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Conventional wisdom that may be wrong

RightinNYC

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Stories like this come out every so often, but I saw two today that intrigued me.

Research finds repressed memories don't exist

The idea that traumatised people, especially the victims of child sexual abuse, deliberately repress horrific memories goes all the way back to the 19th century and the theories of Sigmund Freud himself. But now some experts are saying the evidence points the other way.

...

In a briefing to the US Supreme Court, Professor Richard McNally from Harvard University described the theory of repressed memory as "the most pernicious bit of folklore ever to infect psychology and psychiatry". He maintains false memories can easily be created by inept therapists.
Research finds repressed memories don't exist - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Forget What You Know About Good Study Habits

“We have known these principles for some time, and it’s intriguing that schools don’t pick them up, or that people don’t learn them by trial and error,” said Robert A. Bjork, a psychologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Instead, we walk around with all sorts of unexamined beliefs about what works that are mistaken.”

Take the notion that children have specific learning styles, that some are “visual learners” and others are auditory; some are “left-brain” students, others “right-brain.” In a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found almost zero support for such ideas. “The contrast between the enormous popularity of the learning-styles approach within education and the lack of credible evidence for its utility is, in our opinion, striking and disturbing,” the researchers concluded.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html?ref=general&src=me&pagewanted=print
 

CriticalThought

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The comments on testing are very interesting. In college, you practically beg for pretests, study guides, and study questions in order to retain the material. Teachers in high schools and elementary schools, on the other hand, despise tests and argue that teaching to the test is ineffective.
 

Hoplite

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Regarding the learning styles, I disagree. Speaking entirely from personal experience, I notice a distinct difference in retention of new material depending on how I intake it.

That and the article was a little off
Learning Styles ? Psychological Science in the Public Interest

The experiment said that there wasnt much indication of distinct learning styles that would be important to teachers, not that learning styles dont exist.
 
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