Categories
Study Fields

Examples of Psychology in Everyday Life

If you think about it for a moment, some common examples of psychology in everyday life are when you:

  • smile to portray warmth and approachability
  • use body language to attract or repel advances
  • appeal to people’s vanity and self-indulgence to get what you want.

Psychology is much more than a study field or a career choice for counselors and therapists. Every day, whether we realise it or not, we apply psychology to help us communicate and influence.

The above are small examples of psychology in everyday life. More generally, how can you use psychology in your day-to-day activities to improve your life situation? Here is a list of some of the most powerful ways you can deploy psychology skills.

1. Visualise Your Dreams and Ambitions

Imagining visualisation

If you ask almost every top-tier athlete how they manage to achieve so much success, they will probably tell you that it is all about visualisation and working hard towards a goal.

While working hard towards a certain goal may involve physical activity, it is the visualisation part of things that employs psychology. If you can picture a certain result with crisp clarity, chances are that you will probably achieve it.

2. Dare Yourself to Achieve More

High achievers always dare themselves to do more than the average person. They always take more risks (calculated) and they always pick themselves up when they fail.

Daring to do anything outside of your comfort zone is psychology at work. You need to talk yourself into doing something that has the potential for great rewards but also possibly put you in an embarrassing as well as demoralising situation should you fail. But you weigh the risks and give yourself the mental boost to push forward despite them.

3. Stay Motivated

Fitness motivation

Staying motivated to do something has to be one of the hardest psychological tricks anyone can master, especially if you are doing something about which you are not passionate.

Different methods can be used to switch into a motivated state. Most people think of the rewards, others think of the consequences and many still just think of the end result.

4. Ask for Help and Get It

Most people associate asking for help with weakness. While it is true that there are people who would rather live on handouts than try their hardest to achieve something, asking for help isn’t always a sign of weakness.

Most CEOs surround themselves with people who are much smarter than they are because they realise it is a wonderful way to propel their own ambitions. Sometimes, asking for or even hiring help is the smart move. Knowing when to do it for your own ends is psychology at work.

5. Be and Stay Unique

We live in a world that revels in mass production. This often means that a lot of us end up looking the same. Unfortunately, the best way to stand out and be someone you can be proud of is to acknowledge your uniqueness.

While most people tend to focus on their weakness and trying to improve on those areas, you could be better served if you focus on your strengths instead. But then again this will call for self-auditing.

You have to be ruthless with yourself to find out what it is that makes you…you. Once you find those traits, you have to make a conscious decision to nurture them every day. This takes a lot of mental discipline.

Using Psychology is Both Profound and Routine

We employ psychology in our day to day lives in many different ways. Some of these things are not monumental nor are they life changing. They could very well be part of your routine; something you don’t even notice anymore.

But don’t underestimate the significance of psychology in our everyday lives. The richness of your life journey depends on using psychology to attain your higher goals.

Further reading: 8 Nice Life Benefits from Studying Psychology

Categories
Online Learning

Why Distance Learning Provides Great Opportunities

The rapidly growing phenomena of distance learning and the technology that enables it is letting students all over the globe learn as they never could before. You can get training and even a university education right at home.

For people who are alert and want to get ahead in their career, now is the time to take advantage of the many courses and online degree programs available.

Online Courses Can be Taken Anywhere

Students can take online courses just about anywhere. All that is needed is to have a high-speed internet connection. This makes it the excellent choice when you cannot leave home to go to a college somewhere, or if you just want to keep your current career going while you study.

  • Soldiers on foreign fields are able to further their education and prepare for the civilian workforce through various online programs.
  • Career professionals can also get continuing education courses that will help them maintain certification or to become certified in new areas.

Courses can be taken at any accredited online college or university, and at all degree levels. Students can work toward degrees that range from an associates degree all the way through doctoral degrees, depending on the college. Certifications are also available, and some schools also help students find jobs too.

Distance Learning Provides Flexible Scheduling

An online college can provide a student with a tremendous amount of flexibility if the student finds the right kind. Most online colleges, for instance, offer synchronous education, which means that all students taking a particular class start and end at the same time.

Other schools offer asynchronous education, which means students can often enroll at any time, go at a speed they are comfortable with, and then complete the course when they are ready to take the final tests or complete the final papers. If flexibility is desired, then this type of online college courses and degree programs are desirable. Some students may even want to take a summer college class, just to get ahead.

This flexibility provides anyone taking the courses with the opportunity to study anytime day or night when it is convenient for them. This makes it very practical for stay-at-home mothers, people with disabilities and caregivers.

Almost anyone to be able to schedule in some study time toward their online degree. The study mode is ideal for independent learners who are able to motivate themselves.

Enables Career Advancement Without Leaving Your Job

Taking specialised career training courses can enable students to advance in their particular career fields. Cross training is easily accomplished too, helping graduates to be able to expand their worth to an employer.

The best part is that these courses do not need to get in the way of present employment. In fact, a student can even train for a new career field though distance education and then break into it when ready.

Online Learning is Less Costly Than Traditional Classroom Education

Getting an online education is also considerably cheaper than traditional college. For one thing, there are no travel-related expenses involved with getting to and from the school. Neither are there fuel costs either. Many fees that on campus students would pay are avoided in a distance learning situation.

Altogether, distance learning can provide students with new opportunities and convenience that are not available any other way.

Categories
School Education

Danica McKellar on Teaching Maths to Children

An interview with mathematician and New York Times best selling maths book author Danica McKellar.

When did you first get interested in wanting to teach children maths ultimately going on to author three best selling books on the topic so far?

Math (or “maths” as you like to say in Australia) has made a huge difference in my life – getting good at a challenging subject like math gave me a new self confidence I could never get from Hollywood. I have a degree in math from UCLA and I also coauthored a theorem. Not for the faint of heart! When you tackle something scary and succeed, you teach yourself that you are stronger and smarter than you thought. I knew I could help other kids find that same confidence, and at the same time help to prepare them for better paying jobs, because that’s what math does! With my love of entertainment, writing entertaining math books was natural for me.

Do you find that boys and girls have different problems approaching learning maths?

Math can be challenging for everyone. Girls have the extra issue that they are inundated from ubiquitous media that reinforces negative stereotypes about girls not being good at math. It makes it that much harder.

What are your thoughts on teaching boys separately from girls? What are the most common problems kids in general seem to have with maths at any given age?

I have heard that single-sex schools are beneficial, but segregated math classrooms in coed schools…that’s a slippery slope in a society that believes boys are better at math than girls.

Math is a challenging subject, and human beings tend to take the path of least resistance, unless they truly believe in the benefit of the hard work in front of them, like lifting weights to get stronger. Well, the brain is like a muscle that gets stronger the more it’s worked out, and doing math is like going to the gym for your brain. It actually sharpens your brain and makes you smarter.

Is there any aspect to maths (vs. teaching another subject) that teachers in general need to be mindful of as they teach?

See above for the gym analogy–no other subject is so effective in exercising that problem-solving center of the brain. Math is a language, a foreign language, and the language we use in all the sciences to describe and understand the world around us.

What do you think of teaching maths with technology like KhanAcademy.org, tablets,and other digital devices vs. the way we learned growing up which was usually textbooks, blackboard, and a teacher?

Whatever works!

How do you address a child who gives you a definitive claim they won’t need maths as an adult, say, that they tell you “I already have decided I will be an (artist, musician, athlete etc.) when I grow up.”?

Math makes your brain stronger and will help you in ways you never could have anticipated. Plus, many jobs you might not have imagined actually do use quite a bit of math – chefs constantly do conversions in recipes (see Kiss My Math for a whole section on these jobs!) And of course anyone wanting to own their own business needs to be comfortable with all sorts of math. Oh, and math is the language of money – credit card statements, mortgages, etc. Those companies are experts at percents… You don’t want to be unwittingly ripped off!

Tell us about the book Girls Get Curves.

Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape. It covers high school geometry–including proofs! Like all of my books, it teaches solid math concepts in a very conversational way, and in the context of silly analogies and stories. They also include advice on how to be a teenager in addition to the math lessons. 

Great stuff! How can people follow you on social media?
I am on Twitter all the time at @danicamckellar and love to hear from my followers!

Danica McKellar is a three-time New York Times bestselling author with her groundbreaking books, Math Doesn’t SuckKiss My Math and Hot X: Algebra Exposed.

Categories
Online Learning

Top 4 Tips for Online Study Success

A popular way to earn a university degree is through online study. While this mode of learning offers significant advantages, you also face challenges in getting things done by yourself. Here are some tips on how to succeed at online study.

Advantages of Online Courses

The flexibility of online courses helps you save money and time. On the financial side, you avoid paying for things like parking fees, traveling expenses and even books. Some online courses have digital books that are less costly than the actual books.

Online courses save time because a person can attend class anywhere and at any time that is convenient. They are becoming extremely flexible too. Accelerated online degrees allow students to complete the course faster than if they were attending a campus, mainly by allowing year-round study.

And the variety of subjects available online is impressive, as shown here. Since you can access courses from anywhere, you can study anything which doesn’t require a large amount of hands-on work.

Challenges of Studying Online

Doing university study online seems like a smart thing to do. However, you do face motivational and organisational challenges.

Students have to show their mastery of time management, project completion and goal setting. Above all, the maturity level of the student is challenged each study period. It is not uncommon for online students to miss assignments, forget important dates, and to be overwhelmed by work that they put off till the last minute.

To prosper with online study, take the following tips seriously. See here for even more suggestions on how to succeed.

Tip 1: Before signing up, plan

One of the biggest mistakes that new online students make is they fail to review the online program before they commit to it. Before signing up, a new student should answer the following questions.

  • How long in time is the course(s)?
  • How are the course(s) structured?
  • Is there a good study area for me where I can complete the course(s)?
  • Are the courses nationally accredited?
  • Does my work schedule conflict with important dates and times?
  • Is the course workload too much for me to handle?

Before becoming a new student at an online university, you should take a proper look at the length of the courses, including the potential workload. And consider how study will fit into you weekly schedule. Sometimes an online program will not work for you in practical terms. Discovering this before enrolling is a good idea.

Tip 2: Find a quiet place to study

A common problem with online study is there are too many distractions at home. Common distractions include access to the television, access to social media and telephone calls.

A successful student normally sets aside a place in the house that is quiet for online study. And you should turn off the phone, the television, and eliminate any other distractions.

Tip 3: Manage time by planning tasks and assignments

Each online course has a syllabus that outlines significant assignments and tests to be completed during the semester or study period. This information is crucial to online study success because it allows you to manage time effectively.

You should plan out the semester in advance and work out details such as whether or not you can complete coursework earlier than the syllabus timeline. Assignments and major tasks are the foundation for getting a good passing grade for the course. Planning these activities with proper time management is necessary for online study success.

Tip 4: Communicate and participate

Online courses can be convenient but, like any class, they are not always exciting. To keep from getting bored, try to interact with instructors and students.

Set up online study groups and even invite students to social media accounts. Try to network and build potential work relationships in the future. Connecting to classmates is one of the most powerful ways to staying enthusiastic about a course.

Communicate with instructors appropriately. Make sure to read the syllabus because the study guide could give clues on when and how to gain access to help – from instructors or other students. Too many students go through courses without making proper uses of the services available to them.

Final Thoughts About Online Learning

Online programs and courses are becoming a popular way to complete an accredited degree in less time than a typical university. Online courses may not save money when it comes to tuition but can save money on other costs such as transportation, books, and parking costs.

But be aware that online programs can take away a critical element to students learning. Brick and mortar classrooms provide a group environment that encourages learning. This environment may not be replicable at home.

Watching instructional videos — which is a form of passive learning — and interacting with other students digitally are not the same as physically visiting the university. Online students must show their maturity level by implementing sound planning, time management and communication skills.

Categories
Online Learning

Why Online Learning is Good

Seems like everybody is doing online learning these days… hardly surprising given how the power of digital technology. Online learning is good because it allows you to study on your terms. Here are 7 benefits to explain why more and more students are choosing online study.

1. You can save time… and do other things

Personally, I like to sleep in, not shower — as long as I’m not itchy — and work from the couch. Already, in one sentence, there are three excellent reasons why online learning is good for students.

A big advantage of online learning is that there are no classes that you have to attend in person. So, you don’t need to shower or get dressed, and there’s no driving and parking or trying to catch buses. As an added bonus, you’re right by the kitchen if you need a snack.

But you don’t have to be a slobbish student to get time benefits from online learning. In fact, according to Australian Government Statistics, 42 percent of online university students are doing postgraduate courses. Presumably, most of these online learners are studying while doing things like working full-time and raising a family.

That’s a great benefit from online study. Instead of wasting time getting to and from the classroom, you can get on with the real business of building knowledge and acquiring skills.

2. Study fits into your life, not the other way round

Another reason why online learning is popular among mature-age students is the tremendous flexibility offered. For most programs, there are few, if any, times when you have to be online.

Online learning allows you to study at whatever time of the day or night suits you. If the best time to review a presentation is first thing in the morning before everyone wakes up, go for it. You can also catch up on study during your lunch break or on the evening commute. Do it in bed if you like… whatever works for you.

3. You can save money

Generally speaking, online learning is cheaper than doing courses where you have to turn up to classes. As already mentioned, you don’t have travel costs. You can potentially keep working as well, which might make a huge difference to your bank balance.

And you can save on tuition fees. Normally, the fees for the online version of a course are as high as the fees if you turn up in person. That’s not where the savings come from.

You can save money because you are able to choose which university, college or school you study with. While you might choose am expensive, prestigious institution, you also have the option of going for a cheaper, high-value course that might be across the country or even on the other side of the world.

4. You lose no prestige from doing it

Some people seem to think that an online degree or diploma somehow doesn’t carry the same weight as a qualification you get by attending classes in person. They’re wrong.

For the record, there is no difference in the actual degree or diploma document you receive. You don’t see “ONLINE” stamped on certificates for online programs. For example, universities that run courses both online and at a campus award all graduates the same qualification, with the exact same words on the parchment.

Anyway, completing a qualification online deserves just as much respect, if not more, than doing an on-campus program. The requirements to pass are just as rigorous. And it is generally recognised that studying online successfully requires good amounts of determination and self-motivation.

5. Choose whatever type of course you want

If you’re a keen shopper and like to have options to choose from, online learning is for you. You can literally choose from programs anywhere in your city, region and state.

And it doesn’t stop there. As Online Study Australia shows, across Australia, multiple good courses are available in every subject. You can also study with foreign universities and colleges, though you won’t be eligible for Australian Government loans and subsidies.

Choice means you can study the specific field that you are interested in pursuing a career in. But, you should know, some courses are unavailable 100% online because they are very hands-on. These include medicine and nursing, professional engineering and fine arts for example.

As an online learner, you can go for a traditional study format, with 2-3 semesters per year and a final exam. Or, you can do something different, such as a degree where you study year-round and never have to cram / swot for long exams.

6. Avoid horrible, long exams

I know I just mentioned this but it’s definitely worth exploring further. By studying online, you may be able to complete a diploma or degree without ever having to face a long exam.

With a traditional university unit, your final score is normally determined by a 3-hour exam at the end of the semester. The exam can make up 60, 80 or even 100 percent of your final grade.

That emphasis on the final exam creates all sorts of pressure. You also end up wondering what the point of it was anyway. All those facts and figures you spent hours cramming into your head seem to be forgotten as soon as you walk out of the exam hall.

Online courses tend to not put students through swot week and exam stress. Because big exams are harder to organise for online students, assessment tends to focus more on assignments, projects and short quizzes.

You’re expected to study hard, but as you go along — rather than at the end. The online style makes for reduced failure risks, less stress and, importantly, more consistent learning effort.

7. You can make (online) friends

Yet another benefit of online learning is that you make friends. By participating in forums, email-based study groups and social media groups, you can make connections. Online students often report making friends and gaining study support by connecting to fellow students.

Online friendships may seem a little shallow compared to face-to-face relations, but at least they’re likely to happen.

Many college and university students attend class after class on campus without ever making friends that way. It’s not that easy with busy timetables, huge lecture theatres and little room for chat. Ironically, students are more likely to reach out to others when everyone is online.