Psychology Around the Net: April 18, 2020

This week’s Psychology Around the Net shares research on how expectations influence learning, explains how you can fight fear with fear, provides a ton of virtual activities to stay entertained during quarantine, and more!

Download This Free Workbook on Anxiety and the Coronavirus: You can add to that list a free workbook on dealing with anxiety. Lifehacker’s Elizabeth Yuko, who has experience using an anxiety workbook, shares her thoughts on the “Coronavirus Anxiety Workbook,” a free downloadable anxiety workbook created by mental health professionals specifically to help manage concerns unique to life during a pandemic.

Children Prefer Books Which Explain How the World Works Says New Study: For a study out of Vanderbilt University, 48 three- and four-year-old children listened to an adult read them two books about animals. The books were matched in complexity and content but they had different amounts of casual information. One book described the animals’ features and behaviors (less casual information) while the other book explained why the animals look and act the way they do (more casual information). While the children seemed equally interested in both books, when asked which of the two they preferred, the book with more casual information won.

Meditation and Cognition in the Elderly: Even if we can’t yet prove it, it’s probably a safe bet that meditation is an option in helping the elderly maintain cognitive functioning and mental health.

76 (Mostly Free) Virtual Things To Do at Home Right Now: Quarantine during COVID-19 has even the best of us homebodies and introverts losing our minds. Apartment Therapy has compiled a list of 76 things you can do at home right now for free or nearly free, and we’re not talking your run-of-the-mill productivity list people. We’re talking “hiking” the Grand Canyon, taking a stroll through the world’s most famous cities, volunteering from home, and more.

How Expectations Influence Learning: When you’re learning, your brain continually makes predictions or theories about your environment and then registers whether or not the assumption was correct. Neuroscientists from Ruhr-Universität Bochum have shown that expectation during predictions affects activity in brain networks; specifically, the thalamus (which plays a central role in making decisions) and the insular cortex (which is active when it’s clear whether a decision was right or wrong). Says Dr. Burkhard Pleger: “The expectation during learning then regulates specific connections in the brain and thus the prediction for learning-relevant sensory perception.”

Five Things Fear Hates: How to Fight Fear With Fear: So many of us are enveloped in fear right now, but if you have these five things you can fight that fear with fear.

Photo by Niclas Illg on Unsplash.

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