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TED Talks About Psychology

College students in a teacher education program of study typically take one or more courses in psychology. An important reason for this is that an understanding of psychology helps one to understand people—in particular, one’s students, their parents, and fellow educators.

One of my favorite forms of self-education and entertainment is to view Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) Talks (TED, 2017). These videos are typically under 18 minutes in length and the speakers are well-qualified in their presentation areas.

The Quora website is another of my favorites for self-education and entertainment (Wikipedia, n.d.). The Quora site contains questions posed by readers and answers written by other readers. Readers can browse through a collection of answers to a question and vote on their favorite. Eventually, an answer that receives the most votes is published, along with the original question.

Today, I happened on Tristan Muntsinger’s 2/26/2013 published answer to the question, “What are the must-see TED talks about psychology?” Here is the list:

  1. Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work | Video on
  2. Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are | Video on
  3. Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil | Video on
  4. Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice | Video on
  5. Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome | Video on
  6. Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success | Video on
  7. Matt Killingsworth: Want to be happier? Stay in the moment | Video on
  8. Helen Fisher: Why we love, why we cheat | Video on
  9. Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions? | Video on
  10. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do | Video on
  11. Susan Cain: The power of introverts | Video on
  12. Sheena Iyengar: The art of choosing | Video on
  13. Michael Norton: How to buy happiness | Video on
  14. Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness | Video on
  15. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow, the secret to happiness | Video on

Of course, I liked some of the talks much more than others. In total, they broadened my insights into various aspects of human beings, and I felt my viewing time was well spent.

The first talk on the list, The Happy Secret to Better Work by Shawn Achor, is light and filled with humor—and it contains some very good advice about teaching and learning.

The talk by Susan Cain, The Power of Introverts, especially resonated with me—perhaps because I am an introvert. She points out that there are a very large number of introverts, but that schools tend to want all students to be extroverts.

The last talk on the list is one of my favorites, perhaps because I have followed Csikszentmihalyi’s work and incorporated some of his ideas in my writings. See my IAE Blog entry, Flow in Games, Education, and Other Areas (Moursund, 2/5/2011).

What you Can Do

Think about how much scholarly, academic reading/viewing/listening you do each week. Make a list of the sources of the materials you peruse. Occasionally, seek out a new source and perhaps replace a source that seems less credible, valid, or useful to you.

Also, think about how you use what you are learning, and the ways that you share your new knowledge with others. Especially if you are a teacher or a parent of precollege children, help them to develop habits of learning that will serve them throughout their lives.

References and Resources

Moursund, D. (2/5/2011). Flow in games, education, and other areas. IAE Blog. Retrieved 2/12/2017 from

TED (2017). 2300+ Talks to stir your curiosity. Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). Retrieved 2/112/2017 from

Wikipedia (n.d.). Quora. Retrieved 2/12/2017 from

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Friday, 24 September 2021

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