3 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Harder

3 Ways Your Brain Tricks You Harder

Our brains love to play tricks on us, the brain is a highly efficient machine and in order to conserve energy it likes to take the path of least effort which means, we might feel like we’re learning when in actuality we could just be wasting our time. These are what we call the illusions of learning and here are the top 3 that you got to look out for.

<>Also Read-Make $1000 A Day By Passive Income Ideas In 2024

1. Illusion Of Competence

Have you ever read through a really complicated topic and felt like you actually understood it. It’s like a light bulb moment or maybe the teacher explain a difficult math problem and all of a sudden it just clicked like it actually made sense for once.

That’s your brain giving you a rush of dopamine it’s that AHA! Moment. Which feels great. Well don’t let it fool you.

Our brains tend to overestimate how well we understand a topic, this illusion of competence often reveals itself when we’re asked to explain the topic ourselves or when we’re asked to apply it to solve problems on our own.

We have been fallen into the trap for so many years, so many hours of my life wasted. We would feel so good like dang we actually understand this and so as a result we wouldn’t study as much and then we take the exam and realize oh crap we have seen this problem before but we don’t actually know how to do it.

So don’t fall into this trap remember to always practice your knowledge. Prove it to yourself that you know how to use it and don’t be tricked by the dopamine Rush of the light bulb moments.

  • A good rule of thumb is that “if you can’t explain a concept to someone else, like if you can’t transfer your knowledge accurately from your brain to someone else’s brain then it’s probably not well ingrained in your brain to begin with”.

<>Also Read-How To Make Baingan Bharta Or Eggplant Recipe

2. Illusion Of Familiarity

Have you ever started reading a flash card and instantly you knew what the answer was before you even finished reading the question. well you probably saw a buzzword or a phrase in the question that immediately triggered your memory, this is because you’ve seen that flash card so many times that you’ve just wrote memorized it.

For example (What is the illusion of …):- we like to use in our study Quest course, we’d show this partial question on one side of the flash card and immediately a bunch of students would already know the answer without even seeing the entire question because this buzzword (illusion) right here triggers your memory you’re used to seeing this words in association.

  • Don’t get us wrong this trick is great for memorization but in most classes, especially in college level and higher we’re expected to master our knowledge one step further than just memorization.
  • Sure it feels great to be able to Breeze through your flash cards effortlessly but sometimes you got to take a pause and ask yourself “do I really understand this or did I just memorize it?”
  • another common scenario, was when we did so many practice problems that we started to memorize the exact order of the answer choices and it got to a point where we would know the answer even before reading the question, that’s the illusion right there.

Sure we know the right answer to this practice problem but do we know the reason why that answer is right, what if? On the exam they ask the same question but they change one word or one variable and now it’s asking something completely different would you still understand it enough to solve it. We have 2 Tips for You,

Mix Up

First you want to make sure to “mix up your study techniques”:- this is a strategy called interleaving don’t just rely on a single technique like flashcards, you want to mix it up try teaching, mind mapping, blurting, practice problems, group study sessions or all the above.

For those of you who go to the gym, it’s a very similar idea to muscle confusion, where you do different exercises targeting the same muscle so that the body doesn’t get used to it. The same idea here is that you don’t want your brain to get used to seeing the trigger words or phrases by studying the same information in the same way and in the same context.

It’s great for memorization don’t get me wrong but it can be very deceiving when you want to understand what you’re learning at a deeper level.

Track Your Confidence

when you answer a flash card or a practice problem, always ask yourself are you sure, how confident are you in your answer because if you’re not confident at all then you basically took a guess, right you got lucky, which means that on the exam you’ll have to depend on luck to get the answer right again.

So if you’re not confident about your answers it’s probably because you’re just relying on rope memorization, instead learn more about the topic so that it makes sense, read further use Chat GPT. Yes this is the right answer but why is it the right answer.

If you can find some sort of logical explanation or scientific basis then you’ll understand it at a deeper level.

<>Also Read-Mark Twain Life Lessons I Could Never Forget

3. Illusion Of Productivity

Have you ever spent an excessive amount of time studying, yet your grades and scores don’t reflect the amount of effort you spent, maybe you spend more time studying than all your friends but somehow they always get better grades.

Some students who went to the library earlier and stayed later than most people and still wasn’t performing as well as others and that’s when we started to realize that, “it’s not about the time you spend it’s about how you spend your time”.

We used to severely misjudge the productiveness of study sessions, we used to think that the more physical things we did the more productive we was. If we managed to write 10 pages of notes or made a 100 flashcards or highlighted and underlined all my summaries then we would feel so accomplished but that’s where the illusion of productivity comes in.

Just because we look Physically Active like we’re writing a ton of notes, we’re highlighting we’re coloring and all these things just because we look active on the outside doesn’t mean that we’re actually active on the inside. the inside meaning our cognitive activity, that’s where it matters most because studying and learning are not the same thing studying is the physical action like reading a book, writing notes and learning is the cognitive outcome of studying, memory formation, knowledge retention, it’s two completely different things.

just because we spend 8 hours studying it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve achieved 8 hours of learning, it’s the same thing as if we spent 8 hours lying in bed, that doesn’t mean that we actually got 8 hours of restful sleep, if you’re tossing and turning if you’re anxious you’re scrolling on your phone all night, then of course you’re not going to fall asleep.

How do we ensure that our studying equates to learning?

We have to start measuring our study sessions by how much knowledge we’re retaining and we know it could be tricky because for much of our lives for us it was elementary to high school we are led to believe that studying is supposed to look like busy work.

like we remember in elementary school when my mom would come home from work and check in on us to see if we’re studying and of course me and Maddie were just playing video games all day right but when she comes into the room to check on us we got to make sure that we are looking busy that we look like we’re studying and working hard and

You’re probably not even going to look at them again later on, so we got to realize that spending time on superficial tasks like, rewriting notes and highlighting and all this big busy work, it only makes us feel productive.it gives us the illusion of productivity but what’s more important is engaging with the information, struggling and thinking deeply.

<>Also Read-Top 5 Drag And Drop Website Builder For WordPress In 2024

  • So, the biggest tip we can give you here is always remember that the more cognitive effort you use, the better you’re going to learn and this cognitive effort and the feeling of confusion and struggle, it feels uncomfortable but that’s what learning actually feels like.
  • stop copying and rewriting your notes for the second time and instead close everything and see if you can rewrite it from memory, stop highlighting your lecture slides for the second time and instead close everything and see if you can teach it.
  • Why is that concept important? You got to challenge yourself because the amount of time we spend doesn’t matter nearly as much as the amount of thinking that we do.

If you want some more accountability and motivation and you want to learn faster without having to go at it alone then consider revisit and reading other useful articles from our site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top