Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback - Niki Weber - SXSW Interactive 2013
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Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback - Niki Weber - SXSW Interactive 2013

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There is beauty in the brain's electric, neural storm when it knows what you’re doing just isn’t good enough. Yet many people abhor criticism, direct conflict resolution, or a task that truly ...

There is beauty in the brain's electric, neural storm when it knows what you’re doing just isn’t good enough. Yet many people abhor criticism, direct conflict resolution, or a task that truly challenges their brains. Generations have grown up with a never-ending supply of trophies, and this constant positive feedback can have an adverse effect on the way our brains function. We often forget our brains are wired for the type of survival where conflict and struggle are the norm. As a result, when it comes to the brain and feedback, negative is more revealing than positive. Scientific research confirms that negative feedback can be stronger, more effective and requires more thinking and neural processing than positive. Too much positivity can actually re-wire the brain, making people less tolerant of risk, criticism, and even creativity. This session will help shed light on the science of negativity, and the direct implication it has on experiential design, culture, and innovation. PLEASE NOTE: In order for the hyperlinks in the presentation to work, you must download the PDF. Unfortunately, Slideshare's UI doesn't tolerate them. Many thanks.

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  • Niki - Thanks so much for such a thought-provoking presentation. It was my favorite session of the entire SXSW conference. I personally thought your pace to be perfect and your tone to be engaging. Thanks again.
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  • Pam - Thanks for the great feedback. I too am disappointed I had to fly through the last section. It sounds like I may be giving the presentation again and your feedback will be taken into account. Many thanks again.
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  • Niki - I really enjoyed your topic at SXSW. It was very thought provoking and I found it very applicable to the work I do for my company.

    However, I was frustrated that you rambled on in some of your personal examples and therefore ran out of time. For example, you could have cut out a lot of the Facebook info that you covered at the start. Enough said that you presented a controverial topic last year and you were dissapointed you didn't get feedback. Crisp it up and keep your tangents controlled and ensure that you have enough time allocated to get through all your materials. Time at the end for questions would have been nice too.
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    Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback - Niki Weber - SXSW Interactive 2013 Why Your Brain Needs Negative Feedback - Niki Weber - SXSW Interactive 2013 Presentation Transcript

    • by Niki Weber Research Lead Adam Wiese Date March 9, 2013 Email NikiWeber@Me.com Linked In linkedin.com/in/NikiWeber Hashtag #badbrain Feedback Url sxsw.tv/cqpWhy your brain needs negative feedback
    • A look back at my 2012 SXSW talk 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD STOP INVESTING IN FACEBOOK2 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • The topic seemed to connect with the audience3 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • Facebook seems to be a fan4 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • I failed to account for the SXSW bubble5 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • At sxsw Kool-aid is guzzled6 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • But, too much Kool-aid can be damaging7 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • The perfect sequence of events SXSW BUBBLE CREATIVE CULTURE FULL-TIME START-UPS BRAIN TRAINING START-UP MANAGING MILLENNIALS FIGHT CLUB8 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • 9 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • The perfect sequence of events SXSW BUBBLE CREATIVE CULTURE FULL-TIME START-UPS BRAIN TRAINING START-UP MANAGING MILLENNIALS FIGHT CLUB10 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • The positive benefits of – negative feedback +11 Why your brain needs negative feedback The set-up
    • POWER POWER of of POSITIVITY FAILING POSITIVE NEGATIVE The sweet spot12 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • The experts who helped make this a reality DR. CAROL DWECK TERESA AMABILE Professor of Psychology at Stanford University Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Ph.D. Social and Developmental Psychology, Yale University Director of Research DR. CHRISTIAN STADLER DR. KEITH WILCOX Associate Professor in Strategic Management Assistant Professor of Marketing, Columbia University, 2012 – Present Warwick Business School, University of Bath School of Management, Assistant Professor of Marketing, Babson College, 2009 – 2012 Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and Innsbruck University Lecturer, Baruch College, 2005 –2009 DR. JASON MOSER ANDREW STEPHENS Assistant Professor at Michigan State University Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Katz Fellow in Marketing Ph.D. University of Delaware 2009 in Clinical Psychology Decision, Operations and Information Technology PhD (with distinction) - marketing, Columbia University MPhil - marketing, Columbia University HENRY POLOSKI BBus (Honors) - marketing, University of Queensland, Australia Engineer and author of “To Error is Human” BEng (Honors) - civil engineering, University of Queensland, Australia and “To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure” HARA ESTROFF MARANO DR. NANCY BUCK Editor at Large of Psychology Today Ph.D. in developmental psychology Creator of “Peaceful Parenting” JOHN CACIOPPO DR. DAVE NUSSBAUM Tiffany & Margaret Blake Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago Adjunct Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at Director, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience the University of Chicago; Worked with Carol Dweck at Stanford Director, Social Neuroscience Laboratory  DR. ROY BAUMEISTER FSU Professor and author of “Bad is Stronger than Good”13 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • “Negativeinfeedback has onlybeen helped me my career and has integral to my success. Every time I fail I find a new hole in my performance, writing and work ethic that I can only fix after negative feedback from a crowd.  Only by failing repeatedly and aggressively can I ever hope to become perfect.”   - Anthony Jeselnik14 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • Let’s lay the groundwork15 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • The problem: Cultural kumbaya FROM TO here here s t e e ie gh ar ic h iv uo ai n iv ck ar d gh on ph ou ss Q Br t a ou ti Sm dw Pa s Ac db H di Tr o En So n tu ur e or k En E od Sa a Yo Fe d d ed o ’r e ck St th W oo i te it G ou a ng lly G im lim b gi ow a t L Y ed en G r Re o Un Fe al l ou N Ch Y16 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • Regarding the elephant in the room: I’m not advocating being an ass17 Why your brain needs negative feedback The pre-emption
    • This is negative feedback in the spirit of growth and progress objective criticism failure growth mindset experimentation stress resilience mistake error risk adversity surprise18 Why your brain needs negative feedback optimism The pre-emption
    • This is not negative feedback providing vague, unmeasurable feedback having no light at the end of the tunnel partaking in avoidable errors being mean and biting postulating thoughtlessly having a temper observing in silence engaging in cynacism complaining19 Why your brain needs negative feedback oppression The pre-emption
    • A quicklevel-set The level-set
    • Brain basics: Operant conditioning A form of learning whereby an individual changes its behavior because of the consequences (results) of the behavior. (The person or animal learns its behavior has a consequence.)21 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • Brain basics: Neuroplasticity "The principal activities of brains are making changes in themselves." —Marvin L. Minsky (from Society of the Mind, 1986)22 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • Brain basics: Negative bias Negativity bias is the psychological phenomenon by which humans pay more attention to and give more weight to negative rather than positive experiences or other kinds of information23 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • A negative feedback warm-up24 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • The Coach You gave great effort but25 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • The Tailor That dress looks amazing but26 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • The Parent Nice effort but27 Why your brain needs negative feedback The level-set
    • 28 Why your brain needs negative feedback
    • Fact#1 “The mother of all facts” GROWTH MIND-SETS LEAD TO MORE FUTURE SUCCESS THAN FIXED.29 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to...30 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... AVOID EMBRACE CHALLENGES CHALLENGES Challenges31 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... GIVE UP PERSIST IN EASILY THE FACE OF SETBACKS Obstacles32 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... FEEL FIND THREATENED LESSONS AND BY THE INSPIRATION SUCCESS IN THE SUCCESS OF OTHERS OF OTHERS Success of Others33 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... MAY PLATEAU REACH EARLY AND EVER HIGHER ACHIEVE LESS LEVELS OF THAN THEIR ACHIEVEMENT FULL POTENTIAL Achievement34 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... SEE EFFORT AS SEE EFFORT AS FRUITLESS A PATH TO OR WORSE MASTERY Effort35 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... IGNORE LEARN FROM USEFUL CRITICISM NEGATIVE FEEDBACK Criticism36 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fixed INTELLIGENCE The mind-set Growth INTELLIGENCE IS STATIC CAN BE DEVELOPED Leads to a desire to Leads to a desire look smart and to learn and therefore a tendency therefore a tendency to... to... ALL THIS ALL THIS CONFIRMS A GIVES THEM A DETERMINISTIC GREATER SENSE VIEW OF THE OF FREE WILL WORLD Result37 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #2: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK TRIGGERS MORE STIMULATION IN THE BRAIN THAN POSITIVE FEEDBACK38 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #3: NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT CAUSES FASTER LEARNING THAN POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT39 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #4: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK IS INSTINCTUAL40 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts The facts
    • Fact #5: ALL NEGATIVE FEEDBACK IS NOT EQUAL41 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #6: NEGATIVE IS STRONGER THAN POSITIVE FROM AN EMOTIONAL AND COGNITIVE STANDPOINT42 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #7: TOO MUCH POSITIVE FEEDBACK HAS BEEN PROVEN TO MAKE A PERSON LESS TOLERANT OF RISK AND CRITICISM, LESS CURIOUS, AND LESS CREATIVE43 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact#8: WE EXPERIENCE BIOLOGICAL GROWTH IN THE WAKE OF MODERATE TRAUMA44 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #9: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK IS MORE INFORMATIVE THAN POSITIVE45 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #10: NEGATIVE EVENTS WEAR OFF MORE SLOWLY THAN POSITIVE ONES46 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #11: WHEN YOU LEARN, YOU PHYSICALLY CHANGE THE STRUCTURE OF YOUR BRAIN47 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #12: YOUR BRAIN SOMETIMES RESISTS LEARNING BECAUSE IT TRIES TO AVOID DISCOMFORT48 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #13: FAILURE TO LEARN NEW THINGS KILLS NEURONS49 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #14: LEARN MORE FROM DOING AND EVEN MORE SO FROM TEACHING50 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Fact #15: NEGATIVE FEEDBACK CAN MOLD EXPERTS51 Why your brain needs negative feedback the facts
    • Implications toward a better you HIGH INNOVATION CREATIVITY PERFORMING BRAIN = +52 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • Implications toward a better you HIGH INNOVATION CREATIVITY PERFORMING BRAIN = + so let’s start with YOUR BRAIN53 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better you get your brain in shape54 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better you pay attention and focus55 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better you stock your brain with quality furniture56 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better you hone & expand your brain57 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better parent try to foster the best feedback culture at home58 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a better leader, be comfortable being a badass but don’t be an ass59 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • Implications toward a better you HIGH INNOVATION CREATIVITY PERFORMING BRAIN = + so let’s focus on CREATIVITY60 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be creative go experience61 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be creative be surprised62 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be creative provide your brain with rest & balance63 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be creative study failures64 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be creative karate chop cynics65 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • Implications toward a better you HIGH INNOVATION CREATIVITY PERFORMING BRAIN = + so let’s focus on INNOVATION66 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be innovative dare to take risks67 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be innovative be open to feedback and criticism68 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be innovative build a diverse team69 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be an innovative leader celebrate and reward talent70 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be a innovative leader cultivate a premier brain culture71 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be innovative befriend a neuroscientist72 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be an innovative designer design with the brain in mind73 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • To be innovative develop & use your internal bullshit meter74 Why your brain needs negative feedback The take-aways
    • “ I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.” - Socrates75 Why your brain needs negative feedback The closing
    • Your mission: if you so choose to take it53 Why your brain needs negative feedback76 The closing
    • My challenge: if you so choose to take it77 Why your brain needs negative feedback The closing
    • And be prepared to be wrong yourself78 Why your brain needs negative feedback The closing
    • How to be a successful heretic by Aubrey de Grey BE RIGHT BE EVERYWHERE diligence before oratory a pint is worth 1000 words BE BOASTFUL BE PITHY about your topic especially under pressure BE A DOER BE INSPIRATIONAL as well as a talker with a team that’s organizational BE INDOMITABLE BE SELFLESS if not invincible remember that control is only a means to an end BE DIPLOMATIC BE RIGHT not maybe all the time and be able to explain why to experts and laymen79 Why your brain needs negative feedback The closing
    • Shout-outs & thank you’s So many have helped to gather research and provide feedback on the story shared today...no one more than ADAM WIESE. Thank you for everything. I couldn’t have done this without you. Thanks to the professors for their incredible input and expertise. Additionally, a special thanks to my friends who provided feedback along the way: NICK DRAKE | DAN GOLDSTEIN | MICHELLE DICKENS Thanks to Anthony Jeselnik for participating. Finally, thanks to JPGCREATIVE for his incredible design skills. You always help take the story to new levels. Thank you. And if you’re willing to spend the time to provide feedback, I’d love to hear it: sxsw.tv/cqp80 Why your brain needs negative feedback NikiWeber@Me.com linkedin.com/in/NikiWeber #badbrain The closing
    • A few good reads The Foundations of Science (Henri Poincaré, 1908) The Art of Scientific Investigation (William I.B. Beveridge, 1957) Reality is Broken (Jane McGonigal, 2011) Being Wrong (Kathryn Schulz, 2011) Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing (Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, 2013) Thinking, Fast and Slow (Daniel Kahneman, 2013) This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (John Brockman, 2012) The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business (Charles Duhigg, 2012) Half Empty (David Rakoff, 2010)81 Why your brain needs negative feedback The closing