Reflection Rather Than Experience Makes You Learn


The latest research findings from Harvard Business School reveals that whatever type of learning you do as visual, auditory, perceptional, you will make best use of it by reflecting on your experiences.

In true sense, the research results unveil the most powerful principle behind the learning process by confirming the words of John Dewey; an American psychologist, philosopher, and educational reformer as “We are not actually learning from experiences, we really learn from reflecting on our experience.” In fact, these reflective effects tend to be everlasting.

“It is evident from this outcome of the research that taking time out to reflect on your work and daily life do have a significant influence on your performance”

It is very interesting to know why the efforts for reflection tend to generate an improvement in your problem solving skills. In this line of thinking, the connection between learning-by-thinking and higher performance is better defined by self-efficacy. In other words, it is directly linked to a person’s expertise in organising and executing multiple courses of action in order to attain the desired goals.


harvardThe Harvard B-School study was done on 202 randomly selected people. Each of these individuals was asked to take a creativity test online. They were split into three groups and people in one of the group were asked to reflect on a pre-test which is given to them. From this they were allowed to note the points and write down the strategies, which they think will be helpful for the actual test. The second group was also instructed to note down their strategies and random thoughts, but with a caution that their notes will also be shared with others. The third group was left without any specific instructions or preparations to be taken.


At the end of the actual test, the first two groups who were asked to take a pre-test performed far better that then last group who were not given a chance to think about the task. It is evident from this outcome of the research that taking time out to reflect on your work and daily life, also has a significant influence on your performance.


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