Seminar Instructor: Art Markman, PhD

Next Run: March 9, 2017

The course focuses on six areas of thinking that provide easy-to-learn strategies rooted in cognitive science that will help people to be more productive, efficient, creative, motivated, and satisfied in their working lives, and beyond.

Maximizing Mental Agility

Maximizing Mental Agility is a one-day course, developed by Psychology Professor and HDO Director Dr. Art Markman. The course focuses on six areas of thinking that provide easy-to-learn strategies rooted in cognitive science that will help people to be more productive, efficient, creative, motivated, and satisfied in their working lives, and beyond.

The course highlights six facets of human thought that are simultaneously hidden and obvious. Most of us are unaware that these factors control the way that we think, and yet, when we are told about them, we recognize situations where they have affected our thinking. By making these characteristics explicit, we give people more insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their own thinking. We then provide specific techniques based on these insights that they can use to be more effective in the workplace and beyond.

These techniques are presented in a fast-paced, interactive format, that combines presented material with situational team-based learning modules, designed to transition the concepts into the students everyday thinking.
The six strategies are:

  • The Role of 3: Our thought and memory capacity is organized around 3 items at a time. How we can use this to our advantage

  • Autopilot and Creativity: How the mind tries NOT to think as much as possible, and how we can turn this knowledge to our advantage.

  • Making Connections: Our best thinking comes from understanding causes, but we often fail to do this. How can we turn this knowledge into more powerful thinking?

  • Using Analogy and Similarity: The mind is constantly re-using old ideas in new situations. How can we train ourselves to use this natural skill to be more creative?

  • Active Memory: Improving the quality of what we remember by actively managing the quality of what we learn.

  • Defining Your Goals: Most people fail to reach their goals because they fail to take a “productive pause” to think about how they will achieve them.

Maximizing Mental Agility

Location: UT Austin Campus
Date: March 9, 2017
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Seminar Pricing
Seminar Fee Includes:
  • Course Registration
  • Parking
  • WiFi Access
  • Lunch 
  • Refreshments
  • Course Materials


Markman, Art 2011 Art Markman is the Annabel Irion Centennial Professor of Psychology and Marketing at The University of Texas at Austin and the Director of the HDO program. He received his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Illinois and worked at Northwestern University and Columbia University before coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 1998.

Dr. Markman has written over 125 scholarly works on topics in higher-level thinking including analogical reasoning, decision making, and motivation. He has extensive experience in executive education and consulting. His first book intended for popular audiences, Smart Thinking, was released in January 2012. Habits of Leadership followed in 2013, and his latest publication, Smart Change, was released in January 2014.

Dr. Markman is also the co-host of Two Guys on Your Head, a weekly radio show and podcast produced by KUT.
For participants coming in for seminars from outside the Austin area, there are several hotels near campus, many within walking distance. HDO recommends the following hotels:

HDO works with these many of these venues on a regular basis. If you need assistance selecting a hotel, please contact Jessica Crawford, HDO's Senior Administrative Associate at 512-232-7343 or

On-campus parking is covered for all participants for the day of their seminar. For transit information, please visit Capital Metro's website.

Payment Options

Payment is due at the time of registration. Enrollment is guaranteed upon receipt of payment.

  • Credit Card: MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (credit card payments must be made through the online registration system accessible via the “Register” button on active seminar pages).
  • Check – Payable to “Human Dimensions of Organizations.” Please contact us if you prefer to pay via check.
  • Payment Plan – Only available for Group Discounts.

Fees and Discounts

HDO’s Professional Seminars cost $750 each. This fee covers the course, parking, food, wifi access, and materials for the day. There are early-bird registration discounts available, as well as group/organizational and UT staff and alumni discounts (more information below).

UT Staff & Alumni Discount: Discounted registration is also available for all UT staff and alumni. Please select your appropriate status when registering to receive the 20% discount.

Certificate Program Discount: Certificate Seekers save 30% on their Certificate courses as opposed to registering for individual seminars. Learn more about our Certificate Programs here.

Group Discounts: Groups and organizations can now purchase a discounted block of four or more registrations for HDO’s One-Day Seminars. You can use these registrations for anyone at your organization to attend any upcoming seminar(s). There is no time frame in which your registrations must be used – attend at your convenience, based on your availability. Groups can save up to 50% off the normal seminar registration fees via this option. Learn more at the Group Package Pricing site.

Current and Former HDO Master of Arts students: While you are a student in the Master’s program your registration for all seminars is free. After you graduate, you can participate in additional seminars at the discounted price of $200 per seminar. Please select your appropriate status when registering to receive either free or discounted admission.

Prospective Master of Arts students: If you participate in one or more HDO Professional Seminars and then enroll in the Master’s program, you will be refunded the amount you paid for the seminar(s) on your first tuition bill (up to $750.00).

Refunds and Transfers

Seminars, dates, and faculty are subject to change and/or cancellation. If a seminar is canceled by Human Dimensions of Organizations, enrollment fees will be fully refunded. HDO is not responsible for reimbursing travel-related expenses if a seminar is canceled.


Qualified cancellations must be received in writing by email. The following fees will be deducted from the amount refunded based on when the cancellation request is made:
    • More than 30 days before seminar: Full refund minus a $25 administrative fee.
    • Fifteen to 30 days before seminar: Full refund minus a $100 administrative fee.
    • Less than 15 days before seminar: No refund.


Participants may transfer their registration to another HDO Professional Seminar if an email request is made. Transferees will have one year from date of their original transfer request to attend an alternate seminar. The following fees will be deducted from the amount refunded based on when the transfer request is made:
    • More than 30 days before seminar: No fees incurred.
    • Fifteen to 30 days before seminar: $25 transfer fee.
    • Less than 15 days before seminar: $50 transfer fee.
You may offer your seat to another person or send a substitute at any time without incurring any additional fees. We request you communicate with us by email if you choose to send another person in your place. Human Dimensions of Organizations reserves the right to change without notice any statements contained herein, concerning, but not limited to, policies, tuition, fees, curricula, and courses.


Dr. Markman is obviously an expert on this subject. More importantly, he has mastered the technique of transferring his knowledge to the audience with his easy-to-follow delivery and keeping the class actively engaged in discussions. Practical examples helped too.

– Karun Sreerama, MBA, Ph.D., P.E., President, ESPA Corp Inc.




HDO One-Day SeminarsProfessional Training Home