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Criticism Makes It Harder for People to Change

Jelena Woehr

A new study shows that focusing on dreams and goals can activate brain circuits that make change easier, while focusing on criticism activates anxiety-related areas of the brain that make it harder to change.

This could be a big part of the cycle of poverty -- how often are youth-directed programs focused on criticizing possible poor choices, rather than proposing positive choices and encouraging youth to dream? Even the well-meaning step on poor youths' dreams in the name of "tough love."

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  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    I really like how that MBA student learned how to build better work relationships by coaching his son's soccer team. I wonder what other things people can do to focus less on their flaws and more on the positive side of what they want to work on?