The Owner’s Manual for the
Brain by P. J. Howard
Summary by D. E. Goldberg
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
[email protected]
Text
• Howard, P. J. (1994). The owner’s manual
for the brain: Everyday applications from
mind-brain research. Austin, TX: Leornian
Press.
• Director: Center for Applied Cognitive
Studies, Charlotte, NC. PhD in Education
UNC, Chapel Hill.
Brain Science
• Origins in WW2 & 1948 Hixon Symposium,
“Cerebral Mechanisms of Behavior.”
• Fields:
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Neurobiology
Psychology
Information Science
Philosophy
Antrhopology
Linguistics
Mind versus Brain
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Brain as power plant
As computer
As 2.8x1020 bits
Principles:
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Nativism: inheritance & environment
Unity: brain-mind one
Connectivity: essence of growth
Interconnectivity: more or less
Control: health if individual controls situation.
Basics
• Reptilian brain: Survival, respiration,
digestions, circulation, and reproduction.
• Leopard brain: Emotion and coordination of
movement (GAS-Selye’s general adaptation
principle).
• Learning brain: Cerebral cortex.
RAS and the Gap
• RAS: Recticular activating system switches
between limbic system and cortex.
• Synaptic gap: gets dirty with protein
buildup.
• Neurotransmitters: 100 billion neurons with
new synapse following learning.
• Excitation and inhibition:
Topics in Passing
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Sexual differentiation: Wiring not the same.
Aging: Use it or lose it.
Diet
Mind-altering drugs
Sleep
• Cycle: 6-noon, blood clotting high, memory
sharp, noon-6 pm smell better, body temp
higher, grip strength highest.
• Nap and live longer.
• Dreams: Hobson activation-synthesis
theory.
Personality
• Nature versus nuture
• Equalizer theory of personality:
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Intelligence-domains
Traits
intelligence-components
Values
motivators
Five Factor Model
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Resilience
Extraversion
Openness
Agreeableness
Conscientiousness
Emotions
• Modeling emotion:
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Event
Perception of event
Appraisal of event
Filtering the appraisal
Reaction to the appraisal
Appraisal Filter
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Goal relevance
Goal conguence or incongruence
Goal content
Source of blame or credit
Coping potential
Future expectations
Coping Styles
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Verbals
Nonverbal
Verbal and nonverb al
Neither verbal nor nonverbal
3 Faces of Intelligence
• Process: Sternberg, processes at work in
intellect.
• Content: Howard Garnner types of
intelligence.
• Structure: Eysenck,
Gardner’s Domains
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Linguistic
Musical
Logical-mathematical
Spatial
Bodily-kinesthetic
Personal
• Criteria:
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Isolation by brain damage.
Prodigies
Developmental uniqueness
Evolutionary plausibility.
Validation experiments.
Psychometrics.
Existence of symbol system
to express its contents.
Eysenck’s Correlates
• Reaction time
• Inspection time
• Overage evoked
potential
Optimism versus Hardiness
• Seligman (1991). Learned optimism.
• Optimism: personalization (internal). Permanence,
Pervasiveness. Reverse on adversity
• Cousins (1989). Hardiness.
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Positive expectations
Relaxation
Positive emotions
Active role
Motivation
• Extrinsic versus Intrinsic
• Amabile’s indicators:
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Stimulated by task
Sense of competence from task
Task free of strong external control
At play, not work
Seligman’s ABCDE Model
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Adversity
Belief
Consequences
Disputation
Energization
Pygmalion Effect
• Robert Rosenthal (1968). High potential,
low potential groups.
• High potential did better. But both groups
were the same.
Chunks
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Miller (1956). Seven bits of information.
Testing is a learning process.
Experts better than technques.
Bartlett (1932). Schemas
Learning
• Hart’s environmental factors:
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High expectations
Nonthreatening ambiance
Goal of 100 percent mastery
Air of reality
• Advance organizers
– Schemas in advance of learning
Creativity
• Amabile’s creative personality
– Domain-relevant skills
– Creativity-relevant skills
– Task motivation
• Creativity-relevant skills
– Cognitive style: break perceptual sets, comfort with
complexity, suspend judgment, see things differently
– Knowledge of heuristics
– Work style: long periods of concentration, persistence,
hard work and high energy.
Traits of the Creative
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Self-discipline
Delay of gratification
Perserverance
Independent judgment
Tolerance for ambiguity
Autonomy
Absence of sex-role stereotyping
Internal locus of control
Willingness to take risks
Self starter
Absence of conformity
Removing Obstacles to Creativity
• Creativity assessment:
http://www.creativelearning.com/A
ssess/index.htm
• Obstacles:
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Critical nature
Personality
Diet
Physical condition
Fear
Conflict style
Highly developed superego
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Left-hemisphere dominance
Conservative culture
Closed end questioning
Perceptual fixedness
Need for power and control
Pessimism
Over/under achievement
Time pressure
Styles for Approaching Problems
• Preserver: quick solution tried and true.
• Explorer: innovative solution on new
insight.
• Challenger: truth based on logic
• Adapter: harmony through consensus.
Problem Taxonomy
• Problems for which causes are known or
not.
• Solutions: Outcomes are certain or
uncertain or prioritzed.
Techniques
• Mindmapping: Buzan (1991). Connect
words and phrases.
• Ishikawa or fishbone diagram. People,
methods, machinery, & materials.
• Pareto diagram.
• Actual versus ideal diagram
Brain-Philosophy Connection
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Epistemology: Philosophy of knowledge.
Search and replace exercise
Epistemology: similarities in structure.
Kuhn: paradigm shifts
Pemberton’s Stages
• Permberton: Stages of semantic development:
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Sensing
Pre-science
Early science
Modern science
Advancing science
• Law of Noninvalidation
– React genuinely
– Paraphrase them
– Question them
Other Theories
• Kohlberg
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Pleasure/pain
Pragmatic
Reciprocation
Law and order
Rational/legal
Brotherly love
• Piaget
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Sensorimotor
Preoperational
Concrete operations
Concrete operations
Formal operations
Formal operations
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Owner`s Manual for the Brain DEG 3-04