Wednesday, November 27, 2013

See Difficulties as Opportunities


A great professor by the name of Carol Yeager once asked, “do you see difficulties as a problem or as a challenge?” My answer is, I used to see difficulties as a problem but now I seem them as an opportunity. According to Roya R. Rad, who wrote an article entitled “10 Characteristics of Good Problem Solvers”, good problem solvers “go beyond their own conditioning”. My conditioning was to automatically see difficulties as a problem. I was prone to ask myself “why did this happen to me?” or say to myself, “this isn’t fair”. However, this way of thinking did not help me at all. It left in a place of being unproductive. More and more as life goes on I realized that difficulties occur all the time to everyone, not just me. I also realized that some people are better able to handle difficulties more than others. I thought to my self, “why is that?” Well, there is saying that says “if you ask, you shall receive”. I surely did receive the answer from listening to many great people, one of them being a motivational speaker by the name of  Jim Rohn. He once said “you cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you change yourself”. This statement opened me up to realizing that I can change how I react towards difficulties. I can look at them as opportunities to grow. Instead of saying “why me”?, I can say “what can I do about this?” Too many times difficulties stop great things from happening. For instance, difficulties can lead to a friendship to being sour, especially if viewing it as a problem, that you may not want to deal with.  However, if one looks at this difficulty as an opportunity, most likely they will think of the best approach to it. This can result in a friendship being stronger as opposed to it ending. 


MA, PsyD, Roya. "10 Characteristics of Good Problem Solvers." The Huffington Post., 24 Nov. 2013. Web. 27 Nov. 2013. <>.
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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Students and Creativity

There are many reasons why students are not as creative. And yet there are many actions that can be taken to help them to be.

Here are some reasons why students are not as creative as they used to be:
- The No Child Left Behind program prohibits students from being creative because it leads them to focus on test scores as a oppose to thinking outside the box and being creative. Focusing on getting a better test score doesn't necessarily mean you are creative, it just means you have been studying hard for a test.

- Students believe that they will be successful in school if they can only have similar answers to teachers. This doesn't help a student to create, because this concept doesn't expand their mind.

Here are something's that can be done to change this:

-Encouraging kids to "pretend" helps them to be more creative.

-If teachers anticipate unexpected answers from students, it will provoke students to be more creative.

To add to this article, there are many things that can help a students be more creative such as creating plays and role playing and  taking classes classes that are not offered in many schools such as money management, knitting, crafting, painting and etc.


"Are Today's Youth Less Creative & Imaginative?." N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. <

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Cognitive Biases

Cognitive biases have an affect within our creativity whether we know it or not. After viewing a list of different cognitive biases, I was able to pinpoint which ones I have experienced in the past. In this blog I would like to share my experience as well as what I can do to avoid experiencing these cognitive biases in the future. The five biases I have experienced are the hindsight bias, the information bias, the status quo bias, the verbatim effect, and the Zeigarnik effect.

The hindsight bias is when a person is predictable about present experiences. For instance, I work in an office setting. My co-worker starts hers shift at ( am but every morning I predict that she will be at work a little after 10am. I predict this because everyday for the past 4 months, she has come in at that time. I could avoid this cognitive bias by thinking she will come in a little after 10 am. I can decide to no longer have a prediction and to change my perspective.

The information bias is when a person becomes fond of getting information even though they may not be affected by it. Sometimes I find myself yearning to know more information even though it may not help me in what I need to do. For instance, I once found myself looking up information in regards to going to school for engineering. I don’t want to become an engineer, but was seeking to simple find the information on it. I can avoid this by not being so curious of information that won’t help me.

The status quo bias has to do with one wanting things to stay the same. I have experienced this many times. For instance, there is a Thai restaurant that I love to go to. However, every time I go, I order the same meal because I know that it will taste good every time. Instead of having things remain relatively the same, I can choose a different dish from the menu next time and hopefully it will taste just as good or even better.

The verbatim effect is when someone remembers the “gist of what another person said as opposed to what they exactly said. I have done this many times to people. Because I am a straightforward person, I like to get to the point in conversation. This has led me to listen for “the point” during conversations rather than listen to what is being said verbatim.  To change this, I can listen to people by hearing exactly what they are saying and not rush them mentally to get the “gist” of what is being said.

The Zeigarnik effect is when a person focuses more on uncompleted tasks, rather than the completed ones. I tend to do this often, especially when it comes to school work. I would constantly remember what needs to be done and give all my attention towards that. This can be frustrating and overwhelming at times. However, can I can do going forward, I can embrace and appreciate the work that I have done and then look at the next step of what need to be completed. 

What cognitive biases have you experienced?

Tag:   #CMC11