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Old 08-13-2005, 06:32 AM   #1
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How do you learn?

Or better yet, how do you best retain information and process information?

Visual--observation, reading
Audio--listening
Mechanical--doing
Other

I wonder how much of our viewpoints are influenced by how we process information. For example, I have difficulty visualizing things three-dimensionally. I can, but I often have to concentrate to do it. If I read, I have to hear the words in my head to process. However, my audio capability is much stronger and much more intricate.

So, for example, if I have trouble with compassion, I think much of it is due to my less than sparkling ability to see things three dimensionally. So I tend to be more abstract in my thinking.
The words charity, compassion, etc. will not affect me much. However, the words justice or fairness will.

How much miscommunication do you think is attributed to how we process information? How does that processing affect our day to day lives and the way we look at things?
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Old 08-13-2005, 06:40 AM   #2
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hmm this question is very complex. I do think that how we process information impacts how we react to our world.

Personally I am a visual and mechanical learner. I have to see it in writing and then do it for it to truly sink in. Yet, I am very sensitive to passionate speeches and music.

Going along with being visual instead of auditory with my learning style....I can hear somebody say that they are upset or suffering but if I SEE them cry or the pain in their eyes it drives home their point a lot harder to me.

I don't have any problems at all with compassion. In fact, Ive been accused of being too compassionate. I think that is because I am able to put myself in the other person's shoes very easily. I'm not really sure how much of that has to do with my learning style.
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Old 08-13-2005, 07:16 AM   #3
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This *is* a complex question. I'll say I'm mainly a mechanical learner--I learn by doing. I can't follow directions worth a damn. My concentration is really bad, but my memory is really good. Once I learn something I don't forget it.
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Old 08-13-2005, 08:18 AM   #4
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OK, I'll complicate it even further.

Intellectually or mechanically, do you prefer to build something up or take it apart? Take an initial idea, piece, etc. and build it up into a whole picture or take the whole picture and break it down into its elements. Would you prefer to put together a puzzle from scratch or take a completed puzzle, take it apart and then build it again? Do you take the initial concept and create the novel or would you rather take the completed novel and break it down to see why it works or it doesn't? Do you like to take mechanical devices apart to figure how they work?

Do you take a belief and try to find a philosophy that fits it or do you take a philosophy and figure out whether it fits in with any of your beliefs?

Or to simplify it, do you like to take the small to the big or the big to the small?

I always had trouble writing from scratch. But if I took a work that I liked and then broke it down into the specific elements and how they fit together as a whole, it became easier. (Not successful, mind you, just easier. )

I think we are so limited in how we view intelligence and there are so many more ways to appreciate it in ourselves and others when we understand how someone approaches something.
I'm amazed at the variety of intelligence.
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Old 08-13-2005, 09:07 AM   #5
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as somebody that has always been interested in psychology, sociology, anthropology and social work I always look at the big picture and try to break it down into what makes it "tick". If something is going on I look for the reasons WHY it is happening. I think if you can find the underlying cause of why people do what they do you can understand them better and help them change if they want to.
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:32 AM   #6
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Trial and error.
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint


Do you take a belief and try to find a philosophy that fits it ....

this is not learning

this is common

it contributes little if anything to actual knowledge
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Old 08-13-2005, 01:59 PM   #8
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Point taken. Ignore that question in my post.
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Old 08-13-2005, 05:43 PM   #9
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It depends on what it is I'm learning. When I was in school, in math and science classes, I liked having visual aids around. The explanations can be so complex and technical and all that, and my mind just doesn't work that way with that sort of thing, so I need some visual thing to really comprehend what it is I'm dealing with. I need it explained to me in layman's terms, pretty much .

But English and history classes, I could memorize the information given pretty well-I had no problem memorizing a vocab list for a test there, and I learned by listening to the lectures of the teachers, as well as through the class discussions. I didn't need it "dumbed down" for me.

But to answer some of the other questions here, as we're asking about a bit more than just simple school techniques:

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Would you prefer to put together a puzzle from scratch or take a completed puzzle, take it apart and then build it again?
Put together a puzzle from scratch.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Do you take the initial concept and create the novel or would you rather take the completed novel and break it down to see why it works or it doesn't?
Take the initial concept and create the novel, and while working actually working on the novel, I'd figure out what I think works best and what doesn't. I wouldn't wait until I was done to do that.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Do you like to take mechanical devices apart to figure how they work?
No. I hate working with mechanical things either way, be it putting them together or taking them apart .

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Do you take a belief and try to find a philosophy that fits it or do you take a philosophy and figure out whether it fits in with any of your beliefs?
I dunno...I think on this one, sometimes I've done both.

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I think we are so limited in how we view intelligence and there are so many more ways to appreciate it in ourselves and others when we understand how someone approaches something.
I'm amazed at the variety of intelligence.
Very true. And I think it's interesting that you use this to try and figure out whether or not that's what makes us have the viewpoints we do on issues...this could lead to some pretty interesting revelations .

By the way, the words "charity", "compassion", "justice", and "fairness" can all affect me. What would you think that'd say about me in regards to types of thinking, then?

Angela
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Old 08-13-2005, 11:33 PM   #10
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visual/spatial. completely. if it were all aural learning, i'd tune out and start thinking about summer or whether i need to get milk...hey look! a shiny thing!
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Old 08-14-2005, 03:04 AM   #11
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Lot of questions here.

I am intensely verbal. I read like a duck swims. I can talk all goddamn day. But this doesn't fall neatly under you category of 'visual' as I also have a very good memory for the spoken word, and members of my family have sometimes asked me to settle a dispute by recounting a conversation I heard them having ("See, I knew you said that!") because I can often remember large pieces of conversation verbatim. On the other hand, I usually can't sing a capella a song that I've only heard (not in tune, anyway) ; I do much better if I can see a score.

Images also have a very strong impact on me. If I try, I can remember many images with crystal clarity.

In school, I was weak in math. In science, I had no trouble understanding concepts and theories, but was weak on execution of any part of a project that concerned numbers.

Build or take apart. Sometimes both. But usually, I'd rather build. God knows I hate deconstructing literature.

The problem with how we view intelligence is that we've been too influenced by the academics and psychologists who keep attempting to create a fail proof way to quantify it, quite often numerically. This is why IQ tests can be so weak a reflection of a persons abilities; the test, being limited to a small range of gradations, and by testing narrowly defined skills, is by it's very nature, limited and limiting.

The various tests don't encompass a broad enough range of types to reflect the diversity of the human mind. They tend to try to treat the human organism the same way that other academics treat the physical universe. But people are not quantum particles and there's no simple Unified Field Theory for the variety of the human mind, and I don't think there ever will be.

(Not to mention that no matter how hard they try, they have a hell of a time creating a test of intelligence that is completely lacking in cultural bias, no matter how unconscious.)
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Old 08-14-2005, 04:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel

By the way, the words "charity", "compassion", "justice", and "fairness" can all affect me. What would you think that'd say about me in regards to types of thinking, then?

Angela [/B]
OK, Let's play. First, we'll state the obvious. You're not big on mechanical learning and you like to build up instead of take apart.

I haven't actually done this before except by making quick determinations, so I am going cold. This has the potential of being a humbling experiment for me.

I would gather you learn more visually by observation. You're a whole picture type of person. (Simply put, if you go into an art gallery, you view the whole picture (or statue, etc.) and are impacted by its totality. You would probably have to make a conscious choice to look at the details.)

You are more artistic than analytical. In English class, you were probably good at determining the theme of a novel without prompting from the teacher. You probably didn't like to parse sentences. You probably ask why more than how.

Your thinking is fluid. You make a quick decision about something before all the information is in, but you will adjust your thinking as more information becomes available. You're not ego-entrenched in holding your position. You are more interested in what the truth of the matter is than whether your position was right.

Just a few speculations.
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Old 08-14-2005, 05:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
OK, Let's play. First, we'll state the obvious. You're not big on mechanical learning and you like to build up instead of take apart.

I haven't actually done this before except by making quick determinations, so I am going cold. This has the potential of being a humbling experiment for me.

I would gather you learn more visually by observation. You're a whole picture type of person. (Simply put, if you go into an art gallery, you view the whole picture (or statue, etc.) and are impacted by its totality. You would probably have to make a conscious choice to look at the details.)

You are more artistic than analytical. In English class, you were probably good at determining the theme of a novel without prompting from the teacher. You probably didn't like to parse sentences. You probably ask why more than how.

Your thinking is fluid. You make a quick decision about something before all the information is in, but you will adjust your thinking as more information becomes available. You're not ego-entrenched in holding your position. You are more interested in what the truth of the matter is than whether your position was right.

Just a few speculations.
Heh, that's actually quite a rather accurate description of me you shared there . I was wondering what it'd look like all summed up kinda the way you summed yourself up earlier...yeah, that's pretty dead-on . I definitely can claim to have done all the things you mentioned before.

Angela
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Old 08-14-2005, 07:04 AM   #14
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OK. I can stop holding my breath now. That was fun.
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Old 08-14-2005, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint

I would gather you learn more visually by observation. You're a whole picture type of person. (Simply put, if you go into an art gallery, you view the whole picture (or statue, etc.) and are impacted by its totality. You would probably have to make a conscious choice to look at the details.)

You are more artistic than analytical. In English class, you were probably good at determining the theme of a novel without prompting from the teacher. You probably didn't like to parse sentences. You probably ask why more than how.

Your thinking is fluid. You make a quick decision about something before all the information is in, but you will adjust your thinking as more information becomes available. You're not ego-entrenched in holding your position. You are more interested in what the truth of the matter is than whether your position was right.

Just a few speculations.

this would be me.

i need the big picture first, i need the why behind things or else none of the little details are going to stick to me. once i've understood how the detail relates to the larger picture, i'll never forget that detail. but if it's simply a detail floating in outerspace, it's rather meaningless for me. this was why i found high school so much more difficult than college. high school was about learning study skills and acquiring a vast amount of information. i remember finding English, in 9th grade, maddening because you'd have to read, say, three chapters in Great Expectations and then take a quiz the next day to make sure you had read the material, and the teacher accomplished this by asking about specific details in the chapters read. i couldn't remember, especially under pop quiz pressure, what someone's name was (still bad at that ... in movies, i have to concentrate to remember names and tend to remember characters by how they function in the movie). this would get easier by the end of the book, after discussion of themes, because then details like names, places, small events, minor plot twists, recurring symbols, etc., suddenly would all make sense in light of how we now understood the novel as a whole. and then, once you've got the big picture, it's almost thrilling to watch everything fall pefectly into place and you can sit back and look at this marvelous piece of writing and admire just how beautifully it all works. a goood example of this is _atonement_ ... i read it twice, once to simply read it, but then there's a bit of a Sixth Sense twist at the end (just a bit), which i found breathtaking and actually made me cry, and then i went and re-read the whole thing simply to admire how well it worked.

so, yeah, big picture; go from big to small.
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