How to Think: Where Should We Begin
- We need to know when a piece of information is reliable or not.
- We must accept the fact that multitasking is not possible.
- We cannot build complex knowledge without information in our working memory.
- Stress is bad for learning.
- Focus is important so distractions need to be removed.
- Testing is good when it helps students to recall what they know and makes them aware of what they do not know.
- Working memory can easily get overloaded.
This may also relate to an observation that has puzzled me ever since I wrote my original book on memory improvement. Students have not been as interested in what the book had to say as I expected. Nor do they show as much interest as I anticipated in attending my lectures on the subject. At one unversity where I recently gave a well-advertised talk on how to improve memory, not one student showed up -- only faculty. Older adults, in general, seem to realize they need to work on their memory. Students tend to think they are either just fine as they are or can't improve.The study Klemm describes in this post comes from Kornell and Bjork, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The following is one of the figures from this study:
|Above copied from|
Kornell, N. and Bjork, R. A. 2009. A stability bias in human memory: overestimating remembering and underestimating learning. J. Exp. Psychol. 138 (4): 449-468.
We are often overconfident in our initial capabilities and worse, we do not see how practice can improve our performance. Our own biases are usually the starting point in our thinking. Obviously, the first step in learning is realizing how unreliable our first source of information, our own self, is.