Through The Static

April 23, 2008

Why You Make the Same Mistake Twice

Filed under: Health — Tranimal @ 9:29 am


We sure do learn from our mistakes, but what we learn is how to make more mistakes, new research shows.

This seemingly counterintuitive idea comes from a study of a phenomenon called tip of the tongue (TOT), detailed in the most recent issue of the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

A tip-of-the-tongue state occurs when your brain has accessed the correct word, but for some reason can”t retrieve the sound information for it. While the word-glitch can happen regardless of your vocabulary aptitude, researchers have found TOT happens more for bilinguals (they have more words to sift through), older people and individuals with brain damage.

The findings should apply to other situations, including music and sports. “‘Music teachers know this principle’ they tell you to practice slowly,”‘ Humphreys said. “‘If you practice fast, you”ll just practice your mistakes.”‘ 

This is for your Peter. Stop practicing so fast. No wonder your music sounds like that. 😛

But on another note, I think language access in the brain, especially for bilinguals is super interesting. How both languages can shape the brain and our perception of our society and culture. Maybe more research needs to be done on that… or the money can be funneled into ending world hunger.



  1. hahha stop hating. Ya I think playing music really taught me that “slow is fast”…also reinforced with martial arts tho too. I mean with playing an instrument, it’s all about repetition to the point where it becomes muscle memory/automatic…but you better be damn sure that you’re repeating the correct thing..thus the value of being very slow and precise at first.

    That language thing is interesting too…how bilinguals can be slower with words…my buddy is fluent in Farsi, Spanish, English, and possibly French, and I sometimes find myself helping him get the right word to finish his sentence. He’s not a dumb guy at all, he’s probably just sorting thru all those words…

    Comment by disciplepete — April 23, 2008 @ 9:56 am | Reply

  2. AUUUUUUUUUGHHHH!!! This is why I never became a music supa-star!!! I was just practicing my mistakes!! My flute teacher would always tell me to slow down, but I’m so damn impatient I found her advice pointless…which explains why I am no longer a world-renowned flautist. Ahhh, what could have been~!

    Comment by Aliiiiiiice — April 23, 2008 @ 12:06 pm | Reply

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