Depressing New Study Shows Know-It-Alls Get Better Grades

Ugh. It turns out know-it-alls really may know it all.

New research by scientists at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, shows the more arrogant students are about their intellectual abilities, the greater their academic success.

“Those who think that their ideas are better than those around them were in fact the highest performers in terms of individual projects, such as exams,” Ben Meagher, the study’s lead author who is now a visiting professor at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, told The Huffington Post in an email.

The finding came as a big surprise to Meagher and his colleagues. They had predicted that having a realistic rather than inflated sense of one’s smarts would be associated with better grades, but that just wasn’t the case.

For the study, researchers followed 103 undergraduate psychology students as they worked in groups for an entire semester.

At the end of the term, each group member evaluated everyone on their team, including themselves. They rated each other on assertiveness, intelligence, openness and other traits.

The students who were rated as dominant, extroverted, wanting of attention, inflexible and inconsiderate by other group members were also rated as intellectually arrogant.

The researchers found those students were the most likely to have received high marks at the end of the semester.

But while intellectual arrogance may be associated with better grades, that doesn’t mean intellectually arrogant students get high grades because of their big heads.

“I suspect that it is more likely that students who tend to get better grades are aware of that fact, and so they (perhaps rightly) believe that their ideas are the best,” Meagher said in the email.

What’s more, intellectual arrogance just might backfire — at least when students work in a group. “People that are —> Read More

Psychologists Push For Smartphone Warning Labels

We’re used to seeing warning labels on alcohol, cigarettes and prescription drugs, for obvious reasons.

But if one group of scientists has anything to say about it, similar warning labels will soon be showing up on your smartphone or tablet.

Psychologists and computer scientists from Bournemouth University in the UK argue that the disclaimers should be added to personal digital devices so that people will be aware of the risks of excessive use.

“Excessive and obsessive usage and preoccupation about technology are associated with undesirable behaviors such as reduced creativity, depression and disconnection from reality,” Dr. Raian Ali, a professor of computing at the university and the study’s lead author, said in a statement.

He’s right. A growing body of research suggests that the Internet, smartphones and social media are all potentially addictive. And with the increasing digital saturation of our daily lives, it’s easy to lose awareness of the amount of time we’re spending in front of screens and how it’s affecting us.

For this reason, the researchers say, warning labels on personal devices should be considered a “social responsibility” for technology developers.

In a study published in March, Ali and his colleagues surveyed 72 adult technology users, and found that 80 percent were receptive to the idea of warning labels on digital devices. Roughly 30 percent said they thought warning labels were a good idea and that labels might encourage people to use their digital devices more mindfully.

The researchers flagged 11 male and female respondents (all between the ages of 19 and 35) whose survey results suggested that they were addicted to their devices and who indicated interest in the warning labels. They also flagged four people who did not think warning labels would be effective. Through 30-minute —> Read More

Difficulty processing speech may be an effect of dyslexia, not a cause

The cognitive skills used to learn how to ride a bike may be the key to a more accurate understanding of developmental dyslexia. And, they may lead to improved interventions. Scientists investigated how procedural learning how individuals with dyslexia learn speech sound categories. They found that learning complex auditory categories through procedural learning is impaired in dyslexia. —> Read More

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