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Quick learners remember more with time, finds study

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, tested a new measure to find the differences in how quickly people learn and retain information.

We have always our grandparents talking about memories from their childhood and even talk about what they were taught in school. Seems like they were good in learning skills early in their age. Yes, that's what a study has found that people who learn about things quicker than their friends have better long-term retention despite spending lesser time on studying it.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, tested a new measure to find the differences in how quickly people learn and retain information.

In the first experiment, 300 participants were given to two lists of 45 equally-difficult Lithuanian-English word pairs over two days for a total of 90-word pairs. The participants studied 45 pairs each day, which was displayed for four seconds each. The participants then completed an initial learning test where they typed the English equivalent for the Lithuanian words.

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After answering them, the participants viewed the correct pairing in the results, and their response accuracy was noted as a measure of initial learning. The researchers noted the participants' learning speed and the number of attempts an individual made to answer a word pair correctly.

In the second experiment, the participants completed a final test of all the 45-word pairs without getting the final results. They were made to repeat the procedure on the second day with a new set of 45-word pairs.

The final results showed that participants varied significantly in their learning curves for the initial test, learning speed and the final test. The participants who had scored better in the initial test also tended to learn more quickly.

And it was also found that those who learned faster had better scores in the final test too. And the subjects who scored better in the initial test remembered more in the final one.

"Quicker learning appears to be more durable learning. Even though people who learned the material in less time had less actual exposure to the material they were trying to learn, they still managed to demonstrate better retention of the material across delays ranging from minutes to days," said author Christopher L Zerr from Washington University in St Louis in the US in the study.

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