Of all the weblogs I read, there’s something cool to learn on Headrush almost every day.
Which would you prefer to listen to–a dry formal lecture or a stimulating dinner party conversation?
Which would you prefer to read–a formal academic text book or an engaging novel?
When I pose this question to authors or instructors, I usually hear, “You think the obvious answer is the dinner party and the novel, but it isn’t that simple.”
Followed by, “It all depends on the context. I’d much rather hear a dry formal lecture on something I’m deeply interested in than listen to inane dinner party conversation about Ashlee’s lip-syncing blunder.”
But here’s what’s weird–your brain wants to pay more attention to the party conversation than the formal lecture regardless of your personal interest in the topic.
Because it’s a conversation.
And when your brain thinks it’s part of a conversation, it thinks it has to pay attention… to hold up its end. You’ve felt this, of course. How many times have you sat in a lecture you really needed and wanted to pay attention to, but still found it hard to stay focused? Or how about the book you can’t seem to stay awake for… finding yourself reading the same paragraph over and over because you keep tuning out–despite your best effort to stay with it?
But here’s the coolest (and for me, the most fascinating) part of all this:
When you lecture or write using
…excerpt from: headrush.typepad.com…