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Posts Tagged "sports"

Anthropology in Practice

Fooling Ourselves: The Everyday Role of Ritual

kdcosta_baseball_2013

April Fools’ Day is not unique to Western cultures. People all over the world and all throughout history have celebrated the coming of Spring with festivals of deception and lightheartedness. In this spirit, all this week, we’ll explore themes of magic, fraud, and trickery. Today is Opening Day for the New York Mets. Like other [...]

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Anthropology in Practice

A match meant to be? Social media and sports

Photo by The Malones. Click on image for license and information.

In 2010 one of the questions sports organizations were wrestling with was whether they should allow their players to tweet. That question is far from defined, but it’s becoming clear that social media has an important role to play within the sport community. Recently, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick responded to critics on twitter [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

Science at the Olympics? Our First E-Book Can Explain

Scientific American, The Science of Sports: Winning in the Olympics, eBook

The Olympics is the world’s greatest athletic event. Men and women run, swim, dive, lift, vault, serve, swing, kick and play against one another until a champion is crowned, in sport after sport. But what separates each champion from his or her competitors, who are all elite athletes themselves? To answer that and many other [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Discussing the origins of extraordinary athletic performance with David Epstein

Sports-Gene

Bestselling author David Epstein discusses research on the complex interplay of nature and nurture in sports, how mentality propels success, how we assess potential, sex differences in sport, and why getting older doesn’t mean we can’t achieve greatness. In this episode you will hear about: Baselines abilities vs. trainability Common mistakes we make when judging [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Learning Strategies Outperform IQ in Predicting Achievement

learning

In the 1960s, the legendary psychologist Albert Bandura rejected the view that learning is passive. Instead he emphasized the importance of the active use of learning strategies. Today, Bandura’s legacy lives on, and has been extended in exciting new directions. Grounded in Bandura’s pioneering research, in 1986 Barry Zimmerman and Martinez Pons published a paper that [...]

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Extinction Countdown

World Cup Picks Endangered Armadillo as 2014 Mascot

World Cup 2014 mascot

The Brazilian three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) can roll itself into a ball so tight that only a puma’s claws can penetrate its protective shell. But this evolutionary advantage hasn’t done much to protect the species from humans, who have turned savannah habitats into inhospitable cattle ranches and soybean plantations. Once found throughout Brazil, the armadillos—one [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Concussion Culture: How to Protect Young Athletes

A collision in girls soccer. (Credit: Ole Olson via Flickr)

In May of 2012, former NFL linebacker Junior Seau took his own life by shooting himself in the chest. Seau was dealing with depression, mood swings and insomnia. An autopsy of Seau’s brain revealed that he suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which Boston University’s CTE Center defines as “a progressive degenerative disease of the [...]

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MIND Guest Blog

Super Bowl Psychology: 4 Ways You—and Your Friends—Will React to the Big Game

Enjoy the Superbowl - Broncos vs. Seahawks

Though you may not know it, when you watch the Super Bowl on Sunday—especially if you actually watch the game and not just the commercials— you’ll likely be engaging in a lot of what psychological scientists call counterfactual thinking: thoughts about “what might have been,” “at least,” and “if only.” Research on counterfactual thought explains [...]

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Observations

“Team Climate” Gets Sochi Athletes All Abuzz about Climate Change

Members of Team Climate pose with American Olympian Kyle Tress Credit: Courtesy Taylor Rees / Team Climate

This blog appears in the In-Depth Report Science at the Sochi Olympics Climate change poses a well-documented threat to ecosystems and human populations worldwide. But as the inexorable warming trend continues, it’s also endangering the future of winter sports. In a new report published in January by the University of Waterloo, researchers analyzed the suitability [...]

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Observations

Why Don’t Helmets Prevent Concussions?

Helmets protect your head—but they can’t fully protect your brain. This helps to explain why football players continue to incur brain trauma that may lead to debilitating brain disease. Recently, a team of researchers presented more evidence of the devastating progression of a brain disease caused by repeated brain trauma. On December 2, researchers from [...]

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Observations

Statistician Creates Alternate Model for College Football Rankings

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) college football rankings are in turmoil. For two weeks in a row, the top-ranked team has been upset by an underdog from central Texas. (Full disclosure: As a Baylor alum who is the daughter and granddaughter of Aggies, I might be just a little smug.) The BCS rankings are a [...]

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Observations

When–if Ever–Was Cycling Drug-Free?

Lance Armstrong Tour de France

“It’s a great rarity today for someone to achieve athletic success who doesn’t take drugs.” That quote seems rather timely, in the wake of the news that cyclist Lance Armstrong will no longer fight the accusations of doping leveled at him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The charges may cost Armstrong all seven of his [...]

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Observations

How Do Germs Get into the Swimming Pool? You Might Not Want to Know

cryptosporidium, infection, pool, swim

As the summer winds down and Labor Day weekend approaches in the U.S., beaches and public pools will be filling up with swimmers looking to take one last dip outdoors before the season ends. Most people will hit the water without worrying about the microscopic organisms they’ll be swimming with. Maybe that’s for the best, [...]

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Observations

One-Hit Wonder: A Look at the Physics behind Dickey’s Knuckleball

R. A. Dickey is one of the hottest topics in Major League Baseball right now. This right-handed Mets pitcher’s two most recent outings have been one-hitters, he has a league-leading 11–1 win-loss record, and he’s one of the league’s only knuckleballers. What makes this pitch so hard to hit? A knuckleball is famously difficult to [...]

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PsySociety

Blind athletes provide clues about the nature of our emotions.

514px-石井と鈴木

One of the most important ways that we learn how to interact with the world around us is through observational learning. By watching how our friends and family members behave, we learn at a very young age how to do things like turn on a lightbulb, open a door, or play with a doll, without [...]

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PsySociety

Can You Put a Price on March Madness?

I originally published versions of this post at IonPsych on 3/9/11 and at my WordPress blog on 3/11/12. You can see the original posts by clicking here for the 2011 post, or by clicking the From The Archives icon for the 2012 post. This is the first post in a March Madness series that I [...]

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Roots of Unity

We Only Need to Fill Out 425 Brackets Each to Win Buffett’s Billion

Will your bracket be a slam dunk? Image: Acid Pix, via flickr.

Warren Buffett’s Bracket Challenge* has put even more of a spotlight than usual on March Madness, the annual NCAA basketball tournament. Buffett has offered a billion dollars to anyone who correctly predicts the outcome of all 63 games in the tournament. There are 2 possible outcomes of every game and therefore 263— 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or about [...]

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Roots of Unity

March Madness Math: Are the “Dreaded Middle Seeds” So Bad?

March Madness always sneaks up on me. I mean, I know that March has started because my dad’s birthday and my wedding anniversary are right at the beginning of the month, but I always end up scrambling to make my NCAA basketball tournament picks the day before games start. Mathematician Jordan Ellenberg has taken the [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Parents of Young Athletes: Protect Your Child’s Brain in 8 Steps

When I was kid, I remember my dad scolding my brother and me when one of us decided to hold the other one upside-down. In that position, he reasoned, we could fall on our head. As a cognitive psychologist, my dad was always thinking about the brain. Despite his concern with all things cerebral, my [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Do Music Lessons Make You Smarter?

Practice makes progress, if not perfection, for most things in life. Generally, practicing a skill—be it basketball, chess or the tuba—mostly makes you better at whatever it was you practiced. Even related areas do not benefit much. Doing intensive basketball drills does not usually make a person particularly good at football. Chess experts are not [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character: Jumping Jacks for the Mind [Video]

One of the hardest aspects of school for young children is in some ways the simplest: sitting still. Recess is the time worn antidote to such restlessness. But regular physical exercise is also generally important to academic performance—and not just for young students. It can help boost various types of cognition in kids into the [...]

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