​ TRAINING TIP 112: A Jug of Water, a Dixie Cup and Me​ ​

By Edwin Pauzer posted 11-09-2017 08:22


Even today, many people still believe that the brain is an empty vessel in which you can open the lid of the skull and just pour in the instruction that will be magically recalled at a later date. Even people who claim they do not believe this fantasy will design instruction with almost no break in the amount of information they are trying to impart.

I resorted to a more dramatic scheme to drive home the point that there is only so much the brain can take. During my lecture about chunking, I will offhandedly announce that I am thirsty as I grab a chilled jug of ice water and a small Dixie Cup. I then resume speaking as I begin to pour. As the water starts spilling over onto the carpet or floor people start yelling “You’re spilling it.” So I stop pouring, put the jug on the table, take a huge gulp from the cup, and say, “Yes, I am. And that’s what happens if you give people too much to remember, at one time.” They then realize I did it on purpose. I know they didn’t forget it.

And all it took was a jug, a Dixie Cup and me.