The benefit of overlearning

From experience to meaning...

“Don’t overdo it”, it is something I seldom need to say to my students or children, but still: is there something such as ‘overlearning’?

This new study argues that ‘overlearning’ can have a benefit: if you learn past mastery this may help protect what you’ve learned from interference that could undermine what you’ve learned. This claim is based on experiments on a particular learning exercise, so it’s still hard to tell how general this could be as a rule, still lead author Kazuhisa Shibata does think they are up to something that good well be generalized.

From the press release:

Want to learn something and then quickly make that mastery stick? A new Brown University study in which people learned visual perception tasks suggests that you should keep practicing for a little while even after you think you can’t get any better. Such “overlearning” locked in performance gains, according to…

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