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Unformatted text preview: PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology University of Maryland Suggestions for Effective Studying Dr. Tom Capo Students who come to see me during my office hours, or before or after class, often ask me to suggest ways they could study the material in PSYC 100 (Introductory Psychology) more effect- ively. This scenario has happened so many times in the same semester that I find myself repeat- ing many of the same suggestions. These suggestions, which Ive occasionally presented in a lecture, will be presented on the course web site from now on. The summary is as follows: 1. Understand the big picture (i.e., organization) in each chapter and in each lecture. 2. Make optimal use of the retrieval practice effect. 3. Determine the gaps in your own understanding of the material. 4. Create multiple retrieval paths through elaborative rehearsal. 5. Massed practice versus distributed practice. 6. Make use of what youve learned about context effects. As you are probably aware, these suggestions for more effective studying (all of which are based on solid experimental research) are not specific to PSYC 100. They will work with whatever material you apply them to. For the most part, the order in which Ive chosen to present these suggestions is strictly for my own convenience as a writer, and is not intended to suggest any precedence ordering. However, as Ive told my previous classes, while I believe that the first three of these can be understood by any student, even before reading the course material on human memory, the last three will be understood better after youve read the memory chapter (chapter 7 in Kosslyn & Rosenberg, 2006). 1. Understand the big picture (i.e., organization) in each chapter and in each lecture. Lets start with a very important fact, summarized as follows by Kosslyn and Rosenberg (2006, p. 288): One of the most remarkable discoveries in the study of memory is that it barely matters how much or how hard you try to learn something, what matters is how well you integrate and organize the material. Important: You should not consider the task of studying as if your goal is to memorize a long list of unrelated facts. As youll see when we study memory, simple maintenance rehearsal is very ineffective. What you need is a deeper level of encoding, and elaborative rehearsal. Therefore, instead of treating all this information as a list of unrelated facts, look for the overall global organization (i.e., the big picture). That big picture, presented in each chapter and in each lecture, gives you a top-level view of the subject matter. It will help you organize what you know about the topic. When your knowledge gets more organized, youll have many more effective memory cues for each bit of knowledge. PSYC 100 - Introduction to Psychology University of Maryland Suggestions for Effective Studying Dr. Tom Capo Usually, you can figure out much of that global organization the first time you read a chapter...
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This note was uploaded on 05/02/2008 for the course PSYC psyc100 taught by Professor Dr.thomascapo during the Spring '08 term at Maryland.
- Spring '08