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Guide to Free, Quality Higher Education

Guide to Free, Quality Higher Education | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
More and more Ivy League universities are offering free online courses. Here's a comprehensive guide to what's available to enterprising students.
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Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School - Jessica Hagy

Nine Dangerous Things You Were Taught In School - Jessica Hagy | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Be aware of the insidious and unspoken lessons you learned as a child. To thrive in the world outside the classroom, you’re going to have to unlearn them. Dangerous things you were taught in school:

 

1. The people in charge have all the answers
2. Learning ends when you leave the classroom
3. The best and brightest follow the rules
4. What the books say is always true
5. There is a very clear, single path to success
6. Behaving yourself is as important as getting good marks
7. Standardized tests measure your value
8. Days off are always more fun than sitting in the classroom
9. The purpose of your education is your future career

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Talking to Yourself: Not So Crazy After All

Talking to Yourself: Not So Crazy After All | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
How and when you "self-talk" can increase your concentration and improve performance...

 

In the privacy of our minds, we all talk to ourselves — an inner monologue that might seem rather pointless. As one scientific paper on self-talk asks: “What can we tell ourselves that we don’t already know?” But as that study and others go on to show, the act of giving ourselves mental messages can help us learn and perform at our best. Researchers have identified the most effective forms of self-talk, collected here — so that the next time you talk to yourself, you know exactly what you should say.

 

Self-talk isn’t just motivational messages like “You can do it!” or “Almost there,” although this internal cheering section can give us confidence. A review of more than two dozen studies, published last year in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science, found that there’s another kind of mental message that is even more useful, called “instructional self-talk.” This is the kind of running commentary we engage in when we’re carrying out a difficult task, especially one that’s unfamiliar to us. Think about when you were first learning to drive. Your self-talk might have gone something like this: “Foot on the gas pedal, hands on the wheel, slow down for the curve here, now put your blinker on…”

 

Over time, of course, giving yourself instructions becomes unnecessary — but while you’re learning, it does three important things. First, it enhances our attention, focusing us on the important elements of the task and screening out distractions. Second, it helps us regulate our effort and make decisions about what to do, how to do it, and when. And third, self-talk allows us to control our cognitive and emotional reactions, steadying us so we stay on task.

 

In a recent study of students learning to throw darts in a gym class, Athanasios Kolovelonis and his colleagues at the University of Thessaly in Greece found that self-talk is most effective when incorporated into a cycle of thought and action. First comes forethought, when you set a goal for yourself and make a plan for how to get there. That’s followed by performance, when you enact the plan to the best of your ability. Last comes self-reflection, when you carefully evaluate what you’ve done and adjust your plan for the next time.

 

Self-talk can play a key part in this cycle. During the forethought phase, consider carefully what you’ll say to yourself. You can even write out a script. Repeat these self-instructions during the performance phase. With practice, you may find that your self-instructions become abbreviated; research has found that these so-called “cue words” can become powerful signals. In a study of elite sprinters, for example, the runners spoke certain words to themselves at certain times: “push” during the acceleration phase of the sprint, “heel” during the maximum-speed phase, and “claw” during the endurance phase. When they used these cue words, the athletes ran faster.

 

After the action is over, consider how you might change your self-talk to improve your performance next time—so that at the moment it matters, the right words are ringing in your ears.

 

 

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Have we got it all wrong about what it takes to live a long life? - Barking up the wrong tree

Have we got it all wrong about what it takes to live a long life? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

There is a terrible misunderstanding about stress. Chronic physiological disturbance is not at all the same thing as hard work, social challenges or demanding careers. People are being given rotten advice to slow down, take it easy, stop worrying and retire to Florida. The Longevity Project discovered that those who worked the hardest lived the longest. The responsible and successful achievers thrived in every way, especially if they were dedicated to things and people beyond themselves.

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Join the Quiet Revolution! Read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking . Susan Cain

Join the Quiet Revolution! Read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking . Susan Cain | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Passionately argued, impressively researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Taking the reader on a journey from Dale Carnegie’s birthplace to Harvard Business School, from a Tony Robbins seminar to an evangelical megachurch, Susan Cain charts the rise of the Extrovert Ideal in the twentieth century and explores its far-reaching effects. She talks to Asian-American students who feel alienated from the brash, backslapping atmosphere of American schools. She questions the dominant values of American business culture, where forced collaboration can stand in the way of innovation, and where the leadership potential of introverts is often overlooked. And she draws on cutting-edge research in psychology and neuroscience to reveal the surprising differences between extroverts and introverts.


Perhaps most inspiring, she introduces us to successful introverts–from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Finally, she offers invaluable advice on everything from how to better negotiate differences in introvert-extrovert relationships to how to empower an introverted child to when it makes sense to be a “pretend extrovert.”


This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how introverts see themselves.

 

Click through to see Susan's TED talk!

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Prisoners Are Human Beings Too

Prisoners Are Human Beings Too | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Sometimes I forget I was in prison, even though I spent nearly a quarter century there. Maybe, I just get caught up in the day-to-day concerns of my life out here in the “free world.”  My past is the reason people listen to what I have to say at all. I am not downplaying it or hiding it. In fact, I speak and write about it often.

 

Someone told me recently that prisoners are the most hated people in America. It certainly seemed true when I was in. How else to explain what happened to us? There is a callous attitude towards those in prison, even kids. People make jokes about prison rape. It is accepted in our society that cruelty and horror are the lot of those who break the law. Some people even imagine that it is just.

 

There is something in us that tells us that people deserve what they get, but I don’t believe that is true. Accountability is important, as is taking responsibility. The current system, with its cruelty and neglect, does nothing to foster these. I guarantee you that when those men attacked that boy and slit his throat, he did not feel more connected to the people he had harmed. He was not moved to feel remorse or develop a desire to right the wrongs he committed. If he has done those things it is in spite of the system. We have to ask ourselves what we want from incarceration. If we want change in people it has to be developed within themselves, and a safe environment makes that a lot more likely to happen.

 

Why is this difficult to see? I am not sure. Maybe, like me so many years ago, people just don’t know what to do when confronted by evil. Maybe it is the way society protects itself, by imagining that the people on the other side of the fence are different, that they deserve what happens to them, that they are not quite human beings. This is not true. They are sons, brothers, fathers and friends. They will be back with us in society. By all means, justice must be served. I only wish to add, let it be a justice that holds people accountable, while at the same time giving them a place where they can heal themselves and connect to their own humanity.

 

Those in prisons and jails are, and will always be, human beings, despite what they have done, or what they are told, or what we believe. That wasn’t always easy to hold on to when I was on the inside. The message that we were animals, or worse, was constant. Our whole world seemed to scream it at us. I saw many men who forgot their humanity. Somehow I was able to remember it, and now I remember those still on the inside. I invite you to join me.

 

 

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Your Brain on Facebook

Your Brain on Facebook | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
While Facebook's rise took many by surprise, its success was little surprise to the hundreds of researchers who study social interactions in neuroscience labs across the country.

 

Here's how social the brain is: the brain network that is always on in the background is a region involved in thinking about yourself and other people. This network is so ubiquitous it has been labeled the "default network." When not doing anything else, the brain's favorite pastime is to think about people. We actually turn this region down when we do any active processing, such as doing math. One study showed that inactivity for just two seconds switched the default network back on.

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Can One Chemical Be the Basis of All Morality? - Interview with Paul Zak

Can One Chemical Be the Basis of All Morality? - Interview with Paul Zak | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A Techwise Conversation with Paul Zak, author of The Moral Molecule...

 

So I think of oxytocin as kind of a thermostat. So humans are social creatures; we need to engage in appropriate social behaviors. And most of those appropriate behaviors are called “virtues” or “moral behaviors,” so if I’m cooperative with you, if I share with you, I’m a good social creature. If I take from you, if I’m selfish, I’m not a good social creature, and then you start to avoid me, and that’s not adaptive for social creatures. So we’ve shown in experiments that when we stimulate the brain to release oxytocin or when we raise it pharmacologically, that we can induce people to be more prosocial, more moral, more virtuous. At the same time, as you say, oxytocin interacts with a variety of other neurochemicals, including things like stress hormones and testosterone, which...both those down-regulate oxytocin’s effects. And so we’re kind of living in this soup of chemicals in our brains, and the relative levels of oxytocin and other chemicals that interact with it—testosterone, cortisol, dopamine—modulate the kind of appropriate social behavior.  -Paul Zak, Author of The Moral Molecule

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Positive Psychology News Daily » A Watchful Eye on Cinema

Positive Psychology News Daily » A Watchful Eye on Cinema | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

“It’s the movies that have really been running things in American ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and how to feel about it.” – Andy Warhol

 

Even if this fairly dramatic Warhol quote were an overstatement, it still raises the question: To what extent does our understanding of the world and of ourselves stem from what we observe in the movie theaters? Even though research has yet to offer a definitive answer to this question, it is clear that we live in a world in which film is a dominant source of information.

 

Given the likely impact that movies have on the mind of the average individual living in 21st century America, it seems important to examine and discuss the healthfulness and truthfulness of the ideas behind the larger-than-life images. The MWC (Media Watch Committee) is an organization dedicated to routing the far-reaching effects of cinema down a healthy, adaptive path, so that audience members exiting theaters will be more likely to put down the cigarettes and pick up an enlightened perspective.

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What's the main thing we can learn from Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert? - Barking up the wrong tree

What's the main thing we can learn from Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Much of our unhappiness springs from the fact that we're terrible at accurately remembering how things made us feel in the past, so we make bad choices regarding the future.

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Lost budgie taken home after it recites entire address - Telegraph

Lost budgie taken home after it recites entire address  - Telegraph | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A lost budgie was taken home after it recited its entire address in full to a police officer.
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Dan Buettner: The Key to Success is in Taming Your Inner Critic | Psychology Today

Dan Buettner: The Key to Success is in Taming Your Inner Critic | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Foster a positive self image to increase motivation and happiness.

 

To foster self-compassion, follow its three main tenants, self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness. By taming your inner critic, you can improve your relationships, well-being and even success at the workplace.

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The Secret to a Long Life Is ... Thinking About Death

The Secret to a Long Life Is ... Thinking About Death | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A review of recent research shows that people are kinder to themselves and others when they're thinking about their own mortality.
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Why Empathy Makes You More Helpful | Art Markman

Why Empathy Makes You More Helpful | Art Markman | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Empathy affects your motivation to be helpful!

 

There is a lot of research suggesting that empathy increases people’s desire to help others. Empathy is the ability to share other people’s emotion. The better able you are to feel what someone else is feeling, the more likely you are to want to help them when they are in a difficult situation. This ability also extends to animals. We are able to project feelings onto animals like dogs, and that increases our need to help them.

 

But, what is it about empathy that promotes the need to help?

 

An interesting paper by Louisa Pavey, Tobias Greitemeyer, and Paul Sparks in the May, 2012 issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin explored this question. They suggest that empathy increases people’s intrinsic motivation to be helpful.

 

A theory of motivation called Self-Determination Theory developed by Richard Ryan and Edward Deci suggests that people engage in behaviors for one of two broad reasons. Sometimes, people have internal or intrinsic motivation. They simply find these behaviors desirable. Sometimes people engage in a behavior because it is expected of them or they will be punished if they do not perform the behavior. In this case, they are externally or extrinsically motivated.

 

Pavey, Greitemeyer, and Sparks suggest that empathy increases people’s intrinsic motivation to want to help, and that pushes them to act. They tested this proposal in two ways.

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Games that train teens' attention and empathy | Mindful

What happens when teens play games that emphasize kindness and compassion instead of violence and aggression? Neuroscientist Richard Davidson plans to find out.

 

Richardson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Kurt Squire, an associate professor in the School of Education and director of the Games Learning Society Initiative, received a $1.39 million grant this spring to design and rigorously test two educational games to help eighth graders develop beneficial social and emotional skills: empathy, cooperation, mental focus, and self-regulation.

 

"By the time they reach the eighth grade, virtually every middle-class child in the Western world is playing smartphone apps, video games, computer games," says Davidson. "Our hope is that we can use some of that time for constructive purposes and take advantage of the natural inclination of children of that age to want to spend time with this kind of technology."

 

The grant came from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is keenly interested in preparing U.S. students for college readiness.

 

"Skills of mindfulness and kindness are very important for college readiness," Davidson explains. "Mindfulness, because it cultivates the capacity to regulate attention, which is the building block for all kinds of learning; and kindness, because the ability to cooperate is important for everything that has to do with success in life, team-building, leadership, and so forth."

 

The initial stage of the project will focus on designing prototypes of two games. The first game will focus on improving attention and mental focus, likely through breath awareness. The second game will focus on social behaviors such as kindness, compassion, and altruism.

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Give your head a rest from thinking

Give your head a rest from thinking | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Thoughts have been swirling around like a sandstorm about work, things I’ve been reading, household tasks, finances, concerns about people, a yard that needs mowing, loose ends, projects, etc. etc. The other day I told my wife: “I’m thinking about too many things.” Know the feeling?

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10 Things Lucky People Do Differently

10 Things Lucky People Do Differently | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

I have great news! Today could be your lucky day. It’s not a matter of chance, it’s a matter of choice. Lucky people are ordinary people who make their own good luck by thinking and behaving in ways that create good fortune in their lives. Here’s what they do differently:

 

1.) Lucky people maintain a relaxed attitude that is open and aware.

2.) Lucky people use intuition and gut instincts to make successful decisions.

3.) Lucky people notice little things and solve small problems.

4.) Lucky people treat their failures as an opportunity to learn and grow.

5.) Lucky people appreciate what they have right now.

6.) Lucky people work toward their goals every day without fail.

7.) Lucky people help when they’re able.

8.) Lucky people tend to see the positive side of their ill fortune.

9.) Lucky people enjoy new experiences and take calculated risks.

10.) Lucky people believe they CAN.

 

Want more details?  Click through!

 

 

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There's Nothing Wrong With Turning Red: How Embarrassment Helps Us | Juliana Breines

There's Nothing Wrong With Turning Red: How Embarrassment Helps Us | Juliana Breines | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Embarrassment is embarrassing. As anyone who has ever been told, “You’re blushing!” knows, displays of embarrassment can become mortifying events of their own. According to recent research, however, revealing embarrassment is nothing to be ashamed of, and in certain ways it might even serve us well.

 

Part of what makes embarrassment so embarrassing is the fact that it’s a dead giveaway of a private internal state. Feelings we would rather not display for all to see become readily apparent. But sometimes being a little transparent may not be such a bad thing. Building on the work of sociologist Erving Goffman, and on evolutionary accounts of the importance of signaling and detecting social intentions, Feinberg, Willer, and Keltner (2011) argue that embarrassment reveals that a person cares about others and values relationships. In other words, it's a way of saying, "I feel bad for messing up, and I want to do better next time because this relationship matters to me."

 

In sum, the researchers found support for their hypothesis that embarrassment signals prosociality. Embarrassment, they say, is "not a sign of social disorder, but a display that helps restore fluid social interaction where it has gone awry."

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Jacksonville to Expand Restorative Justice to All Middle and High Schools « Public Interest Projects

Jacksonville to Expand Restorative Justice to All Middle and High Schools « Public Interest Projects | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

At the recent Interfaith Coalition for Action, Reconciliation and Empowerment (ICARE) assembly – with over 2000 community leaders representing nearly 40 congregations – Duval County Public Schools (FL) officials agreed to expand restorative justice projects to all middle and high schools district-wide. Later, justice and judiciary officials agreed to eventually expand a neighborhood-based restorative justice program throughout the County. 

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» You Don’t Have to be Buddhist to Experience the Benefits of Meditation - Adventures in Positive Psychology

» You Don’t Have to be Buddhist to Experience the Benefits of Meditation  - Adventures in Positive Psychology | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
There is growing interest in the use of meditation and other contemplative practices to promote mental and physical health.

 

A recent study published in the Journal of Emotions (2012) examined the emotional changes that can result from meditation practice and emotional intelligence training, by delivering a program to 82 female participants over 8 weeks

.

The program covered 42 hours of meditation and emotion regulation training and included educational presentations, discussions related to emotions and life philosophies, and different secular meditations and contemplative skills. The participants were randomly assigned to either a training group or wait-list control group.

 

The study aimed to see how contemplative practice could reduce “destructive enactment of emotions,” and enhance pro-social responses through the development of emotional states such as compassion.

 

The study revealed that combining different meditation traditions was effective on many of the measures. The content of the program combined techniques from concentration mediation, mindfulness meditation, as well mettā meditation.

The training group reported reduced negative affect, rumination, depression, anxiety, and increased positive affect and mindfulness compared to the control group.

 

The training revealed a reduction in destructive emotions and coinciding behaviors such as hostility and other reactive behavioral responses.

 

As well, the meditation group demonstrated greater reduction in physiological arousal and had quicker recovery of their sympathetic nervous system when presented with tasks to induce stress.

 

Participants of the training group also showed increases in positive affect, such as compassion, when responding to images of suffering individuals, and showed greater ability to recognize facial expressions of emotions in others.

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Positive Psychology News Daily » Boost Success and Passion: Tell a Better Story

Positive Psychology News Daily » Boost Success and Passion: Tell a Better Story | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Did you know that you are a storyteller? Or that you are just one story away from what you really want?

 

Most of us don’t realize that we have a few central narratives running through our lives because the stories we tell ourselves are so familiar that we don’t even realize they are stories. The easiest way to see this is to notice other people’s stories. It’s ironic that even when you can’t see your own story clearly, you can easily see the story a friend, employee, or student is telling herself.

 

Why does your story matter?

 

It could be a matter of life and death. In a study of nuns chosen because they had to write a short autobiography as they entered the convent at age 18, Deborah Danner and her colleagues discovered that the teens who told their life stories most positively were 2.5 times more likely to be alive six decades later than those who told their life stories in the most negative light.

 

Create a New Story in 3 Steps

 

I’ve discovered that it’s not the events of my life that allow or prevent my success in love, work and happiness, it’s the story I’m telling myself– and I can change my story. Here’s how you can tell a story that boosts success and passion:

 

1. Start by naming your old story. Ask yourself, how would I summarize the story of my life, my work, or my family in one sentence?

 

2. Ask yourself, how can I tell a different story about where I want to be in the future? Write a few paragraphs with your new story, as you’d like your future to be and (this is the most important part): feel how good it feels to be in that new story.

 

3. Pick out one phrase you can say to yourself that reminds you of your new story and start saying it. Hint: make sure it’s something that actually feels good when you say it.

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Happy Words Trump Negativity in the English Language

Happy Words Trump Negativity in the English Language | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

A massive language study, spanning Google Books, Twitter, popular songs lyrics and The New York Times, has found that English tends to look on the bright side of things. Positive words outnumber the negative.

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Which people are most likely to experience "flow"? - Barking up the wrong tree

Which people are most likely to experience "flow"? - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

First, a definition:

Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity. Proposed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, the positive psychology concept has been widely referenced across a variety of fields.

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Empathy for Terrorists, Bullies and Delinquents? | Psychology Today

Empathy for Terrorists, Bullies and Delinquents? | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
How understanding helps make us all much safer. By Michael Ungar, Ph.D....

 

If we are to intervene to stop radicalization and the violence that follows, we might consider doing the following:

 

1) Get the full story. Understand the individual and where the individual grew up.

2) Consider the individual’s actions in comparison to others who grew up facing the same challenges. Is the violence reasonable, or normal, under the circumstances?

3) Ask ourselves what alternatives were realistic available to the violent individual who grew up looking for connections, power, social status, and meaning. How else could they achieve these good things that unfortunately can be achieved through extreme violence.

4) Advocate for solutions that provide the next generation of potential terrorists, bullies and psychopaths with sources of support and self-expression that are just as powerful, and socially acceptable.

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