Compare two kids, one who goes to a beautiful, clean, well-built school that requires excellence and maintains a high level of academic achievement and another who goes to an old, run-down, dirty, crumbling school where students can come and go as they please and learning is not high on the priority list.
Which child has a better chance in life?
Ronit and I are reading a brilliant book called “Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” by Malcolm Gladwell. In this book, there are many bits of amazing research, which we can all use to avoid trouble and get more goodness out of life.
In one experiment, two groups of black students were given college entry tests. The tests were identical, except for one question. One group was first asked to specify their race.
That group scored 50% lower on average. Fifty percent! When asked why they scored so low, the students said they were apparently not smart enough to be accepted and had no clue what had gone wrong.
In another experiment, two groups of students took a trivia test. Before the test, one group was asked to imagine what it would be like to be a college professor for 5 minutes. The other group was asked to imagine what it would be like to be a soccer hooligan.
The “professor” group scored 23% higher on the test, simply because they had put themselves in a different mindset.