Can you teach yourself to learn more effectively? Memory researcher Elizabeth Bjork thinks so. Participate in a short experiment that illustrates an important link between encoding and retrieval.
0:00 An introduction to Bjork’s experiments
0:34 Let’s try a little experiment.
4:55 Figuring out your score.
5:32 What’s the expected result?
5:58 How did Dr. Bjork use this to help people learn?
7:05 The surprising result.
7:44 What’s really driving the learning in the second round?
9:49 The larger point.
The follow-up video is here: https://youtu.be/7N7tIM7sIxU
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This video and the experiments I describe in it was based on a series of experiments led by Elizabeth Bjork, renowned memory researcher. The first one is the most readable summary of the research; the other three are a bit dense, but give lots of details about how the experiments were run.
Bjork, E. L., de Winstanley, P. A., & Storm, B. C. (2007). Learning how to learn: Can experiencing the outcome of different encoding strategies enhance subsequent encoding? Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14(2), 207–211. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03194053
A. de Winstanley, P., & Ligon Bjork, E. (1997). Processing Instructions and the Generation Effect: A Test of the Multifactor Transfer-appropriate Processing Theory. Memory, 5(3), 401–422. https://doi.org/10.1080/741941392
DeWinstanley, P. A., & Bjork, E. L. (2004). Processing strategies and the generation effect: Implications for making a better reader. Memory & Cognition, 32(6), 945–955. https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196872
Bjork, E. L., & Storm, B. C. (2011). Retrieval experience as a modifier of future encoding: Another test effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 37(5), 1113–1124. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0023549
This is the one where they illustrate that students don’t have to experience the benefits of encoding to improve their encoding strategy. Rather, it seems like just knowing the format of the test and having some experience with different encoding strategies is enough (separately and likely additively together) to lead to superior encoding.
Storm, B. C., Hickman, M. L., & Bjork, E. L. (2016). Improving encoding strategies as a function of test knowledge and experience. Memory & Cognition, 44(4), 660–670. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-016-0588-9
The word lists used in the video were generated from Friendly, M. & Dubins, M. (2019), Paivio et al. Word List Generator, Online application, http://euclid.psych.yorku.ca/shiny/Paivio, Accessed: 2023-06-23