(STUDY FINDS) -- TUCSON, Ariz. — English poet Alexander Pope famously wrote “to err is human” centuries ago, and the saying still holds true today. Despite the fact that we all would love to immediately succeed in everything we do, the simple truth is that just isn’t possible. Failure isn’t all bad, though, and often works as a great motivator and essential ingredient to learning a new skill or piece of knowledge. So, what is the perfect amount of failure to facilitate learning? According to a new study, it’s 15% of the time.
Another way to interpret the findings would be that learning is optimized when we get answers right on a given subject 85% of the time.
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Educators and scientists have long believed that there is a “sweet spot” of sorts when it comes to learning and failure. A simple task that doesn’t challenge us at all isn’t going to result in any real learning, and conversely a super challenging task will likely only result in frustration.