A Study Tip Based on Cognitive Science

When Nixon said “I am not a crook,” Americans saw him as a crook.

Because negating the frame activates that frame.

I am studying for the AWS Certified Developer Associate exam. And I realized that I have been taking notes all wrong.

I caught myself writing “ObjectNotFound is not,” and stopped. I stopped and crossed that out.

Just like “Don’t think of the elephant” makes you think of elephants, “No AWS data center is cold” makes you think that data centers are cold. Our minds forget the negative word “no,” and are left with a strengthened memory of data centers being cold.

To remember that all AWS data centers are warm, write that all AWS data centers are warm. Through repetition, your brain will come to associate “AWS data centers” with “warmth.” That’s what you want. You don’t want your brain to associate “AWS data centers” with the word “cold.”

And we can throw in a little repetition for good measure. So repeat after me. “All AWS data centers are warm.”

Phrasing notes in the positive will make it easier to remember the correct info. And that will cut down on required study time, it will improve test scores, and generally make life much easier.