When the school year arrives, many students face the challenge of finding a study environment that will best serve their academic needs. Common sense tells us that a quiet, stress-free atmosphere should be sought in order to absorb information. Although this is beneficial to overall study productivity and efficiency, there may be an even more dynamic approach to studying – stimulating recall under mild social pressure.
Under pressure, such as during an exam, students can experience a lack of recall strength. The body’s natural adrenaline response kicks in, potentially leading to a “mind blank”. To prepare for this situation, athletes may undertake mental and physical drills to practice performing under pressure. Similarly, students can employ mild social pressure to activate the brain’s recall capacity and to inculcate greater learning power.
In contrast to the silent studying habits many students adopt, by studying under mild social pressure, students can engage in more active learning. This means that they are utilizing more brain power and emotion to engage in the learning process. For example, a student can have a friend pose questions to them on a specific topic during the studying process. By answering these questions and engaging in dialogue, the student activates their recall capacity in an often more interactive process.
At the end of the day, a student’s study environment should be dependent on their own individual learning preferences, as ultimately a student knows best when it comes to their academic success. That said, if they find themselves at a lack of recall strength during exams or tests, and are looking for ways to become a more active learner, exploring mild social pressure or stress during the studying process may be a beneficial way of doing so. Practicing recall under mild stress or social pressure can help to trigger greater recall strength, and assist the student in moving their mind into the maximum levels of active learning.