Education Does Not Make You a Happier Person

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Originally posted on TIME:

There is no link between your education level and your personal happiness, says a new mental-health research study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

According to a press release, researchers from Warwick Medical School were inspired by the strong association between poor education and mental illness and wanted to investigate if the opposite was true: Does being educated lead to happiness?

The team discovered that the odds of happiness were equivalent throughout all levels of educational attainment.

“These findings are quite controversial because we expected to find the socioeconomic factors that are associated with mental illness would also be correlated with mental well being,” said Sarah Stewart-Brown, the lead author on the study. “But that is not the case.”

Researchers defined happiness as a state of high mental well-being in which people “feel good and function well.” They applied this to data from the Health Survey for England…

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Education Does Not Make You a Happier Person

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Originally posted on TIME:

There is no link between your education level and your personal happiness, says a new mental-health research study published by the British Journal of Psychiatry.

According to a press release, researchers from Warwick Medical School were inspired by the strong association between poor education and mental illness and wanted to investigate if the opposite was true: Does being educated lead to happiness?

The team discovered that the odds of happiness were equivalent throughout all levels of educational attainment.

“These findings are quite controversial because we expected to find the socioeconomic factors that are associated with mental illness would also be correlated with mental well being,” said Sarah Stewart-Brown, the lead author on the study. “But that is not the case.”

Researchers defined happiness as a state of high mental well-being in which people “feel good and function well.” They applied this to data from the Health Survey for England…

View original 32 more words

Reading Literature Makes Us Smarter and Nicer

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Originally posted on Ideas:

Gregory Currie, a professor of philosophy at the University of Nottingham, recently argued in the New York Times that we ought not to claim that literature improves us as people, because there is no “compelling evidence that suggests that people are morally or socially better for reading Tolstoy” or other great books.

Actually, there is such evidence. Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada, and Keith Oatley, a professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, reported in studies published in 2006 and 2009 that individuals who often read fiction appear to be better able to understand other people, empathize with them and view the world from their perspective. This link persisted even after the researchers factored in the possibility that more empathetic individuals might choose to read more novels. A 2010 study by Mar found a similar result in young children: the more stories…

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Secrets of the Most Successful College Students

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Pedro Calado:

An article on TIME Magazine provides a useful list of 8 traits that a researcher found were common in highly successful college students.

According to Mr. Bain, the first thing students should do is “Think beyond the transcript. The creative, successful people profiled in this book—college graduates who went on to change the world we live in—aimed higher than straight A’s. They used their four years to cultivate habits of thought that would enable them to grow and adapt throughout their lives.”

Another important point is that the most successful students have a “Growth Mindset”, so these students do not believe intelligence is a fixed attribute and rather believe that intelligence can be developed over time, based upon experience and additional learning, opening students up to a much wider range of educational experiences.

  • Full list of traits:
    Pursue passion, not A’s
    Get comfortable with failure
    Make a personal connection to your studies
    Read and think actively
    Ask big questions
    Cultivate empathy for others
    Set goals and make them real
    Find a way to contribute

Best regards,
Pedro Calado

Originally posted on Ideas:

College-admission letters go out this month, and most recipients (and their parents) will place great importance on which universities said yes and which said no. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests that the most significant thing about college is not where you go, but what you do once you get there. Historian and educator Ken Bain has written a book on this subject, What the Best College Students Do, that draws a road map for how students can get the most out of college, no matter where they go.

(MORE:Does College Put Kids on a Party Pathway?)

As Bain details, there are three types of learners: surface, who do as little as possible to get by; strategic, who aim for top grades rather than true understanding; and deep learners, who leave college with a real, rich education. Bain then introduces us to a host of…

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What Are the Top 5 Must Read Books?

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Most people don’t have the time to read all the books they want or are suggested, but Eric Barker – writer for Wired magazine and blogger - broke down his must-reads for you book lovers.

1) Influence – by Robert B. Cialdini
Most consider it the single best book on the psychology of persuasion, teaching that there are universal principles that make something influential:scarcity, authority, social proof, liking, reciprocity, and consistency.

2) Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us – by Daniel H. Pink
The best, most accessible research-based book on what motivates us. For jobs that require creativity and problem solving, research shows we’re motivated by a desire for autonomy, mastery and purpose. Money is really only a motivator for work that does not inspire passion or deep thought. The single best motivator is progress, and the best predictor of success is “grit.”

3) The Power of Habit - by Charles Duhig
An engaging read that explains the science of how habits work — and how we can change them. Is teaches that about 40% of the actions we perform in a day are habits — so we’re on autopilot almost half our life. Identifying what triggers your habits is key. Assigning new habits to established triggers is how you change a bad habit into a good one. Friends can be a major part of whether you’re able to change for the better.

4) The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight-Decade Study - by Howard S. Friedman and Leslie R. Martin
They studied over 1000 people for the duration of their lives – from childhood until old age — giving them regular physical and psychological tests and tracking the results.
What they discovered confirmed some things we all believe about what it takes to live a good, long life — and more interestingly they found out where our common beliefs are wrong.

5) The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work - by Shawn Achor

What should I read nextYou can also try the What Should I Read Next? website, where enter a book you like and the site will analyse a huge database of real readers’ favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions for what to read next.

Best regards and good reads,
Pedro Calado

Always Late? How to Never Be Late Again


Are you always showing up 5 to 10 minutes late to things despite your best intentions? Or maybe you’re just underestimating how long tasks will take…experts call this behavior/tendency “planning fallacy”.

Here are some simple changes you can implement immediately, according with clinical social worker Lisa Bernstein:Always Late Again

  1. Don’t double book, you can be in two places at the same time.
  2. If you have a morning meeting, have clothes ready the night before and use an alarm without a snooze function.
  3. Use a calendar to block out meeting times, with travel and transition time(s).
  4. Set a warning alarm on phone for when you need to get ready to leave and another alarm for when you need to get out the door.
  5. Try to get to a meeting early and reward yourself with coffee or time to relax.

Since I’m a “planning fallacy” person myself I’ll apply these simple step changes on a regular basis from now on, hope it makes wonders…and never be late again.

If you do it also, please give some feedback here, I’m looking forward to see the outcome.

Best regards,
Pedro Calado

7 Truths No One Tells You About Going To Graduate School

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Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

Flickr / Christian SengerFlickr / Christian Senger

Graduate school is a place people go to learn, grow, excel and lose years of their lives. I went to graduate school to pursue a career as a school psychologist and help children. Admirable, right? Three years after graduating college and here I am. Living in a shitty apartment, eating mac and cheese and pulling all nighters. The truth is, graduate school is not for the faint of heart. If your experience in graduate school is anything like mine you will experience the following woes:

1. You will not sleep.

Like ever… just because you graduated college probably doesn’t mean you got your bachelor’s in time management skills. If you’re anything like me you’ll probably still procrastinate a little. The thing is, it is no longer a 2 page essay you need to stay up writing (sigh, the joys of undergrad).

2. You are still broke…

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“Iron Man” Robert Downey Jr. Delivers a 3D Printed Low-cost Bionic Arm


Joining with the non-profit charity Limbitless Solutions as “another bionics expert”, Robert Downey Jr. recently presented a 3D-printed bionic arm – a recreation of Downey Jr’s own Iron Man gear, built by Albert Manero (a University of Central Florida engineering PhD student) and Limbitless Solutions, a volunteer group started by Albert Manero, to make free bionic arms for kids – to Alex, who was born with a partially developed arm.

Adding Tools to Your Mental Toolbox

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Originally posted on TIME:

In The Art of War Sun Tzu said “The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.”

Those ‘calculations’ are the tools we have available to think better. One of the best questions you can ask is how we can make our mental processes work better.

Charlie Munger says that “developing the habit of mastering the multiple models which underlie reality is the best thing you can do.”

Those models are mental models.

They fall into two categories: (1) ones that help us simulate time (and predict the future) and better understand how the world works (e.g. understanding a useful idea from like autocatalysis), and (2) ones that help us better understand how our mental processes lead us astray (e.g., availability bias).

When our mental models line up with reality they help us avoid problems. However, they also cause problems…

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How to Parent Like a German

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Originally posted on TIME:

The first time I went to a playground in Berlin, I freaked. All the German parents were huddled together, drinking coffee, not paying attention to their children who were hanging off a wooden dragon 20 feet above a sand pit. Where were the piles of soft padded foam? The liability notices? The personal injury lawyers?

Achtung! Nein!” I cried in my bad German. Both kids and parents ignored me.

Contrary to stereotypes, most German parents I’ve met are the opposite of strict. They place a high value on independence and responsibility. Those parents at the park weren’t ignoring their children; they were trusting them. Berlin doesn’t need a “free range parenting” movement because free range is the norm.

Here are a few surprising things Berlin parents do:

Don’t push reading. Berlin’s kindergartens or “kitas” don’t emphasize academics. In fact, teachers and other parents discouraged me from teaching my…

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