Tagged: learning


Live and work in a quiet place. Soundproof your home. Wear earplugs, shooting muffs, or sound-canceling headphones. Take refuge in nature.

Frequent exposure to noise increases heart attack risk by as much as 50 percent. Frequent exposure to noise also significantly impedes learning. One study found that “reading skills are markedly delayed in children exposed to high levels of aircraft noise. A mere 5-decibel increase is enough to delay learning by up to two months.

Conversely, by spending time in nature, you give “top-down directed-attention abilities a chance to replenish.


Further reading:

Berman et al. 2008. The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature

Craig Childs. 2009-06-25. Perfect Quiet. PSMag

Sorenson et al. 2012. Road Traffic Noise and Incident Myocardial Infarction: A Prospective Cohort Study


Take tests to learn, not just to assess what you know.

Test taking, which involves retrieving information, is significantly more effective than techniques such as rereading or concept mapping, both of which may foster false confidence. “Once information can be recalled, repeated encoding in study trials produced no benefit, whereas repeated retrieval in test trials generated large benefits for long-term retention.



Pam Belluck. 2011-01-20. To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test. NYT

Karpicke, Jeffrey D. and Henry L. Roediger. 2008. The Critical Importance of Retrieval for Learning

Karpicke, Jeffrey D. and Janell R. Blunt. 2011. Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping