What happens when you give Kindles to kids in Ghana? Results: -
- Kids learned to use e-readers quickly even though 43 percent of them had never used a computer before. Also, not surprisingly, they were quick to discover “the multimedia aspects of the e-reader, such as music and Internet features.”
- Near-zero theft. Only two e-readers (out of 600) were lost in the whole study, partly because “community involvement was encouraged through e-reader pledges, community outreach programs, and support from community leaders.”
- Kids got access to way more books. Before the study, primary-school students had access to an average of 3.6 books at home. Junior-high students had access to an average of 8.6 books at home and high-school students access to an average of 11 books. With the e-reader program, kids had access to an average of 107 book.
- Primary school students’ test scores improved, but effects on older kids were less clear. The reading scores of primary-school students who received e-readers increased from 12.9 percent to 15.7 percent. But results for older kids were mixed.
- Students sought out access to international news. “Amazon data revealed that students were downloading The New York Times, USA Today, and El País etc., demonstrating that students want to access a wide range of reading materials that were previously inaccessible.”
- Kindles break too easily. Worldreader had not predicted how many Kindles would break: 243 out of 600, or 40.5 percent.
- The program appears cost-effective. Worldreader estimates that “for the years 2014-2018, using a calculation focused strictly on the provisioning of textbooks, the e-reader system would cost only $8.93-$11.40 more per student over a 4 year period [$0.19 to $0.24 per month] than the traditional paper book system.”
Study: Analytical Thought Decreases Belief in Religion
A few things about this study. It doesn’t mean that religious people are uneducated or unintelligent. It doesn’t mean that atheists are right and believers are wrong. I think it’s important to note that the main author of this study Will Gervais is in fact himself an atheist…which also doesn’t mean that his findings are incorrect, but it is I think it’s also a relevant note.
This study essentially breaks down how people think into two types of cognitive systems – analytical and intuitive. The findings show the more analytical a person is…the less they believe in religious belief whereas religious belief tends to form essentially from our “gut”. I do find it interesting that the researcher refers to intuitive thinking as “mental shortcuts”.
Science Daily has the details:
The findings, Gervais says, are based on a longstanding human psychology model of two distinct, but related cognitive systems to process information: an “intuitive” system that relies on mental shortcuts to yield fast and efficient responses, and a more “analytic” system that yields more deliberate, reasoned responses.
“Our study builds on previous research that links religious beliefs to ‘intuitive’ thinking,” says study co-author and Associate Prof. Ara Norenzayan, UBC Dept. of Psychology. “Our findings suggest that activating the ‘analytic’ cognitive system in the brain can undermine the ‘intuitive’ support for religious belief, at least temporarily.”
The study involved more than 650 participants in the U.S. and Canada. Gervais says future studies will explore whether the increase in religious disbelief is temporary or long-lasting, and how the findings apply to non-Western cultures.
tumblrbot asked: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE INANIMATE OBJECT?
Just discovered the “Effects” feature on my Mac’s Photo Booth app. Had to do something with it.