What stops people from changing their minds?

A persistent barrage of information is not the best method for getting through to someone with a different point of view.

  • When you want someone to see things differently and to abandon their previous stance, sometimes persistence is not key.
  • "Too often we think change is about pushing," says Jonah Berger, author of the book The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, and a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. "We think if we just come up with one more way people will eventually come around."
  • Through speaking with people who have successfully changed minds of others, Berger identified five common barriers and created the REDUCE framework for finding the catalysts needed to break through: reactants, endowment, distance, uncertainty, and corroborating evidence.
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What does kindness look like? It wears a mask.

Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling has an important favor to ask of the American people.

Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York state. In this PSA, speaking as someone whose company has seen more COVID-19 patients than any other in the country, Dowling implores Americans to wear masks—not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.
  • The CDC reports that there have been close to 7.9 million cases of coronavirus reported in the United States since January. Around 216,000 people have died from the virus so far with hundreds more added to the tally every day. Several labs around the world are working on solutions, but there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
  • The most basic thing that everyone can do to help slow the spread is to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and to wear a mask. The CDC recommends that everyone ages two and up wear a mask that is two or more layers of material and that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Gaiters and face shields have been shown to be less effective at blocking droplets. Homemade face coverings are acceptable, but wearers should make sure they are constructed out of the proper materials and that they are washed between uses. Wearing a mask is the most important thing you can do to save lives in your community.
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How music therapy benefits the autistic brain

While the benefits of music therapy are well known, more in-depth research explores how music benefits children with autism.

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  • Music is used in many different therapies. Used in conjunction with traditional therapies, music therapy benefits us in a variety of different ways.
  • According to a 2004 study, music intervention used with children and teens with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) can improve their social behaviors, increase focus and attention, and reduce their anxiety and improve body awareness.
  • Various music therapy activities and tools can be used to help improve the quality of life of children with autism.
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Can't stop unwanted thoughts? Poor sleep may be to blame, study says

The study sheds new light on the relationship between sleep and mental health.

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  • Poor sleep has been linked to many health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and a shortened lifespan.
  • A new study suggests that poor sleep also impairs the brain's ability to suppress unwanted thoughts.
  • The researchers suspect this is because not getting enough sleep disrupts the brain's executive control functions.
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Viewing nature in VR or on television boosts wellbeing, study finds

"Interacting" with nature through virtual reality applications had especially strong benefits, according to the study.

Hawksbill Sea Turtle in Indian ocean

Credit: Jag_cz via Adobe Stock
Mind & Brain
  • Previous studies have shown that spending time in nature can lead to a variety of mental and physical health benefits.
  • The new study involved exposing people to a high-definition nature program through one of three mediums: TV, VR and interactive VR.
  • The results suggest that nature programs may be an easy and effective way to give people a "dose" of nature, which may be especially helpful during pandemic lockdowns.
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How confident are you in making decisions?

New research pinpoints the neurons responsible for your choices.

Mind & Brain
  • Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn linked confidence in decision-making to neurons in the medial temporal lobe.
  • Learned memories appear to instill confidence in many of the decisions you make.
  • The team believes identifying these individual neurons opens up new areas of research moving forward.
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How to use psychology to increase workplace productivity

Here are 5 ways to make your workplace better and your workforce happier.

Mind & Brain
  • "Productivity of work isn't the responsibility of a worker yet of a manager," said famed management consultant Peter Drucker.
  • Psychology tells us again and again that emotionally intelligent leadership, which recognizes the humanity in others, is a driving force of productivity.
  • Here are 5 simple but effective ways to increase performance and make a positive impact in your workplace.
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