My ability (or lack of ability) to memorize things; or; How to remember what you couldn't remember

  1. This is an ability I don't really have
  2. You know how some people pick something up and five minutes later be able to recite it completely
  3. Yup
  4. Not one of those people
  5. But what I can do is use different memory techniques
  6. For example when I had to memorize twenty different psych studies I was really worried
  7. REALLY WORRIED
  8. So I decided I would bunch it all up so I could remember it
  9. I took the first two letters of each study's names and put them in order of date
  10. (This was after extensively studying what these studies were about mind you)
  11. Then after putting these in order I took a look at what the letters spelled out
  12. It was (in this case) talocilebascbeat
  13. The first portion (ta-le) was within the range of 1971-1977
  14. The second (ba-at) was within the range of 1932-1968
  15. I tried to interpret the random letter salad into words
  16. "Talon" "Bile" "Bass" "Beat)
  17. Those words could be reasonably extrapolated and then I could easily decode it into the original salad
  18. I practiced this process a few times timing myself
  19. I got it down where I could write down all the names of the studies and their years, and all I had to remember was what they were about...fully decoding it on paper only took 50 seconds!
  20. I even made an image to represent each encoded word and wrote an abbreviated range of the dates which came out to seven digits, the average amount we can retain in our short term memory (Miller (1956))
  21. So next time you feel like you are being forced to memorize something and can't do it because you aren't one of those people
  22. Don't let it be insurmountable and have a panic attack
  23. Know that it only takes a little bit of (fairly fun) memory puzzle work...and you can memorize anything!