Backlit TabletlightAre late-night TV and backlight videogames a cure for insomnia, or the cause?

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http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=21c0e6da1ab7be6b447910b9959a1abc via Byline

… psychologists have discovered that some of the most hallowed advice on study habits is flat wrong. For instance, many study skills courses insist that students find a specific place, a study room or a quiet corner of the library, to take their work. The research finds just the opposite. In one classic 1978 experiment, psychologists found that college students who studied a list of 40 vocabulary words in two different rooms — one windowless and cluttered, the other modern, with a view on a courtyard — did far better on a test than students who studied the words twice, in the same room. Later studies have confirmed the finding, for a variety of topics.

The brain makes subtle associations between what it is studying and the background sensations it has at the time, the authors say, regardless of whether those perceptions are conscious. It colors the terms of the Versailles Treaty with the wasted fluorescent glow of the dorm study room, say; or the elements of the Marshall Plan with the jade-curtain shade of the willow tree in the backyard. Forcing the brain to make multiple associations with the same material may, in effect, give that information more neural scaffolding.

“What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, the senior author of the two-room experiment.

Varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time. Musicians have known this for years, and their practice sessions often include a mix of scales, musical pieces and rhythmic work. Many athletes, too, routinely mix their workouts with strength, speed and skill drills.

Vivek Wadhwa at TechCrunch does the numbers to prove that Google and Microsoft don’t create jobs, but your startup company will.

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This interesting and worrisome study suggests creativity is declining among younger generations. I’m with the Slashdot commenters who blame standardized tests, tinker-proof technologies, and not enough time outside.

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from an article at Newsweek: “For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. … Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test — a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist — has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect — each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling. Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. ‘It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,’ Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America — from kindergarten through sixth grade — for whom the decline is ‘most serious.’”

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/NXTy2rYSvUQ/The-Creativity-Crisis via Byline

This interesting and worrisome study suggests creativity is declining among younger generations. I’m with the Slashdot commenters who blame standardized tests, tinker-proof technologies, and not enough time outside.

An anonymous reader writes with this quote from an article at Newsweek: “For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. … Like intelligence tests, Torrance’s test — a 90-minute series of discrete tasks, administered by a psychologist — has been taken by millions worldwide in 50 languages. Yet there is one crucial difference between IQ and CQ scores. With intelligence, there is a phenomenon called the Flynn effect — each generation, scores go up about 10 points. Enriched environments are making kids smarter. With creativity, a reverse trend has just been identified and is being reported for the first time here: American creativity scores are falling. Kyung Hee Kim at the College of William & Mary discovered this in May, after analyzing almost 300,000 Torrance scores of children and adults. Kim found creativity scores had been steadily rising, just like IQ scores, until 1990. Since then, creativity scores have consistently inched downward. ‘It’s very clear, and the decrease is very significant,’ Kim says. It is the scores of younger children in America — from kindergarten through sixth grade — for whom the decline is ‘most serious.’”

http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/NXTy2rYSvUQ/The-Creativity-Crisis via Byline

Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

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Bookmark: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zAYPCYonGY4/Girl-Gamers-More-Hardcore-Than-Guys Jon Ippolito’s notes: “Scientific American reports on a study published this month in the Journal of Communication, which found that women who engage in a role-playing game online actually commit more time on average than the male players do. The authors surveyed 7,000 players logged in to EverQuest II (PDF), and found that the average age of the gamers surveyed was 31, and that playing time tended to increase with age. Interestingly, however, the female gamers not only tended to log more time online (29 hours per week versus 25 for the males), but were also more likely to lie about how much they really play.”

You can find more of Jon Ippolito’s bookmarks at – http://delicious.com/1000_people

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