Overlearning And Memorization Of Mindlessness, By Ellen Langer

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Ellen Langer writes that overlearning and memorization lead to mindlessness, which may prevent discovery of new ideas. Rote memory may allow us to remember a lot of information, but memorization is almost completely useless without context, and is not adequate for long-term retention (Langer, 1997). Langer and Piper define mindlessness as using information strictly as defined while unaware of its other potential uses (1987). Langer suggests conditional learning, which involves considering context and making distinctions, as a way to better cultivate understanding and creative thinking in students. We should use mindfulness to our advantage by viewing experiences from multiple perspectives and always keeping novelty in mind. Instead of memorizing facts and accepting them as concrete truths, we should take context into account and realize that different situations may require different interpretations of what we know as facts (Langer, 1997). Mindfulness is practiced by…show more content…
My goal was simply to enjoy my meals more than I otherwise would. I left my cell phone in a different room and meditated in the kitchen for a few minutes before eating. I ate slowly, noticing the texture and taste of each bite and how each bite differed from the last. I definitely enjoyed my food more than I normally do, and, overall, ate less food than I usually do in a day. Later, I took my dog outside to the front yard on a leash. I typically walk the same pattern up and down the driveway and then bring my dog back inside. But this time, in the interest of mindfulness, I opened the door and just let him go where he pleased. He walked and sniffed all over the yard and half way down the street, at which point I gently tugged on the leash and followed him back home. While we walked, my attention drifted to the leaves remaining on the autumn trees, and how different the trees and my neighborhood as a whole look at this time of the

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