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Speed learning is a collection of methods of learning which attempt to attain higher rates of learning without unacceptable reduction of comprehension or retention. It is closely related to speed reading, but encompasses other methods of learning, such as observation, listening, conversation, questioning, and reflection.


Psychologists and educational specialists have long sought methods for improving not just the quality of learning, the comprehension and retention of knowledge, but the rate at which knowledge can be acquired, especially in an age in which the amount of information people need to deal with the problems of ordinary life is growing rapidly and threaten to overwhelm them.

The limited "channel capacity" of human individuals has also led to investigation of rapid knowledge acquisition and appropriate dissemination of it by organizations. This is an important part of the science of management. It generally involves dividing the knowledge-acquisition effort among multiple individuals, each of whom becomes a "subject matter expert" on some specialized area of the larger topic, then having them extract and abstract the more important findings and recommendations from that investigation into reports to and discussions with others in the organization. This filtering process necessarily involves some loss of detail, but if done well should enable the organization or its managers to make high-quality, error-avoiding decisions. On the other hand, the loss of detail as abstraction of information ascends a hierarchical organization can lead to distortion that results in bad decisions.

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