Thursday, November 30, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 8

According to the researchers, Intellectual Humility has huge and far-reaching implications. It may be “The Perfect Personality Trait For Intelligent People!” The new research reveals that being aware you could be wrong is a fundamentally important personality trait; perhaps the most fundamentally important personality trait for a thoughtful person. People who are intellectually humble are better able to assess evidence, tend to stick to their principles once established, and show more integrity. 

According to Professor Leary, “Not being afraid of being wrong—that’s a value, and I think it is a value we could promote.”

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 7

The study authors pointed out that if everyone was a bit more intellectually humble, people would likely all get along better and be less frustrated with each other. Intellectual humility is just as important in business and religion as it is in politics.

According to Professor Leary, “If you’re sitting around a table at a meeting and the boss is very low in intellectual humility, he or she isn’t going to listen to other people’s suggestions. Yet we know that good leadership requires broadness of perspective and taking as many perspectives into account as possible.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 6

There were other conclusions coming from a series of four studies investigating intellectual humility. For example, they found that intellectually humble people were:

  • More likely to be non-judgmental,
  • Better able to evaluate evidence,
  • Less likely to ‘flip-flop’ on political issues.

Professor Leary said the personality trait of Intellectual Humility is valuable: “Not being afraid of being wrong—that’s a value, and I think it is a value we could promote.” More tomorrow.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 5

Professor Mark Leary, lead author for the study on Intellectual Humility, reported several key findings. He has been quoted as saying: “There are stereotypes about conservatives and religiously conservative people being less intellectually humble about their beliefs. We didn’t find a shred of evidence to support that.” The research showed that in terms of politics, there was no difference between liberals and conservatives, either, in terms of Intellectual Humility. There are individuals “on both sides of the aisle” who come across as very intellectually arrogant, who think they really “know.” Researchers reported that in addition to extending their understanding of intellectual humility, this research demonstrates that the IH Scale is a valid measure of the degree to which people recognize that their beliefs are fallible. More tomorrow.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 4

Back to “Intellectual Humility.” The new research investigating the concept of “Intellectual Humility,” utilized four studies.

Study #3 found that participants high in intellectual humility were less inclined to think that politicians who changed their attitudes were “flip-flopping.”

Study #4 showed that people high in intellectual humility were more attuned to the strength of persuasive arguments than those who were low.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

In the middle of my study and ponderings involving the concept of Intellectual Humility, I pause to give thanks. Not only because I love gathering around the table with my closest family-of-choice members (some of whom are also biological family members) and eating foods that remind me of scores of Thanksgiving days that have gone before; but also because I live in the “Age of the Brain.” My brain finds the emerging research exciting, stimulating, challenging at times, exceeding helpful, and fun! Because of how the information (turned into knowledge and practically applied) has improved and enhanced my life, it has become my mission to share this with others and challenge them to “get to know your brain!” Together, you and your brain are the only “entities” that will be with you for your entire life!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 3

New research investigated the concept of “Intellectual Humility.” According to the study abstract:

Study #1 evaluated the degree to which individuals recognize that their beliefs might be inaccurate, in error, wrong, etc. Using a new Intellectual Humility (IH) Scale, researchers found that intellectual humility was associated with variables related to openness, curiosity, tolerance of ambiguity, and low dogmatism.

Study #2 revealed that participants high in intellectual humility were less certain that their beliefs about religion were correct and judged people less on the basis of their religious opinions. More tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Intellectual Humility, 2

Humility can be described as a recognition that although some have amazing talents and skills that makes differentiates them from others, it does not make them innately “better than” others. High Intellectual Humility is evidenced by a consistent and courteous respectful for the humanity of others. According to Professor Mark Leary, the study’s lead author: “If you think about what’s been wrong in Washington for a long time, it’s a whole lot of people who are very intellectually arrogant about the positions they have, on both sides of the aisle. But even in interpersonal relationships, the minor squabbles we have with our friends, lovers and coworkers are often about relatively trivial things where we are convinced that our view of the world is correct and their view is wrong.” Researchers wanted to identify “The Perfect Personality Trait For Intelligent People;” the most fundamentally important personality trait for a thoughtful person of any hue. The research was comprised of four studies. More tomorrow.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Intellectual Humility

An article recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin reported on investigations of what the researchers labelled Cognitive and Interpersonal Features of Intellectual Humility. It’s an interesting use of words and an interesting concept. So what is “intellectual humility?” First, confusion about what healthy and desirable exist, in part because the concept of humility has been perceived by some as unassertiveness, servility, lack of appropriate personal pride, submissiveness, and so on. Especially in developed countries, these words rarely are seen as representing desirable characteristics. Rather they describe a persona that, as one individual put it, “everything that I do not want to be.” The researchers set about to investigate “intellectual Humility: (so called) and the characteristics that describe it. More tomorrow.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Prostate Cancer - 9

Bottom line: there is no 100% eradication for Prostate Cancer available regardless of treatment options. However, living the healthiest lifestyle possible is believed to help. I call this a Longevity Lifestyle—and it matters. This type of lifestyle is not a flash in the pan but a way of living for the rest of one’s life. It includes physical and mental exercise, avoiding dehydration, obtaining adequate amounts of sleep, developing a positive mindset and self-talk, careful nutrition with portion control, keeping one’s weight within a recommended range, and so on. Such a lifestyle can help to keep the immune system working well. Those who also choose to “juice” along with a healthier lifestyle may have an advantage—but the measurability is yet unknown and does not replace active treatment).

Hopefully this is a start on developing a better understanding of Prostate Cancer. More in-depth information may be found at

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Prostate Cancer - 8

There are several treatment options to discuss with one’s physician for localized PC (and each has pluses and minuses). For example:

  • Active surveillance (depending on one’s risk category)

  • Radical Prostatectomy (e.g., open or robotic-assisted laparoscopic surgery)

  • Radiation Therapy (e.g., Brachy therapy; External beam radiation, x-ray or photon; Tomotherapy; Proton therapy)

  • Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Prostate Cancer - 7

It’s important to do some personal research and collect one’s own personal data and information. There are at least three factors to look at. 
  •     PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen)—Look at the doubling time; how fast PSA is rising.

  • Gleason Score—Look at the score in terms of Low, Intermediate, or High Risk disease

  • TNM (Tumor Lymph Nodes Metastasis)—has the disease spread to other parts of the body

Monday, November 13, 2017

Prostate Cancer - 6

The Gleason Score was named for the pathologist who developed the grading system to determine risk. Beginning in 2018, some expect the categories based on the Gleason Score to be as follows:


or greater

·         Low risk disease: Gleason 6/10, few cores positive, and PSA less than 10.
·         Intermediate risk: Gleason 7/10 and/or PSA 10-20.

·         High risk disease: Gleason 8/10 or above and/or PSA greater than 20.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Prostate Cancer – 5

American Cancer Society recommends that the patient determines screening after discussion with the physician about uncertainties and potential benefits of screening. In general:

  • Recommended age for starting screening is age 50 for average risk who have at least a 10-year life expectancy

  • Recommended age 40-45 for African Americans and men who have had a first degree relative diagnosed with Prostate Cancer before age 65

  • Recommended age 40 with several first degree relatives who have had prostate cancer at an early age

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Prostate Cancer – 4

The other necessary components for a modern prostate screening protocol is the PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen). With its advent, some symptoms have been identified including:

·         Urinary frequency – 38%
·         Decreased urinary stream – 23% (due to enlarged prostate)
·         Urinary urgency – 10%
·         Hematuria (blood in the urine) – 1.4%

No PSA level guarantees the absence of prostate cancer. The risk increases, however, as the PSA level increases For example: about 8% chance of Prostate Cancer with PSA levels of less than or equal to 1 ng/mL. About 25% chance of Prostate Cancer with PSA levels of 4 to 10ng/mL. About 50% and greater chance of Prostate Cancer with PSA levels above 10ng/mL. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Prostate Cancer – 3

Reportedly, most cases of prostate cancer are identified by screening of asymptomatic males and most cases show no symptoms—but there is controversy regarding screening. The American Cancer Society and American Urological Association have issued guidelines that differ on specific points but agree on the value of prostate screening on selected populations, for patients who agree to screening after a discussion of the risks and benefits. Males with a positive family history who are most likely to benefit from screening are those with a first degree relative who had advanced PC at diagnosis, who developed metastatic PC, or who died of PC. Physical examination alone cannot differentiate between benign prostatic disease (BPD) and cancer. There are two necessary components for a modern prostate screening protocol. One component is a DRE (digital rectal examination):
·        It tends to be examiner dependent (e.g., how skilled or experienced the person is)
·        Serial examinations over time are best for comparison.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Prostate Cancer – 2

Who is at risk for Prostate Cancer (PC)? Males, of course—because they are the only ones who have a prostate gland. Is there a cause? Researchers are trying to figure that out. Current studies are investigating the role of STDs (Sexual Transmitted Diseases), prostatitis, alcohol use, or diet. Diet is believed to play a role in the development of PC although no specific diet can prevent or eradicate it. Prostate cancer, like other cancers, is an extremely complex process. The principal message from nutritional studies in humans has been an endorsement of the benefits of a diet consisting mainly of vegetables, fruits, fiber, and fish, combined with restricted caloric intake and/or exercise to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. More tomorrow. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Brain and Prostate Cancer (PC)

Recently I’ve received quite a number of questions from females asking if there is an easier way to help their brains understand prostate cancer, the risks, and the treatment options—a husband or brother or father or friend having recently been diagnosed. PC is the most common cancer in US males after skin cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Although often slow growing, PC nonetheless accounts for almost 10% of cancer-related deaths in males. Estimates are that one in six white men and one in five African-American men will be diagnosed with PC. (It is diagnosed in an estimated 80% of males who reach age 80). No wonder mothers, sisters, wives, aunts, girlfriends, etc., are concerned about their male loved-ones! As you may know, the walnut-sized prostate gland produces fluid that helps to transport semen. The gland itself surrounds the urethra that carries urine and semen out of the body. Naturally as the prostate enlarges, it can impact the flow of urine. More tomorrow. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Bumper Stickers

If everyone is unique, does that mean the whole world is a cacophony?

There's a fine line between genius and insanity—and I'm walking it.

If this is life, I'm canceling my reservation and I want a refund!

We've got what it takes to take what you've got. The IRS.

Laziness pays off in the moment. Hard work has a future payoff—often much larger.

There are three kinds of people: those who can count and those who cannot.

Keep honking—while I reload.

If you are reading this, STOP and watch the road.

Body by Nautilus; brain by Mattel.

Boldly going nowhere.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Sleep-Mood Link

According to lead author Patrick Finan, PhD, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of medicine, when your sleep is disrupted throughout the night, you miss an opportunity to progress through the sleep stages to get the amount of slow-wave sleep that is key to the feeling of restoration. Know yourself. If light bothers your sleep, make sure your room is a dark as possible or wear eye protectors. Remove electronic equipment from the bedroom (e.g., TV, computer, iPad). If sound bothers your sleep—and you’re not a new parent!—wear earplugs or take turns wearing earplugs on alternate nights. Avoid eating heavy food for dinner or, if possible, eat before six o’clock. Turn off electronic equipment an hour before bedtime as it takes about an hour for the brain to readjust from the electronic lights.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Sleep Fragmentation and Negative Mood

The group with delayed bedtimes did showed a link with negative moods. However, when compared with the delayed bedtime group, the forced-to-wake group participants had shorter periods of deep, slow-wave sleep. The lack of sufficient slow-wave sleep showed a statistically significant association with a reduction in positive mood—suggesting that sleep fragmentation is especially detrimental to a person’s positive mood. The interrupted sleep also reduced energy levels as well as feelings of sympathy and friendliness. Researchers also said the study suggests that the effects of interrupted sleep on positive mood can be cumulative, because differences between the two groups showed up after the second night and continued the day after the third night of the study. “You can imagine the hard time people with chronic sleep disorders have after repeatedly not reaching deep sleep,” commented one of the researchers.