Improving Memory: 5 Effective Methods

Research has revealed several strategies that improve memory. Find out which ones are the best.
Improving Memory: 5 Effective Methods

Thanks to memory, we decode, store and retrieve information. It is therefore normal to look for effective ways to improve memory. Is it possible to find practical ways to increase our ability to remember information?

The answer to this question is yes. Research has revealed several strategies that allow you to develop higher memory. Among the most effective methods to improve memory we find the keyword technique, the loci technique, the theory of coding specificity, the organization of text material and notes. Let’s analyze them one by one.

Effective methods for improving memory

The keyword technique for learning other languages

Imagine that you are attending a lesson in a language that is not yours. You need to learn long lists of words to understand what they are saying to you. An easier way to do this is to use the keyword technique.

Thanks to it, we relate an unknown word with a common word in Italian that has a similar sound. The word in Italian in this case

it will be called

keyword. Once you have thought of the keyword, you will have to formulate a mental image in which the term in question graphically interacts with the Italian translation.

Woman thinks while studying

For example, you can think of a doctor examining a duck to remember the word “duck” which in English means duck. To learn the English translation of eye, you can think about the fact that when your eye itches you say “Ai!”. So you will remember the word “eye”. This foreign word learning technique has produced far superior results than simple repetition.

The technique of loci to organize a speech

When the speakers of ancient Greece tried to memorize a long speech, they used the technique of loci (a word which in Latin means “places”). Using this technique, let’s imagine that each part of the speech is in a specific area inside a building.

For example, you may think that the preface to your speech is in the hall. The central topic can be in the living room, the next one in the dining room, and so on.

This memory enhancing technique can easily be adapted to learn word lists. Each word in the list is located in a sequentially organized place. This method works best if you are using whimsical images.

Coding specificity theory

Some researchers suggest that it is easier to remember information in an environment that is the same or very similar to what we were in when we memorized it. This phenomenon is called coding specificity and was formulated by Tulving and Thompson in 1973.

Thus, it will be easier to pass an exam if you study in the same room where the exam will take place. On the other hand, however, the characteristics of the exam, such as the sentences with which the questions are asked, sometimes far exceed even the tools related to the encoding and original storage of the material.

Man in front of the computer

Organization of the material of the texts

Most everyday memory activities do not involve lists of words, but of texts that have been read. How can the memory of this type of material be facilitated? One technique for improving the memory of written material is to organize it the first time it is read.

In this regard, it is necessary to know the structure and content of the material by taking a look at the index, the topic of the various chapters, the subtitles, etc. All of this must be done before reading a particular chapter. Understanding the structure of the material will make it easier to remember

Another technique is to ask ourselves questions about the material we have just read, which we will answer later. Asking questions will allow us to make connections and discover relationships between different specific facts. This will facilitate the processing of the material.

Organizing notes

“Less is more”, perhaps this is the best advice for taking notes that make it easier to remember. Instead of trying to write down all the details of a lecture, it is better to listen and reflect on the material. You can write down the main points after considering them in a larger context.

Take notes

To take notes efficiently, it is more important to think about the material first than to write it down directly. This is one of the reasons asking for someone else’s notes is wrong. We will not have the appropriate reference context to interpret them.

These five techniques to improve memory can help you better grasp knowledge and retrieve information. We invite you to try them!

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