Search Results for: Zeigarnik effect

A Look Back: What Is The “Zeigarnik Effect” & How Did I Apply It In The Classroom Today?

Next February, this blog will be celebrating its ten-year anniversary! Leading up to it, I’m re-starting a series I tried to do in the past called “A Look Back.” Each week, I’ll be re-posting a few of my favorite posts from the past ten years. You might also be interested in A Look Back: Best Posts From 2007 To 2009. and A Look Back: 2010’s Best Posts From This Blog. I originally shared this post in 2011. You might also be interested in another post I wrote about the same topic: More On The “Zeigarnik Effect” Bluma Zeigarnik was a Russian psychologist who identified what came to be called the “Zeigarnik Effect.” You can read more about it here, but, basically, it means that once we start doing something, we’re going to tend to want to finish it. I’m sure many teachers have never heard of the Zeigarnik Effect, but often apply it. We might have students who just tend to procrastinate when doing an assignment, or are afraid of getting something wrong and are reluctant to start, or have a hard time getting going for other reasons . So we encourage students to get started by just answering the first question, or writing the first paragraph, or give reading the first page a try. I’ve certainly done that often in the past, but recently learning that the strategy actually has a name...

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More On The “Zeigarnik Effect”

I’ve previously posted about the Zeigarnik Effect (see What Is The “Zeigarnik Effect” & How Did I Apply It In The Classroom Today?). It basically means that once we start doing something, we’re going to tend to want to finish it. Scientific American recently ran a piece on it. I was particularly struck by this portion of the post: Zeigarnik ascribed the finding to a state of tension, akin to a cliffhanger ending: your mind wants to know what comes next. It wants to finish. It wants to keep working – and it will keep working even if you tell it to stop. All through those other tasks, it will subconsciously be remembering the ones it never got to complete. Psychologist Arie Kruglanski calls this a Need for Closure, a desire of our minds to end states of uncertainty and resolve unfinished business. This need motivates us to work harder, to work better, and to work to completion. It adds impetus to minds that may otherwise be too busy or oversaturated to bother with the details. In other words, it ensures that those orders will stay in the waiters’ heads until it is certain that your food will hit the table as promised. The “Need For Closure” got me thinking about having students use the reading strategy of “asking questions.” It seems to me that this desire might be...

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What Is The “Zeigarnik Effect” & How Did I Apply It In The Classroom Today?

Bluma Zeigarnik was a Russian psychologist who identified what came to be called the “Zeigarnik Effect.” You can read more about it here, but, basically, it means that once we start doing something, we’re going to tend to want to finish it. I’m sure many teachers have never heard of the Zeigarnik Effect, but often apply it. We might have students who just tend to procrastinate when doing an assignment, or are afraid of getting something wrong and are reluctant to start, or have a hard time getting going for other reasons . So we encourage students to get started by just answering the first question, or writing the first paragraph, or give reading the first page a try. I’ve certainly done that often in the past, but recently learning that the strategy actually has a name and scientific evidence to back it up now makes me more conscious of it as another component of my “toolbox.” One of my students does have a strong tendency toward procrastination. Today, we were completing a short “book talk” form (see My Best Posts On Books: Why They’re Important & How To Help Students Select, Read, Write & Discuss Them for more information on the idea), and everybody was working away on it except for “John” (not his real name). He said he didn’t know what to write. The article I read...

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The Best Resources For Learning About “Psychological Effects” Useful To Teachers

This post was formerly called “”The Benjamin Franklin Effect” In The Classroom.” However, since it originally included additional resources on other psychological “effects” and “laws,” I’ve renamed it and added new resources at the end. Many teachers know that an effective classroom management move to turn a disruptive student into an ally is by giving him/her responsibilities in the classroom — tutoring another student, offering them a key classroom job, etc. I knew it, and have used it, but didn’t know until recently that an actual psychological finding explains why this strategy works. It’s called “The Benjamin Franklin Effect”: You grow to like people for whom you do nice things and hate people you harm. Here’s the story about the “effect’s” origins: In his autobiography, Franklin explains how he dealt with the animosity of a rival legislator when he served in the Pennsylvania legislature in the 18th Century “Having heard that he had in his library a certain very scarce and curious book, I wrote a note to him, expressing my desire of perusing that book, and requesting he would do me the favour of lending it to me for a few days. He sent it immediately, and I return’d it in about a week with another note, expressing strongly my sense of the favour. When we next met in the House, he spoke to me (which he had...

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The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2018 – So Far

  Here’s another mid-year “Best” list… I’m adding this list to All 2018 Mid-Year “Best” Lists – In One Place! Four years ago I began publishing a regular Classroom Instruction Resources Of The Week post and have so far published: The Best Resources On Class Instruction – 2015 The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – So Far The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2016 – Part Two The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2017 – So Far The Best Resources On Class Instruction In 2017 – Part Two Here are this year’s mid-year choices: Comprehension Skills or Strategies: Is there a difference and does it matter? is from Timothy Shanahan. I’m adding it to The Best Posts On Reading Strategies & Comprehension – Help Me Find More! A journey of a thousand miles… how can we help students begin?is from Harry Fletcher-Wood and is very good. It goes along with other posts I’ve written about the “Zeigarnik Effect.” This is a very complete TED TALK UNIT from Brian Sztabnik. If you want to have your students create their own TED Talks, you won’t find anything better than this resource. I’m adding it to The Best Teacher Resources For “TED Talks” (& Similar Presentations). Here are some interesting thoughts on the KWL chart from Crawling Out Of The Classroom. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of Prior Knowledge (& How To Activate...

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