Monday, July 16, 2018

The Benefits of Admitting When You Don’t Know

Cultivating intellectual humility may help us learn better—and have more productive ideological debates.




“I disagree with myself.” This is what a third-grade boy said in front of his math class during a discussion about even and odd numbers. He believed six was both even and odd. When one classmate presented counterevidence, he considered her point. “I didn’t think of it that way,” he said. “Thank you for bringing that up.”
This third grader was exhibiting intellectual humility—recognizing the limits of his knowledge and valuing the insight of someone else. In a culture in which confidence is admired and mistakes mocked, his admission is commendable. But does such intellectual humility have any real benefits for learning?
On the face of it, maybe not. University professors, some of the most learned individuals in the world, are not generally known for their intellectual humility. And plenty of successful scientists, CEOs, doctors, artists, and political leaders master their trades without appearing to develop much intellectual humility.
Then again, as Nobel Prize–winning astrophysicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar noted, believing that you “must be right”—in other words, lacking intellectual humility—can actually stymie discovery, learning, and progress.
Given this puzzle, my colleagues and I set out to test whether intellectual humility was empirically associated with learning outcomes.
We started by measuring high school students’ intellectual humility. We had students rate themselves on statements like “I am willing to admit it when I don’t know something” and “I acknowledge when someone knows more than me about a subject.” We wanted to know: Would this intellectual humility relate to students’ motivation to learn, their learning strategies, and even their grades? What’s more, would teachers observe any differences between students with differing levels of intellectual humility?
We found that the more intellectually humble students were more motivated to learn and more likely to use effective metacognitive strategies, like quizzing themselves to check their own understanding. They also ended the year with higher grades in math. We also found that the teachers, who hadn’t seen students’ intellectual humility questionnaires, rated the more intellectually humble students as more engaged in learning.
Next, we moved into the lab. Could temporarily boosting intellectual humility make people more willing to seek help in an area of intellectual weakness? We induced intellectual humility in half of our participants by having them read a brief article that described the benefits of admitting what you do not know. The other half read an article about the benefits of being very certain of what you know. We then measured their intellectual humility.
Those who read the benefits-of-humility article reported higher intellectual humility than those in the other group. What’s more, in a follow-up exercise, 85 percent of these same participants sought extra help for an area of intellectual weakness. By contrast, only 65 percent of the participants who read about the benefits of being certain sought the extra help that they needed. This experiment provided evidence that enhancing intellectual humility has the potential to affect students’ actual learning behavior.
Together, our findings illustrate that intellectual humility is associated with a host of outcomes that we think are important for learning in school, and they suggest that boosting intellectual humility may have benefits for learning.
Because we observed that intellectual humility boosts learning, we wondered how to foster it.
Our hypothesis was that adopting a growth mindset could help. Growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is something that can change over time. In contrast, fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence is permanent, something people are “born with.”
It makes logical sense that intellectual humility would come more easily to those operating in a growth mindset. When people adopt a growth mindset, they tend to believe that even if they don’t know something, they can learn it and improve their intelligence. They believe they can get smarter, and being humble is one strategy for doing that.
We ran an experiment to test this prediction. We found that when we temporarily induced a growth mindset of intelligence, participants’ self-rated intellectual humility was enhanced (at least temporarily). This suggests that teaching students a growth mindset of intelligence may be one way to increase intellectual humility and its related learning benefits.
Given the link between growth mindset and intellectual humility, it’s reasonable to wonder whether intellectual humility offers any unique benefits or whether it’s all down to having a growth mindset. There is reason to think intellectual humility may help people learn above and beyond the benefits of growth mindset. For example, it may increase openness to learning from the opposing view during disagreements, and decrease dogmatism in ways that a growth mindset may not.
Of course, there’s a lot about intellectual humility that we don’t yet understand. But the burgeoning empirical research suggests that intellectual humility can benefit learning and perhaps bridge ideological gaps. We all, not just school-age children, might be a bit better off by learning to say “I disagree with myself” every now and then.
This article was originally published on the Behavioral Scientist. Read the original article.

Inspirational Quote – July 16, 2018

“Your mind is not a cage. It is a garden…and it requires cultivating.”

Now doesn’t this make perfect sense? Our mind is only a cage if we allow it to be and therefore why would we choose to do that to ourselves? Like a garden, our mind nourishes and grows only what we choose to “plant” in it. We also have the ability to “weed” when necessary and pluck out and discard those things growing that we realize serve no purpose or, indeed, hold us back or hinder us in the cultivation of our fertile, expanding mind.

CathiBew.co.uk

Kelly Orians: Getting Out and Staying Out

Kelly Orians, co-founder of Rising Foundations and attorney at The First 72+ has dedicated her life to helping the less fortunate, with a focus on the injustice and failing policies of the correctional system. In this interview Kelly discusses the unique challenges facing former inmates as they attempt to reintegrate into society, and the people and organizations attempting to change that for the better. Chief among them are former inmates who have gone on to create better lives for themselves, and successfully navigated the hurdles of leaving prison and starting life over.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

How Blood Sugar Levels Affect Your Body


dam
       

High: Makes You Pee More

Your kidneys have to work hard to process all that extra sugar in your blood. When they can’t keep up, your body gets rid of it, along with water that your body needs.
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mature man drinking water
2 / 15

High: Makes You Thirsty

To get rid of that extra sugar, your body draws water from its own tissues. Because you need that fluid to make energy, transfer nutrients, and get rid of waste, a switch flips in your brain to tell you that you’re thirsty so you’ll drink more.
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dry lips
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High: Dry Mouth

Your mouth could get dry and cracked at the corners as your body draws fluid from it. Less saliva and more sugar in your blood make infection more likely. Your gums might swell, and white patches can grow on your tongue and inside your cheeks (your doctor will call this oral thrush). It can help to drink more water or chew sugar-free gum.
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cracked heels
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High: Skin Problems

Your body takes water from all over to get rid of extra blood sugar. That may cause dry, itchy, cracked, skin, especially on your legs, elbows, feet, and hands. In time, high glucose levels also can damage nerves. This is called diabetic neuropathy. It can make it harder for you to feel cuts, wounds, or infections. Without treatment, they can become bigger problems, like the loss of a toe, foot, or part of your leg.
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blurry vision
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High: Vision Problems

Your body may pull fluid from the lenses in your eyes, which makes it harder to focus. And high blood sugar can damage blood vessels on the back part of your eye (retina). That can cause long-term vision loss and even blindness.
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woman with fatigue
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High: Fatigue

When you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high too often, you become less sensitive to insulin, which helps move energy to your cells. A lack of fuel can make you tired. You can have the same fatigue with type 1 diabetes, because your body can’t make its own insulin. If you don’t treat it correctly, your levels can stay high all the time. Your doctor can help by prescribing medication and suggesting lifestyle changes you can make.
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woman sleeping with dog
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Low: Fatigue

If you have diabetes, insulin is one way to lower your blood sugar when it gets high. But if you take too much, it might remove so much glucose so quickly that your body can’t replace it fast enough. That leaves you tired. Other illnesses and drugs also may also upset this cycle and empty your tank.
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vagus nerve
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High: Digestive Problems

If your blood sugar is high for too long, it can damage the vagus nerve, which helps move food through your stomach and intestines. You may lose weight because you aren’t as hungry. You might have trouble with acid reflux, cramps, vomiting, and severe constipation.
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ekg
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Low: Weird Heartbeat

The hormones that help raise your blood sugar when it’s too low can also spike your heart rate and make it feel like it skips a beat. (Your doctor will call this arrhythmia.) The drop in glucose most often happens as a side effect of drugs used to treat diabetes.
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shakiness
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Low: Shakiness

Low glucose can unsettle your central nervous system, which controls how you move. When that happens, your body releases hormones, like adrenaline, to help bring your levels back up. But those same substances also may make your hands and other parts shake or tremble.
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sweaty
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Low: Sweaty

The hormones your body releases to raise your blood sugar when it gets too low also make you sweat a lot. It’s often one of the first things you notice when your glucose levels fall too far. Your doctor can help you track your levels and try to keep them in a healthy range with medication, exercise, and eating habits.
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woman looking in fridge
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Low: Hungry

Sudden, intense hunger, even after you’ve eaten, may be a sign that your body doesn’t convert food to blood sugar in the right way. Illness or certain drugs can cause it, too. If you have diabetes, your doctor might be able to adjust your medication, which is often the source of the problem.
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woman with nausea
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Low: Nausea

Actually, it isn’t low blood sugar by itself. When your levels get either very high or very low, it can cause a rebound effect. Your blood sugar bounces from one extreme to the other, confuses your body’s digestive system, and makes you feel sick to your stomach.
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spinning trees
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Low: Dizziness

Your brain cells need glucose to work properly. When they don’t have enough, you may start to feel tired, weak, and dizzy. You also might have a headache.
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mature man confused
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Low: Confusion

When your blood sugar gets really low (hypoglycemia), you start to lose your bearings. You may slur your speech or forget where you are. Sometimes it happens so suddenly that you might not even realize you’re acting strangely. In serious cases, you could have a seizure or fall into a coma.
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The Truth About Talk Therapy


boy standing with nose in corner
       

Myth: It's All About Your Mother

If therapy makes you think of lying on a couch talking about your childhood, you may be in for a surprise. Real-world therapy has very little in common with fictional scenes on TV. Although discussing the past may be helpful in some situations, most current therapies focus on solving problems in the present and future.
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woman using punching bag
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Fact: It's All About Tools

Therapy provides tools for solving problems and enhancing quality of life, says psychologist Parinda Khatri, PhD. These tools may include relationship skills, anger management, or techniques for controlling thoughts and actions. "You don't have to go into past issues," Khatri tells WebMD. "You can be very focused on the present and specific problems you are targeting."
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spinning merry go round
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Myth: Therapy Is for Crazy People

Therapy may have its roots in treating severe mental disorders, but it has since gone mainstream. You don't have to have a mental illness to benefit from therapy -- and seeking therapy does not mean you are mentally ill. Nor is it a sign of weakness. In contrast, it's a sign of resourcefulness. When life feels like it's spinning out of control, therapy is one tool to help you control the spin.
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dad helping girl tie shoes
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Fact: Therapy Is for Everyday Life

These days, everyday life means juggling the demands of your job, family, health, and social circle. Therapy can help you manage those demands more gracefully, whether you're an overstressed parent or a short-tempered executive (or both). Getting a handle on everyday demands will help you function at a higher level and experience more joy.
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spilled coffee on calendar
5 / 15

Myth: You'll Be in Therapy Forever

That idea of being in therapy for years? It's another TV cliché. Yes, some people may benefit from ongoing therapy, especially if they have a long-lasting mental illness. But many mental health and quality-of-life issues can be addressed in a few weeks or months.
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man in talk therapy
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Fact: Short-Term Therapy Works

As few as one to four sessions can help you make significant changes in your life, Khatri says. And the benefits go beyond relieving stress and anxiety. Short-term therapy can help you improve your relationships, brush up on parenting skills, sleep better, manage your weight, adopt healthy habits, and become more effective in pursuing your goals.
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therapist talking enthusiactically with patient
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Myth: Therapists Just Listen

It has become a running joke: Therapists just listen and say things like, "How does that make you feel?" Although listening is a critical part of the job, good therapists also do a lot of talking. This includes asking targeted questions, helping you set goals, and teaching skills that will help you meet those goals. Your therapist may even assign homework to help you practice your new skills.
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repeat of rorschach test
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Myth: All Therapy Is the Same

All kinds of therapy are, in essence, a conversation. But the content and structure of that conversation depend on the type of therapy. Solution-focused therapy helps identify and implement strategies that have worked for you in the past. Interpersonal therapy helps improve your interactions with the people in your life. Psychodynamic psychotherapy, a variant of traditional psychoanalysis, aims to give people greater insight into their psychological conflicts and unconscious motivations and feelings. Other options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).
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woman envisioning a happier life
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Facts About CBT

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most studied forms of psychotherapy. This approach teaches you to recognize and change self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. It is especially effective at treating depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, but can also be helpful for everyday issues, like sleeping better and adopting healthy habits. A typical course of CBT lasts six to 20 sessions.
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paraplegic swimming in pool
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Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of CBT that helps you become more flexible in meeting challenges. This approach emphasizes acceptance of uncomfortable experiences, along with a commitment to actions that support your personal values. It is particularly helpful in coping with workplace stress, chronic pain, and other long-lasting medical conditions.
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couple in therapy
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Facts About Couples Therapy

Think couples therapy is for partners who are on the verge of divorce? Therapy is actually far more effective when a relationship is mostly positive, and partners can learn to work through their differences respectfully. "Do you want to dig yourself out of a very big hole," Khatri asks, "or learn to build a bridge over a smaller hole?" Waiting too long is one of the top mistakes couples make with regard to therapy.
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gingerbread men and cookie cutter
12 / 15

Myth: All Therapists Are the Same

The term "therapist" includes people with a wide range of credentials. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who are trained both to provide psychotherapy and prescribe medications when appropriate. Clinical psychologists have a PhD or PsyD (doctor of psychology) and are highly trained psychotherapists. They are not medically trained and therefore cannot prescribe psychiatric medicines except in a few states where legislation has granted them prescribing privileges. Psychiatric APRNs (Advanced Practice Registered Nurses) are clinical nurse specialists or nurse practitioners with at least a Master's level degree who have advanced mental health training and can provide psychotherapy as well as prescribe medications (either independently or under supervision of a psychiatrist, depending on the state). Social workers and licensed mental health counselors are also qualified to provide therapy. Choose a mental health professional who is experienced in the type of therapy you prefer.
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rows of pills
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Fact: Therapists Are Not Pill Pushers

Prescription medicine is only one tool a therapist may suggest. The use of medicine depends on why you're seeking therapy and the severity of the problem. For mild to moderate depression, therapy is often enough. For more severe depression or anxiety, or certain other types of mental health problems, a combination of medication and therapy often works best. Ask your doctor about the pros and cons of medication in your case.
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man signing check
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Myth: Therapy Is Expensive

Therapy is sometimes viewed as a luxury, but the costs are more reasonable than you might think. Insurance often covers mental health services, and many university clinics have sliding scales or payment plans. Remember that a handful of sessions can provide significant benefits. If you only see a therapist for a short period, the cost will be more manageable.
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man in video conference call with therapist
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Fact: Therapy Can Be Convenient

If you've been avoiding therapy because you think you don't have the time, think again. Many offices have weekend and evening hours, and some therapists are willing to do sessions by phone or Skype (as long as you are not in serious distress). Instead of the traditional hour long appointment, therapists can be flexible to accommodate even the busiest schedules. This works best for targeted issues, such as how to sleep better or manage your anger.
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Inspirational Quote – July 15, 2018

“Be yourself….no matter what other people think. God made you the way you are for a reason. Besides, an original is always worth more than a copy.”

I believe this is something most of us find very difficult or uncomfortable, just being who we are. We tend to want people to think the best of us so find ourselves going along with their ideas or suggestions when we actually want to scream “No!” It takes courage for us to actually be strong in ourselves when it comes to expressing our own opinion, not just going along with someone else’s, or defending our beliefs from attack. However, think about it….does it make us feel better being one of the herd? I’ll bet it doesn’t. Much better to be true to who our Creator meant us to be, a true original, a one-off, than a paltry copy.

CathiBew.co.uk

What Borders Are Really About

"The wonderful writer Luis Alberto Urrea says that a deep truth of our time is that we miss each other. We have this drive to erect barriers between ourselves and yet this makes us a little crazy. He is singularly wise about the deep meaning and the problem of borders. The Mexican-American border, as he likes to say, ran straight through his parents' Mexican-American marriage and divorce. His works of fiction and non-fiction confuse every dehumanizing caricature of Mexicans and of U.S. border guards. The possibility of our time, as he lives and witnesses with his writing, is to evolve the old melting pot to the 21st-century richness of us with all the mess and necessary humor required." 

http://www.dailygood.org/story/2065/what-borders-are-really-about-on-being/