Free Essay on Mental Heuristics for Learning

Published: 2023-05-22
Free Essay on Mental Heuristics for Learning
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Knowledge Students Research Intelligence
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1581 words
14 min read

This paper assesses the relationship between mental heuristics for learning and grades received between honors and regular students. The study had 100 respondents from four major bachelor programs such as mathematics, Law, Arts, and Physics. The participants were distributed evenly in their respective undergraduate programs; 40% first, 30% second, 20% third, and 10 % fourth-year students. The study participants included fifty honors students and fifty regular students from local universities. The survey involved completing a short questionnaire and a quick online assessment. Over 98 percent of the respondents gave all the required details and the response rate for good. After collecting data, it was later analyzed and the results were discussed. The findings of this paper show that mental heuristics for learning determines the grades achieved by both honors and regular students. It is also evident that honors students possess more substantial mental capabilities for learning as compared to less talented learners. Despite their natural academic intelligence, honors students are as well determined and have a stronger desire to learn than regular learners. Most regular learners are only interested in passing and therefore never study much. Honors students, therefore, receive better grades than regular learners since their mental heuristics are more robust. Heuristics are shortcuts in the brain that allow individuals to make decisions and solve questions smoothly without taking frequent stops to think about the next move.

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Although the schooling system is firmly embedded into our cultural norms and values, the socio-economic, technological and cultural advances that have flounced the general society have not significantly affected the system (Schleicher, 2018). In the recent past, a rift between the teaching and learning and manners of acquiring knowledge has emerged. The dispute is established on the notion that the teaching and learning process has not transformed for almost a century. The schooling system and the process of learning and teaching have continued its preference of more talented students academically over the ones with lower capabilities in learning and acquiring knowledge (). The unaltered system of learning and teaching has continued to spread its adverse impacts on society. The schooling system has caught newer generations in a difficult bind as they become futuristic. However, the bodies and institutions liable for educating them are still caught up in the past. In lecture halls and classrooms, instructors present knowledge to learners via a linear, instructive way that is the complete opposite if the learners experience before joining the institution. This direct and instructive manner of presenting knowledge to learners is the same approach that was used many decades ago. This system is mostly criticized because it holds a softer spot for honor students, academically gifted students at the expense of regular students, those not fully gifted academically (Seoudi, 2019). Honor students always have a higher advantage over the others academically since they have a considerably higher concentrating, understanding and remembering capability over regular students.

Educational institutions in almost every nation, especially tertiary institutions like universities and colleges, have continued to value talented over regular students and have, as a result, established special course programs and classes for their gifted honor students. These special classes and programs are meant to nurture learners to grow their talents fully, which will allow them to contribute significantly to science and society at large. Supporters of the current educational system argue that the honor system (honor students and special honor programs) is beneficial to the student body and the institution at large. At the same time, critics disagree by stating that honor students and their related honor programs are known generators of socioeconomic and racial privileges. Honor students and programs demand considerable funding to avail the advantageous small classrooms or halls, scholarships, physical space, special advisory services and residential areas (Badenhausen, 2019). Acquisition and maintenance of honor student's resources are always problematic since many colleges and universities are facing budget cuts.

A mental heuristic is a shortcut in the human mind that enables people to pass judgment, make decisions or even address a challenge swiftly with little effort from the brain (Callaway, Hamrick & Griffiths, 2017). As individuals roam all around the world, they often come across massive amounts of data or even situations that require them to make many or essential decisions in a minimal period. When data is absent or an abrupt verdict ha to be made, it is the responsibility of heuristics to operate as the thumb rules that direct behavior down the needed pathways. Although heuristics can be beneficial at times, they are not always trustworthy. If heavily relied on, heuristics can lead to cognitive biases or incorrect verdicts (Schwarcz, 2017). Thus, this term paper is an analysis of the way mental heuristics of studying affect the grades received by both honor and regular students. The mental heuristics for learning in either honors or regular students is a crucial determinant of the grades received.


Quantitative methods were adopted to obtain information from subjects. Surveys were the dominant means of data collection as questionnaires were used mainly for the study as well as other secondary sources such as books and publications.


The respondents of this survey comprised of 100 students, including 50 honor and 50 regular students from various universities and colleges in the state. In their respective institutions, at least three honors programs have been established in the last five years across three bachelor programs; mathematics, Law, Arts, and Physics. The participants were distributed evenly in their respective undergraduate programs; 40% first, 30% second, 20% third and 10 % fourth-year students. In terms of programs being pursued, the participants were equally distributed across the four disciplines that had developed honor programs. These undergraduate programs had established their honor programs in the last half-decade. They were, therefore, the ideal programs to compare the mental capability difference between honor and regular students and the academic grades they achieve. Samples of their reports from previous exams were obtained from the respondents before questionnaires were handed out. Student class attendance and response for the four programs were over ninety-six percent as the majority of the programs were essential, and attending lectures were indispensable for both the honor and less gifted students.

Honor students, as well as programs in different parts of the world, are designed in diverse manners. From the standard models of the honor system in the schooling system, it is clear that honors or the gifted students also follow a fragment of the fixed program for regular students, participate in extra modules such as projects. Additionally, honors students follow an additional enrichment program which is specifically meant for their talent development. Honors programs select honor students based on their prior accomplishments, good grades in school, and their inspiration. Their motivation is reflected vividly in their self-selection or carefully chosen concerning activities such as intake interviews and application letters.


The respondents completed a short questionnaire during their free time, and the exercise took twenty-four hours. The questions were few, and it took at most eight minutes to finish and the participating students were asked to include their age, gender and year of study in their respective institutions. The names of the respondents were kept anonymous for the entire exercise. All participants gave all the required data and the sample group was not changed.


A self-report questionnaire was developed, which was designed to analyze the academic achievements as well as assessing the mental heuristics for learning in both honors and regular students. In the questionnaire, we also included a link that directed respondents to a website containing timed questions. Respondents answered the online assessment in a timed period, which was meant to assess their mental speed in solving problems. In some cases, short interviews were used instead of the questionnaire. Only English questionnaire copies were provided since only local students were participating


A quantitative analysis was used using tools like SPSS, to find the relationship between mental heuristics for studying and the grades received for both honors and regular students. The outcomes of the evaluation of grades achieved about being an honor or non-honor student were pleasing. Since the sample size was unchanged, and the response rate was almost 100 percent, analyzing the data was less challenging.


In this section, the outcomes of the completed study are given. These findings were designed to examine how the mental heuristics of learning or the swiftness in understanding complex concepts affected the grades of both honors and regular learners. The results assess the difference in speed and accuracy when solving problems or making decisions between gifted and academically talented honor students and less capable learners or regular students.

Class Attendance and Participation

Among the 100 respondents, ninety-eight percent admitted that they attend the majority of their lectures and class meetings. Among the fifty honors students, every one of them had a 100% attendance of class meetings while one regular student/less gifted learner missed two classes at the beginning of the semesters due to illness. Respondents were equally distributed in their respective undergraduate years. Senior students (both third and fourth-year students) attended all of their program meetings and classes as opposed to the junior students (first and second-year students) who seemed to miss some classes. The participant who had missed two of his class meetings was a second-year Arts student. From the analysis, it is correct to say that complexity and importance of lectures and class meetings significantly determine the attendance behavior of regular students. Honors students are fully determined and ready to attend all possible class meetings even the ones that seem simple as compared to regular learners who view every class or session according to its importance.

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