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Learning and Memory Linked to One's Perception of Intelligence

by Tanya Thomas on April 18, 2011 at 9:15 AM
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 Learning and Memory Linked to One's Perception of Intelligence

"If it was easy to learn, it will be easy to remember," too simple to be true? A new research has suggested that there is a subjective angle to the process of remembering and retrieving information.

The widely held belief that if learning were thorough memory would also be more sustainable has been challenged by new research, which says that learning and memory also depend upon the type of intelligence theory one believes in.

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The study conducted by David B. Miele of Columbia University, Bridgid Finn of Washington University and Daniel C. Molden of Northwestern University, showed that the memory is subjective and varies with individual understanding of the concept of intelligence.

According to Miele "Individuals with different theories about the nature of intelligence tend to evaluate their learning in different ways."

It has long been known that theories on learning, memory and intelligence have important effects on people's motivation to learn.
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According to a section of theoreticians called "entity theorists, every individual possesses a fixed level of intelligence, and no amount of effort can change it.

Entity theories have had profound effect on individuals who believe in them, "As a result, entity theorists tend to disengage when something is challenging. They decide that they're not really capable of learning it," said Miele.

Differing with entity theorists, incremental theorists believe that intelligence is malleable. Study suggested that individuals inclined towards incremental theories exhibit different cognitive responses.

"They keep forging ahead when faced with a challenge, believing that more time and effort will yield better results," added Miele.

These findings imply that, simply holding different beliefs about the nature of intelligence can lead people to form very different impressions of their own learning.

The study is published in an upcoming issue Psychological Science.

Source: ANI
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