Want to test your cognitive abilities?

TestMyBrain is a not-for-profit initiative dedicated to collaborating with citizen scientists throughout the world by providing measurement tools that allow people to engage in science and learn about themselves.  Currently the organization has tested over 1.5 million individuals in over 240 countries / territories.  Recent findings have identified that our cognitive abilities change as we age - and can tell you when you'll be the smartest. If you'd like to participate, you'll not only be advancing research but you'll receive personalized feedback too (you'll see how you compare to the "average" person)!
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The Limits of Working Memory and Training Effectiveness

In this fascinating blog post from Patti Shank on the ATD site, she discusses the reasons we can't have a one-size-fits-all approach to training. Aside from the typical learning styles excuse, Patti explores an interesting point related to neuroscience: knowledge and experience dictates the way we can present the content and further impacts the way the learner is able to work with it. The crux of the difference is working memory vs. long term memory. 
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Teaching Thinking through Changing Perspective

etsy-diy-kaleidoscope-how-tuesday-clare-mcgibbon-finalOne of the ways you can help people to improve their thinking skills is to ask them  to change their perspective on a topic. To think about it from another point of  view.  This is very easy to do in a training situation - since we have folks captive  and can ask them to try an activity in a way they are not naturally inclined to. Unfortunately, we often miss this opportunity in training and instead ask our participants  to answer a question based on their own perspective or opinion. For example, how often does your training program ask something along the lines  of: Now that you have read the case study, what are the three main factors affecting  the situation? Since people respond with their own opinion, we never tell them that they are wrong, of course (nor are they wrong), but do we ever conduct "round 2" of the questioning / debrief and ask the learners, What if you were the banker, contractor, pilot in the situation? THEN what would you say are the three most important factors? Here are two techniques for getting people to change their perspective on a topic:
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