Whether out of habit or by conscious choice, we all make use of learning techniques – such as highlighting, summarizing, or visualizing – when we encounter new information and attempt to store it in our long-term memory. Individuals may even have their own favorite techniques based on whether they are a visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or read-and-write learner.
But not all study habits are created equal; some may be more efficient than others, especially when you factor in how much time it takes to implement each technique.
In an article published in a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers characterized 10 learning techniques according to whether they provide high, moderate, or low utility – basing this rating on each technique’s relative efficacy, ease of use, and applicability to a wide range of learning situations.
The study brings up many interesting points about the benefits and limitations of each learning technique. For example, highlighting or underlining might help you zone in on important information, but it may get in the way of forming a broader perspective and understanding the relationships between disparate pieces of information. Using keyword mnemonics may be effective in helping remember the material, but the authors of this study do not recommend its implementation because it is relatively inefficient when you take into consideration the time needed to generate the mnemonics and practice them.
Check out the infographic below which summarizes the 10 techniques, or read the full article for a more in-depth review of all techniques.
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