- Sep 2022
Experiments on Twitter by Bjarke Mønsted and his colleagues at the Technical University of Denmark and the University of Southern California indicate that information is transmitted via “complex contagion”: when we are repeatedly exposed to an idea, typically from many sources, we are more likely to adopt and reshare it. This social bias is further amplified by what psychologists call the “mere exposure” effect: when people are repeatedly exposed to the same stimuli, such as certain faces, they grow to like those stimuli more than those they have encountered less often.
This seems slightly different than the mere-exposure effect that Ahrens (2017) delineated. Are they same/different/related, but contextually different?
- Aug 2022
Natalie Umberger is writing about an "index card study system" in an academic study skills context, but it's an admixture of come ideas from Cornell Notes and using index cards as flashcards.
The advice to "Review your notes and readings frequently, so the material is 'fresh.' " is a common one (through at least the 1980s to the present), though research on the mere-exposure effect indicates that it's not as valuable as other methods.
How can we stamp out the misconception that this sort of review is practical?
- Jun 2022
Interleaving is a learning technique that involves mixing together different topics or forms of practice, in order to facilitate learning. For example, if a student uses interleaving while preparing for an exam, they can mix up different types of questions, rather than study only one type of question at a time.Interleaving, which is sometimes referred to as mixed practice or varied practice, is contrasted with blocked practice (sometimes referred to as specific practice), which involves focusing on only a single topic or form of practice at a time.
Interleaving (aka mixed practice or varied practice) is a learning strategy that involves mixing different topics, ideas, or forms of practice to improve outcomes as well as overall productivity. Its opposite and less effective strategy is blocking (or block study or specific practice) which focuses instead on working on limited topics or single forms of practice at the same time.
This may be one of the values of of the Say Something In Welsh method which interleaves various new nouns and verbs as well as verb tenses in focused practice.
Compare this with the block form which would instead focus on lists of nouns in a single session and then at a later time lists of verbs in a more rote fashion. Integrating things together in a broader variety requires more work, but is also much more productive in the long run.
So when we struggle – like when we have difficulty making sense of a math review problem, or when we can’t seem to get a note to speak in quite the right way in a run-through – it appears that we misinterpret greater effort as an indication of reduced learning. And that this is why we tend to gravitate to activities like re-reading the textbook, which feels easier and more productive than struggling for five minutes to solve a review problem and still getting it wrong.
Re-reading a text or our notes may seem like it's an easier and more productive review strategy for tests, but working through more difficult problems that require one to do work to come up with an answer are much more effective.
Well, for one, there was a clear preference for the blocked study schedule, with 68% of participants reporting that they would choose the blocked strategy to study for a test, while only 32% chose the interleaved strategy. Which is interesting, because the research on blocked vs. interleaved practice suggests that in many cases, interleaving is actually the more effective strategy (here’s a great summary of the research on interleaved practice, why and how it works, guidelines for use, and examples of times when blocked may be better).
Interleaved practice methods are more effective learning strategies than block practice.
- misinterpreted-effort hypothesis
- blocked study
- learning strategies
- interleaved study
- mere-exposure effect
the research says is that students often
the research says is that students often don't use the right learning strategy because they react negatively to effort in fact it even is so well demonstrated that it has its own name it's called the ==misinterpreted effort hypothesis== it says that students tend to see a learning strategy feel that it is more effortful more challenging and as a result they will veer away from that because they feel that that effort means that they're either doing it wrong or that the technique is bad they consider more effortful learning with being a bad thing
Students will perceive learning strategies that require more effort and work on their part to be less productive in the long term, often when the opposite is the case. This phenomenon is known as the misinterpreted effort hypothesis.
Link to: - research in Ahrens that rereading and reviewing over material seems easy, but isn't as effective as directly answering questions and performing the work to produce one's own answer. - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0010028519302270
- May 2022
The student doesn’t have a strong preference for any of these archetypes. Their notes serve a clear purpose that’s often based on a short-term priority (e.g, writing a paper or passing a test), with the goal to “get it done” as simply as possible.
The typical student note taking method of transcribing, using (or often not using at all), and keeping notes is doomed to failure.
Many students make the mistake of not making their own actual notes. By this I don't mean they're not writing information down. In fact many are writing information down, but we can't really call these notes. Notes by definition ought to transform something seen or heard into one's own words. Without the transformation, these students think that they're taking notes, but in reality they're focusing their efforts on being transcriptionists. They're attempting to capture something for later consumption. This is a deadly trap! By only transcribing, they're not taking advantage of transforming information by putting ideas down in their own words to test their understanding. Often worse, even if they do transcribe notes, they don't revisit them. If they do revisit them, they're simply re-reading them and not actively working with them. Only re-reading them will lead to the illusion that they're learning something when in fact they're falling into the mere-exposure effect.
Students who are acting as transcriptionists would be better off simply reading a textbook and taking notes directly from that.
A note that isn't revisited or revised, may as well be a note not taken. If we were to consider a spectrum of useful, valuable, and worthwhile notes, these notes would be at the lowest end of the spectrum.
- Feb 2022
Local file Local file
As Terry Doyleand Todd Zakrajsek put it: “If learning is your goal, cramming is anirrational act” (Doyle and Zakrajsek 2013).
If you now think: “That’s ridiculous. Who would want to read andpretend to learn just for the illusion of learning and understanding?”please look up the statistics: The majority of students chooses everyday not to test themselves in any way. Instead, they apply the verymethod research has shown again (Karpicke, Butler, and Roediger2009) and again (Brown 2014, ch. 1) to be almost completelyuseless: rereading and underlining sentences for later rereading.And most of them choose that method, even if they are taught thatthey don’t work.
Even when taught that some methods of learning don't work, students will still actively use and focus on them.
Are those using social annotation purposely helping students to steer clear of these methods? is there evidence that the social part of some of these related annotation or conversational practices with both the text and one's colleagues helpful? Do they need to be taken out of the text and done in a more explicit manner in a lecture/discussion section or in a book club like setting similar to that of Dan Allossso's or even within a shared space like the Obsidian book club to have more value?
We face here the same choice between methods that make us feellike we learned something and methods that truly do make us learnsomething.
What methods of studying actually make us learn something versus make us feel as if we've learned something?
Active reading, progressive summarization may be on this list while highlighting and underlining might not. Or perhaps there's a spectrum of poor to good, and if this is the case, what does it look like? Is it the same for everyone or are factors like neurodivergence part of the equation which might change this spectrum of learning methods and techniques?
Understanding is not just a precondition to learning something. Toa certain degree, learning is understanding.
What is the relationship between understanding and learning? Is it true that learning is understanding? Is the relationship bi-directional?
The mere-exposure effect can make us feel as if we've learned something, but without testing ourselves or being able to reframe and recompose an idea we haven't really learned it.
Reading, especially rereading, caneasily fool us into believing we understand a text. Rereading isespecially dangerous because of the mere-exposure effect: Themoment we become familiar with something, we start believing wealso understand it. On top of that, we also tend to like it more(Bornstein 1989).
The mere-exposure effect can be dangerous when rereading a text because we are more likely to falsely believe we understand it. Robert Bornstein's research from 1989 indicates that we will tend to like the text more, which can pull us into confirmation bias.
Bornstein, Robert F. 1989. “Exposure and Affect: Overview and Meta-Analysis of Research, 1968-1987.” Psychological Bulletin 106 (2): 265–89.
psychologists call the mere-exposure effect: doing something many times makes us believe wehave become good at it – completely independent of our actualperformance (Bornstein 1989). We unfortunately tend to confusefamiliarity with skill.
The mere-exposure effect leads us to confuse familiarity with a process with actual skill.
- book clubs
- reading practices
- confirmation bias
- discussion sections
- cognitive bias
- progressive summarization
- active reading
- learning techniques
- mere-exposure effect
- conversations with the text
- social annotation
- Robert Bornstein
- Aug 2021
Effron, D. A., & Raj, M. (2020). Misinformation and Morality: Encountering Fake-News Headlines Makes Them Seem Less Unethical to Publish and Share. Psychological Science, 31(1), 75–87. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619887896
- mere exposure
- moral judgement
- open materials
- fake news
- deliberative thinking
- illusory-truth effect