The spacing effect is a well supported finding in learning research that exposure to a material over time supports memorization.  Some facts…

  • The best time to reinforce previous learning is at a point just before forgetting takes place.  This point varies from person to person.  It also varies depending upon what is being learned.
  • The time interval that a fact is remembered increases with repeated exposure.
Graph illustrating time intervals of the spacing effect
  • The spacing effect has been used to create software to assist learning, as mentioned in this article from Wired magazine and here.  Before that it’s lack of application had frustrated social scientists, as mentioned on this psychology website.
  • The spacing effect has been known for more than a century.
  • It has been documented in other species.
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