Which Matters More for Studying: Method or Motivation?

Here’s a question for you: when studying for a test, which matters more, the method you use, or how motivated you are to learn the material?

That question is a bit vague, so let’s make it more concrete. Suppose I read out loud to you a list of words. Now imagine I gave you one of two techniques to use: hearing each word and asking whether it contained the letter “e” or asking whether the word felt pleasant or not.

Now suppose I tested you under two conditions: in one condition I told you that immediately after I…

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