Do memory techniques work? Three objections

If you are reading this article it means that you are asking yourself a question that many are asking: the memory techniques do they work?

And you do well, because it takes a little healthy skepticism in life.

Many know memory techniques because they have heard a little about it, and have a vague idea, for example, that it is necessary to build images, that numbers can be transformed into words, that it is necessary to make associations ...
They then try some of their study material, but soon drop out.

Or because they are convinced that the techniques do not work for them; or because they see them as too complicated; or why they decide they don't need it because they already have study strategies effective. ?

These people all make the same mistake: they approach memory techniques as if they were simply knowledge, while in reality they are skills, abilities.

And therefore their effectiveness is achieved only with practice, and not limited to knowing how they work.

Memory techniques work ... if you practice!

Think about when you learned to drive:

You haven't read a book and then get in the car, turn the key and go. Instead, you had to do some practice, and the result is that now driving comes naturally to you, that is, you do it without thinking about it.

And this allows you for example to move from one place to another with a speed that is simply not comparable to when you walked.

Before learning to drive But, the fact that, for better or worse, you had seen others do it thousands of times, and you knew more or less how it worked, did not allow you to get on a machine and use it.

The same happens with memory techniques.

Many "know" them, but have never really used them. And so, at least as far as their ability to learn is concerned, they still move on foot, walking. Maybe quickly, but still walking.

Talking with them allowed me to understand that whoever learns about memory techniques and then doesn't use them does so for three main reasons:

# 1 He believes he doesn't need the memory techniques

Many learned during school to learn through two main strategies: repeating and schematizing.

Both actually work, and they are memory techniques themselves.

The problem is that they are very rudimentary, and no matter how perfect you are at them, they won't make you go that fast.

Now, as I always say, learning memory techniques costs effort, and you can even decide not to want to do this effort.

It is not compulsory to learn memory techniques to graduate, and millions of students do very well without it.

But the reality is that the most advanced memory techniques are to "repeat and schematize" how the interstellar rockets are to the bicycle.

# 2 He believes memory techniques work, but not for him

Some think: ok, memory techniques may work for others, but my head is not like that; I cannot visualize, I cannot associate, I cannot think in this way.

Now, this is the objection that makes me smile the most, because memory techniques work by exploiting a mechanism, that of images, which is as old as the human brain.

As a species, we learned to visualize several millennia before we learned to verbalize; visualization is still the best way to learn now, and will always be.

If you want to know why, read the articles remembering through images and visual memory.

But in the meantime ...

For some, memory techniques are convoluted. In reality, they are no more convoluted than learning to drive a car.

We all remember how difficult it was at first to turn the key coordinating the movement of the hand and foot on the clutch, listen to the engine revolutions, then hold the steering wheel and at the same time change gear by pressing a pedal and then releasing it while pressing with the other foot to accelerate. ...

To tell it like this it seems convoluted, but it is not at all now that you have practiced and learned to drive.

Likewise, memory techniques are not convoluted! We are the ones who feel insecure every time we have to learn something new.

And we don't often have the patience to give ourselves time to walk the learning curve.

So what does it take to apply memory techniques successfully and overcome these three obstacles?

To learn memory techniques you simply have to have the desire to get out of your "comfort zone".

The comfort zone is that space of action in which we always and only do what we already know how to do, without ever betting a little of our time and energy to learn something new.

And the comfort zone is also the biggest obstacle on the road to change and growth.

Always staying in the comfort zone is absurd, and it limits you as an individual.

Especially then when the time to "bet" is very little:

  • If you invest a week of time studying them and you see that the memory techniques begin to work, you will continue to use them, and you will save thousands of hours of study for the rest of your life.
  • If, on the other hand, the memory techniques don't work, at least you will have the peace of mind that you have not missed a great opportunity.

I like to speak positively, so after analyzing the 3 objections above, I want to close this article with 3 affirmations:

Memory techniques work

Not only is it scientifically proven by countless studies, but Cicero, the philosopher Leibniz, and Albert Einstein himself have used them among others.

Read the history of mnemonics, and you will discover that in the Renaissance any man of culture knew and applied them on a daily basis.

And if all those big boys were using them, they were unlikely to be doing a stupid thing.

Memory techniques are simple

The fact that memory techniques have been used by the big bosses we have seen before does not mean that they cannot be used by anyone ...

To get the license, between studying for the written test and practicing driving, many hours go by.

But believe me it takes longer to learn to drive a car than to learn memory techniques.

From a conceptual point of view, in fact, they can all be explained, understood and learned in a very short time.

They are therefore not difficult, but simply challenging when it comes to learning how to put them into practice.

But if you do the practical part progressively, as you study for your exams, you will have no problem becoming a very good mnemonist quickly.

In the article how to study pathological anatomy you can see what I mean by using them progressively.

You also need the memory techniques

You can study, learn and memorize even without memory techniques.

But the fact is that we are in a society where we must learn more and more, because knowledge grows at a dizzying pace.

If you want to keep up with it, if you value your time, memory techniques can save you a lot of effort.

Compared to the traditional “making patterns and repeating” in fact, memory techniques allow a speed of remembering at least 3-5 times higher. And even greater accuracy.

So if you invest a part of your time today to learn them, you can save part of your learning time for a lifetime.

One last thing: to deepen memory techniques, it is not necessary to take a memory course for 1500 euros. It is also of little use.

Instead, you can begin to discover that memory techniques work, even for your study, by following the learning scheme that I summarized in the article Knowing how to learn: from psychological aspects to memory techniques. A greeting. Anthony.


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