Allison Lynn Sears
5/17/2010 2:53:26 PM
This is an excellent topic and one that is so needed today. I came across an interesting book: Thinking Better by David Lewis and James Greene, and David Lewis also wrote a book on: You Can Teach Your Child Inteligence. Both were dedicated to how the mind works, and how to retain information. Yes, Dr. Lewis had many similar theories to what Dr. Pashler had to say. Dr. Lewis did believe that retention was increased when the distances between learning and testing were short.
The book Thinking Better, is fascinating because it also covers about "thinking like a computer" and "thinking like a genius"! As far as retaining information faster he had sugested that we forget a great deal of information 5 minutes after a lecture or after a reading. To increase the retention, make mental notes of the key points, listing them out. Then 5 minutes after the session, review each point and review it. Then, 1 hour later, have another recall time. Relax and allow your mind to focus and repeat each point, Then do the same 3 hours later, then 6 hours later and then repeat everything just before you go to bed. Then 3-4 times on the 2nd and 3rd day, repeat the same recal procedure, spacing the sessions evenly throughout the day.
The best way to increase recall is to conjure up mental images associated with the key topic, remembering that your mind handles images that are vivid and unusual better than words, numbers, abstract concepts (pages 175-177). I hope that this will add to your knowledge since there are so many avenues to explore, and all needs to be addressed with an "open mind"! I do hope you look at the books written by David Lewis, because they are also chock full teaching examples of ways to take tests - especially IQ tests! Stretch your imagination and Stay Healthy.
More on Pashler
5/12/2010 8:07:19 PM
Great questions, Michael. Dr. Pashler's work is really interesting. I'm not sure that he would say there was one critical factor, but he did suggest that you need to know when you will take the test (or need to recall the information) and work back from there (so, for 6 months, around 28 days). He also mentioned that we often wish to remember something “forever,” so how do you decide what the delay between study sessions should be? Months, at least, he suggested. He’s working on longer “study gap” experiments.
Here’s an 11-min video of him speaking at a different conference that covers much of what he said at the recent conference: http://www.scivee.tv/node/6713
Pashler Article: “Spacing Effects in Learning” http://www.pashler.com/Articles/Cepeda%20et%20al%202008_psychsci.pdf
Pashler Article: “Enhancing learning and retarding forgetting: Choices and consequences” http://www.pashler.com/Articles/Pashler.Rohrer.Cepeda.Carpenter_2007.pdf