Friday, September 29, 2023

Super Mario Mindset for Lifelong Learning and to Succeed in Life

Lifelong Learning has emerged as one of the most important skills, for 21st century professionals and students. The premium is not on WHAT is the most important skill? We already know this answer. The premium is on HOW to develop Lifelong Learning skills in ourselves and in the people we care for, our family, friends, and work colleagues.

The answer to HOW to develop Lifelong Learning skills and to Succeed in Life? can be found in SUPER MARIO Effect - a basic coding challenge experiment conducted by Mark Rober.

Super Mario

He designed an experiment that has two scenarios of the Coding challenge. In the first scenario, the participants start with 200 points. Each time when they make a coding error they lose 5 points from their reverse. The second scenario, does not have a point system and the participants do not lose points for a coding error.

50,000 people took part in this coding experiment. Data interpretation showed statistical differences in the learning outcomes between the two scenarios.

LHS Scenario-1, RHS Scenario-2

The success rate of participants in the No Penalty scenario (no points reduction) for an error was 68% and the success rate of participants in the Penalty scenario (five points reduction) for an error was 52%.

In the No Penalty scenario, a participant made 12 tries to overcome a failed code. In comparison in the Penalty scenario, a participant made 5 tries on a failed code.

Mark Rober, calls this a data-backed mindset for life gamification as the Super Mario Effect.

Remember the first Super Mario game released by Nintendo in the year 1985? Mario the central character has to pass through levels of challenges in the Mushroom Kingdom. The objective of the game is to progress through levels by defeating enemies, collecting items, and solving puzzles without dying.

In the Super Mario game, the player does not quit the levels of challenges upon facing setbacks. They keep enjoying the game, continue to make multiple attempts, and eventually move up the levels.

The Super Mario Effect (Mindset) is the key to learning, which the experiment's No Penalty Coding scenario shows with empirical evidence. Like the Super Mario game, the participants in the No Penalty scenario were enjoying the process of coding (as a game), because they didn't perceive their failed attempts as failures.

Mark Rober in his Ted Talk, reminds us Real Life is quite like the Super Mario Game (Life Gamification). One's life journey will have its ups and downs, twists and turns, hurdles and levels of challenges. No one's life is a straight path, a walk in the park. There is always a big difference between Plan and Reality in Life.

Ted Talk The Super Mario Effect

The key to Lifelong Learning and to Success in Life is to inculcate the mindset of Super Mario. To keep jumping and failing, learning and jumping again, and overcoming the levels of challenges to progress and live a meaningful life.

Mark Rober Ted Talk: The Super Mario Effect - Tricking Your Brain into Learning More.

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