Empathetic Children Are Better at Learning

In a study, the least gullible children were the ones who accurately interpreted emotional cues as well as the most verbally capable.

Childhood psychology has long studied how children learn and synthesize information, but less understood is the way children understand adults. Certain negative interactions with adults — such as lying — have been examined at length, while more positive ones — such as attention disorders — have been less understood.

Interested in how children connect language and “theory of mind” (i.e., empathy), researchers in Canada constructed an experiment that set out to connect juvenile empathy with learning. As Science Daily reports: “The participants were first introduced to several different figurines and given some background information about each: Mr. Jones likes carrots; Linda thinks her cat is hiding in the bushes; Polly and Peter have never seen what's inside the box. The children were then asked to theorize about what kind of snack Mr. Jones would want, where Linda would search for her dog and what Polly and Peter would think was inside the box.”

It could be said that childhood psychology may not be so much a field that evolved to understand children as it is to understand adults.

The least gullible children were the ones who accurately interpreted the figurines’ emotions as well as the most verbally capable. Moreover, these children selectively gravitated toward the figurines that were the most reliable.

Emotional competence, which builds learning skills, comes better through game play than traditional classroom lessons, says professional educator Eva Moskowitz

The 4 types of thinking talents: Analytic, procedural, relational and innovative

Understanding thinking talents in yourself and others can build strong teams and help avoid burnout.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to collaborate within a team and identify "thinking talent" surpluses – and shortages.
  • Angie McArthur teaches intelligent collaboration for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Herodotus’ mystery vessel turns out to have been real

Archeologists had been doubtful since no such ship had ever been found.

(Christoph Gerigk/Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation)
Surprising Science
  • In 450 BCE, Greek historian Herodotus described a barge that's never been found.
  • When the ancient port of Thonis-Heracleion was discovered, some 70 sunken ships were found resting in its waters.
  • One boat, Ship 17, uncannily matches the Herodotus' description.
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are drained for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

Credit: Business Insider (video)
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan: The gender paradox and the importance of competition

The Canadian professor has been on the Joe Rogan Experience six times. There's a lot of material to discuss.

Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson has constantly been in the headlines for his ideas on gender over the last three years.
  • While on Joe Rogan's podcast, he explains his thoughts on the gender differences in society.
  • On another episode, Peterson discusses the development of character through competition.
Keep reading Show less