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What is Spaced Repetition definition/concept

All people memorize information for some purpose. For the mental exercise of remembering something to be effective there are different methods or systems. One of them is the spaced repeat system or SRS. Its fundamental idea is to review the information learned over different periods of time. Spaced Repetition

In this way, the learning sessions are temporarily distanced and, therefore, the memorized information ends up being better retained.

Continuous repetition is the classic memorization technique

Most students who seek to retain some information do the following: they mentally repeat the studied data until a moment comes when their mind retains the accumulated information.

However, it has been shown that this technique is inefficient, as our memory is weak and tends to forget the data held in the mind. Spaced Repetition

A practical example

A law student has to study a subject to take an exam in the near future. Instead of spending many hours of study , SRS would work like this: start memorizing the material for two days in a row, then alternate every other day, then every four days, and finally once a week. With this system, the student will be able to fix the desired information in his mind.

The SRS system is based on the study of the forgetting curve

In the late nineteenth century, the German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus researched the fundamental processes involving memory. Ebbinghaus himself tested his memory and tried to remember a list of words. That’s when he noticed the number of words retained and the amount forgotten. The result of their research led to the so-called “oblivion curve”. According to this curve, in the first 24 hours, more than half of the learned data is forgotten. Spaced Repetition

The researcher concluded that our retention capacity depends on two factors: the intensity of memory at the moment something was recorded in our mind and the time elapsed since the initial stimulus.

When we want to strengthen our memory, we must use some scientific method based on the intensity of memories and periodic review of the information that is intended to be retained. In this way, the forgetting curve gets smaller and smaller and the accumulated data is better fixed in memory. Spaced Repetition

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