the study of music-language relations. On the surface, the two domains are dramatically different. Music uses pitch in ways that speech does not, and speech organizes timbre to a degree seldom seen in music. Yet beneath these differences lie deep connections in terms of cognitive and neural processing. Most notably, in both domains the mind interacts with one particular aspect of sound (pitch in music, and timbre in speech) to create a perceptually discretized system. Importantly, this perceptual discretization is not an automatic byproduct of human auditory perception. For example, linguistic and musical sequences present the ear with continuous variations in amplitude, yet loudness is not perceived in terms of discrete categories. Instead, the perceptual discretization of musical pitch and linguistic timbre reflects the activity of a powerful cognitive system, built to separate within-category sonic variation from differences that indicate a change in sound category. Although music and speech differ in the primary acoustic feature used for sound category formation, it appears that the mechanisms that create and maintain learned sound categories in the two domains may have a substantial degree of overlap. Such overlap has implications for both practical and theoretical issues surrounding human communicative development. In the 20th century, relations between spoken and musical sound systems were largely explored by artists. For example, the boundary between the domains played an important role in innovative works such as Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Reich's Different Trains (cf. Risset, 1991). In the 21st century, science is finally beginning to catch up, as relations between spoken and musical sound systems prove themselves to be a fruitful domain for research in cognitive neuroscience. Such work has already begun to yield new insights into our species' uniquely powerful communicative abilities.
Aniruddh D. Patel (Music, Language, and the Brain)