3:30 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Study Shows Classroom Decor Can Distract From Learning

Study shows classroom decor can be distracting in some cases.
Credit Beth Sawyer / Flickr

It’s hard to imagine a kindergarten room without colorful drawings and posters, crafts on display and educational charts and maps covering the walls.

But a recent study by Carnegie Mellon University shows that decorations in classrooms may actually hurt the learning process.

Associate professor of psychology at CMU Anna Fisher led the study, which tested the effects of classroom decorations on focus and ability to learn in children ages 3-5. When placed in a highly decorated classroom, the children spent more time off-task and retained less information.

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Essential Pittsburgh
7:23 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Seasonal Affective Disorder Not So Different From Non-Seasonal Depression

Fewer hours of sunlight is the biggest factor in the winter onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Credit catskills grrl / flickr

As soon as the clocks change each fall, do you feel like your body goes into hibernation mode?

When winter mood shifts bring us to the point of depression, the experience is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as S.A.D., and the mental health effects can be devastating for some people.

Kathryn Roecklein, Assistant professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychology and Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at Pitt and CMU studies and treats S.A.D.

She says, contrary to what some people think, S.A.D. is not a response to cold weather, but the shorter days of winter and lack of sunlight.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:12 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Lessons for Living Well

If you could pass along 5 life lessons what would they be?
Credit Meg Hourihan / Flickr

Do we learn all we ever really need to know in kindergarten? We’ll discuss five principles for living, loving and playing well with others with psychologist Robert Schwartz, President of Cognitive Dynamic Therapy Associates.