./ wetware.engineering /

Adults learn faster than children

dec 2019 –– 3 min read

You might've heard that children learn faster than adults. That children's brains are more flexible and have higher neuroplasticity.

Most of us accept this without challenge, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

Children and adults learn new things at similar rates, and adults are more effective learners overall.

Scientific evidence

The benefit children have is minor in most cases (a few percentage points, not a factor of 2) and that advantage is often outweighed by other factors.


Imagine these two:

It should be obvious, if you compared these two in many learning tasks,

The adult would outperform the child and learn faster, with less time spent on the basics.

From some of the sources cited above and personal experimentation, I believe this extends into learning physical tasks as well.

Comparing learning

Learning at all ages

Once a negative term, the discouraging bias against adult learning doesn't make make sense when analyzed.

Adults are, overall, better learners than children.

Consider learning something new, you can become better than a vast majority of people in any area with enough time.

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