Author Archive

Did I leave ______ on? : Self Doubt and Metamemory with Undergrads and Clinical OCD Participants

November 27th, 2014 4 comments

It’s a Saturday afternoon and you bunker down on your sofa to watch a marathon of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Your mom calls and asks you to check if she left the stove on. The average person may remember already checking the stove that morning and can feel confident that their memory is correct. “All is good mom— No need to get off this couch and check.”  An individual with OCD (a mental disorder that impairs daily life via obsessions and compulsions) is mostly likely going to go to the kitchen and double-check even though they have this feeling of knowing that they had previously checked it. Thoughts such as “maybe I actually checked the stove yesterday instead of this morning” may cross your mind; you will ultimately be forced to get off the couch and check the stove to appease mom (and your own anxieties).

This example highlights the self-doubt that OCD can create. When you think about people with OCD, you may refer to the classic germaphobe that performs compulsive hand-washing rituals. No matter how many times they wash their hands, the “clean” feeling is never achieved. People with OCD whose obsessions revolved repeated checking also lack a feeling of satisfaction or resolution—the stove doesn’t feel like it was off after the first check or maybe you remembered the first check incorrectly and thus the vicious cycle of compulsive checking begins. As repeated checking persists, recollection shifts from “remembering” (having exact accounts of when/how an event happened) to “knowing” (having a general idea of what happened). Read more…

Categories: Memory Tags:

If your text book looks like the offspring of a rainbow, YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!

December 2nd, 2013 9 comments
Your friends at Sharpie want you to 'highlight what's right'!

Your friends at Sharpie want you to ‘highlight what’s right’!

All students love to highlight. It’s easy, requires little time, and feels manageable. Though this study method may feel productive, does it actually enhance learning?

In a recent review of the literature, Dunlosky et al. (2013) reference several studies that show the potential benefits but overall disadvantages of highlighting.

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Categories: Education Tags: