The curse of knowledge

Have you ever had a teacher who was very smart, but also terrible at actual teaching? An expert who used so much jargon you could not quite follow their explanation? This is called the “curse of knowledge”, a term coined in 1989 by economists Colin Camerer, George Loewenstein, and Martin Weber. It’s a cognitive bias …

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Interleaving: rethink the way you learn

Most schools use blocked practice to teach students: it’s an approach that consists in practicing a single skill over and over, with repetition being the key, and little to no variance. With blocked practice, you wait until you feel comfortable with a topic before moving onto the next one. This is how most curriculums are …

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Active reading: how to become a better reader

Highly effective readers use a collection of mental processes called active reading in order to retain more of the information and make the new acquired knowledge more useful. Reading in a passive way isn’t an effective way to understand and learn. In order to stay focused and retain more information, it’s important to be highly …

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The speed reading fallacy: the case for slow reading

About 2 million books get published every year in the world. The indexed web contains at least 5.75 billion pages. So much to read, so little time. In a world obsessed with speed and productivity at all costs, it’s no surprise that someone came up with a solution. It’s called speed reading, and its promise …

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The self-actualisation economy

The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been mostly used in psychology to understand the underlying forces that drive human motivation. It goes from physiological needs at the base of the pyramid, to safety, love and belonging, social needs, esteem, and ends with self-actualisation at the top of the pyramid. These are supposed to represent the …

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How to learn anything with the Feynman Technique

Our current education system is designed to optimise for input. Hours are spent reading, observing, and listening, and output is mostly encouraged as a way to measure the student’s progress. It’s a shame, because there’s lots of research showing that we remember things better when we actively engage with the information and create our own …

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How to better remember what you read

While most people—including scientists—agree on the benefits of reading books, not everyone seems to have been made equal when it comes to remembering their content. Some people are an endless source of insights, recalling every single detail long after they’re finished reading. Others, not so much. What’s going on here? And how can you better …

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The art of memory: mnemonic techniques

Nowadays, when we want to remember something, we mostly use our phone to take a quick note, create a reminder, message ourselves on Slack, or just add it to our calendar. Granted, having a good memory may not be as useful as it used to be, but there’s lots of research showing that training your …

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The science-based benefits of reading

I absolutely love reading. Fiction, non-fiction, poems, blogs, newspapers, magazines. Unfortunately, in today’s world, we spend less time reading and more time browsing—scrolling through Tweets, liking Instagram posts. It’s a shame, because reading offers many benefits that are backed by science. If you’re not convinced you should make it a habit, see below for some …

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The science of note-taking

While note-taking feels natural to students, this is something many people stop doing once they start working, either as an employee or for themselves. We may bookmark something to read it later, but the active process of taking notes when consuming content is not a common habit. “It doesn’t matter how you record your notes, …

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