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How to deal with bullying at school 

How to deal with bullying at school Reading Time: 4 minutes

Bullying is a serious issue and needs to be dealt with accordingly. I, myself, have had a bad experience of dealing with it. Bullying is universal, meaning it happens everywhere across nationalities in schools, colleges and families. The article suggests and advises on how to deal with bullying at school.

UNESCO reports in 2019, that one in every three children experiences some form of bullying. SEEDS (Sustainable Environment and Ecological Development) with HoneyWell India conducted a survey which found out 19 percent of the families in Delhi fears that their child might be subjected to bullying. 

What is bullying?

Merriam Webster defines bullying as an abuse or mistreatment of someone who is perceived as vulnerable or weak by someone who identifies as stronger. 

Since, bullying can occur both silently and overtly, it becomes difficult to describe. Cyber bullying is a malicious form of bullying which occurs mostly on social media. One report cities India as top ranking country when it comes to cyber bullying. 

Bullying can be verbal, physical or even psychological. It can occur in combination or in form only.

There is another type of bullying which occurs, it uses silence as a tool to bully someone. This type of behavior is categorized as passive aggressive behavior. 

Bullying in any form is dangerous. It affects and changes one’s personality and can have serious psychological and physiological impact. 

At school it can occur at any age and it also can happen during college time. During college time, it can occur in form of ragging. Supreme court of India had passed a ruling regarding ragging which sought to eliminate it and was taken into cognizance by universities and various authorities including police. The Media had also helped in the matter by making public aware of the matter. 

UGC had passed a regulation which penalized University by reducing their funds if found guilty of ragging. 

Bullying at school

Bullying can happen at any age. That it is to say that it can happen to primary, secondary and higher secondary level students. It should be emphasized that people at any age can be victims of bullying and not just school or college.  The school is a place to learn and grow. Perhaps even to get cultured to develop into ideal citizens of the country. School imbibes discipline and virtue in students. They are creator of national wealth. 

Another very important point to understand is that victim and bully categories are not clearly defined. This means a child who is bullied in school can bully his/her siblings at home. There can be a definite possibility that person who was once bullied, can bully others later on. That is too say that a child during his early school years may be victim but becomes a bully as he/she grows up and bullies others in school, later on in life. 

What to do if you are a parent and concerned about bullying ?

The most important factor is communication and oversight over children. Being engaged with them and being engaged with their day to day happenings in school. Mothers are very good at it and great at maintaining a comfort with children. My mother used to talk about my day to day school experiences. This helped me share my problems with her as and when it arose during my school days.

 

  1. Be engaged with your child.

  2. Observe him/her from time to time. 

  3. Invite his/her friends and form associations with them and their parents.

  4. Be mindful of their general behavior when they are at home.

What to do if you are a student ?

As a student it’s a complex issue to deal with. No one solution can work here. But what to do when one is faced with a bully? I myself was bullied a lot in school. From many I’d like to share two experiences which were

 

  1. School Teacher as bully

  2. Student As bully

Unfortunate but a grim reality in many cases is that school teachers are bullies. I remember a case where I saw parents taking up class of a teacher who used to pick up this one student every time and make an example of him. On parent teachers day, I watched as his parents took class of the teacher. It was a sight to see. The point I am trying to make is that the best solution is to tell your parents. 

When a peer/student bullies you, 

  • Tell your class teacher about it. No matter how embarrassing the situation is tell her/him. If she doesn’t listen then go up to the principle. I did this when my teacher was not listening. I went up to vice principal and told her about it. My problem was resolved as it was made sure that the bully maintained distance. 

Yes, it dented my image where I was then understood as a weak individual but thankfully after the vice principal heard it, it was dealt with strictness and oversight measures which ensured that the boy who was bullying was taught a good lesson. Vice Principle had called parents of bully made sure they were made aware of their child’s idiocy. She also made an example of him by calling him out in during assembly and scolding him. 

 

  • If you can’t talk to the teacher.

Then tell your parents. By keeping it to yourself it will only worsen. In my own experience one cannot escape a bully. They will find you and put you down for no reason. If you raise your voice you will get beaten if you are passive then your made an example for no reason. 

 

From my experience there seems to be no escape from a bully. Example : I did it once in my life also I wished had done more. I stood up to 3 bullies at one time I fought them took a beating but felt good. After that they never took my case. But I don’t recommend it because not every case is the same. I suggest, that informing teachers, parents and higher authority is the best way to address it before it gets worse. Sure, you may be called out as weak or whinny but its its the solution that actually solves your case. Like I had mentioned that informing Vice principle was a good decision, I made a wise decision.

Read Also Coping up with embarrassment at school or college

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Good luck !!!

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How to cope up with shame, if you are a school or college student

Cope up with ShameReading Time: 3 minutes

Shame is generally associated with the idea of degrading self worth. If it strikes us at school or college it tends to leave a deeper impact. Many of us  find ourselves gripped into it so much so that that there seems to be no escape to the agony caused just by merely existing. The more you think the more it affects you. But how to cope up with shame, if you are a school or college student ? 

What is shame ?

Shame, needless to say is a negative emotion. One that changes your view about yourself. By that I mean one begins to feel a sense of disgust about themselves. Subsequently, we start to think of ourselves as worthless, start to hate ourselves, try to isolate and avoid situations which triggers the incident which caused shame. 

But what triggers shame ?

It could be anything which is associated with your self worth. Shame can make you do things that you don’t realise you are doing. For example, if you see your hair thinning. You automatically start to sit at places where there dim light or poor light so that people don’t notice your thinning. You begin to avoid social events and embarrassing situations.

How serious is shame ?

Serious enough to lower your self esteem. Give you a disorder. Put you into social isolation. So, It has to be dealt with concern and understanding. Shame can have an ever lasting impact. 

Shame is a powerful experience/ emotion. In many cases it was found that it was linked to eating disorders, social isolation, mood disorder, depression, stuttering, addiction and obesity. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Bipolar disorder, Borderline, Avoidant personality disorder etc are some of the very serious disorders associated with shame. These are serious issues that bring affect both personality and self esteem. 

Difference between shame, guilt, embarrassment ?

Not to forget, shame is what adversely affects your identity and self worth. Where as guilt is a form of repent/regret concerning an action which you committed both real and imaginary. Embarrassment is state of temporary discomfort caused due socially frowned upon acts, behaviors, reactions etc. 

 

When one talks about intensity of the 3 :

Shame >>> Guilt>> Embarrassment

Can one develop sensitivity to shame ?

From an early age we develop sensitivity to shame. As children we are taught or cultured into acceptable behaviors and acts. We as children are brought in those values which specifies some acts as forbidden/taboo and others acceptable. 

An example, as a child a simple act of not being able to control and urinating in pants/shorts in school can cause shame as disgust towards him/herself. Contemptuous and scornful behavior can result in feelings of disgust and low self worth from an early. These unfortunate incidents caused embarrassment but it translated into shame. 

Incidents like physical, mental abuse can have life lasting impacts. 

How you may ask ?

  1. Children keep mocking.
  2. Thought re-occurrence.
  3. Triggers which reminded of the act.

It is important to mention that its impact may differ from child to child meaning it may vary because of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Another example (in adults),

Consider an obese person who avoids going out. They were fat shamed whenever they go out. This makes them avoid going out all together. In some cases they may fall into a vicious cycle of developing a disorder probably an eating disorder. 

How to cope up with shame?

If the incident has to happen or happened only sometime back :

Shame is like a  parasite, better to address it sooner. If you have experienced any guilt shame or embarrassment. Talking about it with your mother might just be the best thing. As a student, especially in adolescence we try to keep matter by ourselves. Incidents which seem any of three must be shared with Mother.

General nature of mothers which is of care – concern, works like an antibiotic when you tell her. No matter how old you are.

If you for some reason cannot talk about it with your mother then talk about it with your closest friend who you think understands you the best. 

Change the labels in mind :

Mistake and unfortunate events happen. The thoughts which degrades your self worth should be replaced consciously, example : “I am good for nothing” should be replaced by “I Made a mistake, I can improve.” 

Stop Hating yourself :

You are only making it worse. Feelings of disgust, hate, degrading thoughts will only suck you in deep into the cycle of negativity and depressive thoughts. Understand that in this case emotions at best serve an indication of something is not correct with your psychology/ well being. You can improve your state by replacing those negative thought cycles with positive ones.

If you have been struggling with shame for a long time :

Better to see a doctor. This also is a good enough reason to go to the doctor. So, don’t feel embarrassed or suppress any indication that stress provides.

  1. Counselling 
  2. Therapy (CBT etc)

Both can help alleviate suffering or reduce discomfort which experienced daily by an individual.   

Read also Coping up with embarrassment ?

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Coping up with embarrassment at school or college

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Coping up with embarrassment at school or college is a challenge. I am sure everyone at least once have faced an embarrassing moment or shame in their life. These moments for many of us have either occurred in our school or colleges. Both embarrassment and shame is associated to our self esteem. Not to forget guilt is another factor associated to our self esteem. Where as an embarrassment is relatively temporary less harmful to our self esteem. Shame on the other hand can have a debilitating impact on self esteem. 

It presents a challenge especially when we are in school or college. We have a reputation or an identity which gets threatened if we find ourselves in embarrassment or shame. It creates insecurity which might lead to, us getting labelled with inferior tags in school or college. More concerning issue is that we can’t escape college or school so we have to face insults, may be on a daily basis (at least this is what we feel)

What is embarrassment ?

Anything that can cause you to look inferior, which ridicules you or makes you look like a fool can be called as embarrassing moment. Some of these moments might be light-hearted and some of them serious. In most cases their effect is ephemeral  i.e the people will tend to forget it sooner or later (if its happened in public)

However, this is not the case with shame. The problem of shame can last longer or in some cases a lifetime. Not to forget both attack our identity 

What is shame ?

Shame, needless to say it is a negative emotion. One that changes your view about yourself. By that I mean one begins to feel a sense of disgust about themselves. Subsequently, we start to think of ourselves as worthless, start to hate ourselves, try to isolate and avoid situations which triggers the incident which caused shame. 

Shame is a powerful experience/ emotion. In many cases it was found that it was linked to eating disorders, social isolation, mood disorder, depression, stuttering and obesity. These are serious and grievous issues that bring affect both personality and self esteem. 

The article suggests general coping strategies for both embarrassment and shame. 

Coping with embarrassment :

You can laugh it out 

No matter what happens we can always get out of embarrassment. Embarrassment are associated with acts everyone relates to. For example, almost everyone has tripped or slipped. 

Many of us have tripped at public places. Tripping at public place is perfect case of embarrassment being caused. Here if you have done something which has caused embarrassment and if people start laughing around you. You start to laugh with them. Follow on reaction will be minimized. You yourself would feel better and mood alleviated. 

So, in school if you trip and your peers start laughing you laugh with them. In a day or two everyone will forget since there is no fun in your reciprocation.

Let it play out

Know that everyone has been in one or more embarrassing situations during their lifetimes. These instances happen to everyone. Sometimes they happen in private and sometimes in public. In public they can make us feel inferior but it’s alright. To err is human (and its not even a mistake). If the public is reacting in a way that embarrasses you further. Truth be told there is nothing you can do. Only thing you can do is let it play out by not reacting to what people around you are throwing at you. 

Sooner or later that incident that caused you embarrassment will be forgotten. Since your reactions are not very encouraging for your mates to joke about repeatedly. It will subside. 

Remember, in both the cases. Never give a reaction which indicates that you are ashamed or are unsettled. This only aggravates or makes it worse. Next time in an embarrassing situation use these two statements:

  1. For instances like played loud music in library, or phone rang in meeting. Just say sorry.
  2. For instances such as tripping, slipping, hello to strangers etc. Just say Ahh! My luck.

 

Another important rule to observe is one should get out embarrassing situation as fast as they can. The more you wait the more sorry your state gets. Better to get out of the situation the earliest. 

To conclude, 

So, these we some important pointers that certainly helps coping and getting out embarrassing situations. The next part of the article will discuss how to cope up with shame.

Read also, Top fellowships with their criteria in India
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Coping with embarrassment

 

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Humm-Wadsworth Temperament Scale

humm and Wadsworth BrainpunditsReading Time: 3 minutes

Hum Wadsworth scale is a Temperament scale developed way back in 1935. The scale was constructed by DG Humm and GW Wadsworth. Not to forget that they had built their work on research of Rosanaoff (1927).

The Temperament scale was constructed to assess job performance of individuals. The idea was that temperament was the single most important determinant in industrial utility of labor. Above all temperament served as a indicator which determined one’s future job performance and job fit.

Through Humm Scale one could also make population comparisons. Certainly Temperament and its sub-components were considered sufficient enough to provide assessment of enough information on labor performance. Subsequently, Humm scale contained 300+ items which made the test very comprehensive and elaborate.

Temperament is a usual emotional response to a stimuli (from Merriam Webster). Naturally, emotions are what drives temperament. Subsequently a person’s temperament is a primary factor which helps in determining future work performance.  Therefore by measuring the temperament one could decipher which job roles one is suited for.

 

The scale assessed and categorized stereotypical behavior into 7 types. So these are :

 

  • Normal

  • Hustler

  • Mover

  • Double Checker

  • Artist

  • Politician

  • Engineer

 

 

Although, the categories were originally called Normal, Hyteriod (Hustler), Cycloid manic, Cycloid depressive, Schizoid autistic, Schizoid paranoid, Epileptoid. Certainly, such labels due to obvious reasons were replace/d.

Humm And Wadsworth temperament scale categories

Personality type Main Driver Dominant Traits
Normal Self Mastery, Law Abiding, Conservative, Highly adaptable to different social groups, desire to conform, better control over emotions
Hustler Self Interest Material success is important, Tact and diplomacy, Selfish, Good at negotiations
Mover Enthusiastic (High energy) Extroverted, Highly social, Cheerful, Hopefulness, Multi-tasking
Double Checker Similar to Mover, (High energy) Negativity Cautious, Self-critical, Pessimistic, Empathetic and prone to stress and anxiety
Artist Introspective Shy, Reflective, Sensitive, Self-consciousness, Imaginative, Creative, Socially reserved
Politician Ego Competitive, Argumentative, Status, Prestige and Power sensitive, Ambitious
Engineer Fastidious Detail-oriented, Objective, Systematic, Precise, Meticulous, Task Driven

 

Obviously, Humms – Wadsworth Scale cannot be compared to Big Five Personality test. But Humm was able to prove the validity of their test to +0.72 between test results and ability to predict job performance. In addition, Humm was the person who constructed the test worked on theoretical aspect of it and Wadsworth was the statistician.

Today, top companies employ psychometric tests for recruiting and quality purposes. These tests help in finding suitable from people of the same educational achievement by assessing the personality with cognition.   In conclusion career assessment tests or psychometric tests helps reduce human biases to provide solutions when it comes to finding a suitable match for job. Since, it is tougher to assess personality of individuals just by interviewing.

read also Open schooling Experience

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Memory decoded part 1 : Why do we forget?

Memory decodedReading Time: 4 minutes

Ever felt a little deceived by yourself when giving a test and having to forget a topic which you had studied thoroughly.One feels helpless especially during these times. Memory is also quite complex to fully understand and grasp. But, the upside is research has helped making it easier. This means we know that why learning, forgetting or memorizing happens.

Even speaking scientifically there are many grey areas which still require adequate clarity over the matter. Research in memory has led to evolving methods to study rather efficiently, help treat Amnesia, Alzheimer, Parkinson and Training. 

When we talk of memory we broadly concern ourselves with two factors,

  1. Memorizing

  2. Forgetting 

From academic point of view the former suggests ability (if one calls it ability) to recall or recognize information that is already processed. The latter seems to hinder our most important cognitive function of recognizing or recalling information as and when we please. 

 

Off course we would want to remember everything and not forget anything. This feat has been achieved by a few, to give an example, Kim Peek suits the description. A Savant who could read a book in just one hour. He remembered everything he read. But Kim was a genius with a split brain.

Since the article’s title is Why do we forget?, we shall stick to why or what factors can make us forget where others can limit forgetting. 

Believe it or not forgetting is an intrinsic part of learning or remembering. Brain meaningless information easily. To state it simply brain seems to forget information which is less useful and keeps which we use often.

From point of view of giving exam, memory has often disappointed us when sitting and recalling in examination hall. 

Memory for a simplistic understanding can be divided into 2 types, 

  1. Long term memory

  2. Short term memory

 

From exam and other relevant information long-term memory is the point of discussion. Generally accepted view is that information with respect to time fades as time passes by. However, this viewpoint is credited much with.

 

Forgetting happens, because :

 

  • Interference,

Psychologists say that people tend to forget when people information currently being learned interferes with information which is already there. For example, you already know how to drive a bike but now, for a long time are driving a car. Then you probably have forgotten how to drive a bike. It may be that you would now need a little brush up before driving a bike.

  • We consciously choose to remember things rest we forget,

Act of choosing has importance when it comes to memory. It helps the mind direct effort to certain more relevant or important details of the subject matter. Retrieval inhibition is a phenomena where you remember details of information that you consciously made an effort to remember but forget other related details. 

Example, from a list of 50 names of cities if you try to remember 30 rest 20 you will forget.

  • Memory distortion or biases,

It occurs as and when we are presented with facts or details which were not known to us. We are programmed to view the world through “lens” ,  everyone has a different lens. We have these lenses which are biases.These biases also protects our very own existence (personality, beliefs etc).

People under interrogation tend to produce more just opinion of themselves than they usually are or would have been.

  • What is hard to remember, we simply choose to forget it,

Memory is linked to emotions and mood. We tend to forget things which have caused us great pain and suffering. These are repressed memories.  Freud, had argued that repressed memories are pushed into unconscious mind where they persists causing psychological problems. 

  • Memory reconstruction or False memories, 

Sometimes the case is such that we create memories rather than having experienced it. This can certainly be the case when eyewitnesses are called to give their testimony pertaining a case. It has been found that many a times eyewitnesses themselves are not aware of false memory reconstruction happening. 

You may ask why? This happens because many a times people fail to identify origin of such memories. To state it simply, many a times eyewitness will fail to discern source or origin from where memory would be coming. 

  • Mood congruence effect,

This essentially mean even mood effects are memory. Mood serves as retrieval cue. We are more likely to remember things when we are in good mood. Also, we are likely to remember a positive information in good mood and similarly as negative information in bad mood. 

You can understand it as, if you had a bad day you are most likely to remember all the bad things that had happened to you. 

Memory is funny but it is very useful. Honing it, is a challenge. Practice and training can help improving memory to an extent. At best memory works as sequence or array of information not as isolated bits information. 

Read Also, Memory Hacks

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Good luck!!

 

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Using Pomodoro technique to study better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Ever heard the advice from parents boasting that in their time they used to study night and day for an exam and probably wondered is that all there is to get good marks. Sitting and studying for longer duration will certainly get you in list of toppers, right? .. Wrong! Actually slogging for long hours may not be that beneficial. Chances are, you would forget most of it.

You have heard this phrase “All work no play, makes Jim a dull boy”. Turns out this is true regarding your work efficiency. Studying continuously for long hours will make you prone to mental exhaustion.

 

However, this doesn’t mean that you entertain the idea that studying for shorter duration. Doesn’t work that way.

 

There are many examples when students of schools, colleges and institutes ask that how many hours of study is required to score good marks or clear an examination.

 

Obviously, much of discussion revolves around the number of hours taken proportional to your result. There seems to be a tacitly agreed upon consensus that more numbers of hours (time) one puts in more better will be the result.

 

Coming back to the antithesis established in first para, that studying for 15 hours duration on average is not beneficial but debilitating.

To our rescue there is a technique which helps us study throughout the day and is not so menacing as methods suggested by our parents/peers talked about. Time is of the utmost importance, when we are studying. We can use time more efficiently and perhaps do less mental labor.

 

A time management technique that helps,

 

Pomodoro technique

 

This method of time management was invented by Francesco Cirillo. Believe it or not the technique suggests taking breaks and fragmenting studying sessions into intervals. So, in a way it is suggesting you to take breaks in between your study sessions.

 

Step by step guide to use study session

  1. Study for 25 – 30 minutes.
  2. Take break but not longer than 1o minutes.
  3. Study again for 25- 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat these study sessions with short intervals or breaks in between those study sessions (breaks should not extend beyond 10 mins).
  5. After approximately 5 such sessions you would have studied for  2.5 hours and your break would have been 40 minutes.
  6. After 5 such study sessions it is suggested taking a longer break of about 25- 30 minutes. This will replenish you again for intensive study sessions.
  7. Study throughout the day using this technique. You will feel less exhausted.

 

Pomodoro technique allows for mind to replenish by taking systematic breaks. It helps reduce procrastination also. You can study longer more effectively without mentally exhausting yourself. It makes you more efficient in your studies. This way you will be doing smart work and not just hard work.

 

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The Marshmallow Experiment, Success determinant?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

So, do you like one marshmallow? or two or three for that matter. The more the merrier (assuming you like marshmallow). The marshmallow study was conducted by Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel during the 1960s and 1970s as series of experiments.

The study was insightful as it provided an explanation for some becoming successful later on in their life and others not so.

 

The experiment was successful in finding a link between self control and success. The idea so perpetuated then was that delayed gratification can make or break it for you. Off course will power, persistence, determination etc were linked to it.

 

So, what was the experiment?

The experiment conducted with some children. Children separately were brought to a room and offered one marshmallow.

Subsequently, children were offered a choice.

 

They could either eat it or they could wait for sometime (while the first marshmallow was kept right in front of them as temptation) and get another one if they had not eaten the first marshmallow.

 

So, essentially to get the second marshmallow kids would have to resist the temptation of not eating the first. This meant that every kid put into such a situation had to resist the feeling of not eating the first marshmallow so as to receive another for a certain amount of time.

 

Observations

Some children were able to delay the gratification and could resist the temptation of not eating the first marshmallow. While others simply gave into the temptation.

 

What does this imply?

 

Delaying the gratification had larger implications. Those children who were able to delay the gratification and those who could not were tracked for more than 35- 40 years to see how they fare in life.

 

Fast forward, children were tracked and assessed to find that only those who could resist the temptation had fared well in their respective careers as compared to those who ate the marshmallow right away.

 

You can also watch the video here – Marshmallow Test

What does this mean for you ?

 

Other than intelligence there are certain non-cognitive factors which determine your success. Intelligence will not do everything for you. Effort, self control, will, and delaying gratification are important factors in determining how successful you will become in life.

 

Current research is questioning the established view of this experiment. It finds that it is variable along socio-economic status and susceptible to cultural variations.

Can also read – Pavlovian conditioning

Your takeaway from it,

Non-cognitive factors such as will, self control, and delaying gratification have positive impact in determining your success.

 

Traits such as being disciplined or having strong will-power and even good self control can help you achieve your goals in life. Even if you are not that intelligent there is good enough chance of you succeeding in life if you have these attributes. As intelligence alone does not determine success.

 

Goodluck to you!!!

 

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NeuroScience says you become mature at 25

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

In many societies you become eligible to vote when you turn 18. This rests on sound logic that you are mature now to elect your representative. When is comes to drinking alcohol, WHO reports that in almost 65 percent of the countries drinking age is 18 and above. Some of the countries like Sri lanka, Pakistan and USA have 21 years and above as legal age to be consuming alcohol. Legal age for girls to get married is 18 years in India.

 

Why I am telling you all this, is because such distinctions are rested up on the fact that roughly 18 years is considered as the age when you get matured enough to vote, drink or marry.

 

So, 18 years seems fair, right?

 

Wrong! at least Neuroscientists don’t agree with it. According to Dr Sandra Aamadt, we are likely to get mature around 25 years of age. To put more clarity to it first let’s talk about maturity first.

 

What is maturity?

Maturity is the ability to make a good sound judgement and have average if not better decision making ability. To make it more simpler you know what you are doing? Why you are doing it?

 

Research By Dr Aamodt,

 

Brain scans shows that prefrontal cortex of the brain develops well beyond the age of 18. The prefrontal cortex of brain is responsible for decision making and judgement. The research also suggests that roughly around 25 years, one becomes mature enough to make sound decisions.

 

The prefrontal cortex regulates our emotions, social interactions, risk assessment and planning.

If the age maturity is 25 then it has some serious implications. Like for example Punishment award system to criminals, Age of marriage, Consent laws, Education etc.

 

The scholar suggests a flexible system which accounts for different age for different functions. There can be exceptions to this rule since there could be people who mature at 18-19 or may be 21 years of age.

 

However, the study points generally maturity strikes at 25 or may be little over that. Since your prefrontal cortex keeps developing beyond 18.

 

So, if you have done something you regret or may be feel guilt about before you turned 25. You could forgive yourself or ask for forgiveness knowing maybe you weren’t that  mature enough to take good decision.

 

Goodluck!!!

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The Psychology of Voting – Indian Elections 2019 Special

Indian Election 2019Reading Time: 3 minutes

We all have voted at one point of our life. With the elections running in India, this article looks at the psychology behind voting behavior. Read on.

 

 

The election season is active in India as the voters are exercising their right to elect the next Prime Minister of India. While the Lok Sabha elections are proving to be a feisty affair as the election campaigning reach fever pitch, but how does a voter make a decision?

This article talks about the psychology of voting behavior and how research has tried to analyze elections, especially voters.

 

The Altruistic Act of Voting

 

Voting in itself is one of the most altruistic acts that a person can do. A person takes out time and makes an effort to cast his/her vote, in which he/she may not even get the reward. It is an act for the hope of greater good of society.

So, it is always interesting to know what motivates one to vote. Research over the years has tried to answer by analyzing various data sets over the years in the context of western nations. Let’s see what they talk about.

 

Party Identification

 

The most powerful indicator of a voter’s preference is his/her identification towards a particular political party. If a person, for example, has over the course of his life has always associated with one party, he/she is more likely to vote for that party.

Research has shown that this association usually strengthens as the voter gets old. So, this is a fairly strong predictor of a voter’s motivation.

 

Perception of the Candidate

 

Studies have also shown that the voter’s perception of the candidates plays an important role in their voting behavior. Election campaigning plays an important role in creating and maintaining perceptions about the candidates.

That is why most campaigns save their advertising money for the last phase of the campaign to try to have a last impression before the voter votes.

 

First Impression is the Lasting Impression

 

However, research has shown that first impressions are very powerful. It usually informs the voter early on about the candidate. So, ideally, it would be best if the candidate used his campaign money on early advertisements.

 

Excited About Newcomers

 

Another assumption among political observers is that people are cynical about politicians and often expect the worst from them. But interestingly research has shown that people are actually eager to learn about new and upcoming candidates in elections.

They actually approach the new politician with optimism and hope for someone, to be honest about his/her work. For example, when the Aam Aadmi Party came, it was earlier accepted by all as a party that would bring change in politics in India.

 

Ill-Information Works Best

 

Studies have shown that voters are especially attuned to unfavorable information about political candidates. If a voter learns a bad thing about a candidate which damages his reputation, that information is more likely to stick.

On the other hand, any good information learned by the voters about the candidate doesn’t have that much influence. So, that is why we see during election campaigning negative advertisements everywhere criticizing the opponent.

 

The Primary Effect

 

There are also various voters who remain unaffected by all the campaigning and remain undecided till the voting day. They make their decision on the voting day itself. It has been found that sometimes the undecided voter, often makes the decision based on what’s the name of the voting list.

As a result, it has been found that candidates who have the first name in the voting list, end up getting 2.3% more votes on average than other candidates. And that small percentage matters a lot in close election races.

 

To Conclude

So, no matter who you vote for in this Indian election, remember all of these ways that you, the voter is influenced into voting. Happy voting everyone, till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Braindpundits!

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Use Ebbinghaus forgetting curve to memorize better

Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Believe it or not forgetting is natural part of learning anything.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, German Psychologist, is credited with research on forgetting when learning. Ebbinghaus had discovered that much of what we read/learn is forgotten during the first hour of learning itself.

 

Memory works in a way, that it remembers meaningful information more easily and it stays longer than meaningless information. Meaningless information is simply any information which is not in use for brain or has run out it utility. Example, it could be that information which you read for an exam and post examination have problem recalling it. Mind has an intriguing way or remembering and rejecting information. 

 

Ebbinghaus had conducted experiment for both meaningful and meaningless retention. However, Meaningless information is important for us to study because by knowing why we forget our course material we would be able to understand and find solutions for it.

 

Below is retention (y-axis) vs time lapsed (x-axis) graph

 fig. 1

In figure 1, Notice the retention drops substantially in the first hour itself. Much of what we learnt (around 80 percent) is forgotten after 2 days only. This is found to be natural and universal, meaning all exhibit this phenomenon with little variations.

However, Good news is that you can change it by disrupting the pattern exhibited in Curve.

 

READ also SQ3R method of studying

Key essence is to minimise forgetting is periodic revisions of course/lectures/study material

Figure 2 Image from www.salesactivator.com/resources/blog/impactful-curve-forgetting/

 

The point is to revise periodically whatever you have  studied or read. The periodic revisions will help you retain better with least amount of mental effort.

Best way to do it is

  1. Revise after learning it once, or after attending a lecture.
  2. Again, Revise a day after your have learnt it.
  3. Again, Revise a week later.
  4. And Again, Revise a 28 days/month after learning.

In figure 2, notice that at approximately 75 percent on the y-scale (retentivity) there is an acute fall in remembering/retention. So after every learning session you should revise/review the course/notes/study material.

 

Hermann Ebbinghaus, has provided a gainful insight on how are memory works and how forgetting happens. The stressing viewpoint here is that this forgetting can be subject to change and you can maximize your learning.

Goodluck!!!