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A “Revisited” blog post indicates that I reread the original and used AI-assisted tools (e.g., Grammarly) to improve grammar and word choice.

First published on November 21, 2009.

My first Oberlin College Introductory Psychology professor, Celeste McCollough, introduced me to the Zeigarnik effect (people typically recall interrupted tasks better than their recalling completed ones). My participation in her visual perception studies of the “McCollough effect” formally introduced me to the science of psychology. I remember being both amused and fascinated by Professor McCollough’s sharing an anecdote that she intentionally used the Zeigarnik phenomenon to motivate her to resume working on manuscripts she was writing for publication.

I find it curious how a phenomenon such as the Zeigarnik effect can be discovered, experimentally investigated, popularized, misrepresented, forgotten, and rediscovered. Try conducting a “scholarly literature review” (e.g., with, say, PsycINFO) on this concept–now try the same with, say, Google Scholar or some other such Internet learning tool.  How can one ascertain quality control of information when anyone (including yours truly) can, through the Internet, purport or imply that (s)he is an expert?

As I am winding up, up—or is it winding down—my academic career, I find that there is so much unfinished business and many interrupted tasks that need completion. This Zeigarnik tension need not be aversive. Still, there is so much to learn, and I am fascinated by the many new ways of learning. I welcome any readers who’d like to join and assist me in exploring ideas through this blog— primarily focusing on the top 21st-century learning tools categorized by Jane Hart.