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Debunking Myers-Briggs personality test: Can we pigeon­hole people?

Myers-BriggsWhy the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless (Vox):

“The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is probably the most widely used personality test in the world…The only problem? The test is completely meaningless… Read the rest of this entry »

From Distress to De-Stress: helping anxious, worried kids (Part 2 of 2)

Last week, in this article’s first part, we discussed the importance of actually teaching children how to get themselves into a physical state of being relaxed, explored several suggestions I hope you found useful.

Let’s continue.

Teachers can help student overcome stress by teaching them to identify the impediments they might encounter in doing a certain task.

The teacher can ask:

What’s going to get in the way of you doing this work?
He or she may have to jump-start the students thinking by suggesting such things as:
– competing events (family activities, friends call, IM-ing, new video game, etc.)
– lack of adequate place to study
– inadequate prior preparation or skills
– a negative attitude (this is not necessary, I can’t do math, I’ll never need to know this, etc).
– health factors (I’m sick; I’m tired)

Conversely, teachers have to teach students to identify the enhancers; What’s going to make it more likely that you will do this, and do this well?
(examples)
– I have confidence in my ability
– I feel competent in this skill
– I am committed to learning this because: I have the necessary resources to complete this task, such as materials, sources of information, people supports; parents, tutor, other kids

Teachers can turn distress into de-stress by using the Language of Success

The key is to de-emphasize PRAISE and emphasize SELF-APPRAISAL.

Teachers can encourage self-evaluation by Read the rest of this entry »

From Distress to De-Stress: helping anxious, worried kids (Part 1 of 2)

Teaching kids how to relax.

Consider this vignette:

-Roxanne: (agitated and loudly) I can’t stand this freakin book!

-Teacher: Roxanne, you need to take it easy. Just calm down! Try to relax.You need to finish your reading.

-Roxanne: (to herself) Right easy for you to say, teacher. But very hard for me to do. What do you mean calm down? I feel like my head is going to explode.

-Teacher: (seeing no response) Well if you can’t settle down, maybe a trip to the office will help you!

Some kids are so agitated that even if they know how to relax, they can’t. If you think about it, calming down when you’re upset is the hardest time to do it! Other kids can’t calm down or relax because they don’t know what that feels like. Teachers, occupational therapists, physical education teachers and parents need to actually teach children (of all ages) how to get themselves into a physical state of being relaxed. This doesn’t happen automatically. If it did, there wouldn’t be so many adult yoga classes!

Setting the mental and emotional stage for success.

Teachers who want to reduce stress and increase learning know that getting kids into a positive mindset will do both. They say Read the rest of this entry »

Lie to Me, Paul Ekman and Biofeedback

You may have watched the new series Lie To Me, with Tim Roth, based on the work of Paul Ekman.

The second episode, which you can watch for free via Hulu.com Here, is pretty interesting, but the best part happens in the beginning, so you only need to watch a few minutes to learn why what are called “lie detectors” are nothing but biofeedback systems that measure physiological anxiety.

Biofeedback can be a very effective training tool for emotional self-regulation and stress management, precisely because it enables a faster feedback-based learning loop. Indeed, we are seeing a growing number of applications in the market, with names such as EmWave, StressEraser, RESPeRATE, Journey to the Wild Divine, and others.

Simply, don’t believe the technology is an effective lie detector.

Caroline and I wrote an article on Paul Ekman’s work a couple of years ago – let me republish it now, given his work has made it all the way to mainstream TV!

braintop Paul Ekman has conducted extensive research on identifying emotions through facial expressions. As part of that research, and as part of the power of discipline and training, he learned how to consciously manipulate 42 facial muscles, including many that in most of us are beyond our control, and even awareness.

In the 60s and 70s when Ekman began looking into the universality of facial expressions, all the major contemporary social scientists, like Margaret Mead, believed that expressions were culturally learned, not innate. He traveled all over the world with pictures of people making distinct facial expressions and found people in cultures everywhere, from modern to stone age, agreed on the emotion behind the expression. He then turned to Read the rest of this entry »

Emotional Intelligence and Faces

braintop Paul Ekman has conducted extensive research on identifying emotions through facial expressions. As part of that research, and as part of the power of discipline and training, he learned how to consciously manipulate 42 facial muscles, including many that in most of us are beyond our control, and even awareness.

In the 60s and 70s when Ekman began looking into the universality of facial expressions, all the major contemporary social scientists, like Margaret Mead, believed that expressions were culturally learned, not innate. He proceeded traveled all over the world with pictures of people making distinct facial expressions and found people in cultures everywhere, from modern to stone age, agreed on the emotion behind the expression. He then turned to studying the production of these expressions and the 43 facial muscles that can create 10,000 expressions, which form the basis of his training.

He found seven universal emotions with unique facial expression. The emotions are: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, happiness, surprise, and contempt. At least five of these are shared with non-human primates as well. Interestingly, the smile is the easiest expression to recognize, and the easiest to identify from afar. These emotions have a specific Read the rest of this entry »

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