How can you discover your own particular learning style? What is the difference between being a visual learner, auditory learner or tactile learner? As you’re studying for the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP), how can you leverage the strength of your personal learning style to better learn, consolidate and recall content?
These were just some of the questions that Dr. Graham Taylor addressed in last Thursday’s Facebook Live event. In the video, which can be watched below, Dr. Taylor shared research-based approaches of learning and memory to help you make your learning a dynamic and active process.
Prioritizing EPPP studying over vital health habits such as sleep can be too easy. How many nights have you stayed awake studying and, furthermore, went to bed immediately after an EPPP study session?
You might relate to the following scenario.
Joe is preparing for the EPPP. He works long hours at his internship and is often exhausted by the time he gets home. He is committed to passing the EPPP and studies when he can. Joe sometimes attempts to wake up a few hours early to sneak in a study session before going to his internship. Last night Joe studied in bed late into the night and went to sleep right after putting his study materials on the floor next to him. He snoozed his alarm and woke up just in time to be on schedule for his internship.
In this scenario, Joe’s retention of the EPPP material he studied, as well as his quality of sleep, will be negatively affected. He made three common mistakes. Continue reading →
Tim Urban, author of the blog Wait But Why and self-proclaimed procrastinator, shares his insight on the brain function of procrastinators. Urban tells the tale of his 90-page senior thesis which he had a year to complete. Urban instead completed the thesis in 2 days by pulling two all-nighters.
How is it that he had the stamina and motivation to pull two all-nighters but did not have the motivation to use the year he was given? Writing a 90-page thesis over the course of one year seems much more pleasant than writing it in two days at the cost of sleep.
With gregarious disposition and insightful wit, Urban depicts the brain of a procrastinator.
I still remember the night that convinced me I finally needed to join the twenty-first century.
I had just finished a long day helping as a judge for a debate tournament. By the time I finally headed home it was dark. Or at least, I thought I was headed home. However, the further I drove, the less I recognized of my surroundings. As the road progressed further and further up into the mountains, I remembered my young children waiting at a friends’ house for me to collect them. Finally, the road abruptly ended. Literally, it just ended. I had no choice but to turn around and start over.
At about midnight I finally pulled into the drive-way of my friends’ house to collect my tired children. I determined never to let myself get lost again: I would finally invest in a GPS.
Imagine you have a friend whose boyfriend is always tearing her down and continually telling her that she’s stupid, unable to cope, that nobody likes her and that she isn’t pretty enough. What would you say to your friend? Obviously you would tell her she should break up with her negative boyfriend, or at least that she should stop paying attention to his continual criticisms.
Even though that is the advice you would give someone else, we often choose to pay attention to an incessant negative monologue about ourselves. The monologue of negativity isn’t coming from another person but from our own brain. Instead of “breaking up” with our negative brain, we pay attention to it.
Every year neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists make more exciting discoveries about the health benefits of gratitude. The research is now clear that if you want to achieve high levels of physical and mental fitness, practicing gratitude is a good place to start.
Before sharing some of this research, it may be helpful to recap the ground we’ve already covered in our ongoing series about gratitude.
Our earlier post How Peace of Mind is a Skill That Can Be Developed With Practice looked at six things anyone can do to achieve peace of mind. Step number 6 was to practice gratitude. I referred toresearch showing that when we choose to focus on all we have to be grateful for, this actually affects material changes in the brain, leading to a happier life and greater levels of mental peace. I built on this in my follow-up post, Gratitude and Your EPPP Prep (Peace of Mind Part 2), by considering the important role gratitude can play in managing stress, including the type of stress that is common among those preparing to take their psychology licensure exam (EPPP). Our post Gratitude as a Way of Seeing added to this understanding by considering why human beings have trouble being grateful for ordinary things. We explored ways to retrain your brain to “see” life in a way permeated with constant thankfulness.
It’s time to build on these previous posts by going deeper into the research on the neurological, psychological and physiological benefits of gratitude.Continue reading →
How can a person perform at peak capacity during times of stress? What is the foundation for self-confidence? Why do we often perform better when we’re practicing a skill vs. performing it under pressure? How can we get into a flow-state whereby we become completely engaged in present-moment tasks? What are the principles behind a high-performance mindset?
These are the types of questions we ask here at TSM as we help prepare psychology students for the high-stress licensure exam known as the EPPP. These are also the types of questions that musicians, athletes, public speakers and sports psychologists wrestle with every day.
Michael Gervais of the Seattle Seahawks talks about the way great performers use their minds to realize their full potential. Gervais, who has worked as a sports psychologist with some of the world’s best athletes, explains how the principles that help champions perform at peak capacity can actually assist all of us to perform better in the situations we face every day. This fascinating conversation shows that developing skills like mindfulness, positive self-talk and focused attention can make the difference between success and failure. Because so much of what Gervais says is relevant to exam-anxiety, we encourage all psychology students to watch this video at least six months before sitting the EPPP.
If we’re honest, there are plenty of things we’d rather do than buckle down with EPPP test prep. Expressing annoyance or distaste at our obligations, what we begrudgingly acknowledge as complaining, can be a common factor in studying and our day-to-day lives in general. In fact, during the average conversation, we complain about once per minute.
You may find polarizing opinions on whether complaining is beneficial or detrimental, but our bodies physically suggest that complaining does more harm than good. Continue reading →
In our previous post, ‘EPPP Anxiety Part 1: Anxiety and Your Brain,’ we looked at how to use focused meditative breathing to relieve anxiety, including the type of anxiety experienced by those preparing to take the EPPP. I promised to share research on how this type of meditation can actually increase the size of the brain, improve social skills, make it easier to achieve mental clarity and focus, in addition to increasing emotional intelligence, self-regulation and resilience.
Before jumping into this research, let’s review three reasons why slow breathing is so powerful for maintaining a positive orientation in the mind and body.