Category Archives: Training

cigarettes

Neuro of Habits

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For this week’s installment of our neuropsych series, we decided to revisit a favorite topic – habits.

Taming that sweet tooth for your New Year’s resolution might be harder than you think. New research suggests that forming a habit leaves a lasting mark on specific circuits in the brain, which in turn seems to prime us to further feed our cravings. The research deepens scientists’ understanding of how habits manifest and may suggest new strategies for breaking the bad ones.

man drawing procedure diagram

Procedures

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Back in the days when I was active in IIE, I used to talk to Kevin McManus all the time. These days, it is all I can do to follow his great articles on Linked In Pulse. I want to share his latest one on procedures. Kevin shares some of the history of procedures and how they have evolved over the decades. My Take In my experience, we have a love/hate relationship with procedures. We recognize that they have major benefits. They help us standardize…

girls laughing

AI and Humor

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I can’t decide if this is a triumph for analytics and algorithms or if it is one of those gaps that is ripe for human attention.

Arjun Chandrasekaran from Virginia Tech and pals say they’ve trained a machine-learning algorithm to recognize humorous scenes and even to create them. They say their machine can accurately predict when a scene is funny and when it is not, even though it knows nothing of the social context of what it is seeing.

student sleeping

The Four Day School Week

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Many companies have experimented with their work schedules in an attempt to decrease costs, increase performance, or both. One common example is the four day/ten hour per day workweek. The workweek is still 40 hours, but compressed by a day. By moving to four days, the company can either close down the office for three days and save on maintenance and upkeep or they can rejigger shifts to have 4/day 3/day rotations that are easier to pair up than 5 day/ 2 day rotations would be. What about doing this in K-12 education?

How would you react if you were told that your local public school planned to change the schedule from the traditional Monday-through-Friday model to a schedule that contained four longer school days? Would you worry about long days for young children, their academic accomplishments and, of course, childcare?

business woman

Returnships

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At first, I was intrigued by the idea of a “returnship”. Lots of companies are experimenting with them. This is a parallel with an internship but for more senior employees. But also with some key differences that lead Working Mothers to think they are a bad idea.

A recent study found that 70% of women fear taking a career break. From my experience at Women Returners working with returning professionals, I know that many are low in confidence and feel it is impossible to find a satisfying corporate role after many years out. Is the returnship an innovative solution to enable these talented women to get back into senior roles?

pac man

Game Training to Reduce Bias

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There has been a long history of movements in the business, psychology, and human factors communities to help people overcome the natural tendencies in decision making that often lead us astray. You know – what we often refer to as biases but that evolved to help us make fast, frugal decisions in the muddy context we call the real world.

If you believe this article in Harvard Business Review, a team of researchers led by Carey Morewedge at Boston University may have discovered a viable approach. They used a serious game to train participants in intelligence analysis.

Young boy reading

AMP on Testing

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I am not sure if any of you are fans of the work of Annie Murphy Paul – I have been following her blog and some other publications for several years now. Her area of expertise is training and learning, both for children in K-12 and for adults in higher education, workplace training, and general consumer education such as wellness and nutrition.

Today, I want to focus on a new course she is offering on how testing should be integrated into education so that it facilitates learning. You can tell from her past work as well as the contents of this course that she is not talking about the typical standardized testing that is torturing (my term, not hers) our K-12 education today. There is a remarkable overlap with her recommendations and the latest in human factors research on education and training.

female soldier

Women in Combat Duty

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I heard this story on NPR and had flashbacks to a similar debate we had decades ago with firefighters. And as with that debate, it frustrated me into a lather just as much now as it did then.

“Some people look at it as a civil rights issue,” says Dober. “I will tell you emphatically and to my grave that it’s not a civil rights issue. It’s a national security issue.”

Actually, it’s both.

2 Figurines Talking

A Second Chance to Make a First Impression?

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We have all heard the famous aphorism that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It was even a popular catchphrase for a shampoo brand for a while. Our basic human factors psychology tells us why this is indeed true. The first impression creates a schema in long term memory. Because it isn’t competing with preexisting structure, it forms relatively easily. But we don’t have any intentional forgetting mechanism or even an intentional changing mechanism. So the second chance has to fight against the first one over and over until it dominates through sheer force of volume.

a man viewing an ebook

EID Hall of Fame – A New Take on eBook Reading

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There have been several articles posted on the EID site over the past year that have aroused significant discussion. Here is one of the articles that received the most discussion, reposted for your reading pleasure. Were you one of our loyal readers who shared, reposted, and debated it? Did that experience provide tangible professional value for you, or just hours of fun? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.

We have had many conversations over the past years about how the move to digital books is impacting our reading. Some claims are backed up by rigorous research and some are just pure speculation or even fear mongering. Of course, whenever there are strong claims on both sides of an argument, the truth is usually a nuanced middle path and eBooks are no different. The reality is that the effectiveness of eBooks is context specific and results will depend on what the objectives of the book are (for example entertainment versus education) and how they are implemented (UI and UX).