Top 10 Stunning Misconceptions of the Effects of Smartphone Usage

Mobile-mobility phone backgroundPhones nowadays are not simply the modes of communication anymore, they’re compact and sophisticated computers. The world has gone digital, and most children growing up today have no sense of what it is like to live without being connected. The concept of being offline is essentially a punishment, and the age at which youngsters start using these devices is gradually decreasing. Despite the ubiquity of this technology, though, we still don’t know some of the ramifications about this cultural evolution, because the research, let alone the technology itself, is so new. But we are learning more about how our psychology is being affected by phones, and here is a list of ten of the most surprising changes.

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Where to Get Free Post-secondary Education in English

Arcada University of Applied Sciences in HelsinkiAfter doing some independent research for my last article on German, a country that I am growing to like as I learn more about it, I decided to find out what other countries offer higher education in English. Sure, America has the best universities in the world. The United Kingdom has some of the oldest, most established institutions ever. Canada and Japan have world authorities in their respective fields teaching in their universities. These are all fantastic options for higher education, but they have one thing that the following list of countries doesn’t have: tuition fees.

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Be Smart, Move to Germany (not in that order)

Erfurt University German Flag - stkIs it just me, or is Germany possibly the greatest country in the world today…?

Germany is considered the 5th best place to be young in the world (3rd in Europe), and with 64% of the population speaking English, it’s also one of the best places for foreigners of any age to visit (…especially if they speak English). It has the world’s 4th largest economy (after US, China, and Japan) and an impressively low unemployment rate. It’s no wonder that it was rated as the most positively viewed country in the world in 2013 by the BCC. But the real story that motivated me to blog about this is the news about something dear to my heart – higher education. Namely, Germany has made all of its university education completely free.

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Wanna Change Someone’s Mind? Agree With Them

youre-doing-it-wrongEveryone has the experience of trying to convince someone of something. It could be for something as trivial as renting the movie you want, to something as important as deciding on whether or not to give your child a vaccine. Strongly-held beliefs can be incredibly difficult to shake, but how might one be able to do so effectively? One of the most widely-used strategies is probably the most ineffective – yelling “No, you’re wrong!” or calling them names. As astronomer Phil Plait once said in a speech during a skeptic conference in 2010, yelling at or insulting people won’t persuade them. New research is suggesting that, in fact, if you really want to persuade someone, you should agree with them to the extreme.

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Are Japanese Teachers Less Competent than their Foreign Counterparts?

Incompetent teacher... you didn't use the method I showed youI know what you’re thinking – how could you suggest that the average teacher in any country is incompetent? Such things depend on the way you define “competence,” and how you measure it. How could you suggest that one of the most advanced countries in the world be considered “incompetent in their ability to educate? Of course, I certainly don’t want to say that they are incompetent, but according to a new survey, Japan’s teachers would agree with me if I did.

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The World’s Most Peaceful and Dangerous Countries of 2014

geysir-strokkur-sky-landscape-iceland-christian-oeserCountries that are extremely peaceful and those in utter political disarray are subjects of much fascination all across the world. Luckily, the Vision of Humanity came out with their eighth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), a ranking of 162 countries. Considering this list includes 99.6 percent of the world’s population, it should certainly be taken seriously. First, let’s look at the most and least safe nations, and then consider the changes that the GPI shows overtime, in a global perspective.

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In Tokyo, Dancing is a Crime

dancing-wallpaperPolice raids on clubs in Tokyo have been gradually increasing in recent years. This isn’t particularly abnormal, because in virtually every country in the world, clubs often close down (and often open later under a different name) for certain things like unfortunate violence or other illicit activities within such establishments. However, the illicit activities that are most commonly the subject of police crackdowns is something that the dance clubs probably were not expecting – dancing.

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Is Atheism a Religion? (Hint: No)

m4s0n501

atheism religion baldness hairstyleRarely do I make new articles based on my interactions with commenters, but a recent one warranted a full response. From my article “Read a Bible – Become an Atheist (In That Order)” one commenter said:

Sorry, atheism is a religion, as it is a system of belief…a very simple one (not saying that everyone’s beliefs are simple, but the simple fact being that one chooses NOT to believe in God). It takes great leaps of faith to believe that there is no God.

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The Psychology of Studying – Writing vs. Typing Your Notes

Computer typing colourful BG ResearchBlogging.orgWhen it comes to studying, time is a major issue. For students with a high volume of information to study, cramming is sometimes required. For example, medical students don’t have the luxury of time to study one subject and absolutely nail it, because they have eight other subjects they’re simultaneously being tested on. The real secret to studying, however, is that the quantity of time spent is not nearly as important as the quality of it. If you ever wondered whether or not typing your notes can stack up to writing them by hand, let this be a lesson to you.

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Wanna Be a Doctor? You Need Psychology – Guide to the new MCAT

doctor-BG-blue-worldPsychology has finally become recognized as an study necessary to become a doctor, according to the non-profit organization AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges). This has ramifications for the rest of the world, as its famous medical exam – the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) – is used in 114 countries across the world. The test has undergone major changes that will come into effect in 2015, and one of the changes is the substantial addition in testing psychology knowledge.

Transitioning to the New MCAT

The Current (i.e., soon-to-be-outdated) MCAT

In the current edition of the MCAT, there are three sections:

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