Tag Archives: memory

Can “Zimbabwe” Boost Your Memory?

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how Zimbabwe improves memoryWhy “Zimbabwe?”

A psychologist named Von Restorff noticed that when he gave test subjects a random list of words. . .

cat, bench, art, canopy, Zimbabwe, fish, etc.

. . . they remembered best the words at the beginning and end of the list. No big surprise there. That’s the serial position effect I talk about in my book.

BUT: they also recalled unusual words, such as “Zimbabwe.”

Now it gets a little weird; subjects also showed better recall for the words near the uncommon word.

This effect is called—appropriately enough—the Von Restorff Effect.

Use this in your studies.

Do something novel, strange, fun, interesting, or just flat out weird during your study break. (You do take study breaks, right?)

When in doubt, go for sock puppets or corn fungus tacos.

Anything you do to make the break interesting and different from the study time can boost your memory of the studying on either side of the break.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Memory Skills Fix Your Study Ills

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Memory FailDear Study Prof,

Help! How can I fix my awful memory? I read stuff for class and immediately forget what I just read. I study, but nothing seems to stick. I just forgot who I was writing this email to.

Forgetfully,

Amy Neesha*

Dear Amy,

Barring any recent head trauma, I feel pretty safe in saying–no offense–you are W.R.O.N.G., wrong! I call “foul!” You have unfairly maligned your memory. No doubt it sulks in some moldy corner of your cranium awaiting an apology that will–let’s face it–probably never come.

Amy, Amy, Amy, *sigh*; you’ve just forgotten how great your memory actually is (isn’t life just chock full o’ little ironies?). Your memory is scary powerful, and I can prove it.  Continue reading Memory Skills Fix Your Study Ills

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

McCafferty on Cramming

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Memorize and purge - cramming is stupid
“All subjects are the same. I memorize notes for a test, spew it, ace it, then forget it. What makes this scary for the future of our country is that I’m in the tip-top percentile on every standardized test. I’m a model student with a very crappy attitude about learning.”
Cramming is just dumb. There are much more effective (and easy) ways to study!
© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Iron New Information Into Your Brain

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Did you ever try to iron a shirt with a cold iron? Could you get that shirt ironed without the heat? Sure, but it would take for-freakin-ever! Ironing a nice fold into a shirt is oh-so-much faster when you’ve got HEAT.

Trying to learn stuff by going over it again and again is about as effective as ironing with a cold iron. You can do it, but it’s sloooooow and it’s a LOT of work. Getting memories ironed into your brain is much easier if you know how to Bring The Heat! Continue reading Iron New Information Into Your Brain

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Get Smarter in Five Minutes

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Yeah, I know, I’m promising a lot. Is it really and for true possible to get smarter in five minutes? Heck yes it is. In fact, you can prolly get smarter in less time than that. The trick to getting smarter about any topic from Physics to French to fructivore physiology is to focus your thinking on that topic. Well, duh! But hear me out; focused thinking involves searching for patterns in the information, drawing comparisons between the object of study and other things you already know, translating difficult concepts into your own everyday jargon, and–in short–processing the information at a higher level.

Good news here, people. You already have one of the most powerful mental processing tools known to man literally at your fingertips. HINT: It has nothing to do with silicon or Steve Jobs.  Continue reading Get Smarter in Five Minutes

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.

Get smarter during the summer?

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Is it possible to actually get smarter during the summer whilst basking at the beach? Absolutely, yes! How? Take this semester’s notes and give them a light going over every week or two–while at the beach, if you like. Quiz yourself over them. Practice a bit. I’m not saying you’ve got to spend hours; just a little refresher every now and then. You’ll be transferring all that hard won knowledge into the vaunted vaults of your long term memory while the hottie with the pre-cancerous tan next to you is ever so slowly losing her spring semester learning and getting dumberer.

© Cody Blair, All Rights Reserved.