Taking a Break – Zeigarnik Effect


I found this blog discussing what happens when you’re fully committed to a task like learning or reading something and you’re suddenly interrupted by something. For me to not complete a task stays forever in my mind and I anticipate when I can actually complete it because I could have finished it sooner. Apparently this is called the Zeigarnik Effect (Zeigarnik, 1927; McKinney 1935) which occurs when people remember tasks that are interrupted with the wrong information or it’s incomplete and it stays in memory longer than mostly when they’re motivated in a learning setting. Some ways that are listed in getting students back on the right track would be in action plans of providing explanations of learning on a website and having the students refer back to it for more information. I didn’t have a website at the time, but I did refer my students to their books on certain pages for references if they wanted additional information. It did help but the adjunct of having a website really could have benefitted them. For future classes, I’ll keep in mind to have a reliable site available. I like this information because it’s something I’ve experienced as a student or even when I was at home trying to complete a task like cooking a recipe and I get interrupted numerous times. I end missing an ingredient the recipe is just not going to work! See other comments people are inputting towards this site.


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