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  • Abby Flyer

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Allison is a kindergarten teacher with a problem: She suspects that one of her students, Brett, is a slow learner. When she seats her students, she makes sure to seat Brett next to the other slow learners so that he’s not intimidated by the pace of faster students. When she asks a math question in class and calls on Brett, she’s not surprised when he gets it wrong. Shaking her head, she sighs and says, “It’s okay, I didn’t expect you to get that one.” She makes sure to speak more slowly and in simpler terms when speaking to Brett. After three months of class, she gives all of the students a basic assessment, and she’s not surprised to find that Brett scores near the bottom of the class.

However, what Allison didn’t know is that Brett is of completely average intelligence. Had she given him the assessment at the beginning of the year, he probably would have scored right in the middle of the class. What happened?

Allison’s belief about Brett’s intelligence created a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because she believed that he was a slow learner, she treated him like a slow learner, and because he was treated like a slow learner, Brett became a slow learner, confirming Allison’s initial belief.

But what if Allison had been told at the beginning of the year that Brett was a gifted student? She might then have seated him with the smartest kids in the class, exposed him to more mature vocabulary, and pushed him to keep up with a faster pace, possibly leading him to become a better student!

Self-fulfilling prophecies are proof of how much we can be affected by other’s expectations. They teach us that if we want someone to succeed, we should treat them like we expect them to succeed.

After all, you can do almost anything if someone really believes in you.

#abbyflyer #selffulfillingprophecy #believe #expectations

  • Writer's pictureYena Kim

As we all know, psychology is the scientifc study of behavior and the mind. Psychology is a field that is comprised of many parts, but some of the notable ones include neuroscience and the biological bases of behavior. These areas often have terms and ideas that can quickly get confusing and leave many people feel discouraged.

So if you are a budding scientist who has a special talent for explaing difficult such concepts or theories in unique ways, then we have some news for you.

On Monday, September 14, 2015, the world's first Breakthrough Junior Challenge was announced online. This one-of-a-kind challenge was created by Khan Academy and the Breakthrough Prizes, which is an organization that annually awards leading scientists for their innovative projects.

This is an international competition that any student between the ages of 13 to 18 can enter for a chance to win some mind-blowing prizes. For starters, the grand prize winner gets a... $250,000 college scholarship. The teacher who inspired the winner's project idea also receives $50,000, and the winner's school is awarded a brand new $100,000 science lab for all of the students to enjoy.

What do you have to do in order to win all of these goodies you ask?

All you have to do is to create an original video (of up to 10 minutes) explaining an important, yet complex, concept or theory that only fall under the fields of mathematics, life sciences, or physics.

Now, don't panic. There is a good ol' rubric for contestants to use. Videos have to meet four criteria:

  1. Engagement - Did you effectively capture your audience's attention and leave people wanting more from YOU?

  2. Illumination - Do you provide a clear explanation of your challenging topic?

  3. Difficulty - Did you step out from your elementary-level comfort zone and pick a complex concept?

  4. Creativity - Did you create a video that ultimately sets the standard for how all future educational videos should be made?

Sounds doable but you have less than a month to enter because the contest will accept submissions until 11:59 PM (EST) on October 7, 2015. The lucky winner will also have his or her video broadcasted on national television.

Time to start crackin' on some ideas because things are about to get competitive.

#yenakim #breakthroughjuniorchallenge #contest #mathematics #lifesciences #physics #khanacademy

  • Abby Flyer

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

It feels like forever ago since that awkward first day of class, when you were just getting to know everyone. Now, after only two months, you find yourself head-over-heels for one of your classmates. You’re not sure what it is, but every time you see her, a mixtape of silly love songs starts playing in your head in a limitless loop. There’s only so many times that you can hum the chorus of “Accidentally in Love” and tap out the beat to “What I Like About You” before you have to ask yourself what’s going on!

Okay, so obviously you’re experiencing attraction towards your classmate. But what causes attraction to occur between two people? Psychology offers a recipe with three key ingredients: proximity, physical attractiveness, and similarity.

Proximity is just simply being in the same place as someone for large amounts of time. Proximity stimulates attraction through the mere exposure effect. Basically, this fancy phrase means that the more we spend time with people or things, the more we like them. Have you ever been iffy about a shirt but ended up loving it after wearing it a few times? The same thing can happen with people. One reason you’ve begun to develop an attraction towards your classmate is just because you see her in school for six hours every day.

Though a lot of people don’t want to seem “shallow,” it’s a proven fact that physical attractiveness plays a key role in attraction. First impressions are more often than not based on physical appearance, so it doesn’t hurt that you noticed on the first day that your classmate was pretty cute. Physically attractive people are also judged to be more successful and happier through the halo effect: people see one good quality (like appearance) in a person and assume that that person possesses a number of other good qualities as well.

Finally, despite the old adage “opposites attract,” it’s been shown that similarity increases attraction. When people share interests and beliefs, it gives them common ground for conversation. While you don’t want to be with someone who’s a mirror image of you, you don’t want someone who disagrees with you on everything and never wants to partake in your favorite activities with you. It’s no wonder that you found yourself falling for her even harder when she told you that she, too, listens to Paramore and watches Game of Thrones.

So keep singing those silly love songs! For all you know, she might be wondering the same thing and humming the same tunes about you.

#abbyflyer #study #attraction #proximity #mereexposureeffect #haloeffect #similarity

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