How to improve your memory: Mnemonics and more

Classes without Quizzes Wofford College October 2, 2009

A little about me…

What do you remember about me? Write down as many facts as possible.

Something a bit more familiar…

Which is the real penny?

Something a bit more familiar…

How many people have selected each answer c/o “Common Cents”

http://www.exploratorium.edu/exhibits/common_cents/results.html

~Oscar Wilde Memory is the primary and fundamental power. ~Samuel Johnson How do you use your memory everyday? What if you couldn’t create new memories?    Amnesia patient: Clive Wearing . without which there could be no other intellectual operation.Why do you need MEMORY?   Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us.

Types of memory Episodic Semantic Implicit Learning .

How memory changes as we age  Changes depend on type of memory    Stability for non-declarative memory Stability for semantic memory Declines for episodic memory 25 20 Number Correct 15 10 5 0 20 30 Recognition Recall Age groups 40 50 60 .

How can I improve my memory?  Most popular answer: Mnemonic devices .

Envelope .Dog   Bread – Car Meat .     Horse – Table Island – Hat Door – Note Bear – Apple     Basket – Cloud Ring – Ship Snow – Window Pencil – Hammer   Clock – Moon Building .Learn the following list by READING each pair as many times as possible.

    Horse – Island – Door – Bear –     Basket – Ring – Snow – Pencil –   Clock – Building -   Bread – Meat - .RECALL as many words as possible.

ANSWERS  Horse – Table  Basket – Cloud      Island – Hat Door – Note      Ring – Ship Snow – Window Bear – Apple Clock – Moon Building .Dog Pencil – Hammer Bread – Car Meat .Envelope .

Common mnemonic devices  Acronyms and acrostics   ROY G BIV Every good boy deserves fudge Thirty days has September… i before e except after c  Rhyming     Stories Songs .

Dual-coding technique  Example  The Great Lakes: HOMES Interactive Vivid Bizarre  Visualization     Now TWO ways to remember   Word Picture .

paper   Egg – chair Paint . vivid and bizarre interaction of the 2 items.     Road – flower River – table Bird – fruit Rain – rock     Box – garden Book – cup Ice – train Fence – letter   Dress .Learn the following list by creating an interactive.hammer .money Cow .

RECALL as many words as possible.     Road – River – Bird – Rain –     Box – Book – Ice – Fence –   Dress – Cow –   Egg – Paint – .

paper Ice – train Fence – letter Egg – chair Paint .money Cow .ANSWERS       Road – flower River – table       Box – garden Book – cup Bird – fruit Rain – rock Dress .hammer .

so benched and wearing flannel to stay warm  Create one for your own name (or mine)! .Image–name mnemonic  Use to remember name with face   Think of vivid word that sounds like name Link word with person’s appearance Rodney Flanery  Example   Image: Football player with rod in his knee.

Keyword mnemonic  Use to learn new or foreign language words   Think of vivid word that sounds like to-be-remembered word Link vivid word with meaning  Example   “Pato” – spanish for duck Image: Pot on top of Donald duck’s head  Create one:   Skulk – to hide in a sneaky manner Image: Skull tip-toeing and hiding behind a couch .

Create keyword mnemonics for one of the following vocabulary words   Bombastic  Pompous To labor. to drudge A predicament Moil      Quagmire  Jocular  Given to or characterized by joking One who roams in search of amusement or social activity A relation characterized by sympathy and mutual trust Gadabout  Rapport  .

Method of Loci  Used by Greek orators 1: Memorize familiar locations in natural order 2: Create visual image of word with each location Recall: take a “mental walk” “In the first place…”     .

Method of Loci: Campus Map .

First. memorize the locations in order… Olin DuPre Main Snyder Library Carlisle Daniel Milliken Burwell Shipp .

“Go”. Olin DuPre Main Snyder Library Carlisle Daniel Milliken Burwell Shipp Apple Piano Hammer Cake Planet Pizza Kite Bus Butterfly Scissors .Begin to write only after I have given the signal.

Method of Loci: Answers           Apple Piano Hammer Cake Planet Pizza Kite Bus Butterfly Scissors .

and other life information Biggest piece of advice?? Take the time to TRY to remember and pay ATTENTION!  The true art of memory is the art of attention ~Samuel Johnson ATTENTION! . hometown.Try mnemonics out…    Use mnemonics to remember names and faces.

Why mnemonics work  Use effort to try to remember  Pay attention Verbal and visual representations Group information into “chunks” Use existing knowledge Think about meaning and make distinctive  Create (multiple) retrieval cues   Organization   Notice relationships   Elaboration   Generation effect  Make it personal .

Limitations of Mnemonics        Take a long time How to deal with abstract info? Need creative ability Confuse info if use same device Does not help understanding of material Doesn’t help memory in general Need to practice mnemonics to get better at using them .

Other ways to improve memory      When mnemonics won’t work or don’t want to use them… Use spaced repetition Group (chunk) information Make it meaningful Use retrieval cues .

Thanks for coming!  Any questions? Or questions about my research?  .

Factors that influence memory         Perception and attention Retrieval cues Rehearsal Distributed vs. massed practice Serial position Reduce proactive interference Maintenance vs. elaborative rehearsal Elaboration            Generation effect Association Self-reference effect Transfer appropriate processing Encoding specificity State dependent learning Dual-coding Imagery Organization Decay Interference .

youtube.com/watch?v=r2wYcFnTkgo&feature=related      Flashbulb memories False memories First memories Prospective memory Tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon .Other types of memory and memory phenomenon  Autobiographical memory   “Woman who remembers everything” http://www.

attention O – organization – group info into chunks R – review it (out loud) – rehearsal/repetition N – natural observation – connect to self .POPCORN        P – pace yourself – 15/5 rule (study/break) O – observation – see connections P – picture it – visualization C – concentration .

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Eagles Stetson Univ – Hatters U of Conn – Huskies Carleton College – Knights Columbia U – Lions Lehigh Univ – Mountain Hawks Temple Univ – Owls Furman – Paladins Elon Univ – Phoenix Colgate Univ – Raiders Carnegie Mellon University Tartans Fairfield Univ – Stags .Schools/mascots             Bates College (ME) – Bobcats UCLA – Bruins Citadel – Bulldogs Gettysburg College – Bullets Stanford Univ – Cardinal U of Virginia – Cavaliers College of Charleston – Cougars Middlebury College – Panthers Seton Hall Univ – Pirates U of Arkansas – Razorbacks UNC Wilmington – Seahawks U of Maryland .Terrapins             Emory University .

Fruits            Loquat Pear Apricot Plum Blackberry Currant Kiwi Cranberry Cantaloupe Fig Pomegranate            Grapefruit Mandarin Clementine Tangerine Avocado Passion fruit Banana Papaya Crabapple Prickly pear Persimmon .

European Countries               Albania Andorra Austria Belarus Belgium Bosnia Bulgaria Croatia Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany               Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Republic of Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro                 Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom .

Has 5 or more children Went to college Can play a musical instrument Met a movie star Seen a President in person Served in the military Has been married Never broken a bone Never flown on an airplane Worked as a teacher Has a hidden talent Has been to Disney World Lived in a foreign country YOUR NAME ________ Grew up on a farm Knows a second language Lived in Spartanburg entire life Owns a computer Has 10 or more grandkids Has traveled to Europe Is an only child Owned a convertible Has a friend Been to an who lives in Elvis concert another state Is ambidexterous .

Loves to play with children Can play the piano Is a vegetarian Has a niece or nephew Knows the dates of the Civil War Favorite color Has jumped in is green puddles after rain Has seen Disney’s Cars movie Lived in a foreign country Loves to take pictures Doesn’t like to Wants to learn eat how to fly an vegetables airplane Has been to the Greenville Zoo Wrote a letter to a friend in the past year YOUR NAME ________ Wants to learn a second language Has helped destroy kudzo Has allergies to cats or dogs Prefers chocolate over vanilla ice cream Has planted flowers in a garden Has traveled to Tennessee Has gone on a drive in an RV Likes to play computer games Is an only child Has read a new book in the past month .

Has 4 or more siblings Wants to go to college in the North Has been to Disney World Can play a musical instrument Met a famous athlete Lived in a foreign country Seen a Wofford sports game Plans to serve in the military YOUR NAME ________ Wants to become a doctor Has a hidden talent Never broken a bone Never flown on an airplane Has worked Worked at a on a farm grocery store Knows a second language Lived in Spartanburg entire life Uses a cell phone daily Is one of 10 or more grandkids Has a friend who lives in another state Has been to a zoo Is an only child Owns an ipod Been to a music concert Is ambidexterous .

Has 4 or more siblings Wants to go to college in the North Has been to Disney World Can play a musical instrument Met a famous athlete Lived in a foreign country Seen a Wofford sports game Plans to serve in the military YOUR NAME ________ Wants to become a doctor Has a hidden talent Never broken a bone Never flown on an airplane Has worked Worked at a on a farm grocery store Knows a second language Lived in Spartanburg entire life Uses a cell phone daily Is one of 10 or more grandkids Has a friend who lives in another state Has been to a zoo Is an only child Owns an ipod Been to a music concert Is ambidexterous .

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