Monday, September 06, 2010

Stuff from the cog psych world

"Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits" in the NY Times reviews research saying it is better to study in more than one location, and more than one related subject:
... instead of sticking to one study location, simply alternating the room where a person studies improves retention. So does studying distinct but related skills or concepts in one sitting, rather than focusing intensely on a single thing...
“The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.
BTW, The Frontal Cortex blog moved to Wired. The entry on "The Identifiable Victim Bias" should be read by anyone in the nonprofit world soliciting donations.
We are much less interested in helping a victim – we only want to help the victim. (This bias is known as the identifiable victim effect, since it suggests that we react much more strongly when the victim can be specified.) Why do we this? Because human charity is ultimately rooted in our compassionate feelings, and not in some rational, utilitarian calculations. We are not Vulcans.

Changing the subject, if you live in California you can see if your physician's been busted lately at this Sacramento Bee database.