“People are generally going about learning in the wrong ways.” So opens the collaborative writing effort of cognitive scientists McDaniel and Roediger and Brown, who serves as the book’s storyteller. The concepts discussed in this book include the importance of growing knowledge and creativity side by side and continually challenging oneself while learning. Elaboration—taking new experiences and contextualizing and reinterpreting them in terms of what you already know—is also key. Additionally, the authors illustrate how our own minds can produce roadblocks to accurate learning and memory through such techniques as cognitive biases, suggestion, and imagination.
These lessons are made even more tangible by the use of individual case studies rather than waves of data. Examples include the stories of athletes, students, pilots, neurosurgeons, and many others who rely on successful retention and application of information for work—or even to survive.