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Psychological Facts to Improve Learning Ability

Photo by Green Chameleon for Unsplash

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Snippets:

  1. How our memory acquires information is that a limited amount of sensory information through touch, visual, auditory, etc., is temporarily held in short-term memory
  2. Short-term memory has restricted capacity for performing a limited amount of information or for organising possible connections between and within information patterns which limits learner ability.

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Learning is inevitable for human survival at any age. It is a superpower which can make us Super Beings which every one of us can harness. The sad part it that was never taught in our schools about How to learn “Learning”, you can take a course which is a compilation of multiple techniques taught by experts in the field of neuroscience and other areas who have mastered the method of learning and created wonders. To make sure of our learning ability to the fullest extent, we need to understand more about the process of learning.

The process of Learning can be classified as Conscious Learning and Unconscious Learning. Most of the skills which we want to use in our life will start consciously, and then it is stored in subconscious longterm memory.

In the case of unconscious learning processes, we wouldn’t have the focus or intent to learn. Still, we end up learning, and it becomes an activate mental associations with knowledge about the topic or concept or the skill.

If the process of learning is done consciously, it will help us in many ways. It is very evident for us to understand that if we are practising conscious knowledge with consistent efforts for a long time, it will help us in becoming an expert in that domain. The more you involve yourself in this process, the more you will be able to build expertise in the field of study. The more we learn (INPUT), the more we can communicate or express or present or create(OUTPUT).

An Example for Unconscious learning: This is the essential backbone of the human learning process which we have right from the time of our birth as it operates without our intervention.

Our habits, behaviours, and language towards others, especially when it comes to mother-tongue, vocabulary/slang, style of communication, usage of slurs which are not deliberately learnt, of course, we can do it deliberately whenever it is needed. By spending enough time in the particular surrounding, we tend to acquire this kind of skillsets without voluntary efforts.

An example for Conscious learning: Initially, if you have to learn a new software platform(like Excel) or finding an address on a new route to reach a particular address, for the first time we deliberately look towards the environment/options/paths to learn & try to explore, build a map in our mind with conscious efforts helping us making new neural pathways or connections in our brain helping our consciousness to evolve or modify while effecting existing neural pathways by strengthening or weakening and then is stored as skill or knowledge in the subconscious mind after multiple repetitions of the same act. Later whenever we use the same software program (excel) or taking that same route to reach the same destination, we operate in the unconscious mode of our brain, unless we are exploring new features or new destination with in the same route.

To understand little more about learning let’s try to understand how our memory acquires information is that a limited amount of sensory information through touch, visual, auditory, etc., is temporarily held in short-term memory. Once we put this information into consistent practice and use or refresh this information repeatedly, it will be organised by working memory, and, moved to permanently subconscious long term memory and stored. Think about learning Cycling, and you would focus more on balancing only while learning. Once you learned the skill, you won’t think about balancing anymore as it is taken care of by subconscious memory by default.

Short-term memory has restricted capacity for performing a limited amount of information or for organising possible connections between and within information patterns which limits learner ability encode, store and retrieve the information consciously. Also, there need to be a few short scheduled breaks to be planned during the process of learning or practising which will help us to refresh the content or concepts and prepare required connections in the subconscious mind to store and help us to retrieve information again. You can learn more about the same in this ted talk video.

So to be able to move the information to be moved to long term subconscious memory consistent practice, refreshing knowledge and continually engaging is the only way to learn any skill.

In both cases, the conscious and unconscious learning Mind is evolved or modified. However, we have less control over the process of unconscious learning on what we are learning. To acquire knowledge of any new a concept or a topic or a skill, we must practise deliberate, continuous practice. Both processes play a crucial role in evolving our brain to become a better learner and to complete a task. But most of the time, we never concentrate on this aspect. Many time we can find the people who enroll for self-improvement programs or programs to build soft skills like Effective time management, Productivity training, creating a positive mindset or other personality development training. They wouldn’t make any changes to their surrounding environment in terms of people they interact with, their habits, their food consumption, digital consumption which has a considerable impact on us through the process of unconscious learning.

Here is an Article published on Unconscious learning processes: mental integration of verbal and pictorial instructional materials in PDF format helping us to understand below points in detail.

  1. The role of unconscious processes in organising human memory and learning is set out.
  2. The unconscious activation of associative memory networks and their effect on cognitive learning processes are scrutinised.
  3. The effect of unconscious mental representations on the acquisition of verbal and pictorial information is elaborated.
  4. The relation of unconscious mental representations to conceptual learning processes is highlighted.
  5. Finally, conscious and unconscious processing capacity for the mental integration of instructional materials is collated.

Considering how Conscious and Unconscious learning works, as a human being who has an intellectual ability to decide what help them and whatnot, this will result in a significant positive impact on below if we are making turning our learning process to make the maximum out of Uncouncsious learning.

  1. Multiply the Learning Ability
  2. Decision Making
  3. Productivity
  4. A different Perception or viewing angle of the same problem
  5. Ability to articulate, communicate and express
  6. Confidence in conceptual knowledge of topics etc.,

Register at Upskillshare.com to learn more on “How to Control or Reconfigure Your Unconscious Learning.”

In Conscious learning, we use the concept of Active Learning, where we can focus on the process of more detailed study, reading, and understanding of the concept. The conscious learning process has the advantage of it being trackable in multiple ways concerning time, efforts through number lesson or concepts practised, or even through notes or scribbles. Once notes or scribbles that we make during the process of learning will help us to remember the concept in a short, concise manner which will enable us to recollect the information that we practised quickly.

What it means to practice conscious learning :

This is an essential aspect of learning which we will have to keep track of very carefully. We will have to make sure we are in touch with the concept or topic almost every day. So a few steps below will help you in taking the most advantage of the conscious learning process.

  1. Preparing notes or scribbles while learning or reading or consuming content is the most important thing.
  2. Planning a learning session with short scheduled breaks
  3. Tracking Content completion and time of learning and consistent daily efforts
  4. Revising, memorising or self-quizzing the completed concepts
  5. Writing down or teaching others is the best way to move content to long term memory.

Hoping to see you improve your learning ability having a better understanding about this concept. Happy Learning!

About the author: kirankv
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