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Day 11, SuperMemo Ultramarathon – Associations Reduce Interference

April 24, 2010

Yesterday I made the daily goal, 614 repetitions were finished, somehow I did feel pretty tired, like going up a huge mountain half the race and then going downhill, non runners might think its easier to go downhill at the end of the race, but once your legs are tired going downhill is painful, and even more a couple of days after the race.

I did not feel that pain today, after I woke up, but to the contrary I have the sense of how nice it feels when you’re close to the finish line. Four more days and I’ll have make it, I’ll have finished a 14 day schedule of more then 4 hours doing repetitions daily on my beloved and be-hated SuperMemo.


I have said before mine is a bitter sweet relationship, I love the profits of learning better and being able to deliberate practice what is not know well, but at the same time this process is not that joyful. It takes a lot of my time, and shows me direct in the eye, that I don’t that much I think I do, It the most severe professor.

Perhaps, searching for some less demanding study tool,  in the past, and hence an ultimate way to study, is the reason I’ve completed so many audio and multimedia courses, MegaMemory comes to mind, as well as Alphanetics, or any other speed reading courses, and even more memory courses, even photoreading.

I can’t recall how many of this I’ve tried, but I do know it would be better if instead of wasting my time with most of them, that time would be better invested on some high-yield information repetitions on SuperMemo.

Reminder for today:

Associations reduce interference, enhancing Long Term Memory.

In three experiments, we examined mediated learning in situations involving learning a large amount of information. Participants learned 144 “facts” during a learning phase and were tested on facts during a test phase.

In Experiments 1 and 2, participants learned facts about familiar individuals, unfamiliar individuals, or unfamiliar individuals associated with familiar individuals. Prior knowledge reduced interference, even when it played only a mediating role.

In Experiment 3, participants learned facts about unfamiliar individuals or unfamiliar countries, with half the participants in each group associating the unfamiliar items with familiar individuals. Again, use of prior knowledge to mediate learning reduced interference even when the new information was conceptually dissimilar to the previously known information. These results are consistent with the mental model account of long-term memory. [emphasis mine]

#Title: Using prior knowledge to minimize interference when learning large amounts of information.
#Author: Kole JA, Healy AF. Department of Psychology, University of Colorado, Boulder 80309-0345, USA. [mailto:kole@psych.colorado.edu]
#Source: Mem Cognit. 2007 Jan;35(1):124-37.
#E-mail: kole@psych.colorado.edu
#Element: 20825: Using prior knowledge to minimize interference when learning large amounts of information.

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