Friday, April 21, 2006

Children More Sensitive to Negative Feedback

If it seems like children are more sensitive to negative feedback, these brain scans suggest it's true:

In high or low risk testing situations (here, a modified gambling task in which 9-12 year olds made predictions about which piece of cake to choose), kids seem to have stronger aversive responses than college students (in the their orbitofrontal cortices) after they found out about their mistakes.

Maybe a major benefit of growing older is have more of a context about negative outcomes? It certainly explains why it seems many children get unduely frustrated trying new tasks and making mistakes.

Check out some nice links for teaching optimism below, but if you find yourself grousing at the optimism pages, then perhaps console yourself that you are really a well-adjusted defensive pessmist. This can work against you (lower your goals), or for you (reduce stress, anxiety, avoid disappointment, but still pursue goals) depending on what you choose to do.

Have a great weekend. We'll be on a brief blog break as we travel to the American Occupational Therapy Association conference in Charlotte, North Carolina and then swing by DC on the way back to tour the historical sites. See you back May 3rd!

Negative Feedback, Children, fMRI
Eide Neurolearning Blog: From Pessimism to Pragmatic Optimism
Self-Worth & Resilience in Kids
Fostering motivation, hope, and resilience in kids with LDs
Defensive Pessimism

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