The first psychology lecture that SCIE has hosted (By Christine/Iris)

On October 15th, we are honored to welcome Dr. Bo Yao from Manchester University to give us the first psychology lecture that was held in SCIE. As an experienced university professor, Dr. Yao has rich teaching experience on cognitive and neuroscience, his students had achieved great achievement under his witness. We can benefit a lot from his rich experience of studying and teaching abroad.

At the beginning of the lecture, Dr. Yao first introduced the Manchester University, where he lived and worked for a long time and therefore is very familiar with. Dr. Yao introduced us the unique history of the university, the scholars and academic achievements they have made, with the aid of media video made by the students who are currently studying there in.Manchester University, as one of the top universities around the world, has an open and welcoming environment for both academic and after-school life. The university gathered scholars from all around the world, with various dreams and interest. The university offers a variety of activities and programs. It’s really a place full of opportunities.


In the second part of the lecture, Dr. Yao gave us a talk about procrastination. He first asked us two interesting question. “Now I promise to give you $100 today, but if you can wait till next year, you can get $1000 for reward.” He asked the students who want to get $100 today to raise their hands. It turned out that more than half of the students raised their hands because the time taken to get $1000 is too long to wait for. However, as the question changed to “who wants to wait till tomorrow to get the $1000?” Nearly everyone sitting there raised their hands. This is what we called the time discounting effect. Time discounting refers to a desired result in the future is perceived as less valuable than one in the present. There is no absolute distinction that separates “high” and “low” time preference, only comparisons with others other individually or in aggregate. In a word, the value tend to be diminishing over time.

Dr. Yao also mentioned that procrastination is almost a universal phenomenon nowadays. When people suddenly realize that tomorrow will be the deadline for something, the panic monkey in their head will be crazily shouting at people, “It’s time for real action! No more ‘just a 15-minute Video first’ to interrupt you! No are procrastination!”  Then procrastinators will spend all their night working on their tasks that were assigned to them several weeks ago.

Procrastination makes our life inefficient and boring, but there are something we can do to avoid it. For example, if you have a task which need you to finish reading 24 books in a year. At first it seems like you are never going to make it. Try to split it into every day’s task. Then what you actually need to do is to read for 30 minutes a day. Quite easy, isn’t it? Another importance thing to do is—try to avoid anything that could distract you. In this way there is no reason for you to not focus on your task.

In the last part of the lecture, Dr. Yao held a Q&A activity, allows attended students who are interested in further studying in psychology or biology to acknowledge information of their future. Some of us asked about our future occupation choices whilst some others are concerned of what the topic will the future research focused on. Dr. Yao made patient and clear explanation to everyone’s question. The passionate students circled Dr. Yao and asked more questions at the end of the lecture.

Leave a Comment