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Art Markman, Ph.D.
Art Markman, Ph.D., is Annabel Irion Worsham Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, and director of the Masters Program in the Human Dimensions of Organizations. He got his Sc.B. in Cognitive Science from Brown University and his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Illinois. He has published over 150 scholarly works on topics in higher-level thinking, including the effects of motivation on learning and performance, analogical reasoning, categorization, decision making and creativity. He is currently executive editor of the journal Cognitive Science and a member of the editorial board of Cognitive Psychology. Art is author of Smart Thinking and Habits of Leadership. His new book is called Smart Change.

Entries by Art Markman, Ph.D.

What Do You Want This Year?

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 5:35 PM

As December winds to a close, we reach the time of year where people across the globe are starting to think about how next year will be different from this year. It is fascinating to think both about what people want in the year to come and how they will...

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Creating Personalized Practice for Students

(0) Comments | Posted April 4, 2014 | 9:09 AM

For a few decades now, educators have suggested that computers would vastly improve our ability to teach students. The assumption has been that with computers we would be able to transport students to places they could not go on their own, allow them to communicate with people around the globe,...

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Control and Health

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 10:26 AM

At any given moment, you may feel as though your ability to succeed in the world involves some combination of your own efforts and factors that are out of your control. Starting about 50 years ago, psychologists began to explore the relationship between people's beliefs about the amount of control...

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Egocentrism and Negotiation Failure

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2014 | 1:12 PM

Negotiations and disagreements are difficult for many reasons. We set them up as antagonistic, and so we assume that when we win, our rival loses and vice versa. Consequently, we sometimes miss opportunities to find agreements that benefit both sides.
Another problem in negotiation is that our own priorities...

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How Does Disgust Affect Memory?

(2) Comments | Posted November 27, 2013 | 8:23 AM

Emotional experiences clearly affect memory. At the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy many people shared their memories of where they were when they heard the news that he had been shot. This event was shocking, and many people reported having vivid memories of that day, even...

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Fables May Fail to Help Children

(0) Comments | Posted November 6, 2013 | 9:43 AM

Stories are a central way that we pass information to people. The beauty of stories is that they embed real cultural wisdom in a specific context. They are easy to remember. They capture people's attention. For all of these reasons, we often use stories to help people learn new strategies...

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When Does Choosing a Treatment Matter?

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 9:53 AM

In the United States, many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) are about to take effect. Opponents of the law are concerned that it will ultimately reduce some people's options for the care that they receive, even as it increases the number of people who are...

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Controversy and Conversation

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 3:20 PM

Take a look at the comments section on your favorite news website. Some topics generate a lot of discussion among participants. Other topics may be widely read, but people don't feel compelled to say anything. What drives people's desire to talk about a topic?
Obviously, the topic of the...

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Flexibility Can Be Bad for You

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 5:58 PM

In many settings, people don't like to be told exactly what to do. Instead, we prize the opportunity to demonstrate our individuality. It seems obvious that we enjoy this in artistic situations. Most people over the age of 8 are not big fans of coloring books in which you have...

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Goal Conflict Helps You See Both Sides of an Issue

(2) Comments | Posted August 30, 2013 | 4:58 PM

One of the most persistent findings in psychology is confirmation bias. When we have a belief about something in the world, we tend to seek out information that will confirm that belief. For example, if you meet a new person, and you believe that they are an extravert, you might...

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'He's on Fire!': How Does the 'Hot Hand' Phenomenon Really Work?

(19) Comments | Posted August 12, 2013 | 3:52 PM

One of the great things about doing research is that you can actually test the beliefs that people take for granted. And sometimes, those beliefs are shown to be false. A classic example of this approach comes in the belief in a hot hand in basketball. When you watch a...

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Self-Control and Success

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 12:14 PM

Most of us believe that a certain amount of self-control is crucial for success. In order to succeed in the modern world, you need expertise in some area. Gaining that expertise requires work and practice. The discipline to work or practice at something means that you have to give up...

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What Kinds of People Start Businesses?

(1) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 2:29 PM

I live in Austin, Texas, which prides itself as a center for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are people who start their own businesses. In Austin, we have many different kinds of new businesses ranging from high-tech companies that want to be the next Dell or Facebook to food-truck restaurants where someone just...

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Both Good and Bad Habits Are Boosted in Times of Stress

(3) Comments | Posted June 17, 2013 | 8:22 AM

The effects of stress on willpower are a staple of romantic comedies. A character goes through a difficult romantic breakup, and in the next scene, she is sitting on the couch smeared in ice cream with empty wrappers strewn on the couch.

All of us have experienced this kind...

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Familiar Sequences Attract Attention

(5) Comments | Posted June 5, 2013 | 2:45 PM

When you look around the world, lots of different things may capture your attention. The loud backfire of a car nearby may cause you to look in that direction. A bright flash of light from a window can get you to look up. A familiar face in a crowd can...

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Who Rejects Evidence of Global Climate Change?

(156) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 6:15 PM

Not long ago, I was reading Nate Silver's fascinating book The Signal and the Noise. The book explores ways that people think about data in a number of settings. In one chapter, Silver examines the data relating to global climate change. As he points out, a careful look...

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Do Sunny Days Make You Feel Good About Life?

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2013 | 4:15 PM

I have a soft spot in my heart for the song "Sunny Side of the Street," and that song has helped me get through some tough times in my life. The lyric "Life can be so sweet/On the sunny side of the street" captures our general belief that rainy days...

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Memory, Aging, and Distraction

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 11:18 AM

The population in the United States is aging. That has created a lot of anxiety about the cognitive effects of getting older. Lots of research suggests that older adults are worse than younger adults on a variety of different thinking tasks. They remember fewer words from...

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Terror Management Theory and the Boston Marathon Tragedy

(3) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 3:49 PM

In the wake of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, Americans all feel closer to the city of Boston. A wonderful cartoon in the New Yorker this week showed two Yankees fans wearing Boston Red Sox uniforms. Even Yankees fans can put aside their rivalry in the face of tragedy.

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Powerful People Are Happy

(6) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 5:55 PM

There is a popular image that people who are in positions of power are really unfulfilled. Perhaps they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Perhaps being able to choose to do what you want carries a psychological cost. Or, perhaps this belief is just wishful thinking on...

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