12 Feb State Dependant Learning
If you have had the pleasure of reading my previous two blogs, you may have noticed that the tools I share with you are somewhat unique and unconventional. Hence the tool that I am about to reveal to you today is no exception, today’s is based on a relatively new concept (well…really its been around for a while now but has only been receiving attention more recently since it’s been discovered that it can be an excellent resource for learning) and is based on the idea of STATE DEPENDANT LEARNING.
State depending dependent learning is based on the idea that we are most likely to remember learned information best when we are in the same state as we were in when we learned it. There have been hundreds of studies conducted that to prove this point, but the main study was conducted by a chap called Donald Goodwin who used alcohol as a means of changing states. Donal Goodwin conducted the study by finding a sample Group of people and dividing them into two groups. Each Group was given some facts to memorise, one remained sober while the other group was given three times the driving limit of alcohol. Both Groups were then asked to recall the information. The sober Group recalled all the information well whilst being sober, and the drunk Group did equally well whilst drunk. However, once the tables were turned, and the sober Group got given alcohol and then told to recall the information they couldn’t recall and when the drunk Group was asked to recall the information whilst sober they could also not recall the information. The analogy for this is that the brain uses a filing cabinet for data to be stored based on how your system is functioning at the time when the information is stored. For example with alcohol in your bloodstream, your brain says store information in file needed when drunk. Now, please don’t go and get drunk on me here needless to say you’ll probably be disbarred from the exam if you show up drunk. But what we can learn from this study is that if we can create rituals or some kind of triggers to make our brains think that we are in the same state as we were during our learning stage, then it will be much easier to recall the information as and when needed.
And how you can achieve this is as follows. First, you start your revision sessions by listening to short guided meditations or self-hypnosis recordings and then repeat it just a few minutes before you go into your exam. Another potent but unconventional tool for state-dependent learning is the use of anchors to recall the same emotions and memories that you had during your revision time in the exam. Anchoring is when you relax your body and mind and think of a specific time when you felt the way that you want to feel when you activate the anchor, then you anchor that feeling in by means of gesture, a touch or a word, so that the same feelings and state can be recalled or re-experienced when needed. This technique is compelling and if done well can work miracles for you. I have helped many friends with this method who have found it invaluable, and if you would like me to help you as well, please get in touch as I would be more then happy to help. Lastly, you can create little rituals such as laying out your pens and pencils in a certain way across your desk and doing the exact same thing on your desk in the exam room. By doing this, you will trick your brain into thinking that it is in the same state as it was in at home during your revision and will adjust itself accordingly and thereby recall the information that it had processed at that time.
Just to recap for you remember to be successful in the exams you to focus on the positive end goal and visualize yourself having achieved that goal feel the feelings of what that would feel like. Also, remember to be mindful and use my guided meditation linked below to help you feel and relaxed so that you can achieve that focus. And lastly be sure to implement state-dependent learning and anchoring to help you with memorising the facts and material better.
If you would like a more personal tailor-made assistance with implementing these tools and techniques into your study regime, then don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss how I can help you reach your full potential.