Four Easy Ways to Improve Google Searches… Improve Messaging with Positivity… Academic Rigor Cited as Biggest Cause of Student Anxiety

Four Easy Ways to Improve Google Searches 

Who hasn’t been overwhelmed when entering a keywords into Google only to see that the search engine has provided over a million hits? It turns out that researchers can use some easy tricks to manage searches.

 1. Exclude specific topics
Use the minus symbol (-) to exclude irrelevant hits.
Example: You want to research the genetics of twins but do not want to weed through information on the Minnesota Twins baseball team. Enter twins-Minnesota for the most relevant information.

2. Request info from a specific site
Add the URL for information from a particular website.
Example: You are interested in articles on the iPhone directly from, say, Fortune Magazine. Enter

3. Enter a specific time period
Refine results by limiting dates from which you want to see data using two periods between the dates.
Example: For information about iPhone launches from a certain period, enter the dates thus: iPhone 2007..2008

4. Combine results by using and/or modifiers
Further hone your search by using the Boolean operators AND as well as OR. [The modifiers must be in caps.]
Example: Say you need information on Minnesota sports teams. To find results in which two of the teams are mentioned in one search type Minnesota Twins AND Vikings. To obtain information on specific teams type Minnesota Twins OR Timberwolves OR Vikings OR Wild. Other useful Boolean operators are NOT and NEAR. NOT excludes documents that contain the word or phrase following NOT; NEAR helps find adjacent words New York marathon NEAR runner lottery.

Based on Aamoth, D. (2022, October 22.) 4 Google tricks to take your searches to the next level. Fast Company. Retrieved from

Improve Messaging with Positivity 

Some people are born with a sunny, positive outlook. Others, not so much. However, in the workplace, bosses prefer hearing (and reading) positive messaging. For those who need a little help sounding more upbeat, positive psychologists (yes, it’s a thing) offer advice for how to communicate using a different perspective.

For example, if you don’t think you’ll make a work deadline, opt for positive phrasing to convey the message by saying or writing I can get you the report by Wednesday at the earliest. This way, you are focusing on what you can do instead of what you cannot do.

According to positive psychology researchers, you can come across as less of a curmudgeon by starting conversations with a “power lead,” i.e., saying something that will cause a smile instead of a frown. If a colleague asks how your weekend was, don’t lead with I spent hours working on my taxes. Find something upbeat to report: I had the best falafel I’ve ever eaten.

If all else fails, try thinking like a pronoid, a word one happy camper made up to explain that he thinks the world is conspiring to bring him happiness instead of being paranoid.

Feintzeig, R. (2023, January 23.) Yes, you can train yourself to be a positive person. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Academic Rigor Cited as Biggest Cause of Student Anxiety

Two academics who specialize in education and learning have published the results of a five-year study that interviewed over 2,000 students, alumni, faculty, and other stakeholders in higher education. The research was conducted at ten institutions of higher learning, from highly selective private universities to less selective state schools.

The startling finding was that most students were concerned about their GPAs and résumés and said that future jobs and earning potential were more important than learning. Nearly half of the student respondents, 44 percent, consider mental health the biggest problem on campus and cite their fear of academic rigor as the root of that issue..

Students cited the “pressure” to achieve a high GPA as the primary cause of their anxiety, followed by handling their academic workload.

Based on MindShift. (2022, December 7.) College students say academic pressure is the most common cause of mental health problems—and not just at highly selective institutions. KQED. Retrieved from


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