Contrary to popular belief, when a person makes a mistake while learning, it improves their memory for the right information, but only if the error is close to the correct answer, according to a study published in the journal, Memory.
"Our research found evidence that mistakes that are a 'near miss' can help a person learn the information better than if no errors were made at all," says Dr. Nicole Anderson, senior author on the paper and senior scientist at Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute. "These types of errors can serve as stepping stones to remembering the right answer. But if the error made is a wild guess and out in left field, then a person does not learn the correct information as easily."
Findings - Education - Adults - Learners
These findings could help with improving education for not only younger adults, but also late-life learners.
In one of the studies reported in the paper, researchers recruited 32 young adults with no Spanish background to guess the English definition of certain Spanish words. The Spanish words selected either resembled an English word with a similar meaning (such as careera, which means degree) or the word looked like an English word, but meant something different (such as carpeta, which resembles carpet, but means folder).
Participants - Words - Meaning
Participants were shown the Spanish words and asked to guess its meaning. Then, they...
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