Are you a left-brain thinker or a right-brain thinker? Are you an auditory learner or a visual learner? New research says that we should forget these categories entirely. An article published in The New York Times reveals that researchers have discovered much of the advice about learning and studying that’s been handed down to us is unsupported at best even flat-out wrong.
Take the idea that you should stay in the same place when you study, and that it should be a clean, quiet space. Psychologists found that students who studied the same material in different places, one of which was not quiet, did better than students studying the same subject in the same room. “What we think is happening here is that, when the outside context is varied, the information is enriched, and this slows down forgetting,” said Dr. Bjork, author of the experiment and psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Whenever you study something, your surroundings also get registered along with the information that you’re explicitly trying to remember. It seems that the more surroundings that get attached to that information, the more likely you will be to remember it because it will have “more neural scaffolding.”