Monday, June 13, 2005

Understanding Persistence

"Never give in. Never give in. Never,never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty- never give in, except to convictions of honour and good sense..." - Winston Churchill

Why is it that some people give up easily? What's different about the ones that persist? Do they have better attention? Do they have better drive?

Well, this brain imaging study suggests that some people are better at being able to activate their medial reward systems - so that they want to do the task - even if the task is uninteresting. We just excerpted a few pictures below (and put the eyes in so you could get a better idea what you're looking at) and the paper can be read in the open access NIH paper database at PubMed Central.

When we're troubleshooting a child's poor task persistence, we need to think about several things - can a child do it (could a disability be the problem?)?, are there ways to improve motivation (internal and external rewards) within the educational setting?, and are the conditions ripe to foster a feeling of competence (can the child experience some success while being incrementally challenged).

Check out other articles below on Temperament and School Behavior, and Fostering Resilience.

Persistence on fMRI
Temperament and School Behavior
Fostering Resilience in Children

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