Tag Archives: recall

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.

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