If This Post Were Any Longer, You Wouldn't Learn As Much

reading, beach, iPad, summer

Photo: Denis De Desmaeker via Flickr

No.Via Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average:

Summaries of information, for instance, often work as well as—and sometimes even better than—longer versions of the same material.

In a series of experiments, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University compared five-thousand word chapters from college textbooks with one-thousand-word summaries of those chapters. The textbooks varied in subject: Russian history, African geography, macroeconomics.

But the subject made no difference: in all cases, the summaries worked better. When students were given the same amount of time with each—20 to 30 minutes—they learned more from the summaries than they did from the chapters. This was true whether the students were tested 20 minutes after they read the material or one year later. In either case, those who read the summaries recalled more than those who read the chapters.

Follow me on Twitter here or get updates via email here.

Related posts:

25 research-based ways to increase your intelligence

10 quick tricks for improving your memory

If you want to be an expert, what little thing is almost as important as 10,000 hours of practice?

Read more posts on Barking Up The Wrong Tree »

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.