I bet they'd invent a great language for smells.

three unintuitive but very effective ways of studying


Since a few people here like to learn a little, I thought these were pretty good tips:

Space your study. We humans, and other animals as well, learn more by spacing study sessions out in time (pdf) than we do by massing them together (e.g. by cramming).

Ask yourself questions. Testing oneself while studying has two advantages: First, it requires retrieving knowledge from memory. Doing so creates powerful memories (pdf) that are not easily forgotten. Second, self-testing allows you to diagnose your learning.

Summarize and integrate. After going to class or reading a chapter, try to summarize the main points, and think about how they relate to the topic at large and to your own experience. This process, known as knowledge integration, creates lasting memories, and has the added benefit of requiring you to recall the information.
Permalink son of parnas 
February 28th, 2008 1:44am
Solve problems! Trying to apply your knowledge to any problem will quickly unearth things which you only think you understood, but don't.
Permalink duke 
February 28th, 2008 5:50am
Sorry, I just repeated one of your paragraphs ;-) It's not unintuitive, anyway.
Permalink duke 
February 28th, 2008 5:51am
Study the same material a few times, but not always from front to back.  We tend to remember the first few and last few things we've read, missing most of the stuff in the middle.

Cognitive psych was the best course I ever took as far as learning how to study.
Permalink the voice of reason 
February 28th, 2008 6:40am
Back to front is the best way to study stuff like speeches. It reverses the problem of "only remembering the beginning."
Permalink Walter Elias (83% retired) 
February 28th, 2008 9:36am
When I teach complicated songs, I often teach out of order and then put it in order later for that exact reason - the student will diligently practice the beginning and then the rest sort of goes to hell.  This way they are forced to practice the middle and the end too.
Permalink the great purple 
February 28th, 2008 10:07am
That's why tutorial/instructional books have a table of contents, and a forward/preface.  Those are supposed to place the information in the book into a hierarchy -- so you can 'drill down' into the hierarchy to find the pieces you have questions about.

And you can 'internalize' that heirarchy by asking questions of yourself about the "main points". 

This is another way of getting past the "knowing the first part best" syndrome.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
February 28th, 2008 10:10am
The 3 methods in the OP are 100% intuitive.

- quiz yourself
- don't cram
- restate it in your own words

These are unintuitive?
Permalink Walter Elias (83% retired) 
February 28th, 2008 4:49pm
well to sop everything is unintuitive
Permalink Cheers 
February 28th, 2008 5:09pm
> well to sop everything is unintuitive

i forget how all knowing everyone on COT is: after the fact. Pathetic.

I hope you guys get out a little more because all that's happening is attacking.
Permalink son of parnas 
February 28th, 2008 7:25pm
It does seem that way lately, yes.

Actually, I learned about the "asking questions" in a book on learning how to study.  Very effective technique.

Eh, and what's "Intuitive" depends on the person.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
February 28th, 2008 9:19pm

This topic is archived. No further replies will be accepted.

Other topics: February, 2008 Other topics: February, 2008 Recent topics Recent topics