Five great reasons to read aloud to your kids

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Many parents forget how important it is to spend time with their kids, especially since the dawn of fast technology and social media. One way to share a great bond with your kids is by reading aloud to them. An instant connection is built between the parent and the child through the activity.



Quality time may be hard to fit in a busy parent’s schedule. However, consciously making time to read aloud to your child is great way to share a fun experience by reading a well-loved story. It promotes emotional connection, and according to Dr. Wayne Imber, it boosts a child’s brain power. When children listen to stories read to them by their parents, their brains are changed biologically. The areas of their brains in charge of comprehension and mental imagery are extremely engaged.

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A child’s self-esteem is improved as reading aloud to them gets them ready for new experiences. Not only does it build their creative imagination, but it also teaches them about empathy. They learn communication and language skills faster and better when they hear their parents read to them. The constantly learn new vocabulary and that improves their communication skills big time. Wayne Imber, Ph.D., says that kids learn better when their parents are involved in the process.

There are more great reasons to start reading aloud to your children, not just the ones listed above. It’s an underrated parent-and-child activity that is integral to the child’s mental and emotional growth.

Wayne Imber is a retired professor who has taught psychology at many schools in Arizona, Chicago, and Massachusetts. For more updates, head over to this blog.


The perfect traditional buttery Cornish Pasty recipe

The Conish Pasty is a traditional British recipe that’s known and loved by many. According to its heritage, the pasty originated with the Conish tin miners who would make the meal if they are unable to return to the surface during lunchtime. Culinary enthusiast Wayne Imber shares a hearty Cornish Pasty recipe that you and your family will enjoy.

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What you will need. To make the pastry, gather 1 cup flour, salt, 2 ounces of butter and 2 tablespoons of water. For the filling, you will need ¼ cup of finely chopped onion, ½ cup finely chopped potato, ½ cup diced rutabaga,1/2 cup rump steak cut into cubes, ground black pepper, 1 large lightly beaten egg, and salt.

Work the dough.Wayne Imber suggests that you can make the recipe into workable stages to help you achieve better results. Make the pastry by combining all ingredients into a large bowl, and add cold water. Stir until the dough binds together and wrap in it in plastic wrap. Chill and set aside.

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Make the pasty. Heat the oven to 220/C (425 F). Divide the pastry in to 4. Mix the onion, potato, swede, and meat into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Divide the meat mixture evenly among each pastry and brush edges with the egg. Fold the pastry in half over the filling so the two edges meet. Crimp the edges to create a tight seal. Place inside the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Hi, I’m Wayne Imber. I enjoy playing golf and experimenting in the kitchen. My wife and I are avowed Anglophiles and enjoy British dishes. We hope to author a book on the underappreciated art of the British culinary tradition. For more articles like this, visit this page.

Wellingtons and Shooters: Rethinking the classic beef sandwich

The many ways of cooking and consuming beef is a highlight of English culinary tradition. For steak lovers, the Great British family of beef sandwiches and savories is one that’s not to be missed.

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This, of course, includes that barmy British staple, beef wellingtons—seasoned beef steaks and mushrooms wrapped in baked puff pastry. We have actually no idea how it fits in with famous war hero the Duke of Wellington, but it was attested sometime in the 19th century. Since then it has, hands down, become one of the most popular British dishes both in the U.K. and across the Atlantic. Some of my favorite variations to this dish include the egg-washed version made by Gordon Ramsay.

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Beef wellingtons aren’t especially finicky dishes, needing only salt, pepper, and maybe a few dabs of mustard to bring the flavor out. Those wishing for something fancier may try coating it with pâté de foie gras. When cooking them in bulk, they can be frozen in advance and baked when ready to serve. I concur with Chef Gordon on how they’re supposed to be served: in thick, one-inch cuts.

There is another, less well known British beef dish that evokes the same steak goodness of beef wellingtons while at the same time being portable. So named because of its association with hunters, the shooter’s sandwich originated in the early Edwardian era. Much like wellingtons, shooter’s sandwiches involve beef steaks, mushrooms, and seasonings, but instead of being sandwiched in a piece of puff pastry, the steaks are shoved into a hollowed out loaf of bread, which is then compressed overnight then baked. Underrated stuff.

I’m Professor Wayne Imber, retired academic and Anglo dining aficionado. Catch more on my thoughts on the often overlooked culinary tradition of England and the rest of the U.K. on Twitter.

Leftover cooking: Best ways to recycle leftovers

After holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas, we tend to mull around leftovers for days. It would be a complete and utter waste to throw them away but at the same time, no one wants to eat turkey or Christmas ham for days on end. As for other food like those cooked with dairy products, they may go bad after a few days. This is why it’s important to know how to recycle leftovers and come up with new exciting meals. Here are some examples of leftover cooking.

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Most of the time, people make too much pasta. The good thing about cooking too much pasta is that we can save some of the cooked pasta for later consumption if needed. This way, you can use whatever’s left from other meals to combo with the pasta. Too much turkey left? Replace chicken with turkey in your puttanesca or carbonara.

For big families, cooking too much rice is expected. This is because we often bring pasta or bread or both alongside rice during big feasts. What to do with leftover rice? Tons. You can make a healthy rice pudding the next day. Just substitute artificial sweeteners with honey, agave, or maple syrup and you’ll find yourself a nice treat. You can also make fried rice along with some leftover meats from the big meal.

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As for meats like ham, chicken or turkey, there are many ways to serve them once more and not make them look or taste dull. You can make sandwiches, wraps, salads, chili, stir fry, or even a pot pie by using these meats as your base ingredient.

Hello, my name is Wayne Imber, a retired professor of psychology. With my newfound freedom, I can finally master culinary arts and hone my skills in the kitchen. For more discussions about food, visit this website.

How sleeping benefits the mind

One of the more unfortunate things that happen to us as we age is that we get less and less sleep. This shouldn’t be the case. Not only does our body heal itself when we sleep, but our brains also reap a number of invaluable benefits.

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Let’s take a look at some of them.

Sleeping can delay the progress disorders in the brain

Studies show that sleeping can delay disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. It has also been found that sleep disorders and insomnia may actually worsen brain dysfunctions and psychiatric disorders. When a person has a family history of these disorders, the lack of sleep may actually increase the risk of it happening.

Sleeping can improve brain chemistry

Sleeping has been found to strengthen a person’s mental and emotional state. According to neuroimaging and neurochemistry-based research, a tired brain needs rest to avoid producing beta-amyloid, which is a toxic protein that speeds up the loss of brain function. Scientists have shared that the brain, like any other part in the body needs rest if it’s used.

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Sleeping protects memory

Getting enough sleep helps people remember things better and protects long-term and short-term memory. This, of course, leads to better learning, decision making, and emotional balance, which is why sleep is an important activity for students.

Dr. Wayne Imber holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a retired professor currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. More reads like this here.

Three steps to developing healthy self-awareness

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These days, people are becoming more acquainted with how their personalities work. However, true self-awareness goes beyond knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and even personality type. At one point in our lives, we have been profiled. But gaining a deeper perspective of yourself may take time and effort. Let me share with you three steps that will get you started on the path to healthy self-awareness:

1. Bravely ask for feedback

To know who you truly are, seek the help of people you trust. You could also seek help from those who have seen your different sides. When you ask for feedback, be ready to hear some things you’re not ready for. It’s important to know even the not-so-nice things about yourself that you don’t usually notice. When these people tell you the aspects you need to work on, be sure to listen and consider.

2. Examine your life

According to Plato, “an unexamined life is not worth living.” Evaluate your life. Flesh out your story and don’t leave out the bad parts. Understand what works, what doesn’t, and how you want to move forward in the next days. Think about your failures, achievements, passions, and frustrations. I understand this could be a little overwhelming and you can’t really do this in one day. Take some time to reflect to eventually accept where you are in life.

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3. Give yourself room to grow

Once you’ve gotten to know yourself better, make a conscious effort to act on the aspects you want to improve. Need to learn new skills? Need to be less of a workaholic? Need to balance work and personal matters? Need to be more healthy? List the items you want to work on and allow yourself to make changes every single day. Of course, an improved version of yourself might need more time. In the process of self-awareness, little victories count.

Being self-aware requires constant reflection and work. You can’t just know all these things about yourself and expect everyone to adjust. In being self-aware, you must also be conscious of how you affect the people around you. My hope is that you become a positive person that helps make others better as well.

Thanks for reading. Dr. Wayne Imber here. I’m a retired professor specializing in social and developmental psychology. For the past 30 years, I’ve taught in Chicago and throughout Arizona and Massachusetts. Now retired, I spend much of my time playing golf and experimenting in the kitchen with my wife. For updates, visit this page.

Good enough: Enhancing self-esteem in adults

There are many factors that could affect a person’s self-esteem.  Whether it is because of insecurities, illnesses, past experiences, anxieties, or fears, these things could hinder a person from going beyond their comfort zone.  In adulthood, these things could lessen or intensify.  These could also trigger mental and physical health disorders.  Here are some tips for a healthy self-esteem:

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Be patient and kind with yourself

We all have goals that we want to achieve.  Most of the time, we end up veering off from the direction we have set for ourselves.  Life also throws curve balls that sets us back.  When these things happen, it’s easy to feel frustrated.  However, you need to remember that you are more important than your past achievements and your future goals.  Understand that you need to move forward.  But in the process, be sure to take care of yourself.

Surround yourself with encouraging people

A healthy environment is important for a person to thrive.  When you surround yourself with people who will support you, it will be easier to see yourself in a positive light.  And in times of distress, you can rely on these people to help you out.  On that note, even in the workplace, you can find “your people.”  These people will help you achieve career goals and perhaps even be some of your good friends along the way.

Seek help

If you feel that low self-esteem is beginning to hinder you from truly living,don’t be afraid to seek help.  You can go to life coaches, counselors, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and trained mental health professionals who will help you understand what is going on.  You can also open up to these people about your struggles without experiencing judgment.

When it comes to developing self-esteem, start by setting up small, achievable goals that will set you up for little victories.  Accomplishing simple things such as waking up half an hour early, finishing work on time, or going to the gym after months of having no exercise are great boosters that will encourage you to accomplish more.  Remember that you are already good enough even while you’re still working towards a better version of yourself.

My name is Wayne Imber.  I hold a Ph.D. in psychology and am a retired professor currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Throughout my 30-year-long career, I’ve taught social and developmental psychology classes in both undergraduate and master’s programs in Chicago and throughout Arizona and Massachusetts.   Visit this blog for similar reads.

What exercises can help improve your golf game?

Although golf may not be the most strenuous sport in the world, it helps to be in better shape when playing the game. Being fit has a lot of advantages when it comes to golf. You’re more limber, you have a wider range of motion, and you’re less prone to getting injured. In line with workouts, there are certain exercises that can help improve your golf game as well.

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Medicine ball core rotations are great for working out your abdominals and obliques. Strengthening your core gives you a smoother motion and a stronger force when you make a swing while helping you keep a proper posture. You may do this exercise freehand, with a medicine ball, or a set of dumbbells.

Hip flexor with rotations and side bends work your core as well as your legs. This particular exercises stretches the muscles to extend their range of motion. With no weights needed, you can do this anywhere, even before teeing off.

Wood choppers are generally great for baseball, but they can also work well for golf players. This exercise works your shoulders and your obliques. The motion of swinging the pulled weights can be associated with your golf swing. Pulling on the weights requires explosive strength, strength that can build up and help you attempt more powerful swings.

While all these exercises and workout routines are great for golfers, keep in mind that doing warm-ups and stretching is important before playing the game as this helps you avoid injuries.

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Hi! I’m Wayne Imber, a retired professor of psychology. With my newfound freedom, I can finally master culinary arts and hone my skills in the kitchen. For more discussions on golf, feel free to visit my blog.

A Curious Yet Popular Way To Develop The Mind

Over the years, countless studies have been conducted on the effects of music on the human mind. One of the most popular beliefs is that music can stimulate mental development in children. While a good deal of observers has agreed to the theory, some critics claim the effect of music on children to be a myth, something that people simply want to believe.

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Before moving on, there is a twist in the story. Though the theory of mental development by listening to music is still being debated, cultivating a child’s ability to play musical instruments is a different matter altogether. Scientists have observed how children who learn how to play musical instruments at a young age speak better, understand their own emotions more and are better at multitasking as they grow older.

The main reason, researchers suggest, is the enhancement of executive functioning skills, which are given a boost via music lessons. Executive functioning skills involve switching in the middle of tasks, focusing on the task at hand, following complex instructions, and finding solutions to immediate and long-term problems. Music lessons are seen to have an incredibly positive effect on all these skills. What’s more is that researchers have found that these children go on to have a marked higher level of proficiency in academics compared to children who were not enrolled in music lessons.

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Hi there. My name is Dr. Wayne Imber, a retired professor of social and developmental psychology. I spend most of my time playing golf and experimenting in the kitchen. For more on my work and interests, follow me on Twitter.

Research Methods Used In Social Psychology

People are social animals, which makes social psychology an interesting branch in the study of the human mind. It is focused on learning how interaction with other people affects one’s thoughts, emotions, and behavior, to put it simply. The research methods used in studies are the following:

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Descriptive research

The type of research method most commonly used by social psychologists is descriptive research. It seeks to narrate the details surrounding a phenomenon, usually without trying to establish a causal relationship with some other variables.

Descriptive research can be done through surveys, which is a quick and effective, and not to mention, cost-effective way of collecting a huge amount of data. A questionnaire will be handed out to select samples, which will provide insight into the possible characteristic of the population.

Laboratory research

Also called experimental research, this method aims to uncover causal relationships between variables by running experiments or social facilitation on test subjects, who are divided into two groups: control and experimental. The former will serve as the baseline for the experiment. The latter will be subjected to manipulation of variables, which would then be analyzed and compared to the results coming from the control group.

Field research

Field or observational research is the preferred method of many researchers, even if it is more difficult to conduct because it allows them to collect data on people while in their normal social setting. Unlike in laboratory research, subjects do not know they are participants of a research so that they would not act out of the norm. Usually, unsuspecting are observed by researchers from a distance, and certain experimental parameters can be manipulated.

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With the progress of mobile technology, it has become easier to study people in their social context, as data from smartphone or computer apps can be gathered and used for social psychology.

Follow me, Wayne Imber, on Twitter for more discussions on social psychology.