Laurel and Associates, Ltd. – Madison, WI

Category Archives : brain research

Tip #703: Why Make Anti-Resolutions?

On January 9, 2018, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With No Comments

My New Year’s Resolution List usually starts with the desire to lose between ten and three thousand pounds.” Nia Vardalos

Welcome to 2018. I hope it is kind to you.

The media strongly encourages us to make positive changes in our lives in the shape of New Year’s resolutions. But Stephanie Vozza believes that the resolutions we make only reflect what we think we should do- not what we truly desire and are willing to put in the work to make happen. As a result, most resolutions are unrealistic and almost immediately forgotten.

Ms. Vozza’s offers an alternative in her article: Why You Should Make An Anti-Resolution List (And What To Put On It).  She quotes Kate Hanley, the … Read the rest

Tip #700:  Do You Know Your Emotional Style?

“Rather than being a luxury, emotions are a very intelligent way of driving an organism toward certain outcomes.” Antonio Damasio

Neuroscientist Richard Davidson spent almost 40 years studying the brain mechanisms that underlie our emotions. He determined that individuals have unique and consistent ways of responding to life experiences. These emotional styles are governed by specific identifiable brain circuits.

In his book, The Emotional Life of Your Brain, co-authored with Sharon Begley, he describes six emotional styles:

  1. Self-Awareness: How well you perceive the physical sensations in your body that reflect your emotions. (Self-awareness is determined by the ability of the insula to interpret signals from the body and organs.)
  2. Sensitivity to Context: How good you are at regulating your
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Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

On November 7, 2017, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #696: Did You Know Stress Heals?

“Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.” Hans Selye

It has been said that those who can’t do, teach. As a matter of principle, I disagree with this statement with one personal exception. People who know me well can’t believe that I teach stress management- but I do. And when I conduct a stress management class, my focus is to help the participants become conscious of the stress they have in their lives so that they can make choices to reduce their stress.

Over the years, I’ve campaigned against stress because, as everyone knows, stress is bad for us, and too much stress can affect our health, our relationships, and our very lives.

Well, … Read the rest

Tip #682: Is Emotional Intelligence Always Positive?

On August 1, 2017, Posted by , In brain research, By , , With Comments Off on Tip #682: Is Emotional Intelligence Always Positive?

“There is no separation of mind and emotions; emotions, thinking, and learning are all linked.”  Eric Jensen

We have read about, learned about, and applied emotional intelligence in a variety of ways since Daniel Goleman first popularized it in 1995.

Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as: “the capability of individuals to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, discern between different feelings and label them appropriately, use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior, and manage and/or adjust emotions to adapt to environments or achieve one’s goals.”

Regardless of the model (and there are several), when we think about emotional intelligence we see it as a positive combination of skills and characteristics.

But what if “the capability of individuals to Read the rest

Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

On August 1, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #632: How the Status Quo Can Curb Learning

“I don’t accept the status quo. I do accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express.”  Stephen Colbert

“Status quo, you know, is Latin for ‘the mess we’re in.'”  Ronald Reagan

There is a lot that can interfere with a willingness to learn new things.

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first eight: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness, Mere Exposure Effect, Not Invented Here, and Reactance in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the last two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary is mine.

  1. Status Quo bias: The
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Tip #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

On July 25, 2016, Posted by , In brain research, By ,,,,,,,, , With Comments Off on Tip #631: How Loyalty and Freedom of Choice Can Curb Learning

“Your thinking depends on your perception, just as your perception depends on the way you think.”   Aniekee Tochukwu Ezekiel

Andrea May has identified ten cognitive biases and we have considered the first six: Confirmation, Anchoring, Curse of Knowledge, the Dunning-Kruger effect, Functional Fixedness and Mere Exposure Effect in previous Tips.

Now we’ll look at the next two cognitive biases and discuss how we can counter their effect through our training design and delivery. The titles and descriptions of the biases are Ms. May’s. The commentary continues to be mine.

  1. Not Invented Here bias: The tendency to discount information, ideas, standards, or products developed outside of a certain group.

I have encountered this bias in regard to case studies. It … Read the rest