Posts Tagged ‘Cognitive Health’

The 500th Blog Post Has Been Passed

June 25, 2014

It was passed several posts ago. I wanted to continue the sequence of posts based on Greenwood and Parasuraman’s, Nurturing the Older Brain and Mind.before making the announcement.

Just as its title indicates, this blog is dedicated to building and sustaining healthy memories. Post are divided into three main categories. Human Memory: Theory and Data includes posts on memory and cognition. The Mnemonics Techniques category includes not only traditional memory techniques but also posts on meditation and mindfulness. The Transactive Memory category has posts on how interactions with technology and our fellow human beings can foster a healthy memory.

If I had one post to recommend to read it would be “The Triangle of Well Being” Entering “The Distraction Addiction” into the search box, will lead you to posts on how not only to cope with technology, but also howto use it to your advantage. Entering “Davidson” will lead you to many posts about mindfulness, meditation, and how to develop an effective emotional style. You can find posts on memes by entering, appropriately enough,  “meme”, into the search block. You’ll also find posts on economics. You might be surprised by some of the topics you’ll find covered. Give it a try.

The Default Heuristic1

January 10, 2010

The default heuristic is to stick with what you have and not to change. Like most heuristics, sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the 1080’s Pacific Gas and Electric noted that service varied among its districts. Some were more reliable than others. These differences were due to geographical differences that affected the timeliness of service in the different districts. To make matters more equitable, Pacific Gas and Electric conducted a survey. They asked customers with less reliable service if they would be willing to pay more for increased reliability. They asked customers with the more reliable service if they would be willing to accept less reliable service for a decrease in their costs. The customers were overwhelmingly wanting to keep the level of service they had. Now the difference in service was substantial. The unreliable service group suffered 15 outages per year of 4 hours average duration. The reliable service group suffered 3 outages per year of 2 hours average duration.

There are two perspectives to be considered here. The first perspective is that of the person or entity setting the default. If you want people to opt for making 401K contributions, then you set this as the default and offer employees the option to opt out. If you want people to become organ donors, then you make this the default and offer people the option to opt out.

The second perspective is from that of the person being offered the default option. Do not be a cognitive miser. Consider the options carefully before deciding to opt in or out. The exercise of this additional mental effort will be beneficial to your finances. It should also be beneficial to your cognitive health.

1Most of this content is based upon Stanovich, K. E. (2009). What Intelligence Tests Miss: the psychology of rational thought. New Haven: The Yale University Press.

Healthy Memory Wishes You a Happy New Year!

December 31, 2009

And a prosperous one, especially with respect to personal and cognitive growth. Healthymemory is devoted to cognitive growth and the enhancement of human cognition. Why not make it a resolution to use Healthymemory’s blog to pursue these goals?

The blog Healthymemory pursues three themes. One theme pursues an understanding of how memory works. Such an understanding is basic to a healthy memory. One also becomes aware of the many shortcomings and biases of human cognition. Knowing these shortcomings and biases allows you to make a more objective assessment of your own cognitive performance. It also alerts you to pitfalls and biases, so you can avoid them.

The second theme addresses mnemonic techniques, specific techniques for enhancing memory. Obviously these techniques alone should improve memory. But these techniques also exercise your creativity, imaging ability, and recoding ability, among others. So the techniques are also good memory exercises. The blog post “A Memory Course” provides a syllabus of the postings in this blog that present memory techniques that are common to most memory courses.

The third theme addresses a little known concept, transactive memory. Transactive memory refers to memories that you can access but are not store in your own biological memory. These memories can be found in technological devices, books, journals, computers, in cyberspace, or in your fellow human beings. How to use transactive memory to enhance your own memory and to achieve cognitive growth are all discussed under this theme.

Happy New Year! And please consider becoming a regular visitor to Healthymemory.

This blog will go on a brief hiatus, but it shall return. In the meantime, there is plenty to chew on already.

Note; The blog post, “A Memory Course” , can be found, just as any other post, by entering the title in the search this site box.

© Douglas Griffith and, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.