[prize] new contest for Spaced Repetition literature review ($365+)

Update: the prize is now finished!

The previous contest was poorly formatted for eliciting the most useful reviews of the spaced repetition literature so I’ve created a new slightly different contest.

I’m interested in making projects happen on Less Wrong. In order to find out what works and to inspire others to try things too, I’m sponsoring the following small project:

Spaced Repetition is often mentioned on Less Wrong as a technique for adding facts to memory. I’ve started using Anki and it certainly seems to be useful. However, I haven’t seen a good summary of evidence on Spaced Repetition and I would like to change that.

I hereby offer a prize, currently $385, to the best literature review submitted by August 1st. ‘Best’ will be judged by voting with discussion beforehand by the Seattle LW meetup group. People are not allowed to vote for their own submissions.

The summary should address questions such as:

  • What spacing is best?

  • How much does spaced repetition actually help memory?

  • Does spaced repetition have hidden benefits or costs?

  • Does the effectiveness vary across domains? How much?

  • Is there research on the kinds of questions that work best? Especially for avoiding ‘guessing the password’ and memorizing the card per se rather than the material.

  • What questions do researchers think are most important?

  • Is there any interesting ongoing research? If so, what is it on?

  • What, if any, questions do researchers think it is important to answer? Are there other unanswered questions that would jump out at a smart person?

  • What does spaced repetition not do that people might expect it to?

The post should summarize the state of current evidence and provide citations to back up the claims in the article. Referencing both academic and non-academic research is encouraged. Lukeprog’s The Science of Winning At Life sequence contains several examples of good literature review posts.

If you think you would benefit from the result of this project, please add to the prize! You can contribute to the prize on the ChipIn page.

If you have suggestions, questions or comments, please leave them in the comments. Prizes demotivating? Due date too soon/​far? Specification too vague? Judgement procedure not credible enough?

This project is tagged with the ‘project’ tag and listed on the Projects wiki page.