IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The New Science of Learning and Why Students Forget their Economics so Quickly


  • Donald T. Wargo

    () (Department of Economics, Temple University)

  • M. Olguta Vilceanu

    () (School of Communication, Rowan University)


The human brain has automatic, built-in abilities to filter and discard information so that the vast majority of the information that enters our senses is deleted. Consequently, the result is that teachers need to understand, model, and program student learning to work in harmony with these natural abilities. New discoveries in the "science of learning" that employ multi-disciplinary work in psychology, neuroscience, machine learning, and education have shown us how the human brain works. Furthermore, studies of child development, plasticity of the human brain, and computational approaches to learning have contributed to new understandings of how we learn and how long-term memory is formed. The most important of these findings are: 1. Learning is computational and probabilistic, using Bayesian Logic. 2. Learning is fundamentally social in nature. 3. Designated brain circuits link perception and action. 4. The human hippocampus and REM sleep collaborate to form and store long-term memories. In addition, we present the implications of this research for the teaching of economics and also present practical techniques that can be incorporated into classroom teaching to help students study more efficiently and improve student learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald T. Wargo & M. Olguta Vilceanu, 2011. "The New Science of Learning and Why Students Forget their Economics so Quickly," DETU Working Papers 1104, Department of Economics, Temple University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tem:wpaper:1104

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2011
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan D. Cohen, 2005. "The Vulcanization of the Human Brain: A Neural Perspective on Interactions Between Cognition and Emotion," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Neuroeconomics; Learning; Memory;

    JEL classification:

    • D87 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Neuroeconomics


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tem:wpaper:1104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dimitrios Diamantaras) or (Ilker Cakar). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.