The forgetting curve: a learning tool
We know it is not easy to develop new skills — it involves a lot of learning and practice. However, there are tools that can help you hold on to more information, especially now that we are overloaded with it 😩.
One of the tools we recommend is 'The Forgetting Curve', developed by the psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus.
“The forgetting curve is a mathematical formula that describes the rate at which something is forgotten after it is initially learned. The idea is over 100 years old. It originates in the late 19th century, with German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, who was among the first scientists to perform experiments to understand how memory works.” Nikhil Sonnad. ”You probably won’t remember this, but the “forgetting curve” theory explains why learning is hard.” Quartz (2018)
In his experiments, Ebbinghaus analyzed the moments when an individual starts forgetting the information they previously memorized. His results showed that the retention of information peaks during the first hour after it has been learned, and then it decreases by 80-50% within one day. If there is no action taken to retain the information in our minds, by day 7 there will only be 20-10% left of it. Thirty days after, only 3% or even 0% of the information will be remembered.
🥳 The good news is that scheduled reviews can help us retain the information that we have just learned. Here are some steps you can follow to become a super nerd 🤓:
✅ Review the learned material one day after, at least for 10 minutes.
✅ Review 7 days after, at least 5 minutes.
✅ Review 30 days after, at least 2-4 minutes.
“This is possible through the practice of what's called spaced intervals, where you revisit and reprocess the same material, but in a very specific pattern. Doing so means it takes you less and less time to retrieve the information from your long-term memory when you need it.” Scott Mautz. “Train Your Brain to Remember Anything You Learn With This Simple, 20-Minute Habit” Inc Magazine (2019)
🚨 Remember: it is not as important to complete the module of the course or finish your last class of the day as to learn, review and activate the information.
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