How can I learn to do mnemonic

Mnemonics, memory training, memory aids, memory tricks

The Word mnemonics comes from the Greek (mnêmon = attentive) and is reminiscent of the mother of the muses Mnemosyne, who was consequently the goddess of memory.

As an alternative to memory aids such as an appointment calendar and notebook, you can also train your memory with internal aids. There are many different tricks to help you remember names or phone numbers, for example. They all have one thing in common: They fill an abstract number or an abstract word with content and meaning. And since the memory stores what is rich in content better than the abstract, it is easier to remember. In memory training, however, there is no general method that allows one to remember phone numbers, names, and the items on a grocery list. It is like in sport: If you practice a lot of tennis, you are not a better football player. He just has a better basic level of fitness. And this is also the case with memory training: Memory training of any kind - for example solving a crossword puzzle or a game of chess - increases perception and attention (i.e. fitness, so to speak), but not special memory skills. In addition, memory training requires time, practice and concentration, for example to construct donkey bridges when memorizing telephone numbers.

Take this little test: Imagine you are in a supermarket shopping for the following items (click on the list and try to remember these foods after reading through once):

After closing the list, you will find that you are still around about the fourteen foods mentioned five to seven remember. Now imagine: you go to a restaurant and order a vegetable soup, a mixed salad and a glass of white wine; afterwards you eat beef with hollandaise sauce, drink a red wine, order vanilla ice cream for dessert and then a coffee. You will now have no problem memorizing the many different things because you have a script on the topic of "dining out". You have an idea of ​​what a restaurant menu usually looks like: soup, salad, main course and dessert. Such scripts are nothing more than "natural" mnemonic tricks that your memory uses!

In one experiment, a group of students was read a text that they were supposed to play back after a few minutes. A second group was shown an illustrative picture in addition to the text. This enabled the second group to reproduce much more content from the text (cf. Scherling & Schuckall, p. 16).

Note: The memory tricks described in the following are only suitable to a limited extent for "normal" learning in school or during studies - even if so-called "learning trainers" give this impression in often expensive courses, after all they want to sell their courses - because extensive subject areas are important one quickly reaches the limit of these linear processes, which have little to do with the meaning of a subject, but are mere tools for lists or enumerations that are rather unrelated to meaning and which absolutely do not want to get into the head. Since study-based learning primarily represents the creation of meaning, there is no way around understanding learning, which is ultimately much more economical and sustainable.

The tricks described here are also used by memory athletes and memory world champions, because associations also help them to memorize their often ludicrous tasks, i.e. they combine new information with something they already know. The memory training of world champions therefore sounds like work. But these people are so enthusiastic about the abilities of their memory, i.e. the memory sport is just so much fun for them that there is also a strong emotional component on top of everything, which is hardly realizable in the "normal" learner who just wants to pass an exam.

The mechanical techniques described in the following may help older people to preserve their memory performance, but schoolchildren, students and working people should rather less rely on them, because with these methods a learning memory is usually not trained, but only very specific memory skills, for example Memorize personal names, check or credit card pin codes, phone numbers, or word lists. Are much more important concentration, Repetition, Visualization and organization as the key to good memory.

NEW: Since the beginning of 2005, visitors have also been thereFORUM on questions of learning and learning technology available in which relevant methods and problems can be discussed.

The mnemonic techniques presented on these pages are also used in Seminars sold out loud, as you can see from the "invitation" on the right - of course anonymized and slightly alienated -:

Discover the 8th wonder of the world your memory

Wed., 5. *** ***, 6.30 p.m. - 9.30 p.m.
Organizer: XY
Scientific director: Univ.Prof. XY
Welcome: o.Univ.Prof. XY
Trainer: Dragon Dust, MAXI BRAIN, XY
Dragon Dust, Europe's most successful memory trainer, will introduce you to the secrets of MAXI BRAIN! Dragon Dust is one of the most successful memory trainers in Europe and has led over 2500 seminars and lectures to date.
With practical exercises, based on the ancient Greek MNEMO technique (linking the two hemispheres of the brain while learning), you will learn how you can memorize things better immediately, measurably and with a lot of fun. The following topics are in the foreground:
  • Keep names straight away and know them weeks later
  • Master number systems
  • Learn learning materials faster and save them in long-term memory
  • Passing exams without stress
  • Discover fantasy and fun while learning
  • Free speech, keep cheat sheets of all kinds in mind
  • Help children learn
  • As a teacher at school, helping students learn
You practice the technique you have learned for the individual topics during the seminar. Due to the successes achieved, there is permanent motivation to integrate the techniques directly into your daily work. With the building of brain-friendly "donkey bridges" the memory can be increased enormously. In the MAXI BRAIN seminar you will learn how to do it. After that, frustration in learning, stupid memorization and bad memory are a thing of the past! So that you can cope with your often extensive tasks with even greater motivation!
Participation fees: € 140, for students € 80. Please understand that we cannot grant any discounts for this seminar due to the low participation fees.
Feedback from former participants
It was amazing; So much learned in such a short time, so easily. I would never have believed it. It will certainly be a lot easier for me in life and in my studies.

I would definitely recommend the course evenings! You can playfully strengthen your self-confidence and be amazed at the absorption capacity! Maxi-Brain technology certainly also requires a lot of practice in practice. But we have received suggestions. I really want to try.

Came to this seminar with some skepticism, but was pleasantly surprised. I will (try) to learn according to this system in the future. However, I have doubts whether it also works so well to learn a foreign language, or whether the effort is too great.

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On the popular science series website Galileo In a short video, a memory world champion reveals the tricks that are "sold" in expensive seminars:

Small note: So amazing and easy in this video is the ability to memorize one Shopping list is described with 15 or 20 points, this method will be so unrealistic or impractical in everyday life, because a shopping list for a supermarket is usually created gradually over the course of a week (on the pinboard in the kitchen), and why should you then invest the time to check this out about the Body route memorize instead of just plugging it in. In addition, you may then be standing in front of a shelf trying to find out whether the pins in your knee were not from last week's shopping or whether this time it's not the 10 dag hams that you have wrapped around your knee. In addition, shopping lists for the supermarket do not consist of so completely different things like in the video, but about 10 dag Parma ham, 15 dag smoked ham and 20 dag toast ham, which is a bit more complicated to accommodate in the body route, especially with regard to the different weight specifications. In addition, with a shopping list that is only stored in the memory by means of the Loci technology, you don't get a "overview"has about the things to be bought, i.e., not oriented towards the spatial organization of a certain supermarket, can carry out the most time- and path-saving shopping at a single glance.
A nice gimmick, but not really time-saving!

Helpful on the other hand, the method demonstrated in this video is to convert important numbers into numbers, because this can be suitable for many people in everyday life.

See also Curiosities from the world of learning - Miracle methods of learning

Memory aids have been used since ancient times, most of which are based on visual images. Memory tricks were an important tool before writing implements and books were common. The actors of the Greek theater memorized long monologues that they associated with stone blocks in the arena and even today there are numerous actors who use the utensils of the stage to learn the text. When learning a text, it certainly helps if it is written in meter, which was the case, for example, with the plays of antiquity. Today - if at all - only poetry is written in rhyme, whereby modern poetry in the rarest cases still used the rhyme or a concrete meter at all.

At the core of the art of memory as a method is the Creation of a memorial system, in which memories are stored in the form of memory images in imaginary places (loci or topoi). In ancient rhetoric (Cicero, De Oratore) free speech was facilitated by such imagined places - e.g. the rooms of a house - through which the speaker could wander in memorization while he called up the mental images in order to control the progress of the speech. But other imagined topologies such as landscapes, paintings, body parts, stories and the like could serve as memorial systems.

Mnemonics has long been considered one secret artwhich, in the absence of external knowledge stores, represented the key to wisdom for scholars. According to Cicero and Quintilian, the first reminder of this type is said to be around the year 500 BC. have been developed by the Greek poet Simonides von Keos (557-467 BC) - but he does not mention in any of his writings the invention that is ascribed to him in the following:
At a feast hosted by a Thessalian noble named Skopas, Simonides recited a lyric poem in honor of his host, which also contained a section on the fame of Castor and Pollux. The thrifty Skopas informed the poet that he would only pay him half of the sum agreed for the song of praise and that the rest should be given by the twin gods to whom he had dedicated half the poem. A little later the news was brought to Simonides that two young men were waiting outside to speak to him. He left the feast but could not see anyone outside. During his absence, the roof of the ballroom collapsed, burying Skopas and his guests under its rubble. The bodies were so crushed that the relatives who wanted to pick them up for burial could not identify them. But since Simonides remembered how they had sat at table, he was able to show the relatives which one their dead person was. The invisible visitors, Castor and Pollux, had paid generously for their part in the hymn of praise by removing Simonides from the feast just before the collapse.
Cicero De oratore, II

This event is said to have made it clear to him that it is above all order that makes a good memory. The motivation to pass on Simonides as the inventor of mnemonics may be found in the fact that he saw the strongest of all senses in sight and understood painting as silent poetry. These Combination of words and images can be found in the classical art of memory, where words to be remembered are symbolized by images. With the knowledge of rhetorical mnemonics, the Simonides myth can be understood as a prime example of the mnemonics approach:

For each of these steps, the image finding, the design and order of the images and the choice of space, the rhetoricians design one Catalog of rulesthat you have to pay attention to. The first step is usually to find places in the room where the pictures can be placed. These places can be used again and again, if chosen so well. The locations (loci) are arranged in an unchangeable order in space, e.g. B. in a house with many rooms, along a long road or in a temple. These rooms can be both imagined and imaginations of real buildings. Spatial order is the core of mnemonics and must be given special attention, because if the order of the loci is kept correctly, it is possible to use the memory at any point and to move forwards or backwards as desired. The Auctor ad Herennium therefore suggests adding a special sign to every fifth place, e.g. B. with a golden hand, since the hand has five fingers and gold is particularly noticeable. It is also recommended to keep a certain distance between the locations and to clearly distinguish them visually so as not to confuse them. There are also rules about the size and brightness of the loci. Once such an order scheme has been created, images for what is to be remembered can be found and arranged. While the places of artificial memory mostly come from public space, the selection of images corresponds to the subjective preferences and secret fantasies of the mnemonic technician. The images that represent what is to be remembered must be as conspicuous as possible in order to leave an impression. This shows the systematic relationship between the memorial theory and the rhetorical doctrine of affect. Speech should not only achieve affects, it also arises from them.The images that are best available are the ones that literally impress the most. The affect thus becomes an important pillar of the mnemonic process. The basic idea of ​​classical mnemonics is that natural memory is not sufficient and can be reinforced and supplemented by various techniques. From this it can be seen that the ancient rhetoricians already knew the most important basic psychological assumptions of this learning technique or applied them intuitively.

Even at this time, however, there were critics of the methods of mnemonics: Themistocles - an Athenian statesman and general who led the Attic fleet to victory at Salamis over the Persians at Salamis - is said to have refused to study the art of memory. He claimed that a science of forgetting was preferable to one of remembering. Quintilian feared that the images and imaginary places would impair what our memories could retain on their own.

People have a special memory for the connection of personally experienced things with places and times, that episodic memory.

Special mnemonics

Books of the "Ars memoranda"In the Middle Ages, priests served to train their memory and as a mnemonic aid, with the help of which they could more easily visualize the content of the Gospels. A splendid example of this is the woodcut on the left from an" Ars Memoranda per figuras Evangelistarum ", which was probably published around 1470 A click on the picture opens a larger version together with the explanation of this "picture puzzle" on the Gospel of Matthew.

This old tool for memorizing is still useful today when learning particularly unruly content, by focusing on a theory or a fact as much as possible vivid, pictorial illustration thinks up.

This illustrated content can be funny, even grotesque, and should be selected based on personal preference. The more unusual and fun it is Fantasy illustration is, the better the content will "stick" to it. It takes a little effort and ingenuity to do such a thing Introductory comic can be found, but with its help an indelible imprint can be created in a flash. And what evil should a strict "exam supervisor" think if you use a comic book as a writing pad, which obviously has nothing to do with the exam material;)

Visualization of learning materials

Why is this Visualize so important for learning? If you want to explain to a foreigner what a dog is, you can simply show him a dog, paint it or imitate one. This imitation is also a type of visualization that does not last for a long time like a picture on paper, but it will stay in the foreigner's memory and he has understood what the word "dog" means.

Images produce more when opening books or newspapers attention and curiosity than the text. When looking at pictures, questions often arise that need to be answered by your own imagination. Often times, pictures awaken emotional reactions, for example by trying to put yourself in the shoes of the people depicted. Images help the teacher in class to bridge the discrepancy between the limited language skills and the actual knowledge of the students. Images are helpful for explaining objects, concrete states and actions and can be an important addition or even a replacement, for example if the language is not available or not fully available, as is the case in Foreign language teaching often is the case. Because here in particular it is important that all students understand what has been explained and that they can continue to follow the lesson. By adding images to texts, you can counteract excessive demands caused by a text that is too difficult. With the help of the drawing, the pupils can already roughly guess what the text is about and thus possibly deduce a lot more from the context. The combination of text and drawings is often used in operating instructions or the description of device constructions (see Scherling & Schuckall p. 14 ff). Connections can also be made clear through visualization, since images are initially perceived as a whole and facilitate orientation in a topic or also "show" links between facts. Processes can, for example, be presented more clearly using flow charts or grammatical relationships using a scheme. These show the entire relationship at a glance and are easier to remember than a written text about the same issue (cf. Stary, p. 18 f).

Johann Amos Comenius In his "Bohemian Didactics", he reworked the mnemonics into a representational-symbolic order. Comenius suggested teaching human anatomy using a model in the form of an inscribed leather replica. In this way he came to a match between the facts to be remembered and the memorial system used for this purpose, which was in turn provided with symbols by the labeling. Overrun by the triumphant advance of literal memories - made possible by the invention of the printing press - mnemonic technology was ultimately even considered dubious and obscure. The rediscovery was promoted, among other things, by the electrical mass media, which again increased the share of non-literary media in world experience and revived the conflict between the topological-sensual imagination and the logical-symbolic representationism, which had been idle since the 17th century ( Wrede 1996).

For teachers, the problem often arises how, as a teacher, the suitable pictures or other visual representations are found in order to achieve the learning goal, because in each case the students and their experiences must be taken into account. Therefore, not only teachers but also students should create pictures. Especially through the own creation of illustrations, the relationships to be learned are more likely to stick in the memory than if you only see them on the basis of the visualization by the teacher.

Even mathematical jugglers in television programs, who can either memorize long rows of numbers, the names of the audience or all the phone numbers of acquaintances or strangers, repeatedly arouse astonishment.

The secret most of the memory tricks, which actually aren't, lies in the psychological phenomenon of the association. Associating is the linking of different thought contents, whereby "donkey bridges" should help our thoughts on the jumps by generating absurd images in the head from our input data. The more pointless the images, the easier it is to keep them. Everyday situations are certainly more difficult to remember than e.g. a friend who counts elephants in a garbage can. A theoretical justification can be found in Paivios (1971) Concept of two manufacturing processes ("Double coding theory": visual and verbal) that verbal content to be learned must be enriched with associations and remain the focus of attention for a certain time.

Did you know that dogs have great memories? Dogs don't forget a jogger who bit them once!

The decryption

Mnemonics and music

On the website of the University of Cologne there is a very funny article on mnemonics - the "The "823 rap"on § 823 BGB (damages) from Jura-Prof. Dr. Klaus Peter Berger, in which a paragraph of German law was mnemotechnically prepared in the form of a rap:

823 is an easy paragraph
I already know the requirements in my sleep

Property, health, an absolute right
whoever hurts that is really bad

The regulation affects much more than that
also sports, travel, hunting and road traffic

Even the commercial enterprise is protected
at least what was left of him

And the famous security obligation
meets even those who do not challenge anything else

For the attribution context
it then depends on the protected area

Illegality, Fault and Damage
the injuring party has to bear himself

The injured party is also involved
if you can prove contributory negligence to him

Even that is far from over
there is still the protection law in paragraph two

However, there is a lack of causality
823 is much too late anyway!

See also Mnemonics in Practice: No Way to Oslogrolls


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