Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Konnikova , Maria (2013-01-03), Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Viking Adult, Retrieved on 2013-03-21
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  • Folksonomies: psychology mindfulness

    Memes

    21 MAR 2013

     Childhood is Naturally Mindful

    As children, we are remarkably aware. We absorb and process information at a speed that we’ll never again come close to achieving. New sights, new sounds, new smells, new people, new emotions, new experiences: we are learning about our world and its possibilities. Everything is new, everything is exciting, everything engenders curiosity. And because of theinherent newness of our surroundings, we are exquisitely alert; we are absorbed; we take it all in. And what’s more, we remember: becau...
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    In our youth, we are curious and attentive to every detail surrounding us, not yet distinguishing by the usefulness of the information. As adults, we take everything for granted, ignoring the familiar and walking through life in a mindless state.

    23 MAR 2013

     The Scientific Method is About the "Elementary"

    When we think of the scientific method, we tend to think of an experimenter in his laboratory, probably holding a test tube and wearing a white coat, who follows a series of steps that runs something like this: make some observations about a phenomenon; create a hypothesis to explain those observations; design an experiment to test the hypothesis; run the experiment; see if the results match your expectations; rework your hypothesis if you must; lather, rinse, and repeat. Simple seeming enoug...
      1  notes

    Even academicians working in the most erudite realms of knowledge are working from a foundation of firmly-established elementary principles.

    23 MAR 2013

     The Watson/Holmes Modes of Thought

    As Holmes reminds us, “Like all other arts, the Science of Deduction and Analysis is one which can only be acquired by long and patient study nor is life long enough to allow any mortal to attain the highest possible perfection in it.” But it’s also more than mere fancy. In essence, it comes down to one simple formula: to move from a System Watson– to a System Holmes–governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation. (That, and a lot of practice.) Mindfulness, in the sense of cons...
    Folksonomies: mindfulness
    Folksonomies: mindfulness
      1  notes

    Watson is on autopilot, Holmes is mindfulness.

    23 MAR 2013

     Sherlock Holmes Guards His Mind

    Holmes and Watson don’t just differ in the stuff of their attics—in one attic, the furniture acquired by a detective and selfproclaimed loner, who loves music and opera, pipe smoking and indoor target practice, esoteric works on chemistry and renaissance architecture; in the other, that of a war surgeon and self-proclaimed womanizer, who loves a hearty dinner and a pleasant evening out—but in the way their minds organize that furniture to begin with. Holmes knows the biases of his attic...
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    He is keenly aware of how emotions can doom him, and is ever vigilant against letting corrupt memories into his mind to corrupt his judgement.

    23 MAR 2013

     You Can Choose Your Memories

    In the earliest days of research, memory was thought to be populated with socalled engrams, memory traces that were localized in specific parts of the brain. To locate one such engram—for the memory of a maze—psychologist Karl Lashley taught rats to run through a labyrinth. He then cut out various parts of their brain tissue and put them right back into the maze. Though the rats’ motor function declined and some had to hobble or crawl their way woozily through the twists and turns, the ...
    Folksonomies: memory mindfulness
    Folksonomies: memory mindfulness
      1  notes

    We can cognitively choose what memories will be stored longterm and which to let go, but we normally operate on autopilot, allowing novelties into our longterm memory-space.

    23 MAR 2013

     Emotions Happen, But Don't Let Them Cloud Judgement

    let’s revisit that initial encounter in The Sign of Four, when Mary Morstan, the mysterious lady caller, first makes her appearance. Do the two men see Mary in the same light? Not at all. The first thing Watson notices is the lady’s appearance. She is, he remarks, a rather attractive woman. Irrelevant, counters Holmes. “It is of the first importance not to allow your judgment to be biased by personal qualities,” he explains. “A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The...
    Folksonomies: emotion mindfulness
    Folksonomies: emotion mindfulness
      1  notes

    Another example using Watson and Holmes.

    24 MAR 2013

     Directing Focus

    When psychologist Peter Gollwitzer tried to determine how to enable people to set goals and engage in goal-directed behavior as effectively as possible, he found that several things helped improve focus and performance: (1) thinking ahead, or viewing the situation as just one moment on a larger, longer timeline and being able to identify it as just one point to get past in order to reach a better future point; (2) being specific and setting specific goals, or defining your end point as discre...
    Folksonomies: mindfulness focus
    Folksonomies: mindfulness focus
      1  notes

    Peter Gollwitzer's rules for maintaining focus.

    24 MAR 2013

     Enthusiasm Improves Productivity

    When we are engaged in what we are doing, all sorts of things happen. We persist longer at difficult problems—and become more likely to solve them. We experience something that psychologist Tory Higgins refers to as flow, a presence of mind that not only allows us to extract more from whatever it is we are doing but also makes us feel better and happier: we derive actual, measurable hedonic value from the strength of our active involvement in and attention to an activity, even if the activi...
    Folksonomies: attention focus enthusiasm
    Folksonomies: attention focus enthusiasm
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    And it creates a cycle of enthusiasm as our accomplishments increase our positive outlook on the task, increasing our focus.

    24 MAR 2013

     Imagination Builds On Our Experiences

    ...you can’t have a storage space that is filled to the brim with boxes. How would you ever come inside? Where would you pull out the boxes to find what you need? How would you even see what boxes were available and where they might be found? You need space. You need light. You need to be able to access your attic’s contents, to walk inside and look around and see what is what. And within that space, there is freedom. You can temporarily place there all of the observations you’ve gathe...
    Folksonomies: knowledge imagination
    Folksonomies: knowledge imagination
      1  notes

    It works within the confines of what we know and how we can work with that knowledge.

    24 MAR 2013

     Our Minds Demand Closure

    In 1927, Gestalt psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik noticed a funny thing: waiters in a Vienna restaurant could remember only orders that were in progress. As soon as the order was sent out and complete, they seemed to wipe it from memory. Zeigarnik then did what any good psychologist would do: she went back to the lab and designed a study. A group of adults and children was given anywhere between eighteen and twenty-two tasks to perform (both physical ones, like making clay figures, and mental one...
    Folksonomies: memory motivation closure
    Folksonomies: memory motivation closure
      1  notes

    Without closure we are more likely to remember something, a lack of closure bothers us and motivates us.

    24 MAR 2013

     Benefits of Even Casual Meditation

    In 2011, researchers from the University of Wisconsin studied a group of people who were not in the habit of meditating and instructed them in the following manner: relax with your eyes closed and focus on the flow of your breath at the tip of your nose; if a random thought arises, acknowledge the thought and then simply let it go by gently bringing your attention back to the flow of your breath. For fifteen minutes, the participants attempted to follow these guidelines. Then they were broken...
    Folksonomies: science meditation
    Folksonomies: science meditation
      1  notes

    Even introductory mediation pushed practitioners into the left-brain(?) and positive/approach-oriented emotional states.

    29 MAR 2013

     Overconfidence Breeds Error

    In one classic demonstration, clinical psychologists were asked to give confidence judgments on a personality profile. They were given a case report in four parts, based on an actual clinical case, and asked after each part to answer a series of questions about the patient’s personality, such as his behavioral patterns, interests, and typical reactions to life events. They were also asked to rate their confidence in their responses. With each section, background information about the case i...
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    The more a person knows about a subject, the more likely they are to make mistakes in judgement.

    29 MAR 2013

     Learning New Langugages Instills Brain Growth

    Even something that has been traditionally seen as the purview of the young—the ability to learn new languages —continues to change the landscape of the brain late into life. When a group of adults took a nine-month intensive course in modern standard Chinese, their brains’ white matter reorganized progressively (as measured monthly) in the left hemisphere language areas and their right hemisphere counterparts—as well as in t h e genu (anterior end) of the corpus collosum, that networ...
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    Adults who learned Chinese showed white matter reorganization in their brains.

    29 MAR 2013

     Belief VS Evidence

    Our own view of what is and is not possible in reality affects how we perceive identical evidence. But that view shifts with time, and thus, evidence that might at one point seem meaningless can come to hold a great deal of meaning. Think of how many ideas seemed outlandish when first put forward, seemed so impossible that they couldn’t be true: the earth being round; the earth going around the sun; the universe being made up almost entirely of something that we can’t see, dark matter and...
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    Many great minds have been taken in by supernatural ideas.

    29 MAR 2013

     The Growth Mindset

    In a recent study, a group of psychologists decided to see if this differential reaction is simply behavioral, or if it actually goes deeper, to the level of brain performance. The researchers measured response-locked event-related potentials (ERPs)—electric neural signals that result from either an internal or external event—in the brains of college students as they took part in a simple flanker task. The students were shown a string of five letters and asked to quickly identify the midd...
    Folksonomies: intelligence plasticity
    Folksonomies: intelligence plasticity
      1  notes

    Understanding that intelligence is plastic and improvable increases performance on certain tests.

    24 MAR 2013

     Video Games Improve Attention

    When we want to engage, believe me, we can. And not only will we then make fewer mistakes of perception, but we will become the types of focused, observant people that we may have thought we were incapable of becoming. Even children who have been diagnosed with ADHD can find themselves able to focus on certain things that grab them, that activate and engage their minds. Like video games. Time after time, video games have proven able to bring out the attentional resources in people that they n...
    Folksonomies: attention video games
    Folksonomies: attention video games
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    And that attentional improvement rolls over into other areas of life.

    24 MAR 2013

     Attentive States of Mind

    Whether you think of it as a sin, a temptation, a lazy habit of mind, or a medical condition, the phenomenon begs the same question: why is it so damn hard to pay attention? It’s not necessarily our fault. As neurologist Marcus Raichle learned after decades of looking at the brain, our minds are wired to wander. Wandering is their default. Whenever our thoughts are suspended between specific, discrete, goal-directed activities, the brain reverts to a so-called baseline, “resting” state...
    Folksonomies: attention mindfulness
    Folksonomies: attention mindfulness
      1  notes

    Why is it so hard to maintain? The brain has a default "resting" state of inattetiveness, multitasking confuses our attentiveness.