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Mirror Neurons Help Explain Why Baseball Hitting Is Contagious | Axon Potential

Mirror Neurons Help Explain Why Baseball Hitting Is Contagious | Axon Potential | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

One of baseball’s well worn axioms is that “hitting is contagious.” Once a few batters get on base, those hitting behind them rally at the plate. In fact, MLB batting averages are roughly 50%–70% higher for a batter following hits by the previous two batters as compared to outs made by the previous two batters. While baseball theorists have explanations for this such as rattled pitchers or motivated hitters, recent cognitive science research points to a unique learning system in our brains known as mirror neurons.

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Uh-oh...A School Where Kids Can Play All Day? | Psychology Today

Uh-oh...A School Where Kids Can Play All Day? | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
It's every modern parent's worst nightmare—a school where kids can play all day. But no one takes the easy way out, and graduates seem to have a head start on the information age. Welcome to Sudbury Valley.
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The solution to the latest bullying headlines? Forget legislation: It's time to Start Empathy.

The solution to the latest bullying headlines? Forget legislation: It's time to Start Empathy. | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Earlier this week, reports surfaced about an 11-year-old boy with autism, who was beaten up by a fellow student while waiting at the bus stop.

 

The event was filmed on a student’s cell phone, as his peers egged on his attacker, and subsequently uploaded to Facebook.

 

It later emerged that Kaleb Kula, the victim of the assault, had endured similar taunts beginning in the 1st grade, and his parents had repeatedly contacted the administration expressing their concern.

 

On the surface, the school had followed procedure, obeying the letter of the law. Maryland’s Cecil County Public School District upholds a strict anti-bullying policy, and maintains an online form where parents, peers, teachers, and other witnesses are encouraged to report incidents of bullying.

The form is in keeping with the Safe Schools Reporting Act of 2005, and a host of awareness-raising measures since, ranging from Bullying Awareness Week to enhanced legislation to high-profile media coverage. The result has led to adramatic increase in the number of incidents reported throughout the state, reaching 3,800 incidents in 2009-2010: nearly double that from the previous year.

 

Yet as Kaleb’s story shows, reporting incidents and dolling out reprimands only goes so far. Charging the student who attacked Kaleb with second-degree assault and laying blame on the district—which has called together parents to discuss bullying in wake of the incident—will not fix the problem. What’s needed is a concerted effort to address the issue at its root: equipping students with the ability to stand up when they see peers being mistreated and to avoid conflict in the first place...

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Spanking kids can cause long-term harm: Canada study | Sympatico.ca News

Spanking kids can cause long-term harm: Canada study | Sympatico.ca News | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
TORONTO (Reuters) - Spanking children can cause long-term developmental damage and may even lower a child's IQ, according to a new Canadian analysis that seeks to shift the ethical debate over corporal punishment into the medical sphere.
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Annie Murphy Paul: Discovering How to Learn Smarter | MindShift

Annie Murphy Paul: Discovering How to Learn Smarter | MindShift | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

It’s not often that a story about the brain warms the heart. But that’s exactly what happened to me when I read an article last month in the Washington Post. It’s about how teachers in many schools in the D.C. area are foregoing empty praise of the “Good job!” variety, in favor of giving students solid information that will do them some real good. That information concerns how their brains work and how their intelligence and skills develop, and it’s knowledge that should be made available to every child in the country.

 

Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck conducted the groundbreaking research showing that praise intended to raise young people’s self-esteem can seriously backfire. When we tell children, “You’re so smart,” we communicate the message that they’d better not take risks or make mistakes, lest they reveal that they’re not so smart after all. Dweck calls this cautious attitude the “fixed mindset,” and she’s found that it’s associated with greater anxiety and reduced achievement. Students with a “growth mindset,” on the other hand, believe that intelligence can be expanded with hard work and persistence, and they view challenges as invigorating and even fun. They’re more resilient in the face of setbacks, and they do better academically.

 

Now Dweck has designed a program, called Brainology, which aims to help students develop a growth mindset. Its website explains: “Brainology makes this happen by teaching students how the brain functions, learns, and remembers, and how it changes in a physical way when we exercise it. Brainology shows students that they are in control of their brain and its development.” That’s a crucial message to pass on to children, and it’s not just empty words of encouragement—it’s supported by cutting-edge research on neuroplasticity, which shows that the brain changes and grows when we learn new things. You, and your child, can learn to be smarter.

 

That, in fact, is something like the credo of this column, which will be appearing every week on MindShift. Each week, I’ll share the latest findings from neuroscience, cognitive science and psychology—discoveries that help us understand how we learn and how we can do it better. I hope you’ll join me here, and share what you read with others. We’ll be doing out part to spread a growth mindset, one click at a time.

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Who’s Afraid of Unhappiness? | Psychology Today

Who’s Afraid of Unhappiness? | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Unhappiness feels threatening so we combat it with an arsenal of weapons. I think we would find it less threatening if we understood its evolutionary purpose

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Unhappy chemicals promote survival in the state of nature. If you are a hungry gazelle, you would rather be eating than running from a lion. Cortisol has to feel very bad to get you to do what it takes to save your life. It works! You can thank your cortisol for getting you to take action when necessary to meet your needs.

 

But cortisol didn't evolve for you to just sit there and be grateful for it. It evolved to give you the bad feeling that you will die if you don't "do something, now!"

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Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong

Everything You Thought You Knew About Learning Is Wrong | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
Taking notes during class? Topic-focused study? A consistent learning environment? All are exactly opposite the best strategies for learning...
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» How Is Your Personality Impacting Your Happiness? - Adventures in Positive Psychology

» How Is Your Personality Impacting Your Happiness? - Adventures in Positive Psychology | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A great starting place to increase our level of happiness is to develop self-awareness, and a great place to develop self-awareness is to understand our personality.
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Duolingo

A social change project to cultivate connection across languages!

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Eric Barker: Why does TV make us unhappy?

Eric Barker:  Why does TV make us unhappy? | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Research consistently shows that what brings us the most happiness is family and friends. Television competes with them for our free time and acts as a (poor) substitute...

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Sir Ken Robinson: As Science Turns Its Attention to Feeling

Sir Ken Robinson: As Science Turns Its Attention to Feeling | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
One of corollaries on the rise of science has been a schism between the arts and sciences. The sciences are thought to be all about truth and objectivity: the arts about feelings and creativity. Neither stereotype holds up.

 

Science is now discovering what artists have long understood: that nurturing our feelings is vital to the quality of our lives and that intellect and feeling are intimately connected. For the past 300 years the dominant view in Western culture has been that intelligence is mainly to do with certain sorts of logic and reason. This view evolved through the European Enlightenment and established science and a particular sort of rationalism as the main sources of intellectual authority. The achievements of this worldview have been spectacular, including the explosive growth of technologies and unprecedented advances in medicine, in communications and in our understanding of the physical universe.

 

Science has transformed human life in what is, in geological time, the beating of a wing. There have been many benefits. There's also been a high price. Among them is the exile of feeling; within science itself, in our culture in general and especially in education. For proponents of pure reason and objectivity, feelings are messy and misleading. Feelings have even had a bad press in psychology and psychiatry, the scientific disciplines that focus on human behavior and motivation. Significantly, the histories of both are mainly about negative feelings, emotional disorders and mental illness.

 

There's no doubt that there's a plentiful supply of all of these. One of the reasons is the chasm between thinking and feeling our culture has opened up. The social and economic costs are incalculable. At one end of the spectrum there are the huge numbers of people who are chronically disengaged at work or in school because they find it all pointless and unfulfilling. At the other are the jaw-dropping numbers who are critically addicted to alcohol, tobacco or drugs as a way of stimulating or suppressing their feelings.

 

There is a shift taking place in the status of feeling, within science itself and in the broader culture. The movement in Positive Psychology, spearheaded by Martin Seligman, Dan Gilbert, Sonja Lyubomirsky and others, is an important part of it. George E. Vaillant is a psychoanalyst and research psychiatrist at Harvard University. In Spiritual Evolution, he sets out a sustained defense of emotions and their role in human well being. There is an important difference between negative and positive feelings. Negative feelings include shame, hate, anger, guilt, fear and contempt. Positive feelings include joy, love, compassion, hope, happiness, forgiveness, awe, gratitude and delight. Vaillant notes that modern science is coming to accept the importance of emotions, even though the tendency in some quarters is still to accentuate the negative. He notes that in 2004, the leading American text The Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, half a million lines in length, "devotes 100 to 600 lines each to shame, guilt, terrorism, anger, hate, and sin; thousands of lines to depression and anxiety, but only five lines to hope, one line to joy and not a single line to faith, compassion and forgiveness."

 

Vaillant argues that the negative emotions originate in the older parts of the human brain and are dedicated to individual survival. The positive emotions evolved later and are what bind us to each other: "The positive emotions are more expansive and help us to broaden and build. They widen our tolerance, expand our moral compass and enhance our creativity... Experiments document that while negative emotions narrow attention ... positive emotions, especially joy, make thought patterns far more flexible, creative, integrative and efficient." For thirty-five years, Vaillant directed the Harvard Study of Adult Development. "In the first 30 years leading the study," he says, "I learned that positive emotions were intimately connected to mental health."

 

One of the aims of Positive Psychology is to promote a greater sense of 'mindfulness': to go beyond the daily chatter of your mind and the endless agenda of tasks and anxieties that often drive it to a deeper sense of your own being and purpose. In Fully Present: the Science, Art and Practice of Mindfulness, Susan Smalley and Diana Winston show that the benefits of practicing mindfulness include reducing stress, reducing chronic physical pain, boosting the body's immune system, coping with painful life events, dealing with negative emotions, enhancing positive emotions, improving concentration, improving relationships, reducing addictive behaviors, enhancing performance in work, sports and education, and stimulating creativity. This is a to do list that we could all do with.

 

Being mindful is not about improbable poses and relentless optimism. Learning to live mindfully, say Smalley and Winston, "does not mean living in a perfect world, but rather living a full and contented life in a world in which both joys and challenges are givens." Although mindfulness does not remove the ups and downs of life, they say, "it changes how experiences like losing a job, getting a divorce, struggling at home or at school, births, marriages, illnesses, death and dying influence you and how you influence the experience ... In other words, mindfulness changes your relationship to life."

 

Being mindful also revitalizes the relationship between thinking and feeling. One of corollaries on the rise of science has been a schism between the arts and sciences. The sciences are thought to be all about truth and objectivity: the arts about feelings and creativity. Neither stereotype holds up. There can be great objectivity in the arts and huge creativity in science: and deep truth and feelings in both. As science turns its attention to feeling, it may rediscover old common ground with the arts and with the humanities too. It's on that common ground that we could restore the balance in our lives and create new approaches to education and working life that will nourish and sustain it.

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Zach & Wafeeq's curator insight, February 11, 2015 8:41 PM

[EUROPE]Intellectual Arts: Science isn't just knowledge and logic, feelings shouldn't be shut out when dealing with science (kind of like how the U.S. of A. does. Europe has made great advancements due to acceptance of feelings AND the application towards science.

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Desmond Tutu: Made for Goodness

Desmond Tutu:  Made for Goodness | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
We are each made for goodness, love and compassion. Our lives are transformed as much as the world is when we live with these truths. Congratulations to Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post for offering a new way to celebrate these truths with the launch of Good News! The world needs your acts and compassionate loving goodness.

 

In the darkest days of the struggle to end apartheid, it was possible for some to succumb to the endless bad news of violence and torture systematically directed against people because of the color of their skin or those who had a vision of our oneness as people. But we were always upheld and strengthened by the good news of those whose actions reminded us that we are each God's partners in a love and justice that includes all...

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Demonstrating Empathy And Compassion Reaches Employees And Improves The Bottom Line - Investors.com

Connecting with employees brings out the best in them. Great employees are five to 10 times more productive than average ones are.
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This Will Make You Smarter: 151 Big Thinkers Each Pick a Concept to Enhance Your Cognitive Toolkit

This Will Make You Smarter: 151 Big Thinkers Each Pick a Concept to Enhance Your Cognitive Toolkit | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Every year for more than a decade, intellectual impresario and Edge editor John Brockman has been asking the era’s greatest thinkers a single annual question, designed to illuminate some important aspect of how we understand the world. In 2010, he asked how the Internet is changing the way we think. In 2011, with the help of psycholinguist Steven Pinker and legendary psychologist Daniel Kahneman, he posed an even grander question: “What scientific concept will improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” The answers, featuring a wealth of influential scientists, authors, and thought-architects, are released today in This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking — a formidable anthology of short essays by 151 of our time’s biggest thinkers on subjects as diverse as the power of networks, cognitive humility, the paradoxes of daydreaming, information flow, collective intelligence, and a dizzying, mind-expanding range in between. Together, they construct a powerful toolkit of meta-cognition — a new way to think about thinking itself.

 

As infinitely fascinating and stimulating as This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking is, its true gift — Brockman’s true gift — is in acting as a potent rupture in the filter bubble of our curiosity, cross-pollinating ideas across a multitude of disciplines to broaden our intellectual comfort zones and, in the process, spark a deeper, richer, more dimensional understanding not only of science, but of life itself.

 

The text of the answers is also available online in its entirety.

 

http://edge.org/annual-question/what-scientific-concept-would-improve-everybodys-cognitive-toolkit

 

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Aren Cohen: Hugs Matter

Aren Cohen: Hugs Matter | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

One of my favorite YouTube videos is called “Free Hugs.” The clip was filmed in Australia, where one day a young man, then a group of people decided to stand in a mall and offer free hugs. The video is amazing. People’s responses, including the police trying to shut them down, are quite profound and moving.
Each time I see it, it brings tears to my eyes.

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DailyGood: Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy": A Neuropsychology Reading, by Maria Popova

DailyGood: Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy": A Neuropsychology Reading, by Maria Popova | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Unpacking the lyrics of the iconic happiness anthem to find surprising science-tested insights on well-being.


In 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote one of the most beloved anthems to happiness of all time. On September 24 that year, “Don’t Worry Be Happy” became the first a cappella song to reach #1 on the Billboard Top 100 Chart. But more than a mere feel-good tune, the iconic song is brimming with neuroscience and psychology insights on happiness that McFerrin — whose fascinating musings on music and the brain you might recall from World Science Festival’s Notes & Neurons — embedded in its lyrics, whether consciously or not.

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DailyGood: Stepping Out of the Should Trap , by Joanna Holsten

DailyGood: Stepping Out of the Should Trap , by Joanna Holsten | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

“I should make more money.”
“I should lose weight.”
“I should volunteer more often.”

 

In saying “should” so often, I found myself feeling trapped by a sense of obligation and expectation. I felt this vague pressure to conform to external standards, to be someone or do something. It felt like just being me wasn’t okay. I felt pushed to follow a particular path, behave in specific ways, and believe certain things. In observing my mind and growing towards a more compassionate life, I realized that I had internalized both the messages and the method of the “shoulds.”

 

Messages

 

“Should” messages are familiar to all of us. Our lives are saturated with societal norms of success, beauty, intellect, strength, femininity, masculinity, ad infinitum. If you need a refresher, watch an hour of television or walk around a mall. Unfortunately many of these messages didn’t align with my values.

 

Living in a sea of “shoulds”, I found myself in an impossible situation. I ended up being disappointed with myself or fearful of disappointing others. When I would obey the “should” in my mind, I felt far away from the ideas, needs, and values that I authentically desired. When I would choose to do something not on the “should” list, I felt guilt, shame, or fear that other people would disapprove and judge me negatively. Under the tyranny of the “shoulds,” I couldn’t find genuine fulfillment. I frequently felt lacking.

 

These persistent and powerful messages around us make it very difficult to listen to an inner voice. In some situations, I internalized the “shoulds” so deeply that I didn’t have the chance to discover my own independent beliefs. The "shoulds" lead one to adopt externalized values and never question the commands. By obeying “shoulds,” our belief systems could be coopted by external forces...

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Lucy McKeon: The neuroscience of happiness

Lucy McKeon: The neuroscience of happiness | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
They say money can’t buy happiness. But can a better understanding of your brain? As recent breakthroughs in cognitive science break new ground in the study of consciousness — and its relationship to the physical body — the mysteries of the mind are rapidly becoming less mysterious. But does this mean we’ll soon be able to locate a formula for good cheer?

 

Shimon Edelman, a cognitive expert and professor of psychology at Cornell University, offers some insight in “The Happiness of Pursuit: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Good Life.” In his new book, Edelman walks the reader through the brain’s basic computational skills – its ability to compute information, perform statistical analysis and weigh value judgments in daily life – as a way to explain our relationship with happiness. Our capacity to retain memories and develop foresight allows us to plan for the future, says Edelman, by using a mental “personal space-time machine” that jumps between past, present and future. It’s through this process of motivation, perception, thinking, followed by motor movement, that we’re able not only to survive, but to feel happy. From Bayes’ theorem of probability to Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” Edelman offers a range of references and allegories to explain why a changing, growing self, constantly shaped by new experiences, is happier than the satisfaction any end goal can give us. It turns out the rewards we get for learning and understanding the workings of the world really make it the journey, not the destination, that matters most.

 

Salon spoke with Edelman over the phone about the brain as computer, our cultural investment in happiness, and why knowing how our brains work might make us happier...

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Joe Wilner» Going Through a Difficult Time? How Positive Emotions Can Help You Cope - Adventures in Positive Psychology

Joe Wilner» Going Through a Difficult Time? How Positive Emotions Can Help You Cope - Adventures in Positive Psychology | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
We all go through difficult moments in life. These may be ongoing, persistent challenges we face on a daily basis, or more unexpected set-backs that throw us off course.

 

During these times it can be easy to get sullen and discouraged, and neglect all the healthy positive experiences that can still give us joy and hope.

 

Though when we’re able to remember the blessings in our life and dwell on the positives instead of the negatives, it offers us a greater chance of coping with hardship.

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Good Radio Shows: 2012 Episodes

Good Radio Shows: 2012 Episodes | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

What can you do to promote peace?  James O'Dea would like to talk to you...Becoming a Peace Ambassador  Listen on Peace Talks Radio

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How Good Are You at Loving? | Psychology Today

How Good Are You at Loving? | Psychology Today | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

It is often said that love is a feeling. Since feelings are subjective, this makes it very difficult to describe love let alone determine how much someone loves another person. However, I want to take a different approach. Love, I will show, is not merely a feeling. Rather it is an activity. Moreover, this activity involves skill-building. Thus you can work at cultivating your love for another. You can get better (or worse) at loving someone. It is also possible to rank how well you are doing at loving someone. In fact, I will provide a "love inventory" that will help you to determine just how good you (or your significant others) really are at loving.

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8 ways that money can buy happiness: - Barking up the wrong tree

8 ways that money can buy happiness: - Barking up the wrong tree | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it

Another paper from Harvard happiness expert Daniel Gilbert (author of the bestseller Stumbling on Happiness) spells out 8 ways we can spend our money to increase happiness...

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Clayton A. Fountain: The Murderer Who Became a Monk

Clayton A. Fountain: The Murderer Who Became a Monk | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
If Clayton's transformation was authentic, then is anyone beyond the mercy of God?
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People Are Awesome: The Coffee Shop Where Everyone Pays for Everyone Else's Drinks - News - GOOD

People Are Awesome: The Coffee Shop Where Everyone Pays for Everyone Else's Drinks - News - GOOD | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
A simple, and replicable, bit of generosity is giving people a not-rude-at-all awakening in a tiny coastal coffee shop.
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From Gaming To Protesting, Social Media For Social Change Reigned In 2011

From Gaming To Protesting, Social Media For Social Change Reigned In 2011 | Radical Compassion | Scoop.it
The year 2011 undoubtedly saw its fair share of tragedy and strife. From colossal natural disasters in Asia and the United States to riots in the United Kingdom to a depressing global economy, lives have been lost and hopes have been tarnished.

 

However, this year may go down in history as the point in time when the world fell apart, while learning how to put itself back together. In spite of all the turmoil that has transpired, 2011 has ushered in significant social change. Click through some of the top social good trends of the year, in no particular order.

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