KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

Introduction: How I Learned to Learn From Mistakes

Introduction: How I Learned to Learn From Mistakes

Robert J. Sternberg

In graduate school, I learned many lessons. I could not even count them all. But, I was lucky. I learned the most important lesson the very first week I was in graduate school.

I made three mistakes that week.

  • I showed my advisor, Professor Gordon Bower, a paper I had written as an undergraduate. He said he would look it over and cross out the sections he did not think were very good. He handed it back. Almost the entire paper was crossed out. Lesson: Don’t show your advisor your work unless you are pretty sure it is work in which you can and will take pride.
  • In an introductory proseminar, ...
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