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开学季必读:五个让你变聪明的记忆小技巧

更新时间:2018-9-23 11:04:31 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Five memory hacks to make you smarter
开学季必读:五个让你变聪明的记忆小技巧

No matter how smart you think you are, the chances are that you sometimes fail to make the most of your memory. A series of surveys have shown most students fail to use proven methods of learning effectively, instead wasting their time on ineffective methods.

无论你觉得自己有多聪明,有时候可能还是无法充分利用记忆力。一系列的研究显示,大多数学生并不能使用行之有效的学习方法,反而把时间浪费在无效的方法上。

One of the problems is that we often receive a lot of conflicting information from parents, teachers, and scientists, so that we are unsure what works and what doesn’t.

问题之一在于,我们常常从父母、老师和科学家那里得到许多矛盾的信息,使我们无法确定哪些方法可行,哪些不可行。

Fortunately, a new paper, published in one of the top psychology journals, has examined the biggest misconceptions, with a list of the five most popular study strategies, the potential pitfalls, and the ways that they can use them more effectively.

幸运的是,在一份顶级心理学期刊发表的一篇新论文检视了最常见的错误观点,列出了五种最受欢迎的学习策略、这些策略的潜在问题,以及如何更高效地运用这些策略的方法。

Strategy 1: Rereading

策略1:反复阅读

Learning new vocabulary? The most common strategy is to read the words and their meanings until they stick. Unfortunately, psychologists believe that it is too passive, meaning that most of the information fails to leave an impression.

在学习新词汇吗?最常见的策略就是反复阅读这些词和它们的含义,直到印在脑子里。很可惜,心理学家认为这个方法过于被动,大部分信息并不能给人留下印象。

Memory hack: Space your reading

记忆小技巧:阅读之间保持间隙

Passive rereading is probably the least effective study method, but it may sometimes feel inevitable if you feel like you lack a basic understanding of the concepts. You can make better use of those sessions, however, by ensuring that you return to the material at regular intervals. You might read a chapter, move on to something else, and then re-read it after an hour, a day, or a week to help stimulate the memory.

被动的重复阅读或许是最低效的学习方法,但如果你觉得自己缺乏对概念的基本理解,那么重复阅读有时就不可避免。不过,你可以通过定期回顾这些内容,来更好地实现重复阅读的效果。你可以先阅读一章内容,然后去做其他事情,接着在一小时、一天、或者一周后再复习一次,帮助加深记忆。

You can also benefit from questioning your understanding before you return to the material, which helps tune your attention on the bits you do and don’t know and increases your mental engagement.

你还可以在复习材料之前就自己的理解程度进行提问,进而帮助自己根据对知识的掌握情况侧重复习,增加精神投入。

Strategy 2: Underlining and highlighting

策略2:划重点

Like rereading, this study technique is nearly ubiquitous. The idea makes sense: the process of underlining key words and phrases should help you to engage more with the information, and it makes it easier to identify the most important passages later on. But although it can be more effective than passive rereading, underlining and highlighting often fails to work, with most students mindlessly marking up almost every paragraph without much discernment.

和反复阅读一样,这种学习方法几乎人人都用。这个方法很好理解:划出重点词句有助于加深印象,让你随后更容易找到最重要的段落。不过,尽管划重点可能比被动阅读更有效,但总是涂涂划划就没有太大帮助了。大多数学生缺乏洞察力,几乎把每个自然段都标为重点。

Memory hack: Pause to think

记忆小技巧:停下来思考

Instead, the scientists suggest that you read the text once through cold, and then mark up the relevant passages on the second pass. By forcing you to think more carefully about each point and its relative importance in the overall argument, this encourages the more active processing that is essential for the formation of stronger memories.

科学家们建议,先通读一遍文章,然后在第二次阅读时再标出相关段落。这种方法强迫你更仔细地思考每一个要点,以及它在整篇文章中的相对重要程度,从而鼓励你更主动地处理信息,这对形成强大的记忆力是必不可少的。

Strategy 3: Note-taking

策略3:记笔记

Visit any lecture theatre or library and you will find students judiciously copying the most important facts into their notebooks. Like underlining and highlighting, the problems come when you fail to be judicious about the material you are including. Your overenthusiasm – and propensity to include everything that is mentioned – can easily become a vice.

随便去哪个教室或图书馆,你会发现学生们都很谨慎地将最重要的内容记在笔记本上。和划重点一样,当你无法合理地判断哪些内容需要记下来时,问题就来了。过度热衷于记笔记,以及倾向于记下所有内容很容易养成坏习惯。如果你做了太多笔记,最重要的信息可能就淹没在里面了。

Memory hack: Be concise

记忆小技巧:保持简洁

Experiments have shown that the fewer words students use to express an idea in their notes, the more likely they are to remember it afterwards. This is probably because creating summaries and paraphrasing force you to think deeply about the nub of the idea you are trying to express – and that additional effort cements it in your memory. These findings may also explain why it is better to take notes with a pen and paper, rather than using a laptop: writing by hand is slower than typing and forces you to be more concise in what you note down.

实验显示,学生在笔记里使用越少的词汇表达想法,之后就越可能记得起来。或许这是因为,总结信息,并用自己的话重新表达,会迫使你深入思考要表达的主旨内容,这个额外的功夫加固了记忆。这些发现还解释了为什么用纸和笔做笔记比用电脑好:手写比打字慢,迫使你更简明扼要地记下笔记。

Strategy 4: Outlining

策略4:列提纲

Many teachers encourage their students to take a ‘bird’s eye’ view of the course they are studying, presenting an overview of the key points to be learned in a structured, logical manner. Sometimes these outlines are created by the instructor themselves, but they may also encourage the student to do it for themselves.

许多教师鼓励学生"鸟瞰"学习的课程,用结构化、符合逻辑的方法来概述学习要点。有时这些要点由老师本人列出,但也可鼓励学生自行完成。

Memory hack: Search for deep patterns

记忆小技巧:寻找深层规律

Students offered a course outline do tend to perform better, new evidence suggests, since it allows them to identify the underlying connections between different topics. These studies suggest that it’s often more efficient to begin with a skeletal outline before study, and to then fill in more of the details as you progress.

有新证据显示,拿到课程大纲的学生通常成绩更好,因为有了大纲,学生可以了解不同课题之间的潜在联系。研究表明,通常更有效的方法是,在学习之前先了解课程大纲和框架,然后随着学习的深入了解更多具体内容。

Much of our learning is independent, of course, without formal instruction – but you can easily make your own bullet-point outlines of a text or lecture. Again, being concise is key: you have to focus on the structure of the argument rather than getting lost in the details, if you are to see those underlying connections and make the most of that deeper learning.

当然,我们大部分的学习都是独立的,没有正式的指导。但你可以很容易自己总结出一篇文章或者一节课的要点提纲。同样,简洁是关键:如果要了解潜在联系,并充分利用这种深层次学习,你必须专注于内容的结构,不能迷失在细节里。

Strategy 5: Flash cards

策略5:抽认卡

Self-testing (or “retrieval practice”, as psychologists call it) is now considered to be most reliable learning strategy, particularly for specific, detailed facts, with considerable evidence that it can boost memory. Even so, there are still more and less effective ways of doing it.

自我测试(或者用心理学家的说法,叫做"提取练习")现被认为是最可靠的学习策略,对具体、详细的内容而言更是如此,有足够的证据证明这种方法可以提升记忆力。尽管如此,使用这种策略的方法不同,学习的效果也可能迥然不同。

Memory hack: Beware overconfidence

记忆小技巧:别过度自信

Most people struggle to gauge the limits of their own thinking, believing that their decisions are smarter than they really are – and judgments of learning are no different. Indeed, one study found that the more confident people felt about their learning of a fact, the less likely they were to recall it later.

大多数人都很难衡量自己思维的局限性,并对自己的决定作出过高的评价——对学习的判断也不例外。确实,一项研究显示,人们对自己掌握一项内容的信心越大,以后记得这些内容的可能性就越小。

We all underestimate just how easily we will forget material in the future. The use of flash cards can therefore backfire if you believe that once an item is successfully recalled, it will stick forever – leading you to ‘drop’ the card before it is cemented in your memory. Instead, it makes more sense to continue testing long after you think you know the word.

我们都低估了自己的健忘程度。如果你自认为,一旦成功记起了一件事情,这件事就会永远印在脑子里,那么使用抽认卡学习就可能适得其反——你会在真正记住卡片内容之前,就把卡“丢掉”,不再巩固记忆了。相反,在你自认为已经记住这个词之后,过了很长时间再继续进行卡片测试才是更合理的做法。

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