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Simple Memory Technique

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by nex0r, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. nex0r

    nex0r Bit Poster

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    I couldn't find anything on the site regarding this so I thought I'd post it to share.

    If your like me and need a RAM upgrade in the brain department this simple memory technique may help you to remember things. Since learning this I use it everyday from remembering what to pick up at the supermarket when the mr's calls me on the way home to remembering the IRQ assignments in my recent A+ exams.

    To prove this technique works, a group of 10 people I worked with were shown a list of 10 shopping items. We had 1 minute to memorise the list. Straight after we could all remember between 6 and 10 items individualy. We then talked about some different business and came back to the list 30 mins later. We could only remember between 3 and 5 items individualy.

    Then we were shown a new list of 10 items and told to associate the items with parts of our body. So say carrots would be your left shoulder, coffee could be your right knee, rump steak was my arse etc etc. We all did this and carried on with other business for another 30 mins.

    When we came back to remember the list we could all remember between 8-10 items.

    It works because we can remember images far better than straight data. This is the same basic technique that people like Derran Brown use to remember a whole telephone directory. Obviously they have a massive capacity for this and are gifted but even my little 16k brain can manage a few different lists at one time and I never arrive home in the dog house because I forgot something :biggrin

    Try it out for yourselves, it should work for most people.

    I hope it helps someone.
     
    Certifications: A+ 601 602, 70-282
    WIP: N+
  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Similar to this is Here and, in my opinion at least, the techniques Derren teaches in his book are much much more effective than this technique.

    Ultimately though, if it works for you, its all good. I personally think that this technique is just a bit too fuzzy to be workable.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  3. Cockles

    Cockles Megabyte Poster

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    An interesting article there, nice one.

    The human brain works better with association. If someone tells you something, or you read something, you may remember it, you may not. It depends if you are actually interested in whatever it is. If that fact is then associated with something - like you say, items on the list with various body parts - the human mind has a greater chance of retaining the information. I'm sure this works with most people, but if I am struggling to remember something that someone has told me, I try and recall other factors. Where was I at the time? What song was on the radio? What was the weather like. Normally, it guarantees recall.

    The human mind operates quite similar to a PC in terms of storing data. Anything you take in via the senses goes into the short term memory (RAM), which has a limited capacity. If you want to store that, you have to keep it in there for long enough to committ it to the long term memory (HD). The more stimuli you take in regarding the piece of information, the better chance you have of keeping it. Everyone is different, but for example, if you are studying and just reading through texts, you will remember a certain percentage of what you are reading. If you are reading, and making notes of some sort, because you are accessing the information in more than one way, you will retain a greater portion of it. Reading it, writing it then saying it aloud is even better as you add an audio stimuli to the visual one.

    Unlike PCs though, the capacity for adding data doesn't last as long as there is electricty. It is crucial to take mini breaks every 45 mins - 1 hour to allow whatever is floating around in the long term memory to be engrained properly. Learning for hours on end is counter-productive, and a graph will show a proportionate drop (in general) if time is plotted against retention.

    However, in some was the brain is like a muscle, it can be trained to be more efficient in recall and storage and reducing bottlenecks if too much is being taken in at once.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: Trying to find my car keys
  4. nex0r

    nex0r Bit Poster

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    Note to self: must learn to use the search funtion far better :oops:

    It does work for me, but only for small lists etc. I started to read Derren Brown's book a while ago but I got bored far too soon, I'll revisit it though.

    Cheers
     
    Certifications: A+ 601 602, 70-282
    WIP: N+
  5. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Some of its hit and miss depending on what you are interested in, but the memory section is gold. I can still remember some of the list i mentioned in my initial post:

    1 (1 is 'l' - ale, I imagine an old cleaner in her apron, with duster hanging out the pocket, hoovering up beer from a pint glass) - Clean
    2 (2 is n - hen, I imagine a giant hen, severely angry with bright red eyes, pawing the ground getting ready to charge me) - Charge
    3 (3 is m - ham, trying to write a letter using a rolled up piece of ham) - write
    after that, I get a little vague without looking back at the list. mainly because I cant qute remember the images associated with the numbers, as i havent used it in a while.

    Bearing in mind that after i posted the post in my link, I have had no cause to revisit this list, thats not too bad based on a single instance of applying the technique. None of the techniques bypass the need to repeat the memorisation for long term storage, but it does make it easier to remember, and subsequently take LESS to memorise.

    That said, this particular technique (the one i just used) isnt so effective on its own for long term memorisation. After all, 1 is always ale, so if you associate heaps of items to 1, you will start to mix them up. Derren combines it with another technique in order to allow long term storage. Even then, he does say that you should really go back and reaffirm your knowledge every so often, to reinforce the images.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present

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