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Nov 15, 2022

In learning science, there are certain ideas that have leapt the fences of academia and seeped into the public consciousness. Often, these ideas gain traction because they feel intuitively true. But what does the data say? And how should we apply these ideas as learning professionals? 

This week on The Mind Tools L&D Podcast, Ross Garner and Ross Dickie are joined by Jane Bozarth, Director of Research for the Learning Guild, to discuss three research papers that challenge the received wisdom. We cover: 

  • Generational difference
  • Learning styles 
  • The “Marshmallow Test”. 

The three papers we discussed were:

  • 'Generational Differences in Work-Related Attitudes: A Meta-analysis', published in 2012 in the Journal of Business and Psychology. 
  • 'Another Nail in the Coffin for Learning Styles? Disparities among Undergraduate Anatomy Students’ Study Strategies, Class Performance, and Reported VARK Learning Styles', published in 2018 in Anatomical Sciences Education. 
  • 'Revisiting the Marshmallow Test: A Conceptual Replication Investigating Links Between Early Delay of Gratification and Later Outcomes', published in Psychological Science in 2018. 

The Atlantic did a good write-up of the controversy surrounding the 'Marshmallow Experiment'. See here: 

In ‘What I Learned This Week’, Ross Garner mentioned a Twitter thread from Aaron Berman, in which he shares writing tips from his time as editor of the US President’s daily brief: 

Jane spoke about Kate the Chemist’s recent session at DevLearn. To find out more about Kate, visit her website: 

Ross Dickie recommended the technology podcast ‘Hard Fork’ from the New York Times. You can find it wherever you get your podcasts, or through the NYT website: 

To find out more about Jane’s work at the Learning Guild, see: 

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