The Science Behind Building General Skills | Scott H Young - Deepstash

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The Science Behind Building General Skills | Scott H Young

scotthyoung.com

How to build general skills

General skills not only help you with a narrow problem but can be used repeatedly to solve other problems.

But building general skills can be challenging because it is built from many specific ones. If you're prepared to do the work, you can find better ways to learn that ...

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Earlier theories of the mind - like the formal discipline theory - assumed that things like reason, language and attention were like muscles and that any activity strengthened them. It led to views that learning Latin and geometry was essential even thou...

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Ideas influence thinking

Thorndike's replacement theory was not correct. He was wrong in thinking that only the superficial elements of a task needed to match.

An idea, as an abstract concept, can influence your thinking more on a broader range of problems than only memorising some steps in a procedure.

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The power of ideas as a starting point

Learning ideas are useful to a point. To make a general idea useful, some key obstacles need to be overcome:

  • We need to notice the idea in other contexts. Research found that people tend not to apply patterns they learn to different domains unless prompted.
  • ...

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How to build general skills

People that develop expertise in multiple areas are able to solve a wide range of problems.

The key is to gain broadly valuable skills:

  • Breadth comes from specificity. General skills are built from large libraries of specific knowledge.

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