How you remember that?

The process of learning and memorization, to say the least, is usually complicated, for this reason, methods or strategies have been developed which force and make viable the memorization of information.

This kind of strategies are called mnemonic methods, they are different systematic procedures that are used to make the memorization process a smoother one [1]. These methods or strategies allow new information to be associated with images or words that are already on the person's vocabulary, making easier mental associations.

Therefor mnemonics are techniques for remembering information that is otherwise quite difficult to recall. [2]

The functionality of mnemonic methods is that information is learned through associations and that these associations are actually remembered better and easily so the information can be synthesized. Several studies have been carried out which show that the strategy of mnemonic methods are more effective than repetition for memorization and are obviously much more dynamic and entertaining, facilitating not only the learning process but also facilitating the exercise of practicing what one wants to learn.

These are the most common mnemonic methods:

Method of loci

The loci method is a technique where facts and keywords are associated with specific places. This technique has been practiced since antiquity, specifically the Greek and Roman speakers. This method is used to recall sections of long speeches and to recall lists of names or objects through the association of places that people know well.[3] You can use humor, exaggeration to make the recall process faster.

Mnemonics in chain

The string method is used by connecting the words to be memorized to each other. It was presented by Henry Lorayne in his book "How to acquire a super memory" the words are based on imaginary representations and after the imaginary representations are chained. The first word of the list is connected with the second word and the second word with third and so on. [4] The chain method is considered one of the simplest mnemonic methods since it relates the words to each other. This method is efficient for memorizing many words. For the effectiveness of this method and most mnemonic methods, it is necessary to practice visualization and imagination a lot. For the association to work perfectly the image that is presented should be as bizarre as possible because when the image is logical it will not be remembered or it will be difficult to remember it. In addition to the bizarre, one must imagine the words in action, an image or scene in action, with movement, as if it were a movie, always chaining the words.

Acronym

This strategy consists of forming a word or phrase with the first letters or syllables of the words to be memorized, the same is used to remember for long periods. This technique consists of first remembering the acronym and then decoding it to get the words that had to be memorized. As this technique gives us the first letters of each word that we want to remember gives us a clue that facilitates the collection of the memorized data.

Keyword Method

The keyword method is one of the most studied and applied methods of mnemonics. This method is used to learn languages. [5] To apply this method follow these steps:

1. Use a specific keyword for the vocabulary to be learned; this is the keyword.

2. Match the keyword with the vocabulary definition by a sentence.

3. Retrieve the desired definition.

For this method to be effective the person using it has to assign the keyword. If another person is the one assigning the keyword it will not have the same effect and could easily be forgotten because it will not be personal enough.[6]

A couple years back I found this book about a guy who decides to win a memory championship with no previous experience. The book is full of strategies and is a very colloquial approach on the subject. If you want to start emerging yourself in this methods I suggest you start by checking up this book.

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Footnotes.

1 - [Rummel, Levin and Woodward, 2003]

3 - [Gerrig, R., & Zimbardo, P., 2005]

4, 5, 6 - [Woolfolk, A., 2010]