Repetition is the process of learning a particular subject or topic by the sheer act of reading it again and again until it ingrains itself into the learner’s long-term memory. Most of the things that make it into our long-term memory are there because of repetition. Ever since the time we were babies, the most profound way for people to remember things is by doing something repeatedly, which is why it has become synonymous with the act of building a habit.
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It also helps in the process of pattern recognition. The human brain is hardwired for pattern recognition. The phenomenon of doing something, again and again, trains a person’s cognition to recognize patterns in it so that it can be remembered and emulated as per the requirement as many times as needed.
Repetition is not intuitive at all. People do not typically want to repeat themselves, and yet, some of the most famous speeches in history, from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” to Winston Churchill’s “We Shall Fight on These Beaches”, do contain repetition. When used intentionally in the correct context, it can be a powerful tool to help believe in a cause, make an audience savor words, and understand a point.
When it comes to writing, repetition is a literary device that involves making use of the same word over and over again in a piece of writing or speech for the purpose of emphasis. It is particularly popular in oral traditions and spoken word, where a listener’s attention might be more limited, which is the basis of pop songs having a catchy repetitive chorus.
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