Interest and Motivation

One of the main factors that motivate us to learn something is how interesting it is to us. The more interesting we find something the more motivated we will be to spend time learning about it. Attention is also influenced by interest and you are more likely to focus on and remember things you pay attention to.

We spend more time thinking about things that interest us and return to it more often. This repetition also helps with learning and memory.

How to increase interest

Increasing your interest in something can help you learn it better. There are several ways that can help you to increase your interest in a subject:

  • Try to relate the material to your existing motives and interests.
  • Understand why the subject is interesting to others.
  • Look for ways the material can be applied to some aspect of life and how it is used to achieve certain tasks.
  • Get feedback on your learning progress
  • Use artificially imposed factors to influence your interest. For example, rewarding yourself for achieving something or removing a reward for not achieving it can help you motivate yourself.
  • There are often many advantages to learning a subject. Finding something interesting in any of the advantages can help motivate you. For example, if you are studying for a test in a subject you don't find interesting, perhaps the idea of getting a high mark interests you, or the idea of applying the learning techniques described on this site interest you.

Take an active approach to make something interesting — don't rely on others to make you interested.

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