Focused thinking and diffused thinking - Deepstash
How to Become a Quick Learner

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How to Become a Quick Learner

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Focused thinking and diffused thinking

Focused thinking and diffused thinking

  • Focused mode is used to concentrate on something that’s already tightly connected in your mind because you are familiar and comfortable with the underlying concepts.
  • The diffuse approach involves a big-picture perspective. Useful when you are learning and understanding something new. As long as we are consciously focusing on a problem, we are blocking the diffuse mode. Do something else until your brain is consciously free of any thought of the problem.

You need to use both big-picture, or focused mode and detail-oriented, or diffuse thinking to get good at math and science. 

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Conceptual chunks

Conceptual chunks

One of the first steps towards gaining expertise in math and science is to create conceptual chunks.

Once you chunk an idea or concept, you don’t need to remember all the little underlying details; you’ve got the main idea - the chunk - and that’s enough.

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Interleaving versus overlearning

Interleaving versus overlearning

Interleaving means practicing by doing a mixture of different kinds of problems requiring different strategies.

Overlearning means continuing to study or practice a problem immediately after some criterion has been achieved. For example, correctly solvi...

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Create the best conditions for focused and diffuse thinking

Focused thinking needs meaningful stretches of undisturbed time to focus and think.

  • Prioritize making distraction-free time and space to think deeply
  • (SQ3R: Survey, Question, Read, Recall, Review)
  • Practice purposefully (Work the hardest bits, gener...

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Enhancing your memory

Learning to use your memory in a more disciplined yet creative manner helps you learn to focus your attention.

  • One of the best things you can do to remember and understand concepts in math and science is to create a metaphor or analogy for them.
  • Use spaced repetition to help lo...

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Writing to improve your memory

Writing to improve your memory

There is a direct connection between your hand and your brain. The act of organizing and re-writing your notes is essential to breaking down large amounts of information into smaller digestible chunks.

Writing and saying what you are trying to learn seems to enhance retenti...

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BARBARA OAKLEY

Learning is often paradoxical. The very thing we need in order to learn impedes our ability to learn. We need to focus intently to be able to solve problems – yet that focus can also block us from accessing the fresh approach we may need. Success is important, but crit...

BARBARA OAKLEY

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Focus on process instead of product

Unfortunately, many of us find it too easy to procrastinate even starting our math homework because we see it as boring and difficult. This thinking comes from focusing on the idea that we only want to finish our work. 

If we instead look at our goal as

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BARBARA OAKLEY

The Einteilung Effect: An idea you already have in min, or your simple initial thought, prevents a better idea of solution from being found.”

BARBARA OAKLEY

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KENNETH LEOPOLD

Articulating your question is 80 percent of the battle. By the time you’ve figured out what’s confusing, you’re likely to have answered the question yourself!

KENNETH LEOPOLD

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Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and Diffuse Mode

Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

  • The focused mode of learning is about bringing related concepts together into a unit, called a chunk. 
  • The diffuse mode operates...

Focused & Diffuse Modes - two modes of thinking

Focused & Diffuse Modes - two modes of thinking

Focusing:

  • concentrating intently on sth you're trying to learn
  • sth you're rather familiar with -> thought moves smoothly as if it's traveling along a familiar, nicely paved road

Diffuse thinking:

  • more rel...

Small Thinking And Big Thinking

Companies, teams and individual achievers are sharply focused on achieving goals. But this focus on completion often limits the scope of the results and stifles innovation.

There is a time and place for problem-solving efficiency. But the regularity and pervasiveness of expansive ...

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