How We Learn Versus How We Think We Learn

  • Published: 03 May 2016
  • Robert Bjork, Distinguished Research Professor in the UCLA Department of Psychology, shares insights from his work as a renowned expert on human learning. Bjork has been studying learning and memory for more than four decades. Recorded on 02/17/2016. [5/2016] [Show ID: 30574]

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Comments • 34

  • multiyapples
    multiyapples  2 weeks back


    • Modus Ponens
      Modus Ponens  9 months back

      At 29:36, he talks about an "instructional designer" saying not making errors is better. In case you're curious, the designer is Karen Mahon and she's referring to research from 1963 by Herb Terrace.

      • Lavender Violet
        Lavender Violet  12 months back

        loneliness suffocates me.
        my soul is eroding and my heart is breaking.

        • nickquik
          nickquik  1 years back

          4:00 start of the actual topic.

        • Fernando Rodriguez
          Fernando Rodriguez  1 years back

          Such an amazing talk, I spent my whole life studying the less efficient way and wandering why I had hard time trying to learn, now that I learned and applied this tools I'm able to learn much more efficiently, thank you so much for your insights!

          • jigyanshu shrivastava
            jigyanshu shrivastava  1 years back

            That is great

            • kevinknowscs
              kevinknowscs  1 years back

              Interesting. I recently tutored a young man with the goal of getting him to pass the Math GED, complete with questions on Algebra, Geometry, and Statistics. But because of his background, his starting math level was barely at a 3rd grade level - he barely knew his times tables. Okay, so how do you apply these methods to a situation like that? The combined method was a hybrid between blocked and interleaved. It had to be interleaved to a certain degree due to time pressures. There was not the time luxury to have him thoroughly and completely learn, say for example, rounding numbers, before proceeding on to algebraic story problems. But parts of it had to be blocked practice to focus on a certain skill. Math is such a layered thing that's it's very difficult to do the high-level stuff if you don't know the low-level mechanical stuff. It was a big challenge - very anamolous to most learning situations. He did eventually pass the test, but I can't say for sure that one technique or another was more effective.

              • murchison link
                murchison link  2 years back

                my summary
                1/ Try to retrieve the material form your brain instead of re-reading the material. You may make errors when retrieving information but that is ok (ensure you know what errors you made and what the correct answer is)

                2/ When instucting students, set the challenges that are just beyond their reach. It may take longer to learn but this helps build long-term retention

                3/ In order to optimise learning:
                a/ vary the conditions of learning
                b/ use space repitition
                c/ use tests as learning events (retrieval tests)
                d/ Interleaved practice i.e. it may be best if you vary your training for the hour instead of doing the same thing again and again for an hour. Having said that, in certain circumstances, blocked practice (i.e. practicing the same thing over and over) is better than interleaved practice


                • Unframed Minds
                  Unframed Minds  2 years back

                  Wonderful presentation.

                  • Sky Yin
                    Sky Yin  2 years back

                    Can't believe anyone today talk about learning without neurons. This is why AI will supercede humans in the future. (Attack me pls)

                  • Meinung Abundance
                    Meinung Abundance  2 years back

                    There should be a differentiation between female and male students. Male students and men almost always overestimate themselves!

                    • Dragon377
                      Dragon377  3 years back


                      1. Testing effect. Test yourself with practice papers or questions you made. Study > Test > Test is better than Study > Study > Study. "Retrieving information from memory is a dynamic process that alters the subsequent state of the system." Testing yourself, which is, retrieval of information is different from restudying. Testing, is a memory modifier that makes the retrieved material more accessible and retrievable.

                      2. Spacing effect. Space your study sessions. Spacing > massed practice (aka blocked practice).

                      3. Interleaved practice. Spacing helps you discriminate the similarities and differences between similar subjects, induce future relevant material.

                      One general idea about these 3 study techniques is that they contract to learners' idea of performance and what is best during learning. You might think you're doing poorly with these techniques, but actually, they help you with long-term performance and retention.

                      • Tog Many
                        Tog Many  1 years back

                        Dragon377 thanks a lot

                      • Shruti Jindal
                        Shruti Jindal  2 years back

                        adding variation in the methods or place of learning, association, and studying in lapses can help to learn new information but for longer-term

                      • Luis F.R.
                        Luis F.R.  2 years back

                        This is how I aced my physics courses

                    • Traffic Light
                      Traffic Light  3 years back

                      Excellent lecture, I'm glad you made this available.

                      • Verda Stelo
                        Verda Stelo  3 years back

                        Thank you. The lesson to take home is this: I should recall in evening what you said in your presentation if I don't want to forget.

                        • Dixxi91
                          Dixxi91  3 years back

                          I'm sorry. This guy has the most boring teacher voice ever. In just 4 minutes I found myself zooming out twice. I'm not gonna make it through a whole hour. Could someone PLEASE give me the short version? :(

                          • Shruti Jindal
                            Shruti Jindal  2 years back

                            I found him the most interesting person though. Maybe the content wouldn't suit your interest.

                          • Zheen Bahadin
                            Zheen Bahadin  3 years back

                            This may do the job

                        • Mamunur Rashid
                          Mamunur Rashid  3 years back

                          An excellent lecture on the subject of learning......

                          • 蓮物
                            蓮物  3 years back

                            I always thinks that Bjork will have a big impact on psychology and learning!!
                            Good presentation!!I have try anki and this software really help me!!

                            • Phoenix Angelfire
                              Phoenix Angelfire  3 years back

                              While I find the information presented here interesting and innovative, I find the presenters arrogance insufferable.

                              • Ania Lian
                                Ania Lian  4 years back

                                This is good as evidence of what he presents. But it is a mistake to believe that neuroscience knows pedagogy - this means that the meaning of these strategies which he presents as obvious needs further contextualising. So do use it but be careful not to treat the video as all there is to it

                                • Atom Smith
                                  Atom Smith  2 years back

                                  Ania Lian
                                  ^Vague Thinking: the Antithesis of Science. Can't wait until the low IQ Cult of Pedagogy retires and only bothers the public through their generous public pensions.

                              • ImNotMoose
                                ImNotMoose  4 years back

                                So the take-away is I should inter-leave topics and often test myself on them? In revising I should be doing more past papers than I should be doing rote learrning?

                                • Dragon377
                                  Dragon377  3 years back

                                  You should interleave relevant and similar topics, for example, different Maths topics but not Spanish vocabulary and Japanese vocabulary. This poses unnecessary (undesirable) difficulty. Yes, often test yourself on the material. Instead of re-reading or restudying, focus on testing yourself with practice papers or questions you generated.

                              • John Karavitis
                                John Karavitis  4 years back

                                SUPERB! Great presentation, with great, useful information to improve our lives!  John V. Karavitis

                                • foobargorch
                                  foobargorch  4 years back

                                  Hurray, a rational basis for my browsing habits!