I already know, so don’t flood my inbox with answers.

(Photo by Claire Mueller on Unsplash)

Men fold. Women crumble.

While discussing a research project with a friend, she commented, “Did you know that most men fold and most women crumple?” “No. I did not,” snickering. She challenged me to solve that pesky problem. …


Neuroscience and the Classroom

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Guess what number will turn up if I roll one die.

Predict what number will turn up if I roll a pair of die.

While the difference appears subtle, it produces significant effects.

Guessing

When you guess what number will appear when I roll a single die, the odds are…


The Neuroscience behind our beliefs and how they influence creativity

Photo by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

Are you creative? If you believe you are, how did that belief develop?

Maybe it happened incrementally with parents and teachers lauding your efforts and commenting on your brilliant creative efforts. Perhaps your belief erupted suddenly from an unexpected comment.

Sorting this out may surprise you. As a researcher of…


Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

Do Beliefs Emerge or Erupt?

Ponder this: If you label a behavior, does it become a belief?

Five-year-old Zachary remembers daydreaming for what seemed like an eternity while waiting for his Grandma to get ready for a shopping trip. She said, “Thanks for waiting. Such patience you have Zachary.” Zachary claims that his Grandma’s remark…


We all experience defining moments in our lives. What events shaped your beliefs about yourself? What are your formative moments?

Random events transform us. Beliefs about our abilities, confidence, and self-esteem often arise from unpredictable events. They may appear trivial to others while significant to us.

Are you clever? How…


Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash

To see how our brains construct our interpersonal reality, let’s start with a simple illustration of how our brains continuously predict events in the concrete world.

Concrete Events

Imagine you’re blindfolded in your home and placed sitting at the foot of your bed. I give you a task: Make your…


Avoid empty praise and move toward prescriptive encouragement.

Image by PIRO4D from Pixabay

Before you read further, choose from the four options below. What’s the relationship between self-esteem and school success? I define self-esteem as a person’s overall sense of personal value, self-worth.

Option 1: The correlation is positive. When one increases, so does the…


Support or resign

Many on the left keep hoping that Republican members of Congress will call out President Trump. They shouldn’t, even if they disagree with him. To do so is disingenuous.

If you hold elected office, you swore to uphold those you represent. If your constituents don’t reflect your views/beliefs, resign. Republicans attacking Trump make themselves hypocrites. It’s an act of deceit.

Pundits say that conservatives find themselves between a rock and a hard place. No, no, no. No rock. No hard place. It just is.

Trump received more votes than any Republican hopeful in history. He’s arguably the most popular president in the annals of that party. Liberals expecting conservatives to see the light show their arrogance. This “light” of illumination translates to seeing things my way.

That said, I’m guilty too, and I wish everybody saw the world the way I do.


Image by Philip Friis from Pixabay

Watch for Surprises

When you turn on your Meaning-Making-Moment radar, you become the architect of your belief system.

While working on her poem at the kitchen table, Lauren’s father entered the room and commented, “You work too hard at your schoolwork.” The comment surprised her.

She explained to her father, “This is the…


Just like the Indy racers

(Photo by shen liu on Unsplash)

It’s socialized, not socialism.

I get it. When you look at some failed socialist states, it stirs fear. Caution though, socialized concepts are not socialism any more than playing catch means you’re playing baseball.

Let’s play catch.

If you watch sports, game shows, American Idol, Survivor, you want the players…

Michael Rousell, PhD

Michael Rousell PhD is the author of The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs. He studies life-changing events.

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