You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!
The Rashomon Effect is the phenomenon by which observers of an event can produce very different but entirely plausible accounts of what happened. This is because every person has a unique set of life experiences that cause him to pay attention to things in his own way. Physical position and personal relationship to the event, as well as psychological makeup, determine how a person will perceive it. This is one reason why eyewitness testimony can be so unreliable.
For example, two fans are at the same baseball game. They are rooting for opposite teams. Once the game is over, the fan of the winning team is likely to have a very different memory than the fan of the losing team, even though they were watching the same game.
We have talked about how the average short-term memory can only hold around 7 pieces of information. Here is a test to see how good your short-term memory is.
Slowly read each line once and then look away and try to recall the numbers. The first few should be easy. Once you get to 7 or 8 digits, you will start to have a very difficult time.
4 8 6
2 5 7 8
5 8 2 5 7
9 1 3 4 0 6
6 7 2 8 4 3 8
1 9 8 3 0 7 5 2
0 9 3 7 0 4 6 9 1
Once you get some practice using the Link System to remember lists of items, you can use it to perform an amazing party trick.
Tell everyone that you have a super memory and that you can remember twenty items after they are called out only once. Designate someone as the record keeper to confirm your feat.
Now, you should pick someone to call out an object. Create a visual association between this first object and yourself. This will help you remember the first item.
Now point to someone else and have them call out another object. In your mind, make a link between the two objects. Continue linking each object to the next until you have reached the end. Because you are controlling the pace that items are being called out, you can go as slow as you need to as you create your visual imagery. Naturally, the faster you go, the more impressive the trick will be.
Once you are done, it should be easy for you to recall all twenty items in order. Most people do not realize that anyone can have this type of memory with only a little practice.
Two people who witness the same event may have different memories about what happened. This is because people pay attention to different things, and because memories fade and become distorted. If these people are allowed to talk, they can seriously distort each other's memory of what happened. This phenomenon is called "memory conformity." People who experience the same thing naturally want their memories to be the same, and as a result they can be talked out of their true memory and convinced to believe something that is false.
This frequently happens to married couples or family members who are trying to remember something that happened in the past. If the two people disagree on a particular detail, one person can often be convinced that their memory is wrong even if it isn't.
Eyewitnesses have notoriously bad memories. Many studies have been conducted where a group of people watch a simulated crime and are then asked to describe the details of the event. It is very rare for the criminal to be described accurately. Perhaps this is because people always have a difficult time describing a face, even if it is right in front of them. Faces do not have features that can be easily articulated with vocabulary that we posses. How would you describe your own nose to someone over the phone?
Police use artists and kits full of different face parts to help witnesses piece together a face. Even with this help, an accurate portrayal of the suspect is rarely achieved. In fact, two eyewitnesses to the same crime often produce wildly different portraits. Perhaps this is because memory can get distorted under stress, or maybe it is because when people are trying hard to remember something, they will sometimes fabricate a false memory to satisfy themselves and their questioner.