Have you ever forgotten passwords or the names of new acquaintances? Is it difficult for you to learn a phone number in a few seconds, but it can take a whole evening to memorize a page of text? Today we will look at the basic principles of memorization...

Mind Halls and Other Memorization Techniques

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Have you ever forgotten passwords or the names of new acquaintances? Is it difficult for you to learn a phone number in a few seconds, but it can take a whole evening to memorize a page of text?

Imagine that you will forever get rid of the need to write down a list of products, and remembering a sequence of several dozen random words will not be difficult. What do you think?

This is real, and mnemonics will help you with this. Today we will consider the basic principles of memorization and learn how to memorize sequences of words.

Mnemonics (mnemonics) is the art of memorization, a set of techniques and methods that facilitate memorization and increase memory capacity by forming artificial associations.


Main principle: visualization

To remember information quickly and for a long time, it needs to be visualized. In other words, we must remember not the word "cat" itself, but its visual image.

The correct image should be:

  • Volumetric. Imagine a cat. It could be your or your friends' pet, or a fictional cat you've never seen before. It doesn't matter. Look at an imaginary cat. It should be just like a real one, and not flat, like on a TV screen.
  • Bright. In order for the image to remain in memory for a long time, you need to visualize it vividly. Your cat should be as memorable as possible.
  • understandable. You need to know which word your image stands for.

Practice! Create visualizations for the following words: cucumber, teacher, globe, fish, chair, luck, Pakistan.

Everything was fine until the last two words, right? How can an abstract concept or a whole state be represented?

To solve this problem, there is a method of free associations. The first visual image you have when you hear "luck" is free association. For example, a horseshoe is a symbol of good luck.

Very colorful buses, typical for this country, can be associated with Pakistan.

Важно! Все ассоциации сугубо индивидуальны. Если в случае со словом «удача» вы вместо подковы или клевера представляете своего дядю Колю, очень удачливого человека, так тому и быть. Ваши ассоциации могут быть странными и необычными. Так даже лучше.

Mind Halls and Other Memorization Techniques

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Once you've learned how to visualize the words, it's time to memorize them. We will look at several ways to do this.


1. The story method

Which is easier to remember: 20 random words or a funny joke? The answer is obvious.

The essence of the method is that you must make a story out of the words given to you. It can be weird, unrealistic, fantastic, or downright absurd. All the better.

Words are given: postman, tiger, corn, wasp, river, frying pan, crusader, sofa, marmalade, Arab, borscht, toothbrush, rain, tulip, ashes, good luck. How long will it take you to memorize by ordinary cramming?

And now let's come up with a story (don't forget to visualize!) for these words:

Postman Печкин верхом на тигре скачет через кукурузное поле. Печкин в страхе (обязательно добавляйте эмоции в свою историю! сопереживайте своим героям, можно даже придумывать короткие реплики) обернулся назад – за ним гнались разъярённые осы. Вдруг он натыкается на реку. «Что делать!? – крикнул в пустоту бедный почтальон. – Моста нет!» Но, к счастью, поблизости вместо моста была огромная сковорода. Печкин, подгоняя тигра, пробежал по ней.

On the other side of the river, the crusaders were already building barricades of sofas, and as soon as the wasps began to approach, the crusaders began to knock them down with well-aimed throws of marmalade. Pechkin ran up to the old Arab, the recipient of the parcel, and handed him the box. In it was a plate of bright red borscht, in which instead of a spoon there was a toothbrush.

Unexpectedly it started to rain. Everyone raised their heads up, the marmalade no longer flew at the enemy. At first, the most ordinary drops of water fell, but then tulips began to pour from a thundercloud. Thousands of tulips slowly descended, and as soon as they touched the ground, they immediately turned into ashes. Surprisingly, from the resulting ash, a distinct pattern of a horseshoe was obtained (an image for the word "luck").

It's not the most efficient method in a mnemonist's arsenal (200 words is pretty hard to remember this way), but it has its advantages:

  1. Does not require prior preparation. All you need is the words themselves and your imagination.
  2. An excellent simulator for creative thinking and generation of non-standard ideas.
  3. It is very exciting. When the process of memorization becomes fun and interesting, it begins to bring pleasure.
  4. Simplicity. You can teach this method to your child, even if he has not yet gone to school. And since children are more creative thinkers than adults, and they don’t yet have well-established thought patterns, this is a very effective tool in their hands and they will be able to come up with such stories on the fly.

Train! Come up with your own story for the words: car, crocodile, spear, France, tea, pirate, bicycle, pie, sneakers, Kirkorov, newspaper, tomato. Write your story in the comments and check out the products of the imagination of other readers! If you have children, make a list of words for them.


2. Chain

The essence of the method is to connect the images to each other. How to do it right?

  • Pay no attention to proportions. All images should be approximately the same size. Let's say you have to connect a plane and an egg. Let the egg be huge, and the plane small, one to one, like an egg.
  • Connect brightly. An egg and a plane is standing next to it. It's too boring to remember. Let the plane break the egg! Let the nose of the plane stick into the shell, let our airliner stick out of this egg like a candle in a birthday cake!
  • Pay attention to the sequence. If you need to memorize words in a certain sequence, use the rule: the first image is always to the left or higher than the next (we read from top to bottom and from left to right – easy to remember). That is, if we remember “airplane, egg”, then the above example is suitable, and if “egg, airplane”, then we must imagine how the plane stands vertically (why not?) and put an egg on top of it. Protein slowly flows down the fuselage (do not forget about the brightness!)

When you memorize a few words in a chain, you must abstract from all images, except for the one you just remembered, and the one that comes next.

For example: knight, hat, balloon, brick. The knight sits on his hat and holds it by the brim (as if he is on an inflatable ring in a water park). The same hat is on a balloon, as if on someone's head (you can imagine a painted face on a balloon, but this is not necessary). The balloon is tied to a brick and they slowly fly together.

You don't have to represent the entire structure at once. At first imagine only a knight and a hat, then only a hat and a ball (we don’t take the knight into account anymore), etc. When remembering, also keep no more than two images in your head at the same time. From one to another, from him to the next.

This method is bad because if you forget one element of the chain, you can forget the rest. But if you need to remember a dozen or two words, and there is no time to come up with a story, this method will be very useful. Also, this technique can be considered as auxiliary when considering the following method of memorization.

Train! Remember the words in a chain: wolf, cabbage, football player, chess, grandmother, ring, milk, surgeon, picture, apricot.

Mind Halls and Other Memorization Techniques



3. Method of Cicero

This is the most effective and popular method among mnemonists. It also has other names: the memory palace, the Roman room method, the loci method, the mind chambers, etc. They are one and the same.

The bottom line is that we create in our imagination a certain space with supporting images. It sounds complicated, but in fact, you will learn it just as easily as the chain method.

The reference image is the image with which you will connect the remembered images. It is also called a locus or simply an opportunist.

Why is he the mainstay? Imagine your kitchen: fridge, sink faucet, microwave, etc. You don't move those items around that often. It is unlikely that you find a new place for the refrigerator every week. The above are the base images.

Important! The plate on the table is not a reference image, because it changes its location, but the decorative plate on the wall is a reference image, because it always hangs there.

The essence of the method is to create an imaginary space, but it does not have to be created from scratch. You can imagine your apartment – you know it well and you can mentally walk through it in your imagination.

Highlight in your apartment (room, office or any other place that you know well) several reference images: a TV, a chandelier, a table lamp, an aquarium, a washing machine, etc.

Important! You must know exactly the sequence of your route from one reference image to another. For example, hallway-kitchen-bath-bedroom.

Attach a memorable one to each reference image. When you need to remember, go along the route and reproduce the information in the desired sequence. It can even be done in reverse.

Important! You can change the remembered images. That is, repeatedly memorize new information in the same locations (during memorization training, for example). At the same time, old images are forgotten. You will only remember the last saved image. Moreover, if you often use the same locations, the images will start to get confused (you can remember what you remembered twice ago), in this case, you just need to let the locations “rest” – do not remember them for some time, but use another memory palace.

You can attach more than one image to one location, but a chain. Five words per prop, for example.

With the Cicero method, you can memorize huge amounts of information quickly enough, and most importantly, for a long time. If necessary, they must be repeated.

Important! Mnemonists repeat exclusively from memory – this is very important! You can look at the source only for verification or in case you forgot something. The greater the amount of information, the more often you need to repeat (5 words can be remembered for a couple of weeks and without repetition, but 500 words need to be repeated right there, after 6 hours (before going to bed, if it is evening), the next day, after 3 days, after a week, two weeks, a month).

Train! Select the reference images and memorize the following words on them: mosquito, chocolate, perch, wrestler, autumn, bottle, academy, hose, bit, rose.

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