Improving Memory

By: Nicholas Dessanti

Strategie 1 - Utilize mnemonic devices to remember information

Mnemonic devices are techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something. It’s a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall important information. In other words, it’s a simple shortcut that helps us associate the information we want to store in our memory with an image, a sentence, or a word.

Two Examples:


  • An acronym is a word formed from the first letters or groups of letters in a name or phrase. For instance, in music, students must remember the order of notes so they can identify and play the correct note while reading music.


  • Chunking is simply a way of breaking down larger pieces of information into smaller, organized “chunks” of more easily-managed information. Telephone numbers in the United States are a perfect example of this. They are 10 digits broken into 3 chunks, allowing almost everyone to remember an entire phone number with ease.
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Strategie 2 - Association

Association is the method by which you link a thing to be remembered to a method of remembering it. Although we can and will suggest associations to you, your own associations are much better as they reflect the way in which your mind works.

Two Examples:

  • As an example: Linking the number 1 with a goldfish might be done by visualizing a 1-shaped spear being used to spear a goldfish to feed a starving family.
  • Forming associations between this information and something that is easy to remember can help trigger your memory during an exam.
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Strategie 3 - Imagery / Visualization

There are many kinds of imagery, and all forms are valuable to the memory process. When thinking about imagery, most people think of the visual image. However, images can also be a motor image, sometimes called "muscle memory," or an auditory image. Imagery can help you remember groups of words through visualization.

Two Examples:

  • Visualize the numbers of a cell phone number being written on a chalk board. This allows you to create a mental picture of the numbers that may be processed more completely
  • Positive imagery has a positive effect on real performance results. For example, golfers do 30% better on putting when positively imagining sinking putts, and 20% worse when imagining missing putts
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Strategie 4 - Linking or Chaining / Storytelling

Storytelling is a great way to help you remember information in any subject. Write a story by focusing on the key points of what you're learning and arranging them in a logical sequence. It can even be a song or rhyme that tells the story. And there's a bonus: each event in the story triggers your memory of the next event, so you'll remember even more.

Two Examples:

  • You may want to remember this list of counties in the South of England: Avon, Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, and Surrey. Create a story line to remember these counties.
  • When we are being told a story, though, things change dramatically, according to researchers. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.
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Works Cited

"11 Ways to Improve Your Memory and Remember More." Education. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"Imagery." Definition. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"Memory and Mnemonic Devices." Psych Central. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"Memory Techniques." The Peak Performance Center. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.

"12 Great Memory Strategies For Better Grades." 12 Great Memory Strategies For Better Grades. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.