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Ebbinghaus experimented with his own ability to remember some new information and recall it after different lengths of time. His experiences and results revealed a number of key aspects of memory:
1)Memories weaken over time.
2)The biggest drop in retention happens soon after learning.
3)It's easier to remember things that have meaning.
4)The way something is presented affects learning.
5)How you feel affects how well you remember.
1)Use "Spaced learning"
The most important discovery Ebbinghaus made was that, by reviewing new information at key moments on the Forgetting Curve, you can reduce the rate at which you forget it!
Even though our memory fades quickly, a review session soon after the original learning can improve it. This session should happen when recall has slipped significantly, but hasn't fallen so low that you're essentially starting over.
Exactly how you time and space your review sessions will depend on a number of factors: the type of material you're learning, how much detail you need to know, and how long you want to keep it fresh in your mind. And, if other information disrupts or distracts you, you'll likely have to put in more work to keep your learning strong.
Another strategy Ebbinghaus explored was "overlearning" – that is, putting in more than the usual amount of effort when you learn something. He found that doing this improved retention, and slowed the steep drop seen on the Forgetting Curve.
He also pointed out that, by using certain memory strategies, we can improve our chances of retaining even hard-to-learn information.
Do everything you can to make the material that you need to learn clear, relevant and purposeful, and establish a strong reason for retaining it. The more you know how something will benefit you in the long term, the more likely your memory will prioritize it.
If you come to review some information and discover gaps in your memory, don't despair! This is the most productive time for stretching your recall . Learning done at this point will be all the stronger because of the mental challenge involved.
If you're imparting learning or information to an audience, or delivering training, make it as interactive as possible. Even just asking questions will encourage people to sort and strengthen the information in their minds.
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