Ladder Theory of Quizbowl

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The Ladder Theory of Quizbowl was first elucidated by Jonathan Magin to quizbowl luminaries Rob Carson and Hannah Kirsch on IRC.

First, learning takes place in three steps:

  1. Being exposed to a topic
  2. Learning facts about that topic
  3. Internalizing knowledge about that topic by applying it, gaining outside knowledge, and strengthening the cognitive map.

Quizbowl helps with the first two processes, but not the third. However, assuming the player in concern is an intelligent human being, not a quizbowl-playing robot, he will perform the third process on his own. Therefore, quizbowl is like a ladder of information that a person metaphorically climbs by successively internalizing more knowledge about new topics.