Hi Bloggers.!!! I was flipping through the Psychology book, looking for something to write about, when I stumbled upon this one. I think you guys will really find it interesting.
A lot of people say they can’t remember anything. I want to take a closer look and see how and what our brain encodes. Encoding is the process is which information in entered in and stored for any period of time. There are multiple different ways in which your brain can take in information. Some are work a lot better than others.
The first type is called automatic encoding. It is memories that you may not want, but the information stores in your brain automatically. Most people think their brain doesn’t automatically encode. Here is an example; Imagine you are driving and a car passes you and we continue talking. A minute later, I ask you what the color of the car was. You didn’t want to know the color of the car; nobody told you to memorize the color of the car; your brain just took in the information and temporarily stored it. Time and space is automatically processed. Imagine going about your day, you unintentionally lose your coat somewhere. You are able to trace the places you have been through your memory of time and space. Nobody told you to remember where you went and at what general time. The final thing that uses automatic processing is well-learned information. For example, when you see words in your native language, perhaps on the side of a delivery truck, you can’t help but register the meanings. It takes more effort to not process this information then to process it.
The second is effortful processing. The meaning of effort defines the term. In order to remember these pieces of information, you need to rehearse it. This is more commonly referred to when the topic of memory comes up. Memorizing famous dates, choreography, random numbers (pi), and math equations all use effortful processing. There is a lot to take in, so your brain needs attention and conscious effort to try and encode it. More often than not, your brain will encode a small portion and forget the rest. This is the reason why people remember certain lyrics to a song.
Most people want to improve their effortful processing. The answer is old and boring. Space it out. Psychological studies have proven time and time again that your brain will remember more when you rehearse it consistently over time. Cramming works, but you don’t remember much long term. A cool technique to use is the serial position effect. It states that you are more likely to remember things at the start and end of a list. If I told you 14 random nouns, you are more likely to remember the first couple and the last couple. Try and use it with your next quiz. Put the most important topics first or last.
Within these two ways of encoding, there are three things we can encode: acoustic, visual, and semantic.
Visual encoding refers to strictly using your eyes to encode. This is the worst technique to use because your eyes receive so much information. Acoustic encoding uses strictly your ears to take in information. This is an ok way to encode, but isn’t the best. Often, teachers will use the combination of listening and visuals to teach their class. This combination helps students retain information. Semantic encoding is the best way to encode. Semantic encoding is learning something by applying or understanding the meaning of it. People who study vocabulary will often assign personal meanings to the word to help them remember the definition. If you want to encode more and lose less information at the end of the day, try mixing semantic, visual, and acoustic encoding. This will give you the best shot at remembering the facts for your next quiz.
One great way improve your memory is to chunk. Chunking is the organization of items into familiar, manageable units. A common way to chunk information together is to use a mnemonic. Can’t remember the five great lakes? Remember the word HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior). This is a great way to remember information long term. It is “catchy” to the brain, giving you the ability to memorize it.
If you are having trouble studying for that big test, remember the hints.
• Combine semantic, visual, and acoustic encoding techniques to improve the chances of remembering it
• Chunk information together
• Space your studying out so your brain has time to process it clearly.
Hope it helps! Happy Studying!