Learning by Recognizing vs Generating | Owen Shen

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Most advice looks like telling people what to do. Better to give information that can lead them to generate the advice you want them to have, not necessarily just giving them the advice outright.

This explains why anecdotes and insights can be so powerful, because they draw the audience's attention to trails of thought that can cause them to take a more Generative stance.

Importantly, as a general pattern, Generating tasks are harder than their Recognizing counterparts, even if they appear to be doing similar things:

  • Generating a proof from scratch vs reviewing the textbook
  • Drawing conclusions from data vs remembering what other people wrote
  • Practicing relevant skills vs understanding how concepts are related
  • Imagining how you'd change your actions given advice vs just checking if you've heard it before

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