The Best Books On The Science Of Learning

Stephen M. Kosslyn Author Of Active Learning Online: Five Principles that Make Online Courses Come Alive
By Stephen M. Kosslyn

The Books I Picked & Why

Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career

By Scott Young

Ultralearning: Master Hard Skills, Outsmart the Competition, and Accelerate Your Career

Why this book?

This book is a creative and accurate description of how to use scientifically developed principles to help yourself learn effectively. The author vividly shows that he "eats his own dogfood" and reports his compelling personal experiences that buttress the science. Moreover, the book is well written and tightly organized. If you want to help yourself to learn more effectively, this is the first book I would consult.


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Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

By Peter Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, Mark A. McDaniel

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning

Why this book?

If you want a review of the most fundamental scientific discoveries on how people learn, this is a great place to start. It not only provides clear summaries of the science, but also provides a host of detailed real-world illustrations of how the science can be rooted in a wide-range of applications.


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Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

By Joshua Foer

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything

Why this book?

The author immersed himself in the world of memory experts and describes how he went from (metaphorical) memory rags to memory riches – eventually winning a prestigious memory contest. This book takes the mystery out of how to learn vast bodies of information; Foer describes learning devices that anyone can use to put their memory on steroids.


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Thinking, Fast and Slow

By Daniel Kahneman

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Why this book?

Technically speaking, this book doesn’t really belong on this list because it doesn’t focus on learning per se. Rather, it mostly addresses fundamental principles that underlie how people reason and make decisions. However, many of these principles draw on the results of learning (for example, of representative or easily recalled events), and the book nicely lays out ways that learning is important in a wide range of mental functions. Plus it is flat-out brilliant and very well written.


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Stikky Night Skies: Learn 6 Constellations, 4 Stars, A Planet, A Galaxy, And How To Navigate At Night

By Laurence Holt

Stikky Night Skies: Learn 6 Constellations, 4 Stars, A Planet, A Galaxy, And How To Navigate At Night

Why this book?

I've bought this book at least a half-dozen times, giving it as a gift to friends who have kids in middle school or who are interested in how principles of learning can be applied in clever ways. This book is elegant in concept and design, and is one of a series of books Holt wrote that use similar applications of the science of learning to teach readers a set of interesting facts in a way that is almost effortless and a lot of fun.


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