Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let It Shine

Read two more books. One was my faculty summer reading book, Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele. This is a fascinating summary and discussion of research about "stereotype threat," the idea that if you feel like you might confirm a negative stereotype about an identity group you belong to, you'll have a harder time succeeding at tasks. An example is this: highly educated women students in mathematics perform less well on a difficult math test than men in mathematics when told that they're taking a difficult math test that measures ability. When students take the same test, but are explicitly told that the test is about problem solving and that women do as well on the test as men, the women actually do as well or better than men.

There are a lot more examples. The book was hella interesting.

I also skimmed The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs by Jean Donaldson. I learned some things about Pronto's brain and classical conditioning a la B.F. Skinner. I also learned that Pronto will require a lifetime of careful exercise, training, and attention. I really hope that pup is worth it.

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