Has it ever happened to you when you locked the door only to forget 5 minutes later whether you locked it or not? Why do you have so much trouble remembering such obvious things?
Maybe you don’t know the fact that your memories are separated in the 2 different categories: Implicit and Explicit.
Implicit memories are things you remember unconsciously. You don’t recall brushing your teeth or eating breakfast most mornings, because you do these activities without thinking.
Explicit memories, on the other hand, are things we consciously remember. When you study for a test ,this information is much easier to recall, because you are making a conscious effort to learn.
Habitual activities ,like locking your door, fall into your implicit memory. We do them so often that it doesn’t make sense to store each one as a conscious thought, since you are essentially doing it without thinking, it is hard to be exactly sure that it actually happened. This is where the production effect comes in to play. It converts an implicit memory into an explicit one by bringing your attention to your behavior. All you have to do is to say what you are doing out loud. It’s incredibly simple and it takes no extra effort but transforms your habitual recall. An interesting study has tested this exact phenomenon when we split the participants up into two groups: one group read words silently, while the other said every word out loud, sure enough, the second group recalled what they had read better than the counterpart, showing the huge impact that vocal production has on recall.
By incorporating this simple but powerful technique, you can start to instantly sharpen your memory.
Nowadays, there is a strange phenomenon that pencil and paper have fallen out of favour because of the use of computer science. In most colleges and even some high schools, students are taking notes exclusively on computers. Typing let us copy down more information at a faster rate, but what if typing our notes is making it harder for us to learn.
The students who participated a study shows that those who typed and wrote out their notes performed worse than those who used pencil and paper to take notes. They outperformed typing students, because of how writing things out interacts with our brain.
This older method forces you to spend less time coping and more time processing. Many students can type as fast as their teachers talk, without realizing it, they do more transcribing than actual learning. Because pencil and paper are slow, they have to constantly condense and restructure new information, in other words ,you get a deeper understanding by writing less, while the pencil and paper also get rid of the most harmful key on the keyboard, delete.
You are allowed to make mistakes while you learn. When you type, it’s too easy to mindlessly erase errors without making sure what was wrong.
On paper, you are forced to make physical corrections, in this way, you are learning from your mistakes instead of pretending that the mistakes never happened.
This is the science in our life, in our mind and in our brain. We must not give up our traditional writing method, just hold tight our pencil and paper to learn, believing it or not, our ancestors are much wiser than computers
Context cue also sharpens your memory because it’s encoded alongside the information that you are trying to remember. Let’s say you are trying to memorize your presentation for work. While you come to a really difficult section, you begin eating an apple. Your brain will naturally pair the apple and that part of presentation in your memory. The apple becomes a sort of cue that you can use to retrieve more complicated information.
These contextual cues can take pretty much any shape, but the most common shape is visual.
Let us observe the test in which the roles of visual context in memorization interacted between the two groups.
The researchers gave each participant a set of words to remember, each word was paired with a certain type of picture. Group 1 saw pictures of normal faces, while Group 2 saw pictures of scrambled faces.
As the researchers predicted, visual context significantly boosted recall. The first group who saw pictures of normal faces had a much easier time remembering their listed words. In each of the examples, there’s been a noticeable stimulus, but context cues will work either way.
The uniqueness of cues, like the apple or the picture, didn’t actually matter, so you don’t have to do a lot of weird stuff while you just study to improve your memory. Your brain encodes all types of context cues in the same way. So all you have to do is be aware of your environment.
Each time the information becomes more pronounced, it becomes easier and faster to recall, because it’s sitting closer to the surface of your memory and your environment still stay unchanged.
Try to catch your recall in a scientifically useful way, and you will get benefits from it to achieve your great goals in your life.