18th August 2017

Cheery Friday Greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Book of the Week

Our book of the week this week is Robert Cialdini’s recent book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade (Audio book here), which has come a decade after his masterpiece Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Audio version here.  As we mentioned in an early “Cheery Friday,” we actually listened to the audio version of Influence—narrator George Newbern is terrific!)

Pre-Suasion is a “big” book, meaning it is a best seller, and we can see why. Cialdini is a wizard at understanding human nature and the pressure points that lead us to take certain actions.

One disappointment with the book is that Cialdini didn’t follow his own advice in acknowledging potential weaknesses in the field in order to build our trust in his reliability. In other words, he didn’t discuss the very real problems with the field of social priming. Indeed, some of the studies Cialdini cites seem to be one-off, non-replicated studies. They’re precisely the type of studies Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman alludes to as being problematic.

In any case, we still think Pre-Suasion is a worthwhile book that will give you insight into how to avoid being manipulated even as you learn how to better convey your own messages.

The Advantages of Being a Slow Learner

This video, “Learning Speeds and Styles: Is Your Mind a Hiker or a Race Car Driver?” from Big Think, features Barb’s encouraging thoughts on the value of being a slow learner.  These thoughts grow from Barb’s best-seller Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential, (Audio version, which Barb read in an icy studio in the middle of the Michigan winter, is here.) The Mindshift MOOC—which is the follow on to Learning How to Learn—is here!

How to Memorize Speeches and Text

Here’s a great video from 4-time US Memory Champion Nelson Dellis on a VERY important topic—how to memorize speeches and texts.  (If you would like to join Nelson in helping to support research on memory, please take the Extreme Memory Challenge.)  

Interview with Skip Downing on College Success

Barb’s friend Skip Downing is the author of the college textbook On Course: Strategies for Creating Success in College and in Life—a book which does just what the subtitle says.

In an interview on TLCI radio, Dr. Skip Downing discusses how his On Course program empowers and engages students, improving both academic success and retention.

For better learning in college lectures, lay down the laptop and pick up a pen

Here’s the key graf of this worthwhile article: “In a series of laboratory experiments, researchers at Princeton and the University of California, Los Angeles had students watch a lecture, randomly assigning them either laptops or pen and paper for their note-taking. Understanding of the lecture, measured by a standardized test, was substantially worse for those who had used laptops.” [Hat tip: Scott Love]

One more reason to get a good night’s sleep

This TED Talk by neuroscientist Jeff Iliff has some stunning imagery of what happens in your brain when you fall asleep. [Hat tip, Pat Peterson.]

That’s all for this week. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team
Follow LHTL on Facebook | Join the private LHTL Hall of Fame group | Follow LHTL on Twitter

See all book recommendations at


View more Cheery Friday e-mails >