Mnemonic Devices Improve Memory (How to Study) – Study Tips

Mnemonic Devices Improve Memory (How to Study) – Study Tips

Hello my Socratica Friends! We’re here to help you be a GREAT student. Have you ever had to remember something that’s
REALLY HARD to remember? It happens to me all the time. That’s when I use a mnemonic device – also
known as a memory aid. Mnemonic comes from the Greek word for “memory”
or “remembrance,” and mnemonic devices were championed by the ancient Greek and Roman
scholars. They recognized that there are some things
we remember naturally – I don’t have to think hard to remember my name or what happened
in my favourite movie. But I do need to work at remembering the order
of the US Presidents or the names of all the bones in the human body. For that kind of memory, it helps to use a
mnemonic device – an additional layer of meaning you put on top that’s easier to remember. The favourite mnemonic system of the Greeks
and Romans was called the “method of loci” or the “mind palace” technique. This involves picturing a house you know with
many rooms, or a familiar street with various buildings on it. As you travel through the house (or down the
street), you associate the things you need to remember with each place. As an example, we’ll use the Mind Palace
to remember the first 10 Presidents of the United States. Let’s first imagine a normal trip through
our house, and number some stops along the way. As soon as I get home, I want a snack, so
my first stop is the refrigerator. I’ll grab a piece of fruit and go 2) to
the sink to wash it. 3) I’ll go to the cupboard to get a plate
for my fruit. Next I’ll go to the living room and 4) sit
on the sofa to eat my snack. Then 5) I’ll practice the piano, and then
6) play some video games. Then I’ll go upstairs to the bathroom to
7) brush my teeth and 8) take a shower. Then I’ll go to my room to 9) sit at my
desk and read and then 10) go to bed. It’s really easy for me to remember this
sequence of events, because it makes sense to me. So now let’s add the first 10 presidents. We start in the kitchen. We go first to the refrigerator, where we
find George Washington. Take the time to imagine him vividly – the
SILLIER the better – that makes it easier to remember. He’s pretty cold in there, but he hands
you an apple. Next we go to the sink, but John Adams is
in our way. Move over, John Adams, I need to wash my apple! Then we go to the cupboard, and Thomas Jefferson
is there, handing us a plate. We move into the living room, where James
Madison is sitting on the sofa with his feet up on the table. We look across the room and James Monroe is
trying to play the piano, and he’s very bad at it. Meanwhile, John Quincy Adams is playing a
video game. We go upstairs to the bathroom, and there’s
Andrew Jackson brushing his teeth. And Martin van Buren is singing in the shower! We go down the hall to my room, and find William
Harrison is sitting at my desk where I usually study. John Tyler is taking a nap in my bed! OK – Let’s see if that helped. 1 – refrigerator – George Washington. 2 – sink – John Adams. 3 – cupboard – Thomas Jefferson. 4 – sofa – James Madison, with his feet on
the table. 5 – piano – James Monroe. 6 – video game – John Quincy Adams. 7 -bathroom sink – Andrew Jackson brushing
his teeth 8 – Martin van Buren is in the shower. 9 bedroom – William Harrison is reading at
my desk and 10 – John Tyler is sleeping in my bed. People have come up with many other mnemonic
devices since the Mind Palace. One of the most popular is to make an acronym
out of the first letters of the list of words. Like ROY G BIV – stands for the colours of
the rainbow – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Or you can try making a sentence out of the
letters. For instance, to remember the planets in our
solar system in order of increasing distance from the sun, it’s easy to remember “My
Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos.” Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, Neptune. Of course, when I was a kid, we used to say
“My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pumpkins.” {beat} Poor Pluto. Sometimes we can use something physical as
a mnemonic device. Do you know, off the top of your head, which
months have 31 days? I don’t. But I have a physical mnemonic device right
here {holds out two fists}. Each knuckle stands for a month with 31 days. The valleys in between each knuckle have 30,
except for February, which has 28. January..February..March..April..May..June..July..August..September..October..November..December. You can always have more than one mnemonic
for the same information. There’s a little poem I learned about the
months: 30 Days Hath September
April June and November All the others have 31
Except for February, all alone When it’s Leap Year
That’s the time February’s days are twenty-nine. You see, poems and songs can be mnemonics,
too. I bet I know the very first mnemonic you learned. ….The ABC song! Admit it, you still sing it to yourself a
little when you’re alphabetizing. I do! It’s the best mnemonic ever. We’d love to hear about which memory aids
you’ve used. Please share your mnemonics in the comments,
so we can all learn them. Keep in mind, a memory trick that works for
one person might not work as well for someone else, so if you’re having trouble remembering
something, don’t give up! Try a different technique. Training your memory is an important part
of being a GREAT student. Want to help us make more great videos? Join the Socratica Team on Patreon! Thank you for watching! 🙂


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    best way for me is to learn the subject more deeply. That way I don't need to try memorize little facts, instead they just become obvious. Also in the age of Google it becomes useless to memorize facts

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    ACITIGUA= Adenine cytosine thymine guanine. That are the basic molecules that made the DNA. I memorized like that because ACITIGUA sounds likes ANTIGUA that means ANCIENT in spanish

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    Oh Asis

    30 days hath september, april, june and november
    all the rest have corn flakes for breakfast
    except for grandma, she rides a bike.
    My siblings tried to convince of this.

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    Astro Biological

    The sound of music had the do re mi song. That was an auditory mnemonic. Also, there is a mnemonic for teaching directions on a compass: Never Eat Soggy WeetBix. That's an Australian cereal. Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit; that was used to teach me notes on the piano. Kings Play Chess Or Fight; I learnt that in University in first yeat biology to teach us the order of classification: Kingdom, Phyla etc. I'll shut up now.

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    In Astronomy there's a stellar classification system called Morgan–Keenan. It divides stars into the following spectral classes (from hottest to coolest): O, B, A, F, G, K and M. Everybody learns it by remembering the sentence "Oh, Be A Fine Girl, Kiss Me"…

    It really works. It sounds so creepy that not even in a million years I'd forget.

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    Mohammad L

    Great video, I shall try the Method of LOCI.

    For me, I have kind a trick that help me remembering people easily: I used to memorize people as animals, by searching for similarities between their faces (putting people into animals categorize). Because I (we all) already memorize almost all animals. So I just connect people faces to them. The more you find similarities the sold & easy to connect them.

    And when I see an animal I can remember all people who are similar with that animal (in that category), even if I meet with them long time ago. In the contrary, if I see some people I can remember him/her animal, therefore I can retrieve all people who are similar with him/her.

    I do not mean to insult or disrespect people. its how my mind works easily. Even I put myself into animal categorize 🙂

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    Tu Madre

    You don't have to remember anything and stress your brain. I can be your memory for you to remember. You can skip going to the kitchen, ill bring anything for you directly at Sofa. 😀

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    2b Sirius

    Try Moonwalking with Albert Einstein. It's got lots of this stuff between its covers. Kevin Horsley's Unlimited Memory is good too.

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    Ivan Azevedo

    Hello, it would be very nice if you republished the Portuguese Socratic videos on this channel, and continued with English classes for Portuguese speakers, so they could have a new lease of Brazilian public and Portuguese speakers.
    I like the channel a lot, you guys do a great job.
    ola, seria muito legal se vocês republicassem os videos do socratica portugues nesse canal, e continuassem com as aulas de ingles para falantes de portugues, assim poderiam ter uma nova leva de publico do Brasil e falantes de portugues.
    Gosto muito do canal, voces fazem um otimo trabalho.
    um abraço

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    1001 10111011

    I think the clock on the shelf behind you is broken. The hands had been moved for whole time you were speaking. I noticed this because I'm very observant. and i can fast forward and rewind the video at will. A mnemonic device i have is to associate colors with numbers. I won't get into it because 1) i can't explain it and 2) I don't fully understand it myself. soo Yeah. see ya.

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    Filip Ve

    Perhaps mnemonics is 'seeing' whit your 'mind'?
    Mayby the "Binary System" can be used as a tool for remember Logic Operators or certain elements in the periodic table??

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    For This Land

    Thanks for these videos. I am using them to help teach my middle school Study Skills course. This is good stuff.

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    Rafael Jorge Nunes Bastos

    liana Castro você é muito linda você e a minha atriz preferida!Como eu
    queria te conhecer pessoalmente seria um sonho minha Princesa
    Linda!Òtimo Vídeo!

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    Unknown Texan

    I teach mnemonics. If you use a method and it works, you did it right. The loci, however, is generally the most powerful.

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    j woolfe

    the first method is interesting and reminds me of making a dictionary in python. recalling values by remembering keys.

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    Marcond Marchi

    Congrats on your great work! And with the nine pumpkins, a solitary tear dropped for Pluto 😀 Nice touch!

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    Ok, this one is in Portuguese, but it works for me to remember the periodic table: Hoje Li Na Casa de Roberto Coisas Francesas (H Li Na K Rb Cs Fr – the first column of the periodic table!). This means "Today I read french things at Robert's house" in English.

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    Alejandra Nunez

    oh oh oh to touch and feel a great vampire and hide! Cranial Nerves

    Olfactory, Optic, Oculomotor, Trochlear, Trigeminal, Abducent, Facial,
    Vestibulocochlear (formerly Auditory), Glossopharyngeal, Vagus, Accessory, Hypoglossal

    Nerve Function (Sensory, Motor, Both): Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Big Brains Matter More

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    Tarun Ram Kanuri

    We used a mnemonic to learn the order of metals in reactivity seriously. Popular Scientist Can Make A Zoo In Low Humid Climate More Satisfactorily – The first letter of each word in the sentence is the name of the metals in the reactivity series.

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    Liam Eastwood

    Now I'm curious, how would I effectively use this method to better recall technical terms regarding engines.

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    Kings Have Diamonds, But Diamonds Cost Money (Kilo-, hecto-, deca-, base, centi-, milli-). I also search YouTube for mnemonic songs. That's how my mom taught me the state captials and U.S. presidents when I was younger.

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    Sa Sa

    Listen to the heart association video about F.A.S.T. It has to be the one set in a diner. It’s 1000x worth it and now I know the warning signs of a strok 😩💪🏼👌🏼🐝

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    And if you have no idea what these presidents look like? I have no memory of faces that were painted a long time ago. Especially the less well known ones.

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    Keyur Patel

    Wow that was fantastic, I figured before you talked us through it with the president's I'd try it out. My story started off getting up from bed, and as I'm walking to the door curious george is brushing his teeth in my washroom, I ignore him and move on, open my door and there's a skinny dude with a very prominent adams apple standing infront of me…w/e I move on to the stairs where my friend Thomas is standing, and he looks like he did 10 years ago…I walk down the stairs and up to some random man and he's mad about me waking up late, I've assigned him the name james, and when I walk into my living room there's a cartoon version of Marilyn Monroe with a very frustrated expression, it seems she had a fight with James. I shrug and open up the fridge and there's a beaver's dam in my fridge and there's a flag on the dam with an archer's bow drawn on it. (Yeeaahh I don't get the last one either, it just works)

    That was the six five anyway, recently got really interested in the method of loci since I'm starting med school soon and was trying to figure out good study techniques. This definitely needs to be taught in school…

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    Persian Henry

    Thank you for sharing, I recently came across some of these very cool acronyms from the TV show The Mentalist.

    7 levels of Taxonomy,

    Kids Prefer Cheese Over Fried Green Spinach (Kingdom, Phyla, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species)

    Then the word "Because" – (Big, Elephants, Can , Always, Understand, Small, Elephants)

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    when I was a student the math teacher teach us this trigonometric acronym SORCARTOA stands for Sinus = oposite angle divided radius or hypothenuse, cosine = adjacent angle divided radius or hypothenuse, tangent= oposite angle divided adjacent angle

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    Mega Brain

    The problem with the first method is that ,you did not have a connection in between the actions you take to remember the words ,for example you say in the video that you sit on the sofa to remember the word SOFA then you play piano to remember the word PIANO but there is no connection at all in between sitting on the sofa then playing the piano what you should do instead, you sit on the sofa then suddenly small pianos start to rain and destroy your sofa.The logic is the connection in between actions ,another thing is that you can not use the same room/home/place/object for more than one word that you want to remember because you will later on confuse the objects with other/multiple words you have used so you must use different rooms/objects/places for the other words that you want to memorize means only 1 object for 1 word.Therefore you better make a story where the story can start anywhere but what matters is the connection in between each activity/act ,and you must have different stories for different words you want to remember.For example i want to remember olive oil and toilet,2 words, i imagine myself sitting on a huge toilet and suddenly the oil comes out of toilet so these 2 words have relation in the story ,i will know what comes after the word toilet but if you have no connection between actions then even if you remember the first word you won't remember the second, this is very important for things that require ordering ,using this approach is way better then memorizing places for the words you want to remember but make sure you have many many different stories ,never use the same/story/object for the same word.Your Mnemonic approach might work but again you must remember the whole sentence like you say in the video 'My very educated mother just served us nachos' that is a long sentence to remember consisting of many words ……..

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    30 days has September. April, June, and November. All the rest have 31 except for February because it's stupid or something I guess I dunno, I don't remember that part.

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    Tara G

    Thank you for posting. I will try some of these mnemonics. I could see them helping me a lot because I am a tactile learner than followed by visual. 🙂

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    Generic Internetter

    this mnmnmnmnmnemonic tool was awful. there's nothing to tie each person specifically to each step. you could easily swap them over.

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    Amr Shazly

    Spatial memory actually works, my little nephew who barely talks, everytime he steps into my brothers room he always calls his name even if he isn’t around

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    Alvin Seville

    for the months i learned
    a stitch in time saves 9
    spare de rod n spoil de child
    30 days hath September
    when short February is done
    all de rest has 31

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    Lucas Ferreira Santos

    Let me see if i'm handle this properly:
    I imagined a street called "Street of presidents", wich has 10 houses.
    Then, i put the house's name of each president.
    Is it? I think so xD

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