Thursday, May 24, 2007

Brawny Brain Building

Every once in awhile, I find a cool article on personality-building. Since I'll be having a kid of my own soon, it seems even more pertinent to figure out how we develop personality, character and talent in an uplifting and edifying way. That said, this article from Newsweek discusses some recent tests that prove some age-old techniques in building confidence and a desire to grow in people, especially children.

Basically, they gave an IQ test to two sets of children. To one group, they told them they did a good job and how smart they were. To the other group, they told them they did a good job and how hard they must have worked to get the score they did. The first group tended to view their accomplishment as a level of achievement that is fixed and can't be changed. The second group believed that their efforts got them to where they were and continued to push forward to new learning and growing. The first group even began lying about their scores because... well, read the article.

In another test, the therapist told one older group of children that the brain is a muscle and can be built stronger. The other group was told nothing. Obviously, the first group went on to work hard to grasp higher mathematics. The other group is now in prison... Oh wait, no, that's not right.

Anyway, it was interesting to see that not only do you need to praise your children and encourage them, or even friends and loved ones, but how you encourage people is very important, too. Or maybe I'm just full of all this phony-baloney, new-age psychology junk. Or maybe everyone already knows this but me... OH, I'M SUCH A LOSER!!!! GIVE ME SOME SORT OF DRUG TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER!!!!!!! I'm okay now.

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