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  • Scott Murphey

Hypercorrection. Good to know about but don't rely on it.

Griffiths, L., & Higham, P. A. Beyond hypercorrection: remembering corrective feedback for low-confidence errors. Memory, 26(2), 1–18.

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The Hypercorrection effect refers to the finding that errors committed with high confidence are more likely to be corrected and learned when the correct answer is discovered. The "oh yeah" effect.

I always liked this idea, but at the same time, it never really sat right with me for some reason. I never really gave it much thought, but recently I was reading this article I got on Academia. I really liked what the authors found, and some things really clicked with me.

As a teacher, I see these "Oh yeah!" moments all the time. I even experience them myself. Many times this is something I will end up remembering, but not always. And this is where I made a big connection. This is no different than how regular memory works. In general, we are introduced to a new concept. We need to take the concept into our working memory, and then make connections with it in long-term memory. Then we need to practice retrieving that information over time to really "learn" it and retain it in a useful way.


Sometimes the information strikes an emotional chord or directly connects to something in long term memory in a way that we only needed the one time to make a solid connection. I think this is basically the same with the hypercorrection effect. Sometimes that hypercorrection will strike just the right chord so that it sticks in our memories in a useful way, but we can't this isn't an effect that we can rely on as teachers and learners.

As always we need to rely on solid retrieval and spacing practices to make sure we learned what we needed to or our students learned what they needed to.

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