The Science of Success

The Hard Truth About Psychology, Learning New Skills, & Making Mistakes with Dr. Art Markman & Dr. Bob Duke

January 12, 2017
In this episode we discuss whether time speeds up as we get older, why your life story only makes sense looking in reverse, whether or not brain games actually work, the importance of proactive learning instead of passive learning, why psychology confirms all your worst fears about studying and getting smarter – and much more with a special TWO GUEST interview featuring Dr. Art Markman & Dr. Bob Duke!
Dr. Art Markman is a Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas and Founding Director of the Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations.
Dr. Bob Duke is a Professor and Head of Music and Human Learning at The University of Texas at Austin, He also directs the psychology of learning program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles.   

Together they co-host the NPR radio show Two Guys on Your Head and recently co-authored the book Brain Briefs.

We discuss:

  • Does time speed up as you get older?
  • Why your brain pays less and less attention to things that don’t change 
  • How you underestimate the power of new experiences to have a positive impact on on you
  • Brains are efficient, and efficient is another word of lazy
  • Why your brain wants to keep doing what it did last time
  • How Dyson vacuums where created (and what saw mills have to do with it)
  • The importance of learning things that seem like they “don’t matter” right now
  • The downside of a linear and close minded path of achievement
  • Why “everyone they know who is successful knows ALOT about ALOT of things” and you can’t know ahead of time what key information will make you successful
  • Why you shouldn’t edit your life story in the forward direction (and what that means)
  • Is your memory doomed to fail?
  • Why one of the worst things you can do for your memory is to worry about your memory!
  • Do brain games actually work?
  • How do you engage the mind a way that develops thinking?
  • The difference between reading and writing and how they impact your brain
  • The importance of proactive learning instead of passive learning
  • What the data says about regret and how to deal with it
  • How learning is effortful when it actually works, and why without effort, there is very little learning
  • Is it true that we only use 10% of our brains?
  • Your brain is 3% of your body weight, but uses 25% of your daily energy supply
  • Does listening to Mozart make you smarter?
  • Why we can’t get something for nothing (and why you should stop looking for “get smart quick schemes”)
  • Why psychology confirms all your worst fears about studying and getting smarter
  • How curiosity is vital to your thinking ability
  • Why its OK to get stuff wrong, as long as you repair your error
  • Why every bit of skilled performance that you see has a deep reservoir of hard work hidden behind it 
  • The critical importance of perception and self awareness in growing and improving
  • Why you are worst at judging your performance when you are bad (isn’t this one true!)
  • Why “expert performers” are really good at identifying all of their flaws
  • How to cultivate self awareness of your flaws in a way thats non-threatening to you and your ego
  • Mistakes are not the problem, but denying them is
  • The critical importance of sleep
  • How sleep clears toxins out of your brain, helps you form better memories, learn more, etc
  • Think about what has brought you joy, what brings you joy, and schedule those things into your life regularly
If you want to master your mind - listen to this episode!