The Personal and Interpersonal Benefits of Rediscovery
CitationZhang, Ting. 2015. The Personal and Interpersonal Benefits of Rediscovery. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
AbstractIndividuals commonly fail to document their current experiences such that they often forget about these experiences altogether. In the context of learning, for example, experts may have difficulty remembering the experience of being inexperienced, making it difficult for them to help and train novices. Across three chapters, I explore the personal and interpersonal benefits of rediscovery—the process of revisiting past experiences that are non-salient or inaccessible in the moment. In the first chapter, I test whether individuals understand the benefits of rediscovery for themselves. Using a time capsule paradigm, I demonstrate that rediscovering past experiences, particularly ordinary ones, generates more interest and curiosity than expected. Whereas the first chapter focuses on the benefits of rediscovery at the individual level, the second and third chapters explore the interpersonal benefits of rediscovery. In the second chapter, studies with interns and medical students demonstrate that relative to relying on memories of past experiences, rediscovering these experiences (e.g., by reading their past accounts of these events) better equips individuals to understand and advise those with less experience. In the third chapter, a study of expert guitarists reveals that rediscovering the experience of inexperience enables experts to better relate to novices, helping them give advice that novices rate as more helpful and encouraging.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:17467290
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