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Talk to the Elephant

Posted by Posted in: Adult Learning Principles


Jonathan Haidt (pronounced ‘height’) is a Professor in the Social Psychology area of the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia [http://goo.gl/6zszO]. He studies morality and emotion, and how the two ideas vary across cultures. In his book The Happiness Hypothesis, Haidt describes two parts of the brain. One part is rational and in charge, which he refers to as the rider, and the other part, the impulsive part, he refers to as the elephant. Dr. Haidt provides a free chapter from his book the Happiness Hypothesis where he talks about the parts of the brain in more detail [http://goo.gl/c4axC]

Enter Julie Dirksen [http://goo.gl/WJWsc]. Julie holds a master’s degree in Instructional Systems Technology. In a recent post to the PeachPit blog (PeachPit Press is a publisher), Julie referred to Haidt’s ideas and suggested that we attribute too much power to the rider, in terms of how well the rider can control the elephant. Dirksen goes on to  apply Dr. Haidt’s views of the rider, the elephant and the human brain and came up with Nine Ways to Get and Keep Your Audience’s Attention. Julie writes about “talking to the elephant”.  Visit this URL to read Julie’s insightful and challenging suggestions for creating an engaging presentation [http://goo.gl/dPpaO].

For more interesting talk about the brain, watch this TED Talk:

http://goo.gl/Y5M1z

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