This is especially useful to students, and we got it from our friends at the science news website Eureka-lert.org: In a study, scientists at the University of Florida and University of Illinois had volunteers play a word game. Before they finished, they were interrupted and asked to describe what they’d been doing.
- Some said, “I was solving word puzzles.”
- Some said, "I solved word puzzles.”
Doesn’t sound like a big difference, does it?
- When the volunteers took a memory test about the game, those who said they were solving the problem did better than those who said they’d solved the problems.
- When the volunteers played another - more difficult - word game, the people who used the word solving got better scores.
Why? The scientists believe that it has to do with how our brains store information. When you say, “I studied for the test,” your brain files that away - along with everything you studied - as a completed task. However, saying, “I was studying for the test,” means you’re not finished, and your brain stores that information where it can be easily recalled. So, if you want to keep your memory sharp, always act as if you’re still learning information. Not as if you’ve already learned it.