8.4 Ways to Improve Memory – Psychology 2. | OpenStax (2023)

learning goals

At the end of this section you can:

  • Recognize and apply memory-enhancing strategies
  • Identify and apply effective learning techniques

Most of us suffer from some form of amnesia and most of us want to improve our memory so we don't forget where we left our car keys or, more importantly, the stuff we need to know for an exam. In this section, we'll take a look at some ways you can improve your memory and some strategies for studying more effectively.

(Video) Introduction to Psychology | Chapter 8.4 | Ways to Enhance Memory

Strategies for memory improvement

How can we improve our memory, including recall, in everyday life? To ensure information moves from short-term memory to long-term memory, you can use:Strategies for memory improvement. A strategy isProbeor the intentional repetition of information in order to remember (Craik & Watkins, 1973). Think about how you were taught the multiplication tables as a child. You may recall that 6 x 6 = 36, 6 x 7 = 42, and 6 x 8 = 48. Remembering these facts takes practice.

Another strategy islump: They organize information into manageable parts (Bodie, Powers & Fitch-Hauser, 2006). Chunking is useful when trying to remember information like dates and phone numbers. Instead of trying to remember 5205550467, remember the number as 520-555-0467. So if you meet an interesting person at a party and you want to remember their phone number, you can of course split them up and repeat the number over and over, which is the practice strategy.

link to learning

try itentertaining activity that uses a memory-stimulating strategyLearn more.

(Video) Do THIS to Improve Memory | Jim Kwik

You can also improve memory by usingthorough rehearsal: a technique in which you reflect on the meaning of new information and its relation to knowledge already stored in your memory (Tigner, 1999). The complex repetition includes both the linking of the information with already stored knowledge and the repetition of the information. In this case, you may recall that 520 is an Arizona area code and that the person you met is from Arizona. This will help you remember the 520 prefix better. If the information is retained, it ends up in long-term memory.

Mnemonicsare mnemonic devices that help us organize information for encoding (Figure 8.18). They are particularly useful when we want to retrieve larger blocks of information, such as steps, stages, phases, and parts of a system (Bellezza, 1981). Brian needs to learn the order of the planets in the solar system, but he's having a hard time remembering the correct order. His girlfriend Kelly suggests a mnemonic to help him remember. Kelly tells Brian that he only goes by the name Mr. VEM J. SUN and he can easily remember the correct order of the planets:MErcury,Vold manEart,Mars,Jup,Sturn,Useeds andNSeptember. A mnemonic can help you remember a person's name, a mathematical formula, or the order of mathematical operations.

8.4 Ways to Improve Memory – Psychology 2. | OpenStax (1)

Figure8.18 This is a mnemonic to help you remember the number of days in each month. Months with 31 days are represented by the prominent knuckles, shorter months fall on the spots between the knuckles. (Source: Adaptation of Cory Zanker's work)

If you've ever seen the TV showModern Family, you may have seen Phil Dunphy explain how he remembers names:

(Video) The Physical Symptoms Of Grief

I recently met a man named Carl. I could forget that name now, but he was wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt. What is a band like the Grateful Dead? Phish. Where do fish live? The ocean. What else lives in the sea? Coral. Hello co-arl. (Wrubel & Spiller, 2010)

It seems that the more vivid or unusual the mnemonic, the easier it is to remember. The key to using a mnemonic is finding a strategy that works for you.

link to learning

Joshua Foer is a science journalist who "accidentally" left the United States. memory championships. take care of himTEDTalk titled "Feats of Memory Everyone Can Do" in which he explains a mnemonic called "Memory Palace."Learn more.

(Video) How Bad Is Your Auditory (Echoic) Memory? - AcousticsInsider.com

Some other memory-improving strategies include expressive writing and saying words out loud. Expressive writing strengthens your short-term memory, especially when you're writing about a traumatic event in your life. Masao Yogo and Shuji Fujihara (2008) had the participants write at 20-minute intervals several times a month. Participants were instructed to write about a traumatic experience, their best possible future self, or a trivial topic. The researchers found that this simple writing task increased short-term memory capacity after five weeks, but only in those participants who wrote about traumatic experiences. Psychologists can't explain why this writing task works, but it does.

What if you want to remember items to pick up in store? You just have to say them out loud. A number of studies (MacLeod, Gopie, Hourihan, Neary & Ozubko, 2010) have shown that saying a word out loud improves your memory for the word because it increases the word's distinctiveness. Do you feel silly saying any store items out loud? This technique works just as well if you just say the words. Using these techniques, the participants' memory for the words increased by more than 10%. These techniques can also be used as a learning aid.

How to learn effectively

Based on the information in this chapter, here are some strategies and suggestions for sharpening your study skills (Figure 8.19). The key with each of these strategies is figuring out what works best for you.

8.4 Ways to Improve Memory – Psychology 2. | OpenStax (2)

Figure8.19 Memory techniques can be helpful when studying in front of the class. (Source: Barry Pousman)

(Video) Increase Your BRAIN Power in 7 Days🤯| Do This Daily| Boost Your Memory 100%

  • Use extensive samples: In a famous article, Fergus Craik and Robert Lockhart (1972) discussed their belief that the information we process travels deeper into long-term memory. Your theory is mentionedtreatment stages. If we want to remember a piece of information, we need to think about it more deeply and connect it to other information and memories to make it more meaningful. For example, if we try to remember that the hippocampus is involved in memory processing, we might imagine a hippopotamus with an excellent memory and remember the hippocampus better.
  • Apply the self-reference effect: As you go through the process of intense study, it would be even more helpful to give the material you are trying to remember some personal meaning to you. In other words, use the self-reference effect. Write notes in your own words. Write definitions from the text and then paraphrase them in your own words. Relate the material to something you have already learned in another class, or consider how you can apply the concepts in your own life. When you do this, you create a web of recall prompts that make it easier for you to access the material when you want to remember it.
  • Use distributed practice: Study in short chunks over a long period of time, rather than trying to fit everything in at once. Memory consolidation takes time, and learning over time gives memories time to solidify. In addition, clutter can cause the links between concepts to become so active that you get stuck on a link and can't access the rest of the information you've learned.
  • Practice, practice, practice: Review material over time in separate and organized study sessions. Organize and study your notes and take practice quizzes/exams. Link the new information to other information that you already know well.
  • Learn effective: Students are good highlighters, but highlighting is not very effective because students spend too much time studying the things they have already learned. Use index cards instead of markers. Write the question on one side and the answer on the other. As you study, separate your cards into the cards you got right and the cards you got wrong. Examine what you got wrong and continue sorting. In the end, all of your cards are on the stack that you answered correctly.
  • Watch out for disruptions: To reduce the risk of interference, study in quiet time without interruptions or distractions (e.g. TV or music).
  • Get on: Of course you already know that exercise is good for your body, but did you know that it is also good for your mind? Research shows that regular aerobic exercise (anything that increases your heart rate) has a positive effect on memory (van Praag, 2008). Aerobic exercise promotes neurogenesis: the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus, a part of the brain known to play a role in memory and learning.
  • get enough sleep: While you sleep, your brain is still working. During sleep, the brain organizes and consolidates information stored in long-term memory (Abel & Bäuml, 2013).
  • Use mnemonics: As you learned earlier in this chapter, mnemonics often help us remember and recall information. There are different types of mnemonics, such as the acronym. An acronym is a word formed from the first letter of each of the words you want to remember. For example, even if you live near one of the lakes, you may find it difficult to remember the names of all five Great Lakes. What if I told you to think of the word "houses"? HOMES is an acronym that stands for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior: The Five Great Lakes. Another type of mnemonic is an acrostic: you form a sentence using all the first letters of the words. For example, if you are taking a math test and have trouble rememberingthe order of operations, it will help you to memorize the following sentence: "Excuse me, my dear Aunt Sally", because the sequence of mathematical operations is parentheses, exponent, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. There are also jingles, which are rhyming tunes containing keywords related to the concept, such asi before e, except after c.


8.4 Ways to Improve Memory – Psychology 2. | OpenStax? ›

Rehearsal is found to be the most frequently used strategy, followed by mental imagery, elaboration, mnemonics, and organization. Previous study also found that rehearsal is the memory strategy taught most often by teachers to their students (Moely et al., 1992).

What are some ways to improve memory psychology? ›

15 techniques to improve your memory
  • Use mnemonic rhymes. Mnemonics is the practice of assigning words or rhymes to represent information. ...
  • Try spaced repetition. ...
  • Chunk information. ...
  • Create acronyms. ...
  • Improve your sleep. ...
  • Eat healthy food. ...
  • Exercise regularly. ...
  • Socialize often.
Mar 10, 2023

What are the 4 memory strategies? ›

Rehearsal is found to be the most frequently used strategy, followed by mental imagery, elaboration, mnemonics, and organization. Previous study also found that rehearsal is the memory strategy taught most often by teachers to their students (Moely et al., 1992).

What are the 8.2 parts of the brain involved in memory? ›

The main parts of the brain involved with memory are the amygdala, the hippocampus, the cerebellum, and the prefrontal cortex (Figure 8.8). Figure 8.8 The amygdala is involved in fear and fear memories. The hippocampus is associated with declarative and episodic memory as well as recognition memory.

What exercises improve brain memory? ›

10 Brain Exercises to Boost Memory and Cognitive Function
  • Test your recall. ...
  • Let the music play. ...
  • Do math in your head. ...
  • Take a cooking class. ...
  • Learn a foreign language. ...
  • Create word pictures. ...
  • Draw a map from memory. ...
  • Challenge your taste buds.
Sep 15, 2022

What actually improves memory? ›

Crosswords, word-recall games, Tetris, and even mobile apps dedicated to memory training are excellent ways to strengthen memory. A study that included 42 adults with mild cognitive impairment found that playing games on a brain-training app for 8 hours over a 4-week period improved performance in memory tests ( 23 ).

Can brain memory be improved? ›

Our memory is a skill, and just like other skills, it can be improved with practice and healthy overall habits. You can start small. For example, pick a new challenging activity to learn, incorporate a few minutes of exercise into your day, maintain a sleep schedule, and eat a few more green vegetables, fish, and nuts.

How can I improve my brain cognition and memory? ›

Small changes may really add up: Making these part of your routine could help you function better.
  1. Take Care of Your Physical Health.
  2. Manage High Blood Pressure.
  3. Eat Healthy Foods.
  4. Be Physically Active.
  5. Keep Your Mind Active.
  6. Stay Connected with Social Activities.
  7. Manage Stress.
  8. Reduce Risks to Cognitive Health.

What are the six memory techniques? ›

6 Memory Techniques
  • Recalling Technique. Recalling can be practiced in a number of ways. ...
  • First-Letter Text method. ...
  • The Peg System. ...
  • The Link System. ...
  • The Theory of Mood Memory Technique. ...
  • Build a Memory Palace.
Mar 24, 2022

What are the 5 memory strategies? ›

Try these five techniques:
  • Assign meaningfulness to things. ...
  • Learn general and specific later. ...
  • Recite out loud in your own words until you don't need to refer to your notes.
  • Teach someone else. ...
  • Use memory devices.
Nov 20, 2013

What are the 3 memory strategies? ›

There are three process steps involved in establishing a long term memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.

What part of the brain suppresses memories? ›

If a particular threat turns out to be harmless, a brain region behind the forehead called the prefrontal cortex steps in and the fright subsides. Our ability to extinguish painful memories is known to involve some sort of coordinated effort between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex.

What side of the brain controls memory? ›

Our brains have two sides, or hemispheres. In most people, language skills are in the left side of the brain. The right side controls attention, memory, reasoning, and problem solving.

What part of the brain controls memory loss? ›

The hippocampus is affected by Alzheimer's disease.

The damaged nerve cells in the hippocampus mean this part of the brain can't function properly, which can lead to the early symptoms of Alzheimer's – memory loss and disorientation.

What is the best drug to improve memory? ›

Cholinesterase inhibitors are the first choice of treatment for memory loss. The doctor may also prescribe the single-dose drug combination Namzeric to treat moderate to severe memory loss.

How do you get rid of brain fog? ›

Treatment – ways to end brain fog
  1. Spend less time on computer and mobile phone – remind yourself to take a break.
  2. Positive thinking, reduce stress.
  3. Change your diet.
  4. Get enough sleep – 7-8 hours a day, go to bed at 10pm or no later than midnight.
  5. Regular exercise.
  6. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and drinking coffee in the afternoon.

What are the 3 foods that fight memory loss? ›

What are the foods that fight memory loss? Berries, fish, and leafy green vegetables are 3 of the best foods that fight memory loss. There's a mountain of evidence showing they support and protect brain health.

What is the 5 word memory test? ›

Administration: The examiner reads a list of 5 words at a rate of one per second, giving the following instructions: “This is a memory test. I am going to read a list of words that you will have to remember now and later on. Listen carefully. When I am through, tell me as many words as you can remember.

What not to say to someone with memory loss? ›

Avoid asking too many open-ended questions about the past, as it could be stressful for a person with dementia if they can't remember the answer. While it might seem polite to ask somebody about their day, it's better to focus on what's happening in the present.

What can damage brain memory? ›

Alcohol or use of prescription or illegal drugs. Brain infections such as Lyme disease, syphilis, or HIV/AIDS. Overuse of medicines, such as barbiturates or (hypnotics) ECT (electroconvulsive therapy) (most often short-term memory loss)

How do you fix memory problems? ›

Tips for dealing with forgetfulness
  1. Learn a new skill.
  2. Follow a daily routine.
  3. Plan tasks, make to-do lists, and use memory tools such as calendars and notes.
  4. Put your wallet or purse, keys, phone, and glasses in the same place each day.
  5. Stay involved in activities that can help both the mind and body.

Can your memory be restored? ›

In many cases, it may be reversible with treatment. For example, memory loss from medications may resolve with a change in medication. Nutritional supplements can be useful against memory loss caused by a nutritional deficiency. And treating depression may be helpful for memory when depression is a factor.

What vitamin is good for brain? ›

B Vitamins

When it comes to brain health, focus on the three B's : vitamins B6, B12, and B9 (folate). “These three types of B vitamins are necessary for the brain's normal functioning,” says Dr. Agarwal, “and any deficiency in them may increase the risk of memory loss and other forms of cognitive decline.”

Which fruit is best for brain? ›

Fruits. Certain fruits such as oranges, bell peppers, guava, kiwi, tomatoes, and strawberries, contain high amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent brain cells from becoming damaged and supports overall brain health. In fact, a study found that vitamin C can potentially prevent Alzheimer's.

What is the 2 3 5 7 revision rule? ›

Revise a topic, then revisit it the next day, after three days, and after seven days. This is thought to be the perfect amount of time to help your brain remember information.

What is the mega drilling memory technique? ›

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

But one innovation, called mega-drilling, has proven especially powerful. According to this technique, “you've got to actively recall the memory 30 times,” Cooke says. So when you meet someone new, you might want to repeat her name 30 times.

What is the 1247 technique of studying? ›

What is 1247 Technique? Its a memory technique wherein you should revise whatever you have studied thrice after the 1st study. So effectively, you will study 4 times in 1-2-4-7 order.

How do you become a memory master? ›

To qualify as a Grand Master of Memory, I technically must complete three memory feats at an official World Memory Championship (yes, that is a real thing too): Memorize 10 decks of cards in an hour. Memorize 1000 random digits in an hour. Memorize a deck of cards in less than two minutes.

How do you remember something you just forgot? ›

Read an old letter, personal journal, or newspaper article. Listen to an old song that you or someone in your family loved. Cook a meal your mom or dad used to make for you. Smell something that may jog your memory, like a book, pillow, perfume, or food.

What are 7 suggestions for improving memory? ›

  • Be physically active every day. Physical activity raises blood flow to the whole body, including the brain. ...
  • Stay mentally active. ...
  • Spend time with others. ...
  • Stay organized. ...
  • Sleep well. ...
  • Eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Manage chronic health problems.


1. How To Remember Numbers [Audio fixed]
(Nishant Kasibhatla)
2. Memorization technique that never failed me 😏💪🏻
(Christina Wong)
3. Lecture 8.4 - Working Memory
(Steve Joordens)
4. Chunking: Learning Technique for Better Memory
5. How to Memorize vocabulary FASTER: 10 Proven Memory Hacks
(The Intrepid Guide)
6. Chapter 8.3 In Pursuit of Memory and Chapter 8.4 The Three Box Model of Memory
(Paul Harvey)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Aron Pacocha

Last Updated: 06/27/2023

Views: 6114

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Aron Pacocha

Birthday: 1999-08-12

Address: 3808 Moen Corner, Gorczanyport, FL 67364-2074

Phone: +393457723392

Job: Retail Consultant

Hobby: Jewelry making, Cooking, Gaming, Reading, Juggling, Cabaret, Origami

Introduction: My name is Aron Pacocha, I am a happy, tasty, innocent, proud, talented, courageous, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.