Archive for August, 2013

August 30, 2013

Does Media Violence Lead to the Real Thing?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Media violence has been a controversial topic for decades. There are contradictory findings from a variety of studies, some showing no effect on people’s real-world aggression, and some showing a significant connection.

On balance, it makes sense to me that what we consume and are exposed to–whether it’s unhealthy food, environmental contaminants, poisoned relationships, or violent images–make a difference to our health, well-being, and behaviour. If this is true for adults, how much truer must it be for children? And the younger the child, the more true it will be.

In this article, the authors–three renowned forensic psychiatrists–summarize the findings to date. They conclude that yes, media violence does have a connection to the real thing: ‘Exposure to violent imagery does not preordain violence, but it is a risk factor.’ Short-term effects of exposure to media violence are moderate to large; longer-term effects are small-to-moderate. Watching more than 2 hours of violent TV each weekday leads to antisocial behaviour in early adulthood.

August 30, 2013

The Best and Worst Learning Strategies

hand math2If you want to remember what you’re learning, highlighting (or underlining) and re-reading are 2 of the worst strategies to use.

Two strategies that are far more effective are spreading out your learning periods–aiming for the study equivalent of short, regular exercise periods, rather than monthly marathons–and engaging in practice testing. These were the two approaches that emerged as most effective of the ten most frequently used approaches to learning, in a recent study of the effectiveness of different learning strategies.

Strategies in the middle range–rated ‘low utility’ by the researchers–included mental imagery, mnemonics, elaborative interrogation, and self-explanation.

In this blog, Annie Murphy Paul discusses why highlighting and re-reading don’t work very well, and why spreading out your learning and engaging in practice tests help people learn and remember better:


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