learning research curb your enthusiasm

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: Wired reports that a forthcoming study (to be published in Psychological Science) will try to explain why some people learn faster from mistakes than others--the so-called "learning gap." Led by Jason Moser at Michigan State University, this research looks at how beliefs about learning shape the appearance of brain signals that appear after we realize and react to mistakes (measured using the wonders of electroenchephalography, or EEG for short) This research draws on a 1998 report published by Carol Dweck and Claudia Mueller on how praise and encouragement affect development of children--work that led them to distinguish between children with "fixed" and "growth" mindsets. Until the new study comes out, this report, though a little dated and long (hint: skip to the conclusion), offers some fascinating observations on how praising kids as "smart" and labeling them as "gifted" can place them in a comfort zone that may leave them psychologically ill-prepared for the inevitable challenges later in life.

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