How Mnemonics Works

Most memory aids are based on a simple fact : You remember something a lot better when you can make some sense out of it . For example, consider the following number.


If you try to quickly memorize this number, you probably cannot do it very easily . But once you make some sense of the number, reconstructing it from memory is easy. Begin with the 3 on the right:

[3 × 3 = 9][3 × 9=27][3 × 27 = 81][3 × 81 = 243][3 × 243 =729]

As you become familiar with mnemonic systems you will see you can make sense out of almost every piece of information you want to remember . You simply select the correct memory tool to fit each case.


Below is an example of a mnemonic system in action . Use it to discover how effective mnemonic techniques are. Study the following list of 12 people paired with their occupations . For each name and occupation a symbol is provided, and a picture is described that somehow connects the two symbols for each pair. When memorizing the information, use these pictures or construct your own.