Following a lead this morning in my ongoing attempt to reverse engineer the brain’s sleep-onset control system (SOCS), I came across a lush collection of articles on the brain’s propensity to predict. Continue reading Promising Research Problems are Like F-16’s
Earlier this year I described a grant proposal to research knowledge workers’ cognitive productivity. Tomorrow (July 25, 2015), I will present my second CogSci 2015 poster (in Pasadena, California). This one is co-authored with Prof. Geneviève Gauthier of the University of Alberta and Prof. Philip H. Winne of Simon Fraser University. It is humbly called “Cognitive Productivity Can Cognitive Science Improve How Knowledge Workers Use IT to Learn from Source Material?” If you read this blog, you know the answer is “yes”. So the questions really are:
This afternoon, we will present preliminary results on the cognitive shuffle at CogSci 2015 in Pasadena (that’s the annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society). This is research with Professor Nancy Digdon from MacEwan. I’m looking forward to receiving feedback from our peers on this research.
Review of “Checking email less frequently reduces stress” (Kushlev & Dunn, 2015)
Knowledge workers are now having to deal with unprecedented levels of information, on a number of different platforms and devices. We are constantly bombarded, and one of the most inescapable arenas of assault is our email inbox. Many people have difficulty managing their inboxes, organizing work and home emails, dealing with the daily influx, and adhering to the expectation that they respond to emails quickly. Managing your inbox requires that you attend to it, which means frequently switching between email and other tasks. Attention is a limited resource, and other research has shown that people whose cognitive resources are in excessive demand experience compromised well-being in other areas of their lives, like feelings of social connectedness and general life satisfaction.
I’ve published on my SFU blog a glossary of terms that I consider to be essential for understanding the development of competence in adults but that are not in the mainstream of cognitive science. Some of them are unknown because I’ve just recently introduced them, in Cognitive Productivity. Some of them have simply been relatively overlooked. Others existed but I’ve redefined them. These conceptual gaps, which I’ve tried to fill, are obstacles to knowledge-based learning and to understanding such learning.
I’ve been thinking a lot about rumination recently… actually have been for quite a while. Obviously, rumination can hinder productivity. Psychologists have looked at the dark-side of rumination, to the point of defining it as counterproductive. However, some measure of obsession and tenacity is required in order to stick with and solve hard problems. The history of expertise and creativity in science are a testament to such tenacity. (See the discussion of cognitive miserliness and other thinking dispositions in Cognitive Productivity. [Footnote 1] )
Continue reading On Ruminating and Intrusive Thinking…
Getting enough high quality sleep is important for cognitive productivity. I’ve developed a technique called the cognitive shuffle. This is a technique that you can use in bed to ease you into sleep. I always try to make it clear that it is not a silver bullet. I recently posted an article on mySleepButton about how it can be used with acceptance and commitment therapy. “Acceptance and commitment” is a “third wave” psychological framework that aims to help people better relate to the content their minds generate. (That framework has some dubious “behavioral” theoretical baggage which you can safely ignore.)
CogZest’s mission is “To help you use knowledge to become more effective.” We study, develop and celebrate expertise. I like working with great minds. (Who wouldn’t?) It improves my understanding of expertise and improves the quality of my work.
So, it’s a pleasure to reflect on the IT and web development services Jeff Rivett has provided to CogSci Apps Corp. and CogZest.
Continue reading Gratitude for an Excellent Web Developer/IT Service Provider
Yesterday, I was interviewed by Ian Jessop of CFAX 1050 Victoria on the topic of “Information Overload and Cognitive Productivity”. We had a good 20-minute chat. Here are some of my reflections on the topic.
Information Overload Myths and Realities
I recently applied for a 2-year SSHRC grant to study some of the problems with which Cognitive Productivity is concerned, such as
- the challenges knowledge workers face (a) in learning with technology and more generally (b) processing knowledge resources with technology;
- the effectiveness of proposed solutions to these challenges.
It is important to study these issues because we depend on knowledge workers to specify and solve humanity’s most critical and complex problems! These people are the “engine” of the knowledge economy.