A selection of books on how to learn, think and make effective decisions

    In our blog we publish Habré not only stories about developments ITMO University community, but also fotoeksursii - for example, our robotics lab , laboratory kiberfizicheskih systems and DIY-Coworking Fablab .

    Today, we have compiled a selection of books that consider ways to improve work and study in terms of patterns of thinking. Photo: g_u / Flickr / CC BY-SA

    Habits of thinking

    Why Smart People Can Be So Stupid
    Robert Sternberg (Yale University Press, 2002)

    Smart people sometimes make very stupid mistakes. Those who blindly believe in their competence often fall into "blind spots" that they themselves are not aware of. The essays presented in this book examine the bad habits of intellectuals — from ignoring obvious cause-effect relationships to the tendency to overestimate one’s own experience. This book will help you to be more critical about the way we think, learn and work.

    How children fail
    John Holt (1964, Pitman Publishing Corp.)

    American educator John Holt is one of the most prominent critics of established educational systems. This book is based on his teaching experience and observations on how fifth graders experience learning setbacks. The chapters resemble diary entries - they go around situations that the author gradually parses. Attentive reading will allow you to rethink your own experience and understand what “educational” habits you have taken root from childhood. The book was published in Russian in the 90s, but has since gone out of print.

    Teaching as a Subversive Activity
    Neil Postman & Charles Weingartner (Delacorte Press, 1969)

    According to the authors, a number of problems of mankind - such as global warming, social inequality and the epidemic of mental illness - remain unresolved due to the approach to education that they instilled in us in childhood. In order to lead a meaningful life and actively change the world for the better, it is first of all necessary to change the attitude towards knowledge as such and the process of its extraction. The authors give arguments in favor of critical thinking and the organization of the educational process around questions rather than answers to them.

    Learning to learn

    Make It Stick: The Science Of Successful Learning
    Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel (2014)

    In the book you will find both a description of the educational process in terms of psychology, and practical advice for optimizing it. Particular attention is paid to educational strategies that do not work in practice. The authors will explain why this happens and tell you what you can do about it. For example, they argue that adjusting to the student’s educational preferences is useless. Studies say that predisposition to certain teaching methods does not affect the effectiveness of learning.

    Flow: Psychology of Optimal Experience
    Mihaly Cziksentmihalyi (Harper, 1990)

    The most famous work of psychologist Mihai Chiksentmihayi. In the center of the book is the concept of "flow." The author assures that the ability to regularly "flow into the stream" makes human life more meaningful, happy and productive. The book tells about how representatives of different professions - from musicians to climbers - find this condition, and what you can learn from them. The work is written in an accessible and popular language - closer to the literature of the "self-help" genre. This year the book was once again reprinted in Russian.

    How to Solve it: A New Aspect of Mathematical Method
    George Polya (Princeton University Press, 1945) The

    classic work of the Hungarian mathematician Gyordy Poia - an introduction to the work with the mathematical method. It contains a number of applied techniques that can be applied to solve both mathematical problems and problems of a different kind. A valuable resource for those who want to develop the necessary intellectual discipline to study the exact sciences. In the Soviet Union, the book was published back in 1959 under the title "How to Solve a Problem."

    Think like a mathematician: How to solve any problems faster and more efficiently
    Barbara Oakley (TarcherPerigee; 2014)

    Not all people want to study exact sciences, but this does not mean that they have nothing to learn from mathematicians. So thinks Barbara Oakley - professor at Oakland University, engineer, philologist and translator. Think Like A Mathematician examines the workflows of academics and shares with readers key lessons that can be learned from them. We will talk about the development of material without cramming, memory - short-term and long-term, the ability to recover from failures and the fight against procrastination.

    Learning to think

    Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern
    Douglas Hofstadter (Basic Books, 1985)

    Shortly after the book by the cognitivist and Pulitzer Prize winner Douglas Hofstader " Godel, Escher, Bach " was published, the writer began to regularly publish in Scientific American. The columns he wrote for the magazine were subsequently supplemented by commentaries and combined into a weighty book called Metamagical Themas. Hofstader touches on various topics related to the nature of human thinking: from optical illusions and Chopin’s music to artificial intelligence and programming. Theories of the author are illustrated by mental experiments.

    Labyrinths of Reason: Paradox, Puzzles, and the Frailty of Knowledge
    William Poundstone (Anchor Press, 1988)

    What is Common Sense? How is knowledge formed? How does our view of the world relate to reality? These and other questions are answered by the work of William Poundstone, a physicist by training and a vocation writer. William examines the questions of epistemology and answers them, talking about paradoxical features of human thinking that are easy to miss. Among the fans of the book are the previously mentioned cognitive scientist Douglas Hofstader, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov and mathematician Martin Gardner.

    Think slowly ... decide quickly
    Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011)

    Daniel Kahneman is a professor at Princeton University, a Nobel Prize laureate, one of the founders of behavioral economics. This is the author’s fifth and last book, in which some of his scientific findings are popularly retold. The book describes two types of thinking: slow and fast, and their impact on the decisions we make. Much attention is paid to the methods of self-deception, which people do in order to simplify their lives. It will not do without tips on working on yourself.

    PS You can find more interesting books on the topic in this repository .

    Also popular now: