Lucky charms and magical thinking: Can superstition enhance performance?

Good Luck Charms and Quirky Pre-Performance Routines: Can Superstition Enhance Performance?

Have you ever knocked on wood? Tossed salt over your shoulder? Went out of your way to avoid walking under a ladder? Even if you’re usually a very logical and pragmatic person, there is probably a quirky superstition or two that you go along with from time to time. And when it comes to uncertain, stressful situations like performances, competitions, or auditions (particularly those in which you don’t feel you have much control over the end result), it may be even more tempting to engage in…


Help Your Student Learn Better by Making Them the Teacher

Help Your Student Really Learn Something by Making Them the Teacher

In school, athletics, music, and pretty much anywhere else, we seem to do an awful lot of testing. Exams, quizzes, tests, games, matches, meets, recitals, auditions, concerts, juries...it seems there's no end to the testing we do. Don't get me wrong - it’s not that testing is inherently evil, or necessarily such a bad thing all the time. For instance, testing (a.k.a. retrieval practice) does lead to better learning than many of the study methods (like reading, highlighting, and concept-mapping)…


The Unheralded Benefits of Mindlessness, Mind-Wandering, and Daydreaming

From scoring higher on the GRE's to boosting mental toughness in Marines to improving peak performance in Olympic athletes to maximizing happiness for all of us, mindfulness seems to be all the rage nowadays. And there are indeed a ton of benefits from developing our ability to be more present and engaged in the moment. But sheesh, sometimes being mindful can be so exhausting. Is mind-wandering really so bad? What's wrong with spacing out, and going on a bit of a mental holiday every now and…


2014's Most Popular Posts

Happy 2015! I have to admit that I'm not really a New Years resolutions sort of person, but I do like aiming to try new things , and developing habits and processes (which are often more effective than goals). The beginning of a new year is as good a time as any to make some changes, so if you're still shopping around for something new to try, here are 10 to choose from (otherwise known as 2014's most read posts).