Medliorate

Improving medical students

How to Memorize Ordered Lists

Posted by medliorator on November 27, 2007

From Wired’s How To Wiki:

The Number/Rhyme Technique
simple way of remembering lists of items in a specific order. It is an example of a peg system – i.e. a system whereby facts are ‘pegged’ to known sequences of cues

 

This technique works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which the numbers are represented by things that rhyme with the number, and are linked to images that represent the things to be remembered. The usual rhyming scheme is shown below:

 

1 – Bun
2 – Shoe
3 – Tree
4 – Door
5 – Hive

 

These images should be linked to images representing the things to be remembered, for example a list of ten Greek philosophers could be remembered as:

 

1 – Parmenides – a BUN topped with melting yellow PARMEsan cheese
2 – Heraclitus – a SHOE worn by HERACLes (Greek Hercules) glowing with a bright LIght
3 – Empedocles – A TREE from which the M-shaped McDonalds arches hang hooking up a bicycle PEDal
4 – Democritus – think of going through a DOOR to vote in a DEMOCRaTic election.
5 – Protagoras – A bee HIVE being positively punched through (GORed?) by an atomic PROTon

 

The Number/Shape System
As with the Number/Rhyme system it is a very simple and effective way of remembering lists of items in a specific order.
This technique works by helping you to build up pictures in your mind, in which the numbers are represented by images shaped like the number, and are part of a compound image that also codes the thing to be remembered. One image scheme is shown below:

 

1 – Candle, spear, stick
2 – Swan (beak, curved neck, body)
3 – (rotate shape though 90 degrees!)
4 – Sail of a yacht
5 – A meat hook, a sea-horse facing right

 

If you find that these images or shapes do not… stick in your mind, then change them
these images should be linked to images representing the things to be remembered. We will use a list of more modern thinkers to illustrate the number/shape system:

 

1 – Spinoza – a large CANDLE wrapped around with someone’s SPINe.
2 – Locke – a SWAN trying to pick a LOCK with its wings
3 – Hume – A HUMan child BREAST feeding.
4 – Berkeley – A SAIL on top of a large hooked and spiked BURR in the LEE of a cliff
5 – Kant – a CAN of spam hanging from a meat HOOK.

Memorize Anything [Wired]

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