Second tool: the myth of hard work is beneficial only when performing old work (skills already mastered), not in performing new mental work (skills in process of being learned). There are misguided beliefs regarding mental learning when they attempt to compare mental learning with physical work. As a result, we have many sayings such as “Just believe you can do it." or "Just put your mind to it" and you will succeed. These phrases sound good but still follow the harmful teachings of fixed intelligences.
True academic knowledge and skills accumulate over time through intrinsic reward and enjoying the long-term process of learning. This long-term learning requires more stability, knowledge, and support from others to maintain that learning and motivation to learn. Hopefully my theory will provide a means to achieve some of this need, even when it is lacking at home or in that person’s individual environment.
The attitude of hard work when performing a new mental work actually impedes learning and long-term motivation or desire to acquire more knowledge and skills. As our pace and intensity in approaching mental work exceeds our immediate knowledge and experience, we create much greater mental friction and further impede our ability to think and learn. This hurts both short and long-term motivation in mental areas for students by reducing mental reward received for mental work expended. This also shortens our length of reflection time (ability to think more deeply). I feel at least 25 percent of our average stress is created socially from improper pace and intensity when approaching a new mental work such as academics. I feel this percentage of average stress rises much higher for students/adults lower socioeconomic areas where their environment creates higher average stress and more physical orientation that may greatly drive upward their mental efforts in a very improper way.
When approaching mental work, situations, problems, or academics we should begin slowly and simply reflect on the information we have. This will create a small base area of knowledge with notches to add more information. As we slowly add more information, our base area of knowledge will increase naturally and the number of notches to add more information will multiply, thus naturally expanding our pace and intensity of learning. If we applied our present myth or teachings regarding mental work and applied a lot of mental energy, we would waste energy trying to place a lot of information onto just a few notches. In this way, we can see how incorrect pace and intensity kills both short and long-term motivation in mental areas. By trying too hard, we are overwhelming our minds with information before understanding and usefulness is established. This is another reason why the myth of permanence in ability to learn continues, because only slight improvement occurs with hard work.
High layers of mental frictions also “cause” students to approach mental work in an incorrect way or try too hard. If we were to have a point of perfect stability then the dynamics of approaching mental work (academics and other learning material) would be approached in a more perfect dynamic way: the child will more naturally approach new mental work more slowly at first. As a person gains knowledge and skills in an area, his pace and intensity will increase naturally with equal enjoyment of learning. With more mental friction or less stability, that added instability disrupts or causes the child use the energy from the mental frictions in his life to try too hard or apply too much effort. Many children need to be taught the dynamics of approaching new things more slowly to help offset the improper tendency of trying too hard or applying too much effort. This hurts motivation or mental reward received for mental work expended. Both high layers of mental frictions and improper pace and intensity accumulate over years to create large deficits in learning for many students and adults. Approaching mental work correctly is important for students to learn and enjoy learning new knowledge and academics. The little girl said "This goes here and that goes there." had the right idea. In time, she will know where this and that goes and will learn more advanced skills with equal enjoyment. In the physical world, we may work hard; in the mental world we need to work easy. The dynamics of approaching all mental work correctly affects every aspect of our lives.
By lowering layers of mental frictions and changing pace and intensity in approaching newer mental work, we will increase motivation to learn and develop more complex mental/emotional/social skills over time. These tools will create the mental reward received for mental work expended or long-term motivation, intrinsic reward, and love of learning that are vital to being a life long student. This makes a student better able to compete in the information age. Students who begin this process late in life will still lag behind their peers in knowledge, confidence, and experience in certain areas. However, using those principles, a person can begin to catch up and even go ahead of his peers. After correcting my speech impediment, I did this.
I find it hurtful when persons in the media reflect their more mental, emotional stable environment along with mental/emotional/social knowledge and skills they received from a young age upon others. Those persons then admonish students and adults to simply turn off the video games, stay in school, try hard, and make good grades. While this may create a positive, emotional atmosphere at the moment, such emotional motivations are short-lived and cannot be maintained by the average person over the long-term. As a teacher, I am upset with so-called role models kids look up to for goals and inspirations. Those kids are desperately searching for a measure of love, honor, and respect from society (the essentials of self-worth) through those efforts yet, have no understanding of the long-term support and learning that is required. Society appears to be hell bent on its lack of understanding of learning and motivation and is leading its children down the same hopeless path. We need for role models to view all persons as equals and fully acknowledge the support and care they have been given over the years that enabled them to rise and accomplish what they have accomplished. You see the genetic model of “succeed by ability and effort” taught in school and the media, from Gardner are creating hopelessness in our children and in turn, many harmful escapes and needless suicides.
Telling students to work harder when they have high mental frictions will only lead to more frustration. Those students will still have to work harder than their peers to receive the same mental rewards. The lower mental frictions must come first. The teacher can then push such students only according to the mental reward and confidence they are receiving for mental work expended. If a teacher tries to build up his students' esteem without giving them tools to improve their lives, the teacher may do more harm by fostering more short-term escapes to maintain that esteem.
This information is important. Few of us are able to rest our security (more important-inner-security) upon money, power, or status. There isn't enough to go around. We must teach students our inner-security is more important. This is accomplished by showing students how our individual environments greatly our affect ability to think and learn, then providing cognitive tools students can use to continually improve their lives. This will provide students with greater inner-security and tools to continually improve their lives mentally and emotionally.
Peer pressure is created by the myth of permanence in ability. If a student feels permanently inferior in one or more areas, he will be more reliant upon his peers for support, love, honor, affection, protection, etc., and even some knowledge he may feel necessary to have. He will also be more in fear of rejection and thus, losing those things. This creates peer pressure. By showing students how their individual environments greatly affect their ability to think, learn, long-term motivation to learn, and grow mentally and emotionally, students will have much more respect and esteem for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives more delicately and differently to continually change and improve their lives, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others over time. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming newer and better persons with each passing day. This will reduce much hopelessness, many harmful escapes and other problems created by the terrible teachings of fixed intelligences in school such as dropouts, drug/alcohol abuse, catharsis of violence, and suicide. This will lower peer pressure by making students less reliant on peers for support and remove the fear of rejection. Although rejection may continue, a person will not fear it.
The myth of permanence in ability is the force behind class distinctions. Students and adults falsely believing they fall into their positions through genetic abilities or order, are driving themselves to obtain various forms of achievement, money, power, status, image, and popularity to symbolize their place in that mythical order of permanence or class. Yes, those who feel they cannot achieve will at least attempt to impress others they are able to achieve. Since society today values worldly or material success over other qualities, students and adults today are attempting to use various outward displays of greater money, power, status, image, and popularity to at least give the impression they are in a certain class. They use class distinctions to help symbolize their place as different and separate from those they feel are inferior or wish to line up more with those they admire. Many people, both students and adults devote their lives to the false god of permanence in ability through class distinctions. By showing students how our individual environments do greatly affect our ability to think and learn, we will remove once and for all, the fire from this mythical dragon of permanence and the class distinctions it causes. This will create greater esteem, respect, and hope for everyone.
Now, since the Male Crisis is the most pressing problem the now international society is facing, I am adding this application of my learning theory to this important problem that will eventually affect all of us in very negative ways.
Why Males are Falling Behind Academically and Economically
Males are falling behind in greater numbers each year academically and economically. Our society is still using the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong and Females should be protected. This belief allows much aggression toward Males to make them tough. Any sign of weakness will create more aggression toward such Males. Only Males who have been taught from a young age not to value those physical areas sufficiently and who are valued more so for so-called feminine qualities such as patience, understanding, ease of nature, kindness, and mildness will be able to also develop other information age skills society still feels is feminine such as mental, emotional, social, and academic skills. You see, those skills require more patience, ease of nature, and "low average stress along with proper pace and intensity in approaching those mental areas.” The lower the socioeconomic bracket the fewer cognitive tools are available for those Males and also the much more enhanced the effort to make those Males strong with no room for any sign of weakness.
The nineteenth century belief Males should be strong heavily adversely affects Males from an early age onward in three large areas. The first area of concern: society's belief, Males should be strong allows much aggression toward Males (as early as nine months) “Psychology of Sex Differences”. Here I am referring to more commanding, more abrupt, harsh words, less positive eye-contact, more intimidating eye-contact, and more harsh physical treatment. This aggression creates higher average stress that makes learning information age skills more difficult. The lower the socioeconomic bracket and time in generation the fewer tools available, the more amplified this aggression and higher the average stress. The increased aggression Males receive, creates six bad things for Males academically, mentally, emotionally, and socially: 1. it creates higher average layers of mental frictions which inhibit learning and motivation in mental areas. 2. These higher layers of mental frictions create improper pace and intensity in approaching mental work (apply too much effort when approaching new material). 3. The aggression Males receive and less positive (nurturing) attention create higher average stress and more nervous energy or over activity. The extra activity is not genetic but socially created. Too bad our fearless leaders who have had a more stable environment are not aware of this difference in treatment. 4. The extra aggression given Males along with “much neglect” of mental, emotional, social, and verbal support also creates high muscle tension in Males that make handwriting more difficult for boys. This hurts Males over time in the information age. 5. The extra aggression Males receive creates the Male ego or defensive cushion the Male develops from an early age to protect them from the aggressions they receive from society. The Male ego or defensive cushion has negative consequences of further alienating Males from mental, emotional, social, and academic supports they “might” receive from society (teachers) and creates additional stress. This behavior or defense posturing then elicits and maintains more negative reactions and aggression by teachers and others. When Males hear firm or hard words from others like teachers their minds are thinking defense and not thinking about learning and enjoying the learning process. When boys are talked to it is often with short firm commands, not the soft, kind, ease of nurtured stability necessary for mental/emotional stability. Male students faced with much more aggression to make them tough suffer from both higher average stress that creates more ADD and ADHD along with greater muscle tension- higher muscle tension in fingers and hands creating a tighter grip on the pencil/pen and more pressure on the paper that creates poor handwriting and less motivation to write. Everyone should observe treatment of boys more closely themselves. 6. The neglect and emotional distance created by this differential treatment create the lag in maturity of Males. This lag in development is socially created, not genetic. This should be considered a crime against male children. The combination of high layers of mental frictions and defensive cushion are working to create an impediment to learning that accumulates in harm or lag in development over time for men.
In addition, the more unstable and tension filled society becomes, which has occurred in the last ten years the more open-ended the release of stress by parents, peers, teachers, etc. upon boys of all ages is allowed and society’s gross tendency to look the other way. Now with the media stepping in to attack Males of all ages more so, this is leading to more open disrespect and more harsh treatment of Males of all ages. Can you imagine what harm the media is inflicting on the very young Males watching this abuse on television? This will lead to some very angry Males in the future with less regard for themselves and for others. Since Females are still regarded as “to be protected” when times become more unstable or harsh, such release of aggressions due to stress is still not allowed by society thus protecting Females from the increased abuse. With this differential treatment, Females continue to do well where as Males who undergo more harsh treatment (due to additional release of aggression) will tend to slide back farther academically and economically. This is responsible for boys facing more hardships growing up and suffering more academically in recent years during harsh times.
I see the aggression given young males creates even small changes in body language, muscle tension, and activity. As those Males grow the effect on those features creates more aggressive responses as a way of controlling that unwanted behavior. As those male children grow, this creates more signs of muscle tension, body language, activity, and stress related voices of volume, tone, etc, which is then reacted to by society with more force in reaction to those signs of force seen by society. Even very slight amounts of aggression or stress placed upon Male children can create subtle changes, which then elicit more forceful or negative reply to control that behavior. This then sets up a very negative feedback for Male children. Also since Males are supposed to be tough, forceful treatment can be given by parents, peers, and teachers out of simple allowance of such treatment by society. This can start the ever increasing negative feedback that increases and maintains higher average stress, higher muscle tension, and changes in body language, which creates an increased response from society. This alone can create social distance and lags in mental/emotional development of male children.
Since girls are not supposed to be tough and given more protection and support, this creates a very different outcome. For Females: the very kind, stable, support and verbal interaction create lower average stress, lower muscle tension, less activity, and more social connection and trust with others. This allows the Female child to have needs met when feeling low and receive more tolerance and even support when feeling agitated. This support creates many fine stabilizing qualities that are maintained on through adulthood.
Even very subtle differences in treatment of children can create a very large differential feedback by society leading to large differences in information age skills and communication skills over time. Females will definitely have an advantage whereas Males will definitely be working with a large disadvantage over time. This is showing up today in favor of Females in both college entry and higher wages earned by younger Females in society. Therefore, society in its ignorance is literally pulling Males down with improper treatment from a very young age and lifting girls/women up with much more proper treatment.
The Second area of concern: In society, men are given love, honor, respect, or the essentials of self-worth only on “condition of” achievement, money, power, status or image. Again, this is a part of the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong. This is what makes Males so competitive. Males are continually vying or competing for the essentials of self-worth from society. They must fight through the nineteenth century confrontations allowed by society upon them from an early age to achieve those benefits and feelings of self-worth. Those Males who do not achieve in school or like areas will not receive sufficient love, honor, and respect from teachers, parents, and others for this lacking and may receive more neglect and more aggression from those persons. Again, society allows this window of aggression upon Males to make them tough.
Males who can achieve in the classroom will do so. They will receive sufficient love, honor, respect, and support for academics and will continue to put forth more effort. When a Male Child is not showing a measure of achievement in school, he will receive more neglect, abuse, and ridicule from parents and “teachers” than the Female child. This signals to the Male Child that he will not receive the essentials of self-worth in academics. He will then push himself in areas such as games, sports, stunts, and other pursuits to receive love, honor and respect (self-worth) from his peers. Over a period of years, this leaves many Males far behind Females in mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills.
Third area of concern: In addition, generally Males “are not given” – kind support, ease, gentleness, and mental, emotional, social, and academic support, knowledge and skills (unless by accident). Society from the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong considers such attention and support as coddling the Male child. Society still holds Males should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. As a result, Males are not given the support to develop many mental, emotional, social, and academic skills. This is causing a much greater social distance of Males and causes the general lag in mental/emotional growth and maturity for Males. Over a period of years, this is leaving many Males grossly unable to compete in the information age, which requires a slow accumulation of many complex mental, emotional, social, academic skills and talents. This is creating the ever growing international Male Crisis that will only get worse for Males and then get much worse for Females when Males begin to take back with interest their power and status. I feel society will continue maintaining this mistreatment of Males until a critical point is reached.
The truth is, little boys need just as much coddling as the girls and just as much kind, considerate mental, emotional, social, and academic support as girls. While neglect of Male children and boys may have proved useful in the more physical nineteenth century, it is working opposite of need in the information age where it requires much more accumulated mental, emotional, social and academic skills acquired over time. In these areas, Males are being seriously shortchanged.
It is incorrect to view the Male Crisis on role models. The lack of role models is the result of the problem, not the cause. If you had a bag full of sand with a hole in the bottom, you would “not” say there is less sand in the bag; you would say there is a hole in the bottom of the bag. Indeed, we should fix the hole in the bag by providing Males with tools to develop long-term, mental/emotional stability so they can better compete mentally and emotionally in the information age. One professional was attempting to find more role models for Male children. He boasted that a Male child’s esteem goes up when they have one positive role model. What he was unknowingly saying was that Males have such little attention that when they do receive that attention, they are very grateful. This creates the large rise in esteem. The fight for attention could be creating misbehavior in Male children.
Today, many boys and men are becoming angry because they losing more than jobs and status, they are losing the valuable thing they are seeking most, love, honor, and respect, the essentials of self-worth. The little bites they receive in the media and workplace accumulate over time to create much anger that touches on and erodes their feelings of self-worth. As persons lose feelings of self-worth they also lose regard for the consequences of their actions. If men fall behind more collectively, they may begin to retaliate more collectively without regard for consequences, thus ending the shield of over-protection for women. This will mean much more abuse and crimes against women. It will do well for all parents, teachers, employers, and those in the media to be more “sincerely” kind to others, especially Males.
The African American Male Crisis is greater than the Caucasian Male Crisis. There is like a 72 to 28 percent college graduation rate favoring African American Females over African American Males. For the general population there is like a 62 to 38 percent college graduation rate favoring Females. This points to a sociological basis for the Male Crisis, “not genetics”. By understanding how sociological environments are creating this Male Crisis and how all Males at different socioeconomic levels are also affected “less” by degree, we can then begin to understand how differential treatment of Males (sociological treatment) is creating this problem and correct the problem “sociologically”.
For women, due to the nineteenth century belief women should be protected and still in effect today, this has created much protection for many women. When they are talked to from young age, they are given more kind, delicate, more considerate treatment. They are given much more kind, positive, up building eye contact and attention. This continues from infancy right on through adulthood by family and society in general. This creates very low layers of mental frictions. This makes thinking, learning, and motivation in mental areas much easier. Since girls are not required to be strong, this protection and continuous attention from day one also create a high speed expressway of continuous, mental, emotional, social and academic support, knowledge, and skills that accumulate in advancement in many areas over time (years). Again, listen to the difference in how little girls are talked to with more gentleness, ease, and nurtured stability, even in adulthood. These two continual supports from society over time provide nearly everything a person needs today to succeed in the information age. Since women are given through protection, the benefits of love, honor, respect, and continual support, all of the benefits of self-worth from an early age without qualification (simply for being girls), they are working with much more continual support and interaction to accumulate mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills that can be transformed easily into money, power, status, and image. Even after this, society’s protection, care, and continued support along with its views of beauty and charm help women in the information age.
Women are now surging ahead academically and economically due to this overprotection and men are puzzled as to why they are falling behind. If you remove the old money from older men, the girls are making more. Now in the information age, Males are now competing with Females who have been well supported from day one and Males are beginning fall behind big time, especially from women in their 20's and early 30's. http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSN0334472920070803
You see, society still believes in genetic differences so everyone remains blind to the very real, differential treatment that is creating these differences. The current beliefs held by both men and women today is Males learn differently or men are simply lazy and do not try hard enough. These false beliefs only add to the growing Male Crisis. The men who believe this myth and who do not have information to the contrary may believe they are somehow mentally inferior or just not working hard enough. Somehow, humans, men included, tend to reflect the treatment they receive in their lives upon others and do not know or are not allowed by society to say how differential treatment is hurting them. This may lead Males to give up in developing various mental, emotional, social, and academic skills over time. They may limit their interest and desires to smaller windows of fulfillment within their social connections. They will continue to dress up for display, their Male defensive cushion to at least present a plausible image when dealing in areas where they are not as competent. Worse for these Males, they may advance their beliefs and feelings onto their sons, thus enabling the continuation of the harmful belief of inferiority in the information age.
As for women, they having been told the same teaching that persons are naturally better in some areas or simply work harder. They may truly feel they are simply more intelligent or have worked harder to achieve what they have achieved. In our world, again women like men often reflect their environment and treatment upon others and so do not appreciate large differences in treatment. In our world of insecurities, it is no wonder when women achieve, to boost their insecurity, as affects everyone, they will believe this achievement is due to more intelligence or greater effort on their part and not due to any environmental variables. What makes it seem more plausible for women to feel this way is that over protection also provides a much larger freedom of expression to be more commanding, demanding, less kind, and even rude and still get the nod from society as having a form of strength. However, the words presented usually “lack much” in compassion and feeling developed among individuals who have faced more confrontations. However, in our society today those persons who are protected and nurtured the most will do better in the information age so the falsetto of strength is maintained incorrectly as something positive.
There is a growing phenomena, that involves driving Males from the work place. Part of the reason is there are fewer jobs left for Males in blue collar areas and more job openings in more white collar areas. But there are other reasons for this change in society. One reason is the nineteenth century belief Males should be strong has left many Males years behind in various mental, emotional, social, and academic areas of learning. This has created a large pool of Male employees who are not able to adapt to information age needs. Another reason is that as more Females enter positions of power and collective control, they are more apt to keep Female employees and lay off Male employees (there is no equal opportunity protection for Males). There is another more complex reason why Females are keeping their jobs and Males are losing their jobs. The nineteenth century belief Females should be protected is alive in the work place also. It places more constrictions on how jobs, intimidation, force for output and general respect and care are given to Females. However, society’s allowed aggressions upon Male employees allows much more harsh treatment of Males in terms of verbal abuse, intimidation, job assignments, and lack of respect in general. This difference in treatment over time places the Male in a much more precarious position in deciding whether to continually put up with such mental/emotional abuse, quit, or be fired for finally drawing a line at some point. Even when Females face similar treatment on the job, the over all treatment of respect and care by society supports them so they are able to carry on and remain employed.
Men are not afraid of successful women. They have much experience with and prepare for abuse toward them by society, including women who may perceive men to be weak in some way. The nineteenth century belief Males should be strong allows aggression toward Males who appear weak. Society provides love, honor, respect, (the essentials of self-worth only on condition of sufficient achievement, money, power, and status. Women, due to the nineteenth century belief woman should be protected are given love, honor, and respect simply for being women. The nineteen century belief they should be protected allows for much mental, emotional, social support and so appear to mature faster than Males. By differential treatment Females are surging ahead. In addition, this overprotection by society also allows women to give verbal, silent abuse, and hollow kindness or patronization with impunity. The combination of allowed aggressions upon Males who appear weak in some way, lack of support for Males, more than adequate support for Females, and the protected freedoms of various allowed verbal abuse make a Male who appears weak in some way quite vulnerable to more abuse from successful women and more from society.
By showing Males and Females how our environments greatly affect thinking and learning, students will have much more respect for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives differently to continually improve their abilities, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming better, newer persons with each passing day.
We need to teach Males and Females how our individual environments greatly affect our skills and abilities over time. We need to show Males and Females how differences in treatment do exist in the information age and have hurt Males over time. By providing this understanding, both Males and Females will begin to have much more appreciation for the other in terms of their differences in environment. Males will recognize how their environments are creating their difficulties and remove from their shoulders the false belief they are somehow genetically inferior or simply not working hard enough. Females will perhaps also recognize both how differential treatment has hurt the Male and speak with greater care and understanding rather than the current society allowed verbal, silent abuse, and patronization they presently give Males they feel they have an advantage over. By providing this understanding, the two groups will be able to exist in more harmony and maintain better relationships.
To reduce and eliminate this problem and help Males have a more equal footing, parents, teachers, administrators, and all forms of media need to be taught how to treat Males in society with as much respect and care as they presently provide Female students. This is the only way to help Males begin to catch up in all of the many social areas they are presently lagging. This new way of thinking will be very difficult for the Male (or Female) parent, teacher, administrator, or other professional for they have been raised with the old, more aggressive ways for many years and have come to base their feelings of self-worth upon their money, power, status, and image.
Try to think of all the good things a child (and adult) has to have to compete in the information age. They need stability, love, mildness, ease of nature, support, kindness, low average stress, they need mental/emotional/social/academic support at all times, not because they have earned it, but just because they are human beings. This will lead boys and girls to develop and enjoy mental work such as academics and other information age skills that will accumulate in quality and continued enjoyment over time. This is where boys are hurt both academically and economically by not being given same good things girls receive without qualification. As you can see, girls are given this proper treatment simply because they are girls.
For many Males, it will require cognitive understanding of the problem and a willingness to begin treating Male children with the same respect and give the same positive attention to the Male children as they do Female children. For women, this means not using Male children as emotional scapegoats as society has allowed them to do in the past. In addition, women need to begin realizing that using adult Males as emotional scapegoats (with current feelings of protection by society) when they have power over them in some way is a very hazardous way to approach Males. You know, with continuous indulgence so directly related to mental, emotional, social, and academic knowledge and skills over time, society would practically have to treat Female and Male children the same in many areas to achieve equality between genders. I see Males and society losing in the end, but this end may be pushed off much farther into the future provided there is much more understanding and action in this area over time. This problem will only get worse unless action is taken now.
1. I fear followers of the genetic models will try to build a case for genetic learning differences or body mass requiring more activity or tactile learning. Note that nice middle class Males do not have this problem. Also the view of differences in brain activity are more due to large differences in differential mental, emotional, social, physical, and educational reinforcement over time, not organic differences.
2. I also fear the use of Male classrooms with more discipline and more time on task will only lead to more stern and even more harsh treatment and stereotyping of Males to perform more physical or menial labor to match the growing caste system being portrayed in the media against Males today.
We must learn to realize our current, single/multiple intelligence models were simply accepted out of hand years ago and held on to by many who were in control and apparently felt satisfied enough with their own life. Such ones could not see the tremendous disadvantage and damage such narrow, short-sighted beliefs would have on others, even among persons who are closely related to them.
Others in education ask me where I get the research to support my theory. I tell them my theory is quite valid. It fulfills the theory diagram and can be researched using initial bio-feedback readings to create a baseline of average, mental frictions along with other self & observer evaluations for confidence, hope, esteem, motivation, academics, etc. Then using my cognitive tools, subjects can then be re-tested over time with other initial bio-feedback readings and other self & observer evaluations. There should be lower initial readings from biofeedback along with improved readings for subsequent self & observer evaluations. This makes my theory a valid theory
I tell those who follow the false belief of multiple intelligences in school and the media by failing to provide cognitive tools to improve ability, we are virtually condemning our students to feelings of permanence in ability and feelings of hopelessness that are creating much drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicides. Will send complete “Newest Version” by e-mail to everyone. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Figure below shows how differential Treatment by Race and Gender create large differences in mental/emotional growth within those groups over time.
There is a third variable that greatly affects
learning and motivation to learn
I feel there is a third variable that greatly affects thinking, learning, and motivation to learn over time. First, let us revisit and hold to mind the Figure on page 4 of learning theory (For those without copies of this, they are free to all on request by e-mail). In this Figure we see how layers of mental frictions take up mental energy thus leaving less mental energy to perform new mental work or forcing one to work harder or longer to learn with higher layers of mental frictions.
As stated in learning theory, I feel abstract thinking is really the ability to think in more complexity and to consider ideas requiring more complex work. I do not feel abstract learning is a genetic trait, but an ability made more available with lower layers of mental frictions requiring more mental energy to perform such work. One such area would be the skill of reading. In order to read and have intrinsic reward necessary to continue reading and enjoy the constructive process of long-term motivation, this requires more mental energy. For young ones and older ones this requires energy to decode new words using one’s present, social vocabulary; visualize the written material; organize that material into previous learning; make various mental connections to use that material later; and enjoy or not be expending too much energy so one does not become fatigued too early in the process or enjoys intrinsic reward during times of reading. This is an example of abstract learning and skills that require more mental energy.
I feel over time, the stability, security, support, knowledge, and skills provided, etc. in a person’s life or fewer layers of mental frictions greatly affect the motivation to learn (mental reward received for mental work expended) and use abstract skills over time. This can “greatly” affect thinking, learning, and accumulation of academic skills and more importantly many other abstract skills that come later in academics and life. This alone may create large differences in academic growth over time.
I feel the higher a person’s layers of mental frictions, as visualized using the Figure on Page 6, the harder a person has to work to learn and enjoy abstract skills, even reading skills. So a “normal person” may be able to read, but due to higher average stress or higher layers of mental frictions, the process may be so taxing it removes the reward necessary for motivation to read and even deny the ability to retain the material studied (not enough mental energy and reflection time to make proper mental connections and organization of material).
I feel First, the lower the socioeconomic bracket the much more amplified a person’s average stress or “average mental frictions” become. The necessities of life along with various social needs of love, care, etc. are not as readily available. This can create sufficiently higher layers of mental frictions so as to remove the ability to adequately perform abstract skills such as reading, complex writing, and higher math and science over time. I feel students suffering from high layers of mental frictions may easily fall victim to feelings of learned helpless as early as first and second grade where the reading process along with other abstracts skills are taught in earnest. I feel even older students who may even previously have mastered certain abstract skills may fall victim to higher average layers of mental frictions later in life that can equally deny the motivation (or mental reward received for mental work expended) to learn and perform abstract skills later in life. I feel these feelings of learned helplessness does impede to various degrees amount of mental work expended for various mental tasks, especially in “academics”. This can greatly affect motivation and also create very large differences in accumulation of skills over time.
I feel Second, the lower the socioeconomic bracket, the fewer the complex mental/emotional/social/academic cognitive knowledge, support, and skills are present in those environments. This then makes the functionality of learning many abstract skills less functional in some persons’ lives. I feel functionality is important for all of us. Unless we have sufficient mental need or connection for learning various forms of abstract knowledge and skills along with “intrinsic reward or satisfaction with the process”, persons may not retain information even if having acquired that information at one time. If you have a person who is in an area of life where the cognitive world that person is surrounded by is shaped by more concrete, immediate, needs, socialization, and framework of skills, this then creates a second large impediment to the functionality of learning and enjoying the assimilation of abstract skills over time. Could it be today, false stereotyping by race and gender is creating a changing and widening of group dynamics in academic skills over time due to induced differences in functionality created by society and the media according to race and gender?
I feel there are many very normal, bright young ones and older ones, who due to higher layers of mental frictions who have stagnated due to feelings of learned helplessness created by the overtaxing of mental energy by that person’s average layers of mental frictions. I feel the need to have some balance, control and esteem in a person’s life, even in a very young person, may indeed cause a young student to justifiably stagnate academically in order to devote more mental energy to more essential physical and social needs in that person’s life even if just maintain his or her mental health at that time.
I feel there is some overlap between this variable and the first two variables: “layers of mental frictions and improper pace and intensity in approaching mental work” in my learning theory. However, this is an environmental variable that needs to be addressed by sociologists and educators to help students realize the importance of stability and support in a person’s life, which over time greatly affects learning many information age skills over time.
When we combine this environmental variable with the first two variables, then environment, differential treatment by gender, race, etc. then become much more critical. My articles and applications of this are in my learning theory for all to read. Yes, Maslow was right in this area. I am hoping we can now use my learning theory to help students use this principle to improve their lives now and in the future.
I hope educators may begin using my learning theory and applications such as this article to help all students and parents realize the great importance of lower average stress or “lower layers of mental frictions” in a person’s life. I hope we can begin to help all students understand with much more appreciation the complexities of mental health and our individual environments that have nothing to do with some genetic fault but simply the amount of taxing of mental energy that affects “all of us” to some degree. As taken from my learning theory, I will add this section: “By showing students how their individual environments greatly affect their ability to think, learn, long-term motivation to learn, and grow mentally and emotionally, students will have much more respect and esteem for themselves and for others. By providing students with tools to approach their lives more delicately and differently to continually change and improve their lives, students will then have a continuous hope of developing in time, many if not all of the qualities they admire in others over time. Students will then have a continuous hope of changing and becoming newer and better persons with each passing day. This will reduce much hopelessness, many harmful escapes and other problems created by the terrible teachings of fixed intelligences in school such as dropouts, drug/alcohol abuse, catharsis of violence, and suicide.”
This article shows how our individual environments greatly affect ability and provides tools to continually change and improve learning, motivation, and mental/emotional health. It shows why Males are falling behind due to more harsh treatment and neglect from society and why Females are surging ahead due to overprotection and continuous support from society. It provides a way to better understand this problem and provides a way to help correct this problem.
The false teaching of fixed intelligences and abilities has made students and adults feel inferior in different areas. By teaching this harmful belief, we are placing jagged pieces of metal and broken bottles in the hallways to cut and maim our students. This false teaching in society has created anxiety, hopelessness, and psychological suffering, which is leading to many escapes such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence, depression, and suicide. The false teaching of fixed intelligences was designed to maintain class distinctions. I hope you can see the connection between the harmful teachings of permanence in ability and its deadly effect on the mental/emotional health of our students and adults. My cognitive tools provide two large tools we can use to continually improve our abilities and our lives.
We need to see mental stress more accurately as “layers of mental frictions” that accumulate in our lives and hurt our ability to think and learn. By redefining average stress as average layers of mental frictions, we now have tools to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions and improve thinking, learning, and mental/emotional health. Some things do not create mental stress at all. Laughing, crying, running, and swimming are not good stresses but low, if any stress. We are using energy, but we are “not creating mental frictions” from it. In this definition, “stress does not occur” when energy is expended without mental frictions. By seeing stress more accurately as layers of mental frictions - layers of conscious and subconscious (below the surface) unresolved mental frictions, we can see how our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think, learn, and improve. We can use this better definition of stress to help students and adults continually improve their ability to think and learn by learning how to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions.
The first tool: stress is more accurately defined as layers of mental frictions. When we are performing mental work, our minds are also subconsciously working on other layers of mental frictions from various problems, circumstances, etc. All of us, even when feeling fine, are working on different amounts or layers of mental frictions that impede our ability to think and learn. Try to picture an upright rectangle representing our full ability or full mental energy (Figure page 4). Then begin drawing from the bottom, narrowly spaced, horizontal lines to represent layers of small and some large layers of mental frictions our minds may be working on consciously and below the surface or subconsciously. The space we have left represents our leftover ability to think, learn, and grow mentally and emotionally. The length of this space also represents our length of reflection time or time to think more deeply to consider long-term rewards or consequences for a course of action. This shows just how our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think and learn. Persons with high layers of mental frictions will have to work harder to receive the same mental reward for mental work expended. Ask yourself, which makes more sense, are we just genetically more or less able or do our individual environments greatly affect our ability to think, learn, and develop skills. For our own good, we need to recognize how our individual environments greatly affect ability and how we can more permanently reduce mental frictions to continually improve thinking, learning, and mental/emotional health.
This tool provides a way to permanently reduce layers of mental frictions. We need to do more than just solve a problem creating a mental friction. We need to look at the elements in our lives that create those mental frictions or problems and our values that may be creating those problems. Then, we can begin to understand a little more each day how the elements of our circumstances and problems are creating mental frictions as they come up. Then with a small change in a weight or value we are placing on something in our lives and developing a mental principle or rule in a certain area of our life we can then resolve and more permanently remove that layer of mental friction. By slowly understanding how layers of mental frictions are created, we can then learn to approach those elements in our lives more correctly to keep like mental frictions from occurring in the future. This enables “all of us” to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions that hurt our ability to think and learn. The Savant is able to perform mathematical or musical feats because theoretically, the mind is dysfunctional in many areas and is delivering extra mental energy to other areas like math or music. Since we as so-called, normal human beings are affected adversely by layers of mental frictions in other areas of the mind, which function normally, our abilities in such areas are by comparison, impeded.
With each more permanently removed layer of mental friction we will continually improve thinking, learning, and extend reflection time (think more deeply, with more complexity, and more correctly). Remember, to more permanently reduce layers of mental frictions we need to change the principle or value that created that mental friction, “not just solve that problem” to prevent similar mental frictions from occurring.
You “cannot” use physical exercise, relaxation, or mediation to more permanently reduce average stress. It does not work. When you use physical exercise, you are temporarily removing the energy dealing with mental work and sending to perform a more physical task. Then when your body recovers, that energy is then re-fed back to your average stress, so nothing is accomplished.
When you use Relaxation an attempt to reach greater ease or use various forms of meditation in an attempt to alter your state of consciousness, you are only temporarily removing the mental energy to your mind. Then when you attempt a new mental work, that energy is then re-fed back to your layers of mental work or average stress you were dealing with in the first place. It is kind of like turn off the faucet to a multi-prong hose or “layers of mental frictions”. This works good as long as the faucet is turned off. However, when you attempt a new mental work, it is like turning the faucet back on, so your mental energy is then re-fed not just to that one mental work but to all of the others also. As a result, nothing is accomplished from physical exercise, relaxation, or meditation.
The box on page 4 shows how layers of mental frictions hurt ability to think and learn. The space left shows our leftover ability for thinking, learning, and performing mental work. The more space we have, the more we are able to think with more complexity or improve abstract thinking. The top of the chart shows how high layers of mental frictions can create psychological suffering that may create escapes such as drug/alcohol abuse, violence, and suicide. The vertical line on the top left represents our length of reflection time. A shorter reflection time and psychological suffering can lead to many harmful escapes that would not occur had there been lower layers of mental frictions before that situational stress had occurred. By more permanently lowering layers of mental frictions, we can prevent many deadly forms of escape and increase our reflection time or time we take to think, plan, and make decisions.
As for psychological suffering and escapes: as a person accumulates “high” layers of mental frictions, he begins to experience two bad things; he experiences psychological suffering and his reflection time shortens - His desires, goals, enjoyments, and methods of problem solving become more simplistic, short-term, and less thought-out. The psychological suffering and much shorter reflection time create a powerful need for relief. This condition makes drug/alcohol abuse, the catharsis of violence, and suicide more appealing in view of the immediate, temporary reward or release from layers of mental frictions such escapes provide. By helping students and adults maintain lower layers of mental frictions, we can help prevent this psychological suffering. This skill can be more enhanced with training.
By teaching this skill, we will greatly improve deeper thinking and reflection skills for students and adults to develop and accumulate more complex information over time. Teaching this skill is also extremely important for creating the intrinsic reward in students needed to stimulate more independent learning by students outside the classroom. We cannot teach students all they need to know inside the classroom. Again, we need to provide these tools for students to accumulate from both home and the classroom all of the necessary knowledge and skills they need to compete in the information age. By teaching this skill we can also reduce the psychological suffering that leads to many harmful escapes. Too bad this wonderful technique is not being used in school today.