Importance of Repetition

Why do we like to watch the same movie over and over again? Why we listen to Songs on Loop? Or Why is it important in all religions to recite a Shloka or Verse repeatedly and daily?

Be it the ancient days where leaders used to ‘Prescribe’ a sutra for daily recitation to deal with various situations Or the modern theories of ‘Spaced Repetition’ which help students to retain the information they learn by repeating it at particular intervals in order to optimize their effort to learn without cramming; all these theories say that Repetition is important.

So, this blog is my understanding of why is Repetition important..

Types of Repetition:

Repetition can be a Habit, an Addiction, a ritual or a status quo bias..

  • Habit: When we do not consciously have to think about doing it. For example Brushing Teeth Daily and other Routine available.
  • Addiction: If after doing something once, we can’t stay without doing it again, that’s Repetition out of addiction.
  • Ritual: We may not know why we are doing it daily, but it is believed to have positive impact on our lives, so we repeatedly do something. This includes anything from Mala Jap to Eating popcorn at a movie!
  • Status quo bias: Sometimes people consider the Cost of making New Decisions to be Exhausting and hence do the same old thing.

Now, let’s talk about the entertainment stuff first..

Reconsumption of Familiar Entertainment:

Most of you would relate that despite there being a lot of new (and good) content, we tend to go to the same old writer’s book or a favorite movie. Some studies say that normally out of 1 hour of listening to music, one will spend 54 minutes listening to songs already heard!

The reasons for that could be:

  • Familiar fare requires less Mental energy to process.
  • On repeated watching, we appreciate smaller details and observe something new.
  • Here’s an example https://www.quora.com/Which-Bollywood-movies-have-great-opening-credits-title-sequences/answer/Akhil-Kintali-1?ch=3&share=48d9e193&srid=ux290
  • Repetition breeds Affection- due to the ‘Mere Exposure’ effect, we tend to like something more just because we have been previously exposed to it.
  • To try to live the feeling of the character in the book or movie
  • Entertainment as a time machine to past days
  • Can’t surprise us. If we are looking for a something, we will get the exactly same emotional payoff
  • Reconsumption is more complex than one might think. People use Familiar entertainment to Measure how their lives have changed in positive ways.

Why Mantras are Chanted Repeatedly?

Reciting entire short sutras over and over again is considered to be a method that ultimately helps plant the seeds of understanding; where watering the seeds is analogous to the daily recitation of the Sutra.

When we repeat a Shloka, we eventually memorize it and then it keeps reverberating in our minds, leaving no space for devil. This serves to remind us of helpful physiology at difficult times.

Repetition and Memory:

This is the Forgetting Curve. We normally tend to forget a thing after some time and the graph goes downwards. But when we repeat the information, that brings the graph to the top again thus preventing it from getting forgotten for some more time. As you keep repeating the same thing, the time taken to forget that also Increases. And after certain number of repetitions, it would become Impossible to forget.

This is the basis of the Spaced Repetition theory which suggests students to repeat stuff, but after a certain interval.

Harder our Brains Try to retrieve an Information, longer it stays in our Memory.

Active recall builds connections in our brains.

Therefore repeat at an interval such that it is not just Mindless Repetition of information.

Besides these, Repetition is important in many other fields also. It is one of the Figures of Speech and is important in Literature for Poetry Writing! It is important for Musicians as well.

(And I just realized this one.. before I published this post I went through it again to find for mistakes.) Thus Repetition is significant for Editing!

I hope this article could be Useful to you. Tell me if you found it interesting! Do share it if you like! Have a good day! Thank you!


6 thoughts on “Importance of Repetition”

  1. Loved it, especially the physiological part including memory and that graph. ๐Ÿ˜…

    “the same emotional exposure” is probably the strongest reason why one repeats non-essential things! โ˜บ

    Keep writing ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    Liked by 1 person

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