You’ve probably heard the saying: if you don’t like the results, do something different. Well… sometimes, things that you least expect to help you produce surprisingly positive outcomes. I’ve recently read two posts that seem to support this phenomenon.
Lifehack featured the post How to Get Started on Anything from Smart Graduate School Applications. It discusses how sipping coffee motivates the author to begin a task that is not very appealing otherwise. The positive emotion generated by the coffee spills over to the project at hand. So, next time you need to start on something boring, trick your brain first by doing something that gets you excited. Your attitude towards the task may improve as a result.
The second post deals with the effect of emotional words on memory. According to ScienceBlogs, If You Want Someone to Remember What You Said, Cuss. Experiments show that we remember swear and taboo words better than neutral words. More importantly, the emotional words enhance memory of the context in which they are used, so it appears that we remember the boring stuff better if it is sprinkled with words that trigger shock or surprise. If there is any study group out there that decides to try this one out, let me know if it works.
Do you have similar tricks that enhance your learning? I’d love to hear them.