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!
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.
The Phonetic Mnemonic System is one of the most useful systems for helping you memorize facts. Here are some sample facts that you can easily memorize using this system.
1. The tallest building in the world is Taipei 101, in Taiwan. It is 509 meters tall. Using the phonetic system, the number 509 translates to 'lazy boy'. Picture a lazyboy chair balanced on the spire sticking out of the top of the building, or picture a very lazy boy taking a week to walk up the stairs to the top. Now, you can easily remember the height of the building.
2. On the periodic table, iron (Fe) has an atomic number of 26 which has the phonetic word of 'notch'. Picture yourself trying to iron your clothes using an iron with a big notch cut into it.
3. The speed of sound is 340 meters per second. The phonetic keyword for 340 is 'Mars'. Think up your own association between 'sound' and 'Mars' to remember this fact.
4. World War II started in 1939. You can use any of the following keywords: Top Mop, Tie Pump or if you ignore the century you can simply use 'map'. Pick your favorite keyword and associate it with the war.
These are just some simple examples showing how easy it is to use the phonetic mnemonic system to more easily memorize facts. Try making up some on your own.
We have already learned how the phonetic mnemonic system can be used to remember playing cards. Once you learn this, here is an interesting trick that you can perform for your friends and family.
Have your friend shuffle the deck. Now, go through the cards and use the link system to link each card to its neighbor. For example, if the ten of diamonds (keyword=dice) is adjacent to the two of hearts (keyword=hen), you could form a visual association of a hen laying some dice instead of eggs. With practice you should be able to go through the entire deck in a few minutes. Now you can recite the entire deck from memory by going through your link list and remembering the keywords.