Tag Archives: Child Development

Rewarding a Child’s Good Behavior Can Lead to… Bad Behavior

Study shows that our intuition about positive reinforcement can be exactly wrong: Rewarding a child’s sharing resulted in the child choosing to share less. Continue reading

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Study Shows Surprising Skill That Underlies Math and Reading

Kids tend to excel or struggle in math and reading together. That’s because one skill underlies both. Hint: It’s not just general intelligence. Continue reading

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Is Intrinsic Motivation Essential to School Success?

Big-data study smashes assumptions, shows that kids who are intrinsically motivated by math don’t score any higher than less intrinsically motivated peers. (But that kids who score high on assessments are likely to become intrinsically motivated…) Continue reading

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What Creates the Human Idea of Fairness?

MIT study of Tsimane’ People shows how fairness switches from “egalitarian” (everything split equally) to “merit-based” (more work equals more reward). Continue reading

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Can Choosing Your Child’s Friends Help (or Hurt…) Your Child’s Math Skills?

Study shows that pairing a child with a smart friend can help the child increase math skills. Continue reading

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The Science of Developing ‘Math Identity’

Recent study shows that more than being good at math, developing ‘math identity’ is about choosing to engage in math and having this engagement recognized. Continue reading

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In Your 2-Year-Old: A ‘Genuine Decline in Relational Reasoning’

Berkeley psychologist Alison Gopnik showed kids a box that played music. Kids turned it on by placing the right pair of blocks on top. For some kids, any two different blocks would turn on the music box and for other … Continue reading

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The Science of Why I Largely Disregard Parenting Science

I was at the park the other day throwing pinecones at my kids when a horrified mother asked, “How can you hit your kids with pinecones!” I said it was pretty easy: you just don’t lead them as much. First, … Continue reading

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What Calvin’s Dad Knows About Explaining Science to Kids

Gary Larson tapped into the universal absurd. Charles Schulz helped us identify with the underdog in us all. And Bill Watterson accurately represented a father’s profound and boundless knowledge of the universe, as in Calvin’s dad’s explanation that ice floats … Continue reading

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New Kind of Reward Leads to Intrinsic Motivation (Or “How to Trick a Child Into Playing the Violin”)

I would like for my son, Leif, to play the violin. I’m a serious ex music geek and so in addition to pegging me as an abhorrent tiger parent intent on thrusting my offspring into the one-percent where they can … Continue reading

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