What kindergarten can tell you about your future… (or not)

This is the kind of study that can give people some itchy feelings. We’ve known that early behavior can predict later success, remember the famous Marshmallow experiment, but those studies often had limitations. Was it caused by innate intelligence? Was it caused by the family background? This new study claims to have bypassed these limitations… Read More What kindergarten can tell you about your future… (or not)

Again: possible effects of early-life challenges

Some of these insights are maybe not new but worth repeating: experiences such as poverty, residential instability, or parental divorce or substance abuse, can affect executive function and lead to changes in a child’s brain chemistry, muting the effects of stress hormones. From the press release: Adversity early in life tends to affect a child’s… Read More Again: possible effects of early-life challenges

A link between hearing large amounts of adult speech as toddler and better cognitive skills.

This is a kind of follow up on the infamous 30 million word gap, and a sad one to be frank, as this has identified a link between kids who hear high quantities of adult speech and better nonverbal abilities such as reasoning, numeracy and shape awareness.. With a novel way to make sure the… Read More A link between hearing large amounts of adult speech as toddler and better cognitive skills.

New very interesting research on ‘bullshitters’, based on PISA-data

I found this new study by John Jerrim, Phil Parker and Nikki Shure through a tweet by Christian Bokhove.  Before you get offended by the concept of ‘bullshitters’, first let me explain to you what is meant by it: Bullshitting is a well-known social phenomenon. It can be summarised as a situation where an individual… Read More New very interesting research on ‘bullshitters’, based on PISA-data

The possible lasting effect of bullying: school bullying increases chances of mental health issues and unemployment in later life

As a victim of bullying when I was a kid, I’m so happy that being bullied doesn’t mean by definition you’ll end up in misery in later life, but this new study does suggest the chances for negative influences on later life do increase. Do note, that as it’s a study presented at a conference,… Read More The possible lasting effect of bullying: school bullying increases chances of mental health issues and unemployment in later life

Can attention span in infancy predict later executive function? (Best Evidence in Brief)

There is a new Best Evidence in Brief with some interesting studies, such as this one, although I do think it can be regarded in part for an extra argument that executive functions (note the plural) are heavily influenced by nature: Infant attention skills are significantly related to preschool executive function at age three, according to… Read More Can attention span in infancy predict later executive function? (Best Evidence in Brief)

Gender differences in spatial skills probably start in elementary school (meta-analysis)

Is it nature or nurture that men seem to better in spatial skills than women? Well, a new meta-analysis suggests that nurture plays a role and a takeaway idea for parents is that parents it’s a good idea to encourage both their daughters and sons to play with blocks and other construction items that might… Read More Gender differences in spatial skills probably start in elementary school (meta-analysis)