Limited offer

I wanted to let you know about a short-term deal I've got up at the Amazon Kindle Store: How to Learn and Mnemonics for Study in one volume, at a greatly reduced price. Don't know how long I'll leave it there; probably not long.Here's the link (should take you to whichever Amazon is your local one):

New book now available in paperback!

I'm pleased to announce that my new book "How to Learn: The 10 principles of effective revision & practice" is now available here in paperback. It should be available on Amazon within a week, and eventually elsewhere. Once it's available on Amazon, I will add it to the Kindle "Matchbook" program, as my other books already are - that means that you can pick up the Kindle version for only a little more, if you've already purchased the paperback.


Save on all study books!

You can now get my new book, How to Learn: The 10 principles of effective practice & revision, in epub format from my store. You can also purchase all three of my study skills books at the discounted price of $18!

Find out more about the book, and read an excerpt by clicking here.

New book!

book cover

Very excited to announce that my new book

Reduced prices!

In anticipation of the pending publication of a new book (on how to practice/revise), I've reduced the digital format prices of my two study skills books, Effective notetaking and Mnemonics for Study. You can now buy these ebooks, at my own store, at Amazon, Kobo, or iTunes, for US$7.99 and US$4.99, respectively (in the Mempowered store you can even buy both together for an even $12).

Maybe it has nothing to do with self-control

Academic and career success have been linked to self-regulation abilities early in life.

However, new research suggests a re-thinking of the meaning of the classic 'marshmallow test'.

Failure to delay gratification may reflect a perfectly rational response to the situation rather than a lack of 'will-power'.

Three critical variables may determine your willingness to delay gratification in a situation: temporal beliefs, reward difference, and temporal discount rate (the value you put on shorter waiting times).

We may be better off paying more attention to perceived reward and temporal discount rate - factors that are situational as well as personal - than to any 'character' assessments of 'self-control'.

I recently reported on Mynd about a finding that refines a widely-reported association between self-regulation and academic achievement. This association relates to the famous ‘marshmallow test’, in which young children were left alone with a marshmallow, having been told that if they could hold off eating it until the researcher returns, they would get two marshmallows.

Introducing Mynd

Everyday, I come across reports and articles on the Web that bear on the topic of memory and learning, and I faithfully file them away, with the intention of doing 'something' with them. Many get put in my file of articles to discuss, or riff off, in my blog - which grows and grows, until I end up with huge Word documents containing articles NOT discussed in 2009, 2010, 2011 ... I have tried a variety of ways to at least spin off those worthy of mention that I don't have the time or inclination to discuss. None of these have proved satisfactory.

Shaping your cognitive environment for optimal cognition

Urbanization appears to increase working memory capacity, and decrease focus.

This may reflect the increased cognitive demands of the urban environment.

The reduced ability to ignore distraction typically seen in aging may reflect not only physiological changes such as decreases in processing speed, but also the speed and complexity of the modern environment.

To increase working memory capacity, specific training programs may be the wrong approach. Instead, we should incorporate challenging activities into our daily routine.

To improve focus, we should regularly engage in activities that absorb and challenge us.

Humans are the animals that manipulate their cognitive environment.

Daydreaming nurtures creativity?

A small study adds to evidence that time immersed in the natural environment, or perhaps time free of electronic devices, improves creativity. Another suggests it may be the opportunity to daydream that drives this effect.

Back in 2010, I read a charming article in the New York Times about a bunch of neuroscientists bravely disentangling themselves from their technology (email, cellphones, laptops, …) and going into the wilderness (rafting down the San Juan River) in order to get a better understanding of how heavy use of digital technology might change the way we think, and whether we can reverse the problem by immersing ourselves in nature.

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