Forgetting curve: how to remember important information - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 29 March 2015 23:59

To store the information, efforts will and even knowledge mnemonic rules is not enough - you need to understand the mechanisms by which memory works. These mechanisms, for example, well known scouts, which is vital to keep in mind the enormous amount of data. We publish an excerpt from the book by Denis BUKin "Development of memory techniques secret services" on how we remember and forget different things, how to make sure that the information is well deposited in the memory, or vice versa, to prevent someone her grasp.

Memorizing several approaches

At the end of the XIX century German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus forgetting curve constructed showing how long is stored in the memory once stored information. Ebbinghaus suggested subjects to memorize three-letter nonsense syllables. When rote memorization, that is, when a person does not understand the meaning of the material and does not use mnemonics, an hour in the memory is only 44% of the information, and in a week - less than 25%. Fortunately, with the informed memorizing information is forgotten much slower.

Most of the information is forgotten in the first hours after learning. What to do? Further experiments showed that the repetition rate of forgetting the learned material decreases. The more repetitions, the stronger the stored information. Of experiments to determine the speed of forgetting can draw practical conclusions. One of them consists in the fact that the practice to memorize anything for a time effective. Memorize extensive information better in several approaches, providing time for repetition.

If memorization is given one day, the optimal mode of repetitions is as follows:

first - 15-20 minutes after learning;
second - after 6-8 hours;
third - 24 hours.

Repeat better information actively: not to read or listen to the second time, and try to draw from memory and peek into the source. If you happen to select to store information longer repeat it as follows:

for the first time - a day of learning;
the second - on the fourth day;
third - on the seventh day.

If the information is great, it is better to repeat with varying degrees of detail. For the first time - in full, in the second - the key points in the third - the entire amount of information to another group or in a different order. The more thoroughly you redesigned it, the stronger note.

Threefold repetition - a necessary minimum. When the scout-illegal immigrant learns the legend, he repeats it a hundred times and then regularly returns to her refreshing memory. Because it affects his life.

Edge effect

This pattern memory holds in the intelligence really special place. To check it out, spend a little experiment. Quickly, without preparation, read:
fireworks; function; orange; Doctor; car; magazine; watches; revision; sofa; skyscraper; panels; meteorite.

Close the list and try to remember the words of him. Check yourself. Most likely, one of the memorable words you get "fireworks" and "meteorite". Words from the middle of the list will be harder and recall correctly. Thus, it is best stored beginning and end. Edge effect works not only on the lists. When you're trying to remember the events of the day, most clearly seen morning and evening. At the exam students dream to pull the first ticket. When memorizing legend hardest given its chronological middle.

As already mentioned, the edge effect is widely used in exploration. With it, you can disguise your interest in a topic. To do this, not to speak about what really interests you, at the beginning and end of the conversation. start with an abstract theme. In mid inform or ask what you need. At the end of the conversation, talk about something else.

Edge effect does not always work. If you are affected by extremely painful for a man subject, he will remember it anyway, even if you raise it in the middle of a conversation. Well, that is the art of the scout to know the sick people and places around them. Ask a question differently. For example, create the impression of the recent, tactless person, mentioning the uncomfortable topic of ignorance or thoughtlessness. In this case, the source will remember your awkward faux pas, which pushed into the background are the questions asked by you.


The essence of the interference is that related memories are mixed. Two similar memories like influence each other, and the more they look, the harder they reliably remember. Not only does this new information makes it difficult to recall the old, but, on the contrary, often prevents the reproduction of the new old.

For example, you are in for a few years, using a bank card and perfectly remember her PIN. Upon expiration of the bank card reissued it. At first, each time the ATM in your memory will be automatically float old PIN and take a conscious effort to remember the new one. But after a while the habit of change: new PIN will automatically remember and old - with an effort. Similar memories associated with the same situation, interfere with each other.

To reduce the negative impact of interference can spread memorization similar data over time. For example, when preparing for the exam, try to learn the material in such a manner as to follow each other as much as possible unlike questions. If you need to read a large number of documents, even if every other possible different from the previous one. This rule holds true in many cases: change of activity saves power. If during the day you need to edit a document, write a review and draw a diagram, then work with the text, editing and reviewing better separated from each other by drawing.

Conversely, if you want your interlocutor forgot something, restart it with plenty of information on a similar topic. Ask his opinion, to discuss in detail the details, let it imbued with what has been said. As a result, such a stunt in memory interlocutor confusion arises, and due to the interference it can not clearly remember what he, in your opinion, should be forgotten. At least your partner starts to get confused and lose confidence.

When in conversation with you someone tries to remember something and you want to stop it, start ... prompt. Wrong, but close to the truth tips will interfere recollection - all create the same interference. This technique used by lawyers, confusing witnesses during court proceedings.

In everyday life, you can observe a similar phenomenon when friends or family are trying to help you to remember anything, but their tips only complicate the matter.



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