We are all social animals. But that does not mean that’s the best way for us to learn or remember information. In order to improve your memory and learn at your peak, you should know if you are a social or solitary learner.
Social learners live for study group, group projects, and task force teams – not just because they might be an extrovert, but because they learn best when others are around them. Oftentimes these people think aloud and seek out individual help. There is a psychological phenomenon that plays into this type of learning: social facilitation. This is the improved performance of an individual simply because of the existence of other people in the vicinity. Maybe you’ve been pleased to discover, for example, that you can shoot off the answers to math questions when someone else is asking you the question rather than just reading it off of a piece of paper. This is social facilitation at work – and you may be a social learner.
Not only does this mean you should strive to learn in groups, but you should strive to share information you want to remember with others. Instead of filling out your calendar by yourself, try sitting with your spouse, co-worker, or friend and talk about your plans. This increases the likelihood that you will remember these engagements. In the same way, rely on the people around you to boost your memory. Ask others to help you remember important tasks or dates. Plan on doing important things with other people so that it will be less likely to fall through the cracks.
These are all ways that social learners can improve their memory. Are you a social learner? Even if you’re not, don’t worry! Our next blog is about solitary learners and how they can improve their memory.