--Original published at Casey's Blog Site
Is the best way to learn really to make mistakes and move on? Investigators at Ohio State tested this and found that this really isn’t all that true. After several experiments they found that to really learn from your mistakes you must really have the feeling of failure.
Rather then just looking at what went wrong, for example let’s use a test, they [Ohio State investigators] suggest that for the next test you won’t try any harder if you didn’t feel the pain of failure. This is because when a person feels any negative emotion their brain will make a tag to remember this. The more failure a person feels the more memorable the tag will be. So when a person sets the same goal for a similar situation then they will have a better chance of remember the negative feelings of past experiences and since no one enjoys feeling like a failure, the person would try harder.
For people the norm when faced with failure is usually to protect themselves and make excuses as to why they may have gotten the test question wrong or made some other mistake. Which is exactly what researchers found. In their first study they had volunteers from their campus search for a blender online with specific specifications with a lower price than what the researchers had found. Although the researchers had rigged the computer to make sure the price the volunteers used wasn’t correct to make sure they would feel the sense of failure. Half of the participants were asked to focus on their feelings after being told they failed while the other half was told to focus on their thoughts.
Then they were asked to complete a similar task, looking for a gift for a friend that best suited them or find a book that best fit their college budget. Researchers predicted that those who focused more on their thoughts would put in more effort in trying to find a book best suited for their budget while those who focused on their thoughts would put the same amount of effort.
Results showed that their predictions were correct. By looking at the amount of time a participant took to complete the task it showed that those that spent more time completing the task were those that focused on their emotions while those who focused on their thoughts spent about the same time as the task before.
As stated before when a person is faced with failure usually, not always, a person makes an excuse for making the mistake and they try to protect their self-esteem. This does nothing when it comes to trying to prevent later mistakes.
So when a person tries to think and focus more on the actual feeling of failure they later on will have the same displeasure and try harder to put more effort into future situations that are similar to the original task.
So next time you don’t get the grade you want on a test or make some form of mistake try to think more about how you actually feel rather than the mistake itself and you can better prepare yourself for next time.
Summarizing from the original study was difficult, mainly from trying to explain what the study was about and the significance of it. To me reading the study top to bottom it makes sense to me. But trying to reword it all and have it make sense is a different story. As for being a journalist I believe I wouldn’t have the job, I feel as though I am too wordy to be a journalist. When comparing to the article I have actual paragraphs while the author for the article has quite less than paragraphs. He gets the point across clearly with less for sure. Also while I was typing the article I tried to keep in mind the potential audience that may read it, meaning any teens on up to those with PhD’s. Keeping this is mind I know that teens may not have as long of an attention span to read as much as those higher in the field, so I tried to keep the article somewhat short while also explaining one of the several experiments and its results. Also I feared if adding the other experiments and their variables as well as the researcher’s explanations to why they done this or that would have made it incredibly wordy and I wouldn’t get the right points across, or repeat the same information. Overall journalism to me is still a difficult task, I still have no desire to come close to being a journalist but I respect those who are since there are more restrictions that they have to work with than many may realize.
Link to original article: https://psychcentral.com/news/2017/09/14/owning-your-mistake-can-enhance-chances-of-future-success/125994.html