Why Learning New Things Often Seems Too Hard?

Something important tends to be missing from most articles about lifelong learning. Because they fail to identify—as do educators and trainers on the whole—the challenges presented by what psychologists call proactive interference. In other words, to successfully learn something new we first need to “unlearn” what we’ve previously been taught.

For example, the reason I have to think twice about which political party someone is referring to when they talk about “red states” and “blue states” in the U.S. is because I was born in the U.K. Over there I learned those colors in reverse: red for socialists; blue for conservatives. You’ve likely had similar experiences, as when your attempt to learn a new language interferes with one you already know. When I tried to learn Spanish as an adult after being taught French in high school, I ended up mixing the two together in a mish-mash I call “Franish.”

While learning doesn’t always happen as quickly or easily as we’re led to believe, holding on to stubborn, outdated beliefs and mistaken assumptions can make you obsolete in your business or industry without ever knowing why.

 Liz Alexander, Ph.D., April 2017, PsychologyToday



Co-Founder/ Co- CEO

IRIANS- The Neuroscience Institute


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