BETTER BY MISTAKE ALINA TUGEND PDF

According to author Alina Tugend, the best way to become an expert in your field is by making mistakes, lots of them, but to cooperate with the brain on learning from them. In her new book, Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong, explains the science of making mistakes and why learning from them is vital in a culture of perfectionism. Tugend has been a journalist for nearly 30 years and for the past six has written the ShortCuts column for the New York Times business section. She has written about education, environmentalism, and consumer culture for numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Parents and is a Huffington Post contributor. I have the honor of conducting an exclusive interview with her for Psych Central.

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By Beyond Blue Afraid to make a mistake? According to author Alina Tugend, the best way to become an expert in your field is by making mistakes, lots of them, but to cooperate with the brain on learning from them. In her new book, Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong, explains the science of making mistakes and why learning from them is vital in a culture of perfectionism.

Tugend has been a journalist for nearly 30 years and for the past six has written the ShortCuts column for the New York Times business section. She has written about education, environmentalism, and consumer culture for numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Parents and is a Huffington Post contributor. I have the honor of conducting an exclusive interview with her. I was very intrigued by the research and physiological components behind making mistakes?

Could you briefly describe why dopamine is an important contributor to learning from mistakes? Alina: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in how we process errors.

Dopamine neurons generate patterns based on experiment — if this happens, that will follow. The Iowa Gambling Task, developed by neuroscientists helps prove this point. Each card tells the player whether he won or lost money, and the object is to win as much money as possible.

The other two decks have high payouts, but also high losses. So if a player pulls from the first deck — the one that gives low but steady payouts — she will come out far richer in the end. It takes an average of 50 cards before people began to pull more regularly from the more profitable first deck, and about 80 cards before they can actually explain it. When scientists watched a patient undergoing brain surgery for epilepsy while playing the Iowa Gambling Task — with local anesthesia but remaining conscious — the dopamine neurons immediately stopped firing when the player chose from the bad deck.

The patient experienced negative emotion and learned not to draw from the deck again. But if the choice was accurate, he felt pleasure of being correct and wanted to do the same thing again. But once they took medication that boosted brain levels of dopamine, they reacted more strongly to positive feedback than negative feedback. So the best way to become an expert in your field is focus on your mistakes, to consciously consider the errors being internalized by your dopamine neurons.

If you were to give a perfectionist instructions on how to accept her mistakes more easily and learn from them, what would they be? Alina: In some ways, perfectionism has become a catch-all phrase. And there is certainly nothing wrong with striving to be the best in certain areas. When mistakes, no matter how small, are a crisis. These are super sometimes called maladaptive perfectionists.

Why is it so important to be flawless? Perfectionism is not necessarily something to be proud of. Research has found that those high in perfectionism did worse on a writing task than those lower in perfectionism when judged by college professors who were blind to the difference in the participants. These super-perfectionists are motivated by a fear of failure rather than the opportunity to learn.

They consider anything less than percent — say 98 percent — inadequate. If this sounds like you, you need to rethink whether your perfectionism is serving you well. They can work on getting feedback at an early point in a project to get a reality check.

Are there any exercises we can do to remind ourselves that perfectionism is a myth and that error is part of being human? Alina: We really do need to keep telling ourselves — and others — that perfection is a myth. But we need to figure out what went wrong, apologize and make amends if necessary and move on. In most cases, the mistake may feel bad in the moment, but those feelings pass. If you were always perfect, nothing would ever be amazing.

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By Beyond Blue Afraid to make a mistake? According to author Alina Tugend, the best way to become an expert in your field is by making mistakes, lots of them, but to cooperate with the brain on learning from them. In her new book, Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong, explains the science of making mistakes and why learning from them is vital in a culture of perfectionism. Tugend has been a journalist for nearly 30 years and for the past six has written the ShortCuts column for the New York Times business section. She has written about education, environmentalism, and consumer culture for numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Atlantic, and Parents and is a Huffington Post contributor. I have the honor of conducting an exclusive interview with her.

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Alina Tugend: Better by Mistake

With that understanding, she takes the reader into deep waters looking at the medical advances that have resulted from mistakes, the fear that American society has attached to mess-ups, and the all encompassing shame that results from falling from the throne of perfection. This adulation of talent over effort in the adult world has led to some of the worst failures of modern times: Enron, the recent global financial crisis, lost lives in plane crashes and at hospitals. Read the book. Although Tugend journalist integrates empirical research findings into anecdotal accounts, her writing style understandably is more journalistic than scholarly. She does, however, also include some information on genetic indicators, cultural influences, and gender differences. The author raises some interesting questions about fundamental issues in the social sciences effort versus ability, nature versus nurture, perception versus reality that have relevance beyond academics and the workplace, e.

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