We’ve got it wrong: we learn by error&trial not trial&error

It seems we got it all wrong in the first place! It’s the reverse. We learn to do such by error & trial, not trial & error! I.e. first and foremost we err; and only then we try to fix this error.

If we use Noesis Theory terms to explain in a bit more detail:

at first, we receive a pattern but have no idea what it means to us (in terms of pleasure/pain). I.e. we’re about to “bang our head into the wall” and don’t know it until we feel it. Once we receive the feelings of pain (or pleasure), the error, and a DP is created, then the incoming stimuli that was experienced just before is linked (feedback) to the DP, i.e. this pattern gets an “emotional coloring” as I like to call it.

Next time we experience this (or a very similar) pattern, the traversal in our brain will be quick enough and will activate (somewhat) the DP before we actually feel the pain. This will be enough to activate our attention and make us try to avoid it (or enhance it if it’s a pleasure).

So in summary, first comes the error, and next time comes the trial to avoid the error. So a child first will feel the pain of the error of stepping on a toy car in his path and falling down, and next time it will make a trial to avoid stepping on it. That’s the way it learns. This means that we got it all wrong in the first place! It’s error & trial, not trial & error! 🙂


Of course I’m writing the above with a playful attitude and I’ve kind of skewed the original target of the “trial & error” motto. If we target it in its original direction of problem solving, of course trial & error still stands. But until we err, we don’t have an incentive to do trials, so I wanted to illustrate in this manner that the precursor of a trial & error session is indeed an “error & trial”, that provides the root cause for starting it.

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Posted on March 3, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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