Study Tips

· Study Repeatedly (Overlearn). This can help push the information into long term memory; the more you study, the more likely the material will stick. After you think you know the material, go over it a few more times to increase your chances of remembering the information.
Pay special attention to information learned in the middle. Based on the serial position effect (pp. 229-231 of Gerrig & Zimbardo), you should have an easier time remembering information learned at the beginning and the end.

· Emphasize deep processing (p. 234 of Gerrig & Zimbardo):
Be an active learner. Just going over the material a lot (rote memorization or maintenance rehearsal) is not sufficient for you to learn it well. You have to think about what the material means to really remember it for a long time.
Elaborate on the material (elaborative rehearsal). In addition to learning definitions, you should think of an example of the term and how it relates to other terms.
Make it personally meaningful. Tie the information to yourself somehow. Think of how the information relates to your life and you will be more likely to remember it.

· Test your knowledge. Come up with sample questions and answers. When you are going over the review sheet, don't just look up the definitions in your notes. You can set up study questions like the ones below. By covering up the answers, you can force yourself to answer without peeking. You can do the same thing with note cards.

What marks the beginning of modern experimental psychology ? Wilhelm Wundt set up the first psychological laboratory in 1879 in Leipzig, Germany.

What is a correlation coefficient (r)? A statistic that indicates the degree of relationship between two variables.

What's the difference between negative and positive correlations? For negative correlations, the variables are inversely related (e.g., absences and grades); as one goes down, the other goes up. For positive correlations, they are directly related (e.g., college education & income level), they go up or down together.

Does correlation mean the same thing as causation? NO! Correlational data are obtained from uncontrolled studies. It may be that a third variable actually causes both of them [e.g., rate of stroke& oral hygiene are negatively correlated (the worse/lower the dental hygiene the higher the rate of stroke), but a third factor bad life style may cause them both].

· Explain it to a friend. Explaining new material out loud helps you remember it (study with someone in the class, or at least explain it to a friend or family member). If you can teach something to someone else, you know that you really understand the material.

· Space out your studying. You should spread out your reading and studying. Don't do it all at one time (cram). Spread it over days and weeks. Studying using three 3-hour study periods works better than one 9-hour study period. Even better, spend a few minutes reviewing your notes after each class (or each afternoon) and you'll have much less studying to do right before the exam. In addition, take a brief break from studying every 30-45 minutes.