Scientists Reveal New Study Tips That Actually Work


You
have a test coming up and you should be studying but you’re procrastinating, distracting
yourself by watching the Infographics Show. Luckily for you, this episode is a useful
one for your situation. If you’re struggling to figure out how to
study more effectively, we can help you out. While we’re at it, we may as well go into
depth and cover the science behind learning to better understand how to absorb information,
not just memorize. How do we learn and what are the mechanisms
of action that lead to a new level of understanding? Also, what did a bobo doll in the 1960’s
show us about human behavior? What we’re about to explain to you is powerful
information so we suggest you use it wisely and don’t abuse it! In the late 1800’s, Russian Psychologist,
Ivan Pavlov, was studying salivation in dogs in response to food when he discovered something
utterly unique for the time. He had already predicted that his dogs would
salivate in response to being given food. That was a given! But what Pavlov did not anticipate was that
his dogs would salivate just from the sound of the footsteps of someone delivering the
food. That’s when he had the idea to measure salvation
from stimuli associated with food, not just the food itself. With this, the concept of classical conditioning
was born. The ring of a bell on its own isn’t going
to make a dog’s mouth water. But what Pavlov discovered is that you can
teach a dog to react by pairing the sound of a bell with food. When associated, the dogs learned to start
salivating at the sound of a bell. This was not done consciously. Rather, it was the inner workings of the dogs’
minds that figured out that the ringing was an indication of the impending arrival of
their dinner. In this way, the dogs learned to adopt a new
behavior without realizing they were doing it. This can also be applied to humans. If you’ve ever watched the popular show,
The Office, you may remember the episode when Jim offers Dwight an Altoid every time his
computer reboots. After repeated exposure, Dwight holds his
hand out, not realizing why he suddenly expects to be given an Altoid after hearing Jim’s
computer reboot. Jim asks, “what are you doing?” and Dwight
answers, “I don’t know. My mouth tastes so bad all of a sudden.” Dwight was unknowingly conditioned to anticipate
fresh, minty breath every time he heard the familiar sound of the computer across from
him. Following Pavlov’s infamous experiment was
John Watson in the early 1900’s. In a time before ethical considerations, a
baby known as “Little Albert” was introduced to a furry, little, white rat before being
subjected to the obnoxious, distressing sound of a gong. At first, Little Albert was not afraid of
the rat. He was even initially amused by the creature. But after numerous pairings of the rat with
the gong, the baby began to cry upon seeing the animal, learning to feel afraid. This taught us a lot about how we develop
phobias to various things. Watson asserted that we are not born afraid,
but that fear is induced in us through association. For instance, you may be terrified of cockroaches
but that may only be because, when you were young, you watched your mother react by screaming
every time she saw one of those creepy crawlies. In this way, she taught you to be afraid of
them by pairing the sight of the cockroach with a fear response. But don’t be too hard on your mom for this. Odds are, it wasn’t intentional. She was just behaving naturally. And who could blame her? Anyone would do the same. Those things are gross! Unless you give it a diamond studded collar
of course. Now, let’s move on to psychologist, Albert
Bandura’s social learning theory. He believes that learning is a social process,
conducted through observation. To demonstrate this, he used a bobo doll. In 1961, the famous Bobo doll experiment was
conducted on children to measure the extent at which behavior was learned by watching
others. Some children were assigned to watch a clip
of an adult being nice to a bobo doll while others watched an adult committing violence
against it. The children were then placed in a room with
the bobo doll in order to see what they would do with it. Findings showed that the kids imitated the
behavior they’d seen prior to interacting with the doll. Some even improvised, adding their own creative
ideas along with the process. For example, a kid might have picked up a
toy gun and pretended to shoot at the doll despite only witnessing the adult punch and
kick it. This was huge in demonstrating how humans
learn to adopt observed behaviors by watching others. With this, the concept of a role model is
taken to a whole new level. Bandura explains four processes to learning. First there is attention or the degree to
which the behavior is noticed. In order to imitate a behavior, that behavior
first has to grab your attention. This is pretty straight forward. Next is retention or how well the behavior
is remembered. You may initially notice the behavior but
perhaps it doesn’t entirely sink in or register for a long period of time. If it isn’t remembered, you don’t imitate
it. Third is reproduction or your ability to perform
the behavior that the model demonstrated. Sometimes we’d like to imitate someone’s
behavior, but we are limited by our physical ability and can’t. You may see someone do a back flip and wish
you could do it, but you’re stumped. Finally, there’s motivation, our willingness
to perform the behavior. If the reward of performing the action outweigh
the cost, we are more likely to do it. For example, if you see that a guy dressing
well attracts a lot of girls to him, you may feel inclined to also start dressing better
because you’ve witnessed the reward from doing so. Okay, so now for the big question: what do
all these theories tell us about studying? What does the science behind learning teach
us with regards to how to study more effectively? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! We rounded up some tips drawn from decade’s
worth of research. Here’s how the science says you should study
if you want to better assimilate the information and get that big, fat A+ on your next exam. First, it may surprise you to know that cramming
for a test last minute is not helpful. Trying to squeeze in a bunch of information
into a one- or two-night study session will not do you any good. The consensus states that spacing out study
sessions over time is way more effective for long-term learning. So, for instance, if you need to spend a total
of 12 hours on a subject, it’s best to spend three hours per week across the span of a
month before your test than to cram all 12 hours into one week. Now, maybe in the past, you’ve done just
fine on your tests after cramming but, odds are, you don’t remember the material as
well in the long run. Thus, if you want the cost of your college
tuition to be more worthwhile, space out your time in the library. At any rate, spending three hours at a time
hitting the books and then enjoying the rest of the night off binge watching videos on
YouTube is way more fun than a long, brutal, drawn-out 12-hour session. We should also mention that you’re more
likely to remember the first and final parts of what you study. The time spent in the middle tends to get
lost in the shuffle more easily. You can see this for yourself if you try to
memorize a large list of numbers and then try to recall what you remember. Chances are good that the numbers you spew
out mostly come from the beginning and end of that list. Thus, a longer study session means that less
information is retained in-between starting and finishing. That means more time wasted. Next, mixing subjects is best. If you have to study for more than one class,
the science says it’s better to switch on subjects while studying rather than focus
on a single subject for a long period of time. Why is this exactly? The explanation for it is that mixing or interweaving
subjects is key in learning, forgetting and relearning, which helps cement information
in the brain for the long term. You may study the answer to a history question,
move on to something else and then you relearn the answer to that same question and think,
“oh, right! I knew that.” The more often you have to remember something,
the more important your brain considers it. Thus, it becomes better stored for easier
access and future retrieval. Mixing subjects while studying also forces
students to pay attention to similarities and differences between the things they’re
trying to learn, which gives them an improved understanding of the material. So, don’t just block your study sessions
based on the topic. Feel free to switch off back and forth between
them. The learning theories we covered also centralize
around an important theme. That is, we tend to learn and remember lessons
that are more emotionally provoking or that are significant to us in some way, shape or
form. Try to incorporate some meaning to your study
materials. Find a way to connect some aspect of what
you’re learning to something personal in your own life. This will help the information feel more real
to you and make it more memorable. Applications of theoretical material to real-life
situations and scenarios also make the content easier to understand. For instance, if you’re trying to learn
a difficult math concept, try relating it back to something in your daily life. If you’re trying to figure out a percentage
question, for example, think about when you go shopping at the mall and you have to calculate
prices in your head when something is advertised as half off or 30% off. Then relate that information back to the question
in front of you. If you’re studying vocabulary, consider
the meaning of each word and try to use it in a sentence or two that applies to a situation
that is relevant to you. Let’s say your word is “misanthrope.” You could say something like, “My neighbor
is a ‘misanthrope’ because he surrounds his yard with a barbed wire fence to keep
others away. That and he wouldn’t hand out candy during
Halloween, which I’m feeling pretty salty about.” There you have it. Now you get the idea. Teaching others is also a useful tool in cementing
the information into your long-term memory. This is because, when you have to teach a
subject, you’re forced to think in-depth about it. You have to describe it in a way that will
help the other person understand, which, in turn, strengthens your own knowledge. Also, your student may ask questions that
push the bounds of your proficiency, forcing you to think deeply about the answer, further
grounding the information into your head. The final tip on this list is to test yourself
on your knowledge. If you just engage in repeated reading, without
quizzing yourself on the chapters, you get a false sense of familiarity. You feel like you know the material. But retrieving the material is an entirely
different matter. Thus, testing yourself on your knowledge by
forcing yourself to ask and answer questions lets you know what more you still need to
cover and what you’ve already grasped. Do you find this information helpful to you? What did you find most interesting about the
theories behind learning? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Why Would a Scientist Inject Himself with 3.5 Million Year Old Bacteria?! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time

Comments 100

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *