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Friday Finds — Positive Propaganda, Seductive Details, Thinking Fast & Slow

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Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.


You know, relationships can be a real rollercoaster ride, right? A little something that I always try to keep in mind: "assume positive intent." It's like a little mantra that helps me navigate the ups and downs. Many things fall into a gray area where things can be seen in different lights, either positively or negatively. Choosing to believe that the other person means well, is like a little magic trick that helps things go more smoothly. I'm not always successful at doing this but I'm trying to keep this thought top of mind as much as possible. Have you ever experienced anything like this yourself?

As always, thanks for reading.

🎶 What I’m Listening To

I'm assuming everyone will have positive intent if they listen to this Happy Mix with me today! 8)

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📰 News & Notes

Facts Don't Save Minds & The Power of Positive Propaganda

This is a thought-provoking article that explores the role of propaganda in shaping public opinion and argues that it can be an effective tool for persuasion despite its negative connotations. It highlights the psychological biases and cognitive limitations that make people resistant to factual information and suggests that propaganda, when employed ethically, can tap into emotions, values, and narratives to influence beliefs and behaviors.

🎯 Take away: Challenging the notion that facts alone change minds, this article highlights the power of skillfully crafted narratives in shaping beliefs and opinions, making a case for the virtues of propaganda.

We Don’t Think As Much As We Think We Think

Can we trust our intuitions? In this Microsoft Research talk, Daniel Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust instincts, exploring the machinery of the mind and the two systems that drive the way we think and make choices. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Bringing together years of research from one of the most influential psychologists in history, Thinking Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.

If you haven’t read his book yet, drop what you’re doing and grab a copy now.

🎯 Take away: These are ideas that everyone, especially learning pros, should know and leverage.

Assigning AI: Seven Ways of Using AI in Class

Ethan Mollick explores the various applications and practical implementations of artificial intelligence (AI). He highlights seven key areas where AI can be employed effectively, including automating routine tasks, enhancing decision-making processes, improving customer service, optimizing resource allocation, personalizing user experiences, analyzing big data, and advancing scientific research. If you aren’t familiar with Ethan, he’s a leading voice on using AI and one of my favorites to follow

🎯 Take away: This article emphasizes the potential of AI to revolutionize diverse industries and offers insights into how organizations can harness its power to drive innovation and efficiency in their operations.

9 Click-worthy YouTube Videos that will Help You Lead Live Sessions

Gwyn Wansbrough is the final week of her 4-week series where she shares curated lists of her all-time favorite design and facilitation resources. I’m confident that you’ll find a few worth bookmarking.

If you’re curious, here are her previous 3 weeks as well:

Week 1 >🎙️ Favorite facilitation podcasts 

🎯 Take away: ​Most of us lead online sessions to one degree or another and these resources are gold!

Decorative animations impair recall and are a source of extraneous cognitive load

Hopefully you know that working memory plays a crucial role in our ability to learn? A recent study investigated the impact of decorative animations, like those found in PowerPoint presentations, on learning and working memory. The study found that these "seductive details" hindered learning and memory retention. Students had difficulty recalling content presented alongside such animations compared to still images. Additionally, remembering the animations themselves was harder, leading to increased mental workload. These findings highlight the importance of minimizing extraneous cognitive load to optimize learning outcomes.

🎯 Take away: Decorative animations appear to act as a seductive detail that impairs learning, even though they may appear to enhance the visual appeal of slide presentations. So, pause for thought before clicking “insert clipart.” 8-)

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