keepin’ it REAL

This is a summary of an article in Scientific American magazine
written by Amy Nordrum, dated Sep. 10, 2014.

Over the past few years scientists have helped replace the old curriculum of the D.A.R.E. anti-drug-abuse program with a course based on a few concepts which should make the training more effective for today’s students.

The course is called keepin’ it REAL and differs dramatically from the D.A.R.E. program—replacing boring facts and lectures with interactive lessons which present stories meant to help kids make better decisions.

“It’s not an anti-drug program,” says Michelle Miller-Day, co-developer of the new curriculum and a communications researcher at Chapman University.

keepin’ it REAL is about honesty and safety and responsibility. The program has reduced substance abuse and maintained anti-drug attitudes over time among students in early trials—something which largely eluded the former program.

Summary 2: Using innovative educational techniques to educate a student’s judgment works.


self help

I recently read an article in Scientific American magazine by Cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems and the following is a summary of the article.

They (the scientists) show participants several instances of judgmental thinking and then they tell them Try to notice similar thoughts when they occur. Then they tell them If you can notice when you have negative or positive thoughts about your own thoughts, it will aid you in recovering from whatever is causing you to be depressed, guilty, etc.

To help ourselves we need to create the habit or skill that prompts us to notice our thoughts (rather than be continuously enveloped in them) and then to analyze or judge them as positive or negative.

Since we don’t have the scientists to guide us, how do we get this technique working for us? I can suggest relaxing the mind and body and while relaxed make a formal request to our brain to do us a big favor. Ask, Once or twice a day please assist me to notice my thinking so I can make a judgment about it. Keep on asking daily until the brain begins to help us to notice the contents of our thinking.

Once we begin to find out about our thinking, these scientists assure us that we will be helped by the use of this new skill. What is this new skill? The ability to become aware of how we are coming across to ourselves.

The 3rd summary: We can assist ourselves by being able to pass judgment on our own judgmental thinking.