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As an EdTech company, we try to keep our users, teachers and others up to speed when it comes to the latest scientific research in education and cognitive psychology.

In February the annual issue of “Cognitive Learning in Contemporary Education” was released, and we would like to share the most mindblowing findings with you in this short overview, so all our readers will be able to improve their studyskills!

1. The “Toothfairy-effect”

Ynneh and colleagues (2015) have proved with their study what nobody believed. In their study, they made 30 students study for one week. During day time students studied by using flashcards, notes and mindmaps. During the night something strange happened:
– Group 1: 10 students slept with their textbook under their pillow
– Group 2: 10 other students were told by the researchers that their textbook had been placed under their pillow while they slept, but this was not actually true. They slept on a pillow with nothing under it.
– Group 3: The other 10 students did not sleep with their textbook under their pillow.

Students who slept with their textbook under their pillow, performed significantly better than all other students. All other students who did not sleep with their textbook under their pillow, did not nearly perform as well as the students who did.

This difference in performance suggests that the mere presence of the textbook during sleeping had benefits for learning and memorizing during the exam. Ynneh named it a “Toothfairy effect”, referring to the urban myth of putting your lost teeth under your pillow, and getting money from the toothfairy in return.

scientific research on studying efaqt


2. Scientific research tells you to study with your love!

Two American researchers Caddy and Faske (2015), found that rehearsing with someone of the opposite sex leads to better memorisation. Preparing for an exam, they grouped 20 same-sex teams of 2 students. In this group, there were only combinations of girl-girl and boy-boy. In the other group, they paired 20 couples of the opposite sex.

Here is what they found: Students who rehearsed with the opposite sex, performed far better on the test than students who rehearsed with a fellow student of the same gender. This suggests that studying with someone you are or could be attracted to, could result in to a higher GPA! Furthermore, they found that the higher the levels of attraction, the higher the grade.

Students in the opposite-sex group, got even better grades if they thought their fellow student was good looking! What should we learn from this? Study sessions should be not boring at all, and you should definitely be studying with your crush if you want to graduate Cum Laude!

scientific research on studying efaqt

3. Don’t Keep Up With The Kardashians

Staple and Uradowski (2015) are well known for their researches on the effects on several activities before exams. In this research, a third of the students watched 1 hour of a Discovery Channel Show on the migration of penguins, 3 hours before their exam. The other third of the students watched an hour of the reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”, and the other third did not watch anything, as they were a control group.

It turned out that the group that had to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians before their exam, performed remarkably badly in comparison to the other two groups.

Staple and Uradowski analysed the answers on the tests and noted the “Kardashian- students” weren’t articulating properly and provided answers that were unstructured and seemed incomplete.

To them, the results were comparable to previous findings, where they had students listen to and annoying beep for one hour before their exams. You heard the men! Don’t keep up with the Kardashians before your exam.

scientific research on studying efaqt

References of the above scientific studies:

Ynneh, C.D., Kahn, A.Q., Tapir, I.L., Chebalier, R.W., Willems, J.O., 2015, Evidence For The Toothfairy Effect: How Sleeping With Your Book Can Improve Performance, Cognitive Learning in Contemporary Education, 233-271, 7.

Caddy, M., Faske, Q.O., 2015. How Opposites Attract And Help Retain Knowledge Amongst Heterosexual Liberal Arts Students. Cognitive Learning in Contemporary Education, 50-83, 7.

Staple, D., Uradowski, N.M., 2015. Activities Before Exams and Academic Performance: Kardashians versus Discovery Channel. Cognitive Learning in Contemporary Education, 412-443, 7.

Even though these facts are pretty awesome, we have to admit that they were cooked out in our imagination. Happy 1st of April (April’s Fools)! If you look for real science, please read our other articles that are based on the latest interviews and research studies (we promise, no more jokes :))

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