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Memorizing facts and figures efficiently while studying

Know-it-all or Can-do-it-all?


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BurnedOut

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To be precise, I am specifically talking about a case wherein there is a combination of concepts and facts.

I discovered by simple human prudency that facts can be memorized in a fair amount of time (and not a start amount of time and hence ruling out usual memory techniques) along with understanding what is being read. The key is to understand the information that is being presented. I say this because rather than facts, the understanding the concepts require the primary heavylifting. When the concepts are not clearly and at the same time an attempt is made to memorize facts, it does not work because we are busy trying to understand than recall facts quickly. If there is no understanding, facts cannot be anchored because there are no memory triggers stored by the brain. These memory triggers are created when we understand a certain kind of causality. (I am not sure how scientific this is but understanding primarily requires realizing a series of causalities and that just seems intuitive)

When the attributes of two interacting objects are realized, memorizing the objects other peripheral attributes such as name, date, etc become easier because information retrieval is much faster and ease of recall enables more anchors to be used to memorize other facts.

One of the reasons might be that while understanding any concept, we end up reiterating some of the primary attributes of two agents of causality in question. In order to understand why A^2 + B^2 > C^2, it is important to know what A, B, C are and how squares work. Therefore, the processing (groking) of information does the first task of letting you 'get the feel of it.' and after getting the 'feels', you can proceed with memorizing more and more things.

I think it becomes salient for students to try and understand the matter they have in hand than blindly attempting to use rote memorization techniques. This works the same way in socializing, specializing in a particular thing and picking up any skill in general.

This brings me to another thing that I have thinking of and that is about the trade-off between memory bank of facts and memory bank of skills.

I have observed that there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to acquiring a new skill set.
1) Know-it-all: The encyclopedia that bring more questions than answers.
2) Can-do-it-all: Rambo huddled in a jungle but still making complex minecraft traps using basic stuff but cannot use more than 3 adjectives while describing stuff.

I think that the former kind sometimes has quite some information on a plethora of topics and that causes the know-it-all to be confused with a can-do-it-all but they are not CDIA because they lack depth of understanding. This is easily tested by the fact that they are unable to get beyond the 'categorization' phase in the recon stage of learning a concept. Secondly, they do not experience 'skill-transfer' because the categorization of information ends up consuming a lot of 'brain space' due to memory retrieval by lack of reliable anchors based on 'understood' causalities. However, being a KIA is not all bad. In fact, it is quite a useful skill, professionally, when specialization is the goal. Not only that, it is also socially impressive to know a lot of information because it generally causes people to assume that the person is intelligent. The social function is so massive itself that being a KIA is almost irresistible for anybody. Therefore, you will everybody being a KIA in at least one area of their interest but being hapless at transferring that some knowledge anywhere else. It is also wrong to call it 'functional fixedness' because being a KIA is like sending a weaverbird to compete with a Kea.

I won't talk much about the latter category because some of the implications are quite observable and one of them is people often misunderstanding your skillset to be much smaller than what you have. This one factor is frustrating enough for most people to not even try to be a CDIA. Being a CDIA is ultimately rewarding because CDIAs can also practise their KIA skills as when required and it is usually much easier for them given how quickly they can anchor new information to their experiences. I think this is the case with high-ranking chess players, excellent scientists and academicians, etc. CDIA with KIA are noticed and incalculably respected as compared to KIAs.

To conclude, I want to say that I don't know if people choose to KIAs or CDIAs by choice. It is hard to say if the allure of curiousity with risks and ambiguity and uncertainty is greater than the allure of status quo (but you know what my answer is going to be)
 

Animekitty

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I was never good at memorizing. I had to have a causal relation presented to learn. Calculus is too hard to memorize. Once I know symbols I can make equations.

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