You may question using association that you can learn from books or online as a memory technique. You may not believe that it is important to create funny or silly association between two pieces of data every time you need to memorize certain information. Believe me I resisted for a long time when someone close to me would try to get me involved.
The fact is that this method is proven effective, and in fact it is used by psychologists who are experts in studying human memory. Memory works effectively through association. You essentially expand information to help you recall things effectively. I thought it sounded like too much work!
1. Memory is recent
You are more likely to recall things when they have occurred recently than those that happened for quite a long time. There is a great possibility that you recall what you had for breakfast today, but not what you ate two months ago.
2. Memory is clear
There is a great possibility that you recall events that are most clear or those events that leave lasting impressions than events that are ordinary. You can possibly remember what you did on your wedding anniversary, or perhaps the World Trade Center collapse, but not what happened a day before that event unless they are quite striking too.
3. Memory is frequent.
You are able to recall things that you experience often, rather than those you experience very seldom. You are more likely to recall your friend’s name or his phone number if you are really good friends rather than a random fact about a celebrity unless you are an avid fan. If you say a word or phrase over and over again, you can recall it easily.
When you need to recall two words such as flower and rake, you might think of using a rake to clean the surroundings of a flower. Or, consider a little boy who comes to a table where you are happily eating your meal, carrying a rake. He then lifts up and shoves the rake right into the vase with a flower! Now which of these two images can help you to remember easily? The second one will be more effective because it is more clear and vivid. The rule of thumb is: the funnier the better.
Most psychologists believe that your brain’s capacity to store information is unlimited. This means that your mind cannot be over filled. New data may, however, meddle with the data retained a long time ago, making these older data more difficult to recall. To avoid this situation, you can employ a little organization of information inside your mind.
For short-term memory, such as recalling the time for your dental check-up or the name of the priest to contact for your child’s baptism, simply do nothing. This is because we don’t need this kind of information permanently and eventually we can forget them.
For long-term memories, such as recalling trivia quizzes, contact numbers, security policy number etc, you should make some extra effort to go over these things because you need them for permanent retrieval. You can do this several times in a day. Then remember the new data at least once a day for a few weeks. By the end of this period, the objects you recall will be permanently retained in your brain.
By using association techniques, you will have better and more accurate memory. The same as you feed your body nutrition to keep you healthy, remember that you need to provide your brain with the proper exercise and nourishment in order to keep it healthy.