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Your Memory: How It Works and How to Improve It

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Do you want to stop forgetting appointments, birthdays, and other important dates? Work more efficiently at your job? Study less and get better grades? Remember the names and faces of people you meet? The good news is that it's all possible. Your Memory will help to expand your memory abilities beyond what you thought possible. Dr. Higbee reveals how simple techniques, lik Do you want to stop forgetting appointments, birthdays, and other important dates? Work more efficiently at your job? Study less and get better grades? Remember the names and faces of people you meet? The good news is that it's all possible. Your Memory will help to expand your memory abilities beyond what you thought possible. Dr. Higbee reveals how simple techniques, like the Link, Loci, Peg, and Phonetic systems, can be incorporated into your everyday life and how you can also use these techniques to learn foreign languages faster than you thought possible, remember details you would have otherwise forgotten, and overcome general absentmindedness. Higbee also includes sections on aging and memory and the latest information on the use of mnemonics.


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Do you want to stop forgetting appointments, birthdays, and other important dates? Work more efficiently at your job? Study less and get better grades? Remember the names and faces of people you meet? The good news is that it's all possible. Your Memory will help to expand your memory abilities beyond what you thought possible. Dr. Higbee reveals how simple techniques, lik Do you want to stop forgetting appointments, birthdays, and other important dates? Work more efficiently at your job? Study less and get better grades? Remember the names and faces of people you meet? The good news is that it's all possible. Your Memory will help to expand your memory abilities beyond what you thought possible. Dr. Higbee reveals how simple techniques, like the Link, Loci, Peg, and Phonetic systems, can be incorporated into your everyday life and how you can also use these techniques to learn foreign languages faster than you thought possible, remember details you would have otherwise forgotten, and overcome general absentmindedness. Higbee also includes sections on aging and memory and the latest information on the use of mnemonics.

30 review for Your Memory: How It Works and How to Improve It

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lance Agena

    I read this book before I read "The Memory Book" by Lorayne and Lucas and found that much of the same material is covered in both, but in entirely different ways. It's really an "either or" decision between the two based on what you want to gain. Personally, between the two books, I prefer Higbee's book because of his thorough examination of memory, its history, case studies, analogies, and anecdotes. I find it to be inspiring to see its great applications and that most people benefit greatly fro I read this book before I read "The Memory Book" by Lorayne and Lucas and found that much of the same material is covered in both, but in entirely different ways. It's really an "either or" decision between the two based on what you want to gain. Personally, between the two books, I prefer Higbee's book because of his thorough examination of memory, its history, case studies, analogies, and anecdotes. I find it to be inspiring to see its great applications and that most people benefit greatly from these techniques. This style helped me to retain enthsiasm to learn and yet was written in a plain and often humorous style. "The Memory Book" has its own benefits. It lays everything out in easy to understand instructions and lists a few dorky "party tricks" you can do with some of the techniques (though who's really going to entertain friends with "memory feats"?). Lorayne and Lucas do offer something not offerred in Higbee's book: short chapters dedicated to using memory techniques for specific tasks such as learning music, stock symbols, sports plays, or locations. These chapters make up a small portion of the book and could easily be read off the shelf at a local bookstore. To sum up, both books offer up basically the same exact memory techniques. It's up to your own learning style to decide which one you prefer.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steve Van Slyke

    I read this immediately after reading Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Josh Foer. That book was the story of a personal journey from being an aspiring journalist to becoming the US Memory Champion, and it piqued my interest in the memory techniques that he learned and used. However, I was not interested in becoming a “memory athlete” like Josh. I just wanted to improve my memory for things that I'm interested in remembering long term, as well as short t I read this immediately after reading Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Josh Foer. That book was the story of a personal journey from being an aspiring journalist to becoming the US Memory Champion, and it piqued my interest in the memory techniques that he learned and used. However, I was not interested in becoming a “memory athlete” like Josh. I just wanted to improve my memory for things that I'm interested in remembering long term, as well as short term, such as shopping and to-do lists. Foer's book touched on the techniques he used but it did not fully describe them. He recommended this book as the best place to start for those that not only want to learn the techniques, but also why they work. Higbee, the author, is a psychology professor at Brigham Young University where he teaches classes in learning strategies and memory improvement. The first half of the book lays a foundation for the techniques, and the techniques themselves fill the other half. If you have no interest in the science, or why we forget and why we remember, or the basic principles behind remembering, you might prefer one of the popular memory books that jump right in. Even though smart phones, tablets, and other electronic devices now serve as external memories for many of us, there are still other things we'd like to have in our heads without having to store them and then later look them up. He explains and provides supporting research for these techniques: acronyms, acrostics, the link or story system, the Loci (memory palace) system, the peg system, and the phonetic/number (Major) system. He has a separate chapter on techniques for remembering names and faces. Like tools in a box, some techniques are better for one memory task than another, and some of them require more investment up front before you can use them. But once you've learned them you can select the best tool for the job at hand. My only regret in reading this book is that I did not read it when I started high school, or at least college. Not having children or grandchildren I have no idea whether or not these techniques are now being taught at those levels. (The author taught his three-year-old to use the peg system). It now seems to me an incredible waste of time and money to go through 12 to 16 years or more of education and not have the basic tools at your disposal for remembering more of what you learned. To those who say mnemonic memory aids are just tricks and not part of higher learning, Higbee offers this quote from a researcher: It is strange that we expect students to learn, solve problems, and remember a lot of material, but we seldom teach them how to learn, solve problems and remember. And also: By strategic use of mnemonics, we might free ourselves for those tasks we consider more important than memorization. Just after finishing the book I used the story system to memorize all the winners of the Triple Crown. It took me about five minutes.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jason

    Reading this book - admittedly over a long period - reminded me of a TED talk I once watched. "The First 20 Hours", spoken by Josh Kaufman, shows that proficiency at any skill can be kindled with less than a day's worth of deliberate practice. (If you haven't seen it, do.) After watching that video, even though much of what he spoke about had fallen through the filter by the end, I was left with a hovering optimism that anything can be achieved with some hard concentration and the right motive. Reading this book - admittedly over a long period - reminded me of a TED talk I once watched. "The First 20 Hours", spoken by Josh Kaufman, shows that proficiency at any skill can be kindled with less than a day's worth of deliberate practice. (If you haven't seen it, do.) After watching that video, even though much of what he spoke about had fallen through the filter by the end, I was left with a hovering optimism that anything can be achieved with some hard concentration and the right motive. Much in the same way, this book shows that with not much time you can become accomplished at tasks you once would have thought tedious and otherworldly. The truth is, familiarity breeds confidence. I've not mastered - or even become comfortable - with most of the techniques described in this book, but nevertheless it has aroused a dormant desire to revisit tasks that I would have put down many years ago. If the first twenty hours can help you to become a decent practitioner of some skill, then what might six months or a year do for you with the mnemonics discussed here? At the very least the book can show you how to memorise the calendar days for any given year, and this can be learned in literally less than five minutes! Not groundbreaking, but a good teaser to entice you on.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mirek Kukla

    Review Not Another Lame Self-Improvement Book As a rule of thumb, “self-improvement” books are pretty shitty. They tend to have solely motivational value – that is, they help you care. I’d go so far as to say that, in general, self-help books are not a cause of personal improvement, but rather an effect: you must want to improve or change in the first place, at which point you are already nine-tenths of the way there. Either vague or obvious (and usually both), such books rarely tell you anything Review Not Another Lame Self-Improvement Book As a rule of thumb, “self-improvement” books are pretty shitty. They tend to have solely motivational value – that is, they help you care. I’d go so far as to say that, in general, self-help books are not a cause of personal improvement, but rather an effect: you must want to improve or change in the first place, at which point you are already nine-tenths of the way there. Either vague or obvious (and usually both), such books rarely tell you anything you didn’t already know. This is absolutely not the case with “Your Memory: How It Works and How To Improve It.” Mnemonic techniques have been empirically tested, and they work. Highbee does a terrific a job both conveying that mnemonics work and explaining how they're used. Mnemonics are the most powerful, tangible way to ‘improve yourself’ I’ve encountered, and Highbee’s book is a terrific exploration of the topic. How Your Memory Works… The first part of the book is largely an educational exploration of memory. Highbee does a good job summarizing a wide swath of memory-related scientific literature, and answers our most basic questions: what is memory, and how does it work? In particular, he discusses the difference between short term and long term memory, the various ways memory is “measured,” the distinction between recall and recognition, the ‘stages’ of memory (encoding, storage, and retrieval), theories on why we forget, and so. This first half of the book is fascinating in its own right, and will whet your appetite for the lessons to come. … And Tools to Better Use It Where the first half of the book is mostly educational, the second half is primarily instructional. In particular, Highbee introduces mnemonics, and examines a variety of mnemonic techniques. On a high level, mnemonics can be defined as “memory aids.” In short, mnemonic techniques impose meaning or structure where there otherwise is none. They are memory tools that leverage the power of meaningfulness, organization, visualization, and attention. And they are concrete and specific – not nearly as vague as my explanation here would indicate. No Bullshit More on that later. For now, it suffices to say that if you have any interest at all in improving your memory – I mean, dramatically improving your memory - pick up this book. I hate how stereotypically self-helpy that sounds, but I’m dead serious: mnemonics are the shit, and Highbee’s book is the ideal introduction. His evidence based approach is refreshing, his exploration of literature is fascinating, and his instructions are terrific. I will concede Harry Lorayne’s “Memory Mastery” is probably a better teaching tool, and is somewhat more practical; Highbee’s approach is more academic, and his instructions are somewhat brief. But I thought this made for a much more educational, much easier read. Read one book or the other – or better yet, read them both. But whatever you do, learn about mnemonics. Your memory will blow your mind. Summary: About Mnemonics The Link System The simplest mnemonic technique is called “the link system,” and it is a way to memorize an ordered list of items. The premise is simple: take each item, and associate it with the next item in line in a vivid, absurd, and visual way. Ninjas and Dishwashers: An Example So, let’s say you need to memorize the following list: tie, ninja, moon, rope, dishwasher. Now, the first item always is the hardest to remember, since, a priori, you have nothing to associate it with. Generally, I associate the first word with the ‘source’ of the memorization task. In this case, you should associate it with me, since I’m giving you this list to memorize. Let’s now walk through how you would use the link system to remember this list. First, associate me with "tie" in some absurd, memorable way. For instance, imagine me walking down the street, with a tie on, when suddenly the tie start to constrict me, of its own volition – my face gets beet red – and pop! my head falls off. Now, the key is to literally visualize this scene, as vividly as you can. Picture it in your mind’s eye – close your eyes if need be. Got it? Alright, next word is “ninja,” which we have to associate with “tie” (at this point, you can totally ‘forget’ about the old association – don’t worry, your brain’s got it locked down). Perhaps you can imagine yourself walking down the street, when hundreds of ninjas appear on the surrounding rooftops and start throwing thousands of tie’s instead of shuriken. Visualize those ninjastar ties, rotating in the air, piercing you from all sides. Got it? Next: “ninja” and “moon.” Imagine looking up at the moon, which suddenly spouts forth thousands of ninjas, which stream down to earth: see them shooting straight out of the moon, and crashing down and slicing you silly (if you can’t tell, I find that violence makes scenes more memorable). And so on. I implore you to actually take the time and make the remaining associations. Once you’ve made your way through the list just once, you’re good to go. I’m serious. You’ve as good as memorized the list. What was the first item? It had to do with me, since I’m giving you the test – ah! Tie constricts, head pops off – “tie”! Next: something to do with ties – ah! Ninja’s bombarding you with spinning tie projectiles – “ninja”! Next: something else to do with ninjas – ah! Ninja’s streaming from the moon - "moon"! And so on. Try It With a Friend Of course, a list of five items isn’t very impressive, so you should actually test this system with a longer list of words. Find a friend, and ask him to come up with 20 concrete nouns. Then, have your friend read them aloud to you, pausing for ten seconds in between words to give you enough time to form your own vivid and absurd associations. Once you’ve heard this list once, you’ll almost certainly be able to recite the entire thing back to your friend – forward or backwards, at that. Seriously: try it out. The Peg System Of course, the link system is limited in that you have to memorize a list in order. Thus, to retrieve, say, the 7th item, you first need to step your way through the first 6. The peg system is a more general mnemonic technique that overcomes these limitations. However, it comes at a price - a onetime, initial investment of effort. The basic premise of the peg system is this: first, you pre-memorize a set of "peg words" - one for each of the numerals from 1 to 20 (this is the initial investment of effort). Then, to memorize a numbered list of, say, 20 items, you associate each item with the corresponding "peg word." For instance, let’s say you have the following peg words: 1 = soda, 2 = sun, 3 = swim, and so on. Let’s now use these pre-memorized pegwords to help us learn our earlier list of items. First, item number 1 is “tie”: what’s the peg for the number 1? “Soda.” So, associate “tie” with “soda.” The 2nd item is “ninja,” and the pegword for 2 is “sun,” so associate “ninja” with “sun.” The 3rd item on the list is “moon,” and our pegword here is “swim,” so associate these two… and so on. Let’s say we’ve done this with a list of twenty items, and at the end, your friend asks you: what was the 3rd item on the list? Well, you think to yourself, my third peg is “swim.” What did I associate with “swim”? Ah – “moon,” you answer. Easy as pie. Note also that you don't have to memorize the 20 items in order - it's perfectly OK to first memorize the 19th item, and then the 12th item, and so on: one you've "hung" an item on its appropriate a peg, it'll wait for you until retrieval. The order of hanging doesn't matter, because all your "pegs" are numbered. Note that the peg system works on the same principle as the link system: you memorize words by using absurd, active, visual associations. Notice that mnemonics make the material memorable, they help you organize it, they force you to visualize it, and by their very application, they force you to pay attention. They create structure and meaning where there otherwise is none, and somehow, your brain takes care of the rest. Limitations of Mnemonics Note that all of my examples so far have involved memorizing concrete nouns, for this is where mnemonics are most effective. Abstract words are much harder to memorize using mnemonics - largely because the visual element is often missing - but it certainly can be done. For instance, back when I had to memorize vocab words, I would take each word, find the first concrete noun it reminded me of, and then visually associate that noun with the meaning of the vocab word. For instance, “dilatory” made me think of “dildo”. Since “dilatory” means “causing delay,” I imagined myself running away from an alien and running into a huge dildo. It was in my way, and I had to limbo under it to get past. This slowed me down, allowing the alien to catch up... and eat me, of course. Then, when I saw "dilatory" on the test, I'd think: dildo - aliens - running - limbo - ah! "to slow down." Mnemonics take more mental effort than rote memorization, it's true: you actually have to consciously apply yourself and think in the store phase. But the extent to which mnemonics are more effective and efficient than mindless memorization is absolutely insane. And the memories last much longer - you no longer have to cram and count on your short term memory to pull you through. Another limitation of mnemonics is the fact that they don’t help you “remember to remember.” Take the familiar example of ‘losing’ your keys. “I forgot where I put them!” you cry. But really, what happened is that you never 'stored' the memory in the first place. In other words, this is a ‘storage’ problem, and not a ‘retrieval’ problem. If you had set your keys down consciously – took note of the action, perhaps said out loud, “I’m an consciously placing my keys here,” you’d be able to later remember where you placed them, mnemonics or no. Mnemonics work by helping you more effectively ‘store’ items in memory, which they then help you retrieve. If you don’t didn’t ‘store’ something in the first place, mnemonics won’t help you one bit. In other words, mnemonics don't cure absentmindedness. Conclusion: Tools You Must Choose To Use By now it should now be clear that mnemonics don’t transform your memory: they simply teach you how to better use it. Your memory won’t start to magically ‘remember things better’. Your participation is required, and it takes mental effort. This is why “Your Memory” is so unlike most self-improvement books. It doesn’t vaguely promise to transform you, only to lather you with banal bullshit. Rather, this book presents non-obvious tools that work. These techniques don’t magically change you or your brain; rather, they change what you can do with your brain - if you so choose to use them. So, my friend, what's your choice? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Steve Carroll

    fascinating survey of memory techniques written for people who want to know the science behind it. The structure is actually a little frustrating because it starts with several chapters about how memory works and general principles and teasing the actual techniques which are the last few chapters. I think my suggestion would be to go at least read about some of the basic techniques like the "loci" system (also called memory palaces) on wikipedia before digging in here so you understand at least fascinating survey of memory techniques written for people who want to know the science behind it. The structure is actually a little frustrating because it starts with several chapters about how memory works and general principles and teasing the actual techniques which are the last few chapters. I think my suggestion would be to go at least read about some of the basic techniques like the "loci" system (also called memory palaces) on wikipedia before digging in here so you understand at least something about what he is building towards. Experimenting with these techniques is really interesting and as long as you understand what they can and can't do you can really apply them. For me, the main applications so far have been using memory palaces / loci to help remember things I need to write down when my phone or computer is not handy and also I'm looking into applying the keyword stuff to restarting my Japanese study.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    This is probably among the top five books that have influenced me. It's hard to believe that I first read it 18 years ago (!), after seeing Dr. Higbee speak at a education week at Brigham Young University. Re-reading the book so many years later made me realize how deeply it shaped my approach to learning; it influenced how I shape my days and weeks, led me to create a system to learn foreign vocabulary, and dramatically increased my awareness of mental capability in myself and others. I can't r This is probably among the top five books that have influenced me. It's hard to believe that I first read it 18 years ago (!), after seeing Dr. Higbee speak at a education week at Brigham Young University. Re-reading the book so many years later made me realize how deeply it shaped my approach to learning; it influenced how I shape my days and weeks, led me to create a system to learn foreign vocabulary, and dramatically increased my awareness of mental capability in myself and others. I can't recommend any book more highly! Rated four stars only because it's not a book to breeze through - it's one to read in chunks, annotate, and digest over time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This was a really interesting book on mnemonics. I liked that it wasn't one of those "commercialized" self help books that really doesn't give you anything useful to use. Every memory system in the book is explained along with how and when to use it. Immediately after explaining these things, the author remarks on the evidence of the system's efficacy and why psychologists believe that it works. I am going to try this stuff out in school and I'll let you all know how it goes. This was a really interesting book on mnemonics. I liked that it wasn't one of those "commercialized" self help books that really doesn't give you anything useful to use. Every memory system in the book is explained along with how and when to use it. Immediately after explaining these things, the author remarks on the evidence of the system's efficacy and why psychologists believe that it works. I am going to try this stuff out in school and I'll let you all know how it goes.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Great book, totally helped me through college. Has practical exercises to perform, you must take the time to practice. If you don't take the time, this book will do you no good. I memorized tons of information for tests using the principles in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone embarking upon high school and college, and even when you are in the business world. Great real world application. The brain is a powerful tool. Example: I took this college course from this professor. We used Great book, totally helped me through college. Has practical exercises to perform, you must take the time to practice. If you don't take the time, this book will do you no good. I memorized tons of information for tests using the principles in the book. I would recommend this book to anyone embarking upon high school and college, and even when you are in the business world. Great real world application. The brain is a powerful tool. Example: I took this college course from this professor. We used imagery techniques to memorize names of people. The professor would show us photos of up to 30 individuals at a time. Upon showing us the picture he would give us their name, and we would have several seconds to pair the name with the face. Then after approximately 20 minutes after the exercise we were asked to recall the name of each person pictured. Upon recall, I could remember every name of the pictures we were shown. This stuff actually works if you put the time into it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Drew4gr

    great book! all teachers should be required to read this book or some other books similar to it on em onyx come, no the different systems, teach it to their students, and apply it to their own teaching. in a U s Department of Education book, What Works, it states, ” memorizing sympathize the process of re calling information and allows it's use to become automatic. understanding and critical thought can then build on the space of knowledge in fact. indeed, the more sophisticated mental operation great book! all teachers should be required to read this book or some other books similar to it on em onyx come, no the different systems, teach it to their students, and apply it to their own teaching. in a U s Department of Education book, What Works, it states, ” memorizing sympathize the process of re calling information and allows it's use to become automatic. understanding and critical thought can then build on the space of knowledge in fact. indeed, the more sophisticated mental operations of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation are impossible without rapid and accurately call of bodies of specific knowledge.” We (everone) must first improve our ability to use our memory then we will be able draw upon those memories and use them to be more creative and deeper thinkers. I wish someone had taught me these methods many moons ago instead of having to seek them out myself. P.s. I did this with my speech-to-text application so please forgive the errors.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    As stated in the introduction, this book was not intended for the casual reader to read through like a novel, but is also less technical than a textbook on memory. I found this to be true. It was interesting, but I could only read half a chapter to a full chapter at most before needing to set it down because of the dense nature of the material. The first edition was published in 1977 and this second edition was first published in 1988 with "updated" references to research. While some of the refe As stated in the introduction, this book was not intended for the casual reader to read through like a novel, but is also less technical than a textbook on memory. I found this to be true. It was interesting, but I could only read half a chapter to a full chapter at most before needing to set it down because of the dense nature of the material. The first edition was published in 1977 and this second edition was first published in 1988 with "updated" references to research. While some of the references are now fairly dated, the facts still hold true. It was an interesting read that I am glad to have devoted the time to.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barnabas

    Excellent book on memory techniques. I have not yet read others books on memory improvement, but I loved the simple techniques of Mr Higbee. The Loci system, the Rhyming technique and the Phonetic system all have various benefits, and they do work. The only issue is (just like with everything) is you need to practice them to get the most out of them. And in our day and age of electronic devices some may say that these memory techniques have less relevance. However, I believe it is also true for the c Excellent book on memory techniques. I have not yet read others books on memory improvement, but I loved the simple techniques of Mr Higbee. The Loci system, the Rhyming technique and the Phonetic system all have various benefits, and they do work. The only issue is (just like with everything) is you need to practice them to get the most out of them. And in our day and age of electronic devices some may say that these memory techniques have less relevance. However, I believe it is also true for the contrary. Some info (a lot actually) is really easy to find now (through the 24 hr connectivity to the Net), but we are also bombarded with many more information daily than before. So we need to keep the ones we want. So you need to remember more things in general, even if you are interested in some random facts and topics, which you want to recall for your own pleasure (without entering it into a browser or speaking it into an Apple Watch). In any case a better memory means a healthier mind. And it also feels great to remember effortlessly to more things than you could before. Therefore I recommend the book even to people who are out of school. And for the ones who still are in the students' rows - This is clearly a MUST READ!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    Many of the mnemonic techniques Doctor Higbee describes are ancient and their refinements centuries old. Many of them precede the development and wide use of written language by humans as an aid to memory. The advantage of this book over other works on how to improve your memory is that he not only introduces the techniques of memory training, but also backs up the techniques by citing research studies that indicate which technique has been most effective depending on what information is to be m Many of the mnemonic techniques Doctor Higbee describes are ancient and their refinements centuries old. Many of them precede the development and wide use of written language by humans as an aid to memory. The advantage of this book over other works on how to improve your memory is that he not only introduces the techniques of memory training, but also backs up the techniques by citing research studies that indicate which technique has been most effective depending on what information is to be memorized. Since this edition was published in 1996 the research is not the most up to date, but it is still handy to have so many citations to back up the information. He also points out that the techniques are not a substitute for study. They are an aid to recall what has been studied. There is still the necessity of study, learning to use the techniques, and repetition to memorize the subject. And while the mnemonic devices are not a substitute for critical thinking, critical thinking and analysis depend on knowing the facts.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Eloise

    I absolutely loved this book! I really wish I read it while I was in school or varsity, I would have been one of the top students :) The book was originally written as a textbook for his memory students and thus thoroughly explains all the memory techniques. Buy it and teach it to your children. You won’t regret it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Meznak

    This book starts out a bit dry, and takes a while to get into actually usable content. Once you've hit the usable parts, though, you'll appreciate what leads up to it. Higbee does a good job dispelling memory myths and providing thorough explanations and use cases of various types of memory devices. This book starts out a bit dry, and takes a while to get into actually usable content. Once you've hit the usable parts, though, you'll appreciate what leads up to it. Higbee does a good job dispelling memory myths and providing thorough explanations and use cases of various types of memory devices.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joel

    Verbose But Informative This book on memory contains a lot of extraneous detail from primary psychology research, but at least is free of the new-age self help rigmarole that clutters up so many other books in this genre.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Miao

    More scientific than technique.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marcel

    I DON'T REMEMBER SERIOUSLY I DON'T REMEMBER SERIOUSLY

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sarede Switzer

    Excellent book with really practical information. Been experimenting with the Peg and Phonetic Mnemonics. I can see how these methods could be really life enhancing if practiced regularly.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Caspar Vega

    I REMEMBER EVERYTHING

  20. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    Nearly all-encompassing study manual on memory. Fabulous place to start and get a solid foundation of knowledge and techniques. Definitely a must-read in my mind. Makes me hungry for further reading on numerous techniques that were outlined.

  21. 4 out of 5

    David

    This book was probably one of the best organized books I've ever read. The book is divided into sections - the first being an introduction of course, the remainder being about each specific memory technique with the final two chapters being devoted toward special cases of memory improvement such as absentmindedness and remembering people's names/faces. The organization of the chapters related to the memory techniques was the most impressive. It'd start with an introduction, then teaching the tec This book was probably one of the best organized books I've ever read. The book is divided into sections - the first being an introduction of course, the remainder being about each specific memory technique with the final two chapters being devoted toward special cases of memory improvement such as absentmindedness and remembering people's names/faces. The organization of the chapters related to the memory techniques was the most impressive. It'd start with an introduction, then teaching the technique, then how well it works. Honestly, I feel this book isn't best served as a book you read from start to finish and that's it. Having just done that, I feel I didn't really gain as much as I should have out of this book. Instead, I recommend spending more time on each technique. What I mean by that is not only read the text, but also practice it. Feeling as I do now, I feel I'll reread the phonetic system once again, and work specifically in trying to get this system down, then focus on the others. The reason why I rated this 4, instead of 5 stars is due to the defensive nature, I felt, from this book. The author made it sound like much of the population of people was against the idea of learning this system in some way. It felt as if he was defending himself a bit much, and that put me off a little. I appreciated the parts related to how well it works, but having it a little shorter would have been nice.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jelle de Jong

    I loved it. It seems to be very well researched. At least every mnemonic technic is well explained. What I especially like is that the first part of the book explains what we know about how memory works. That makes the mnemonic part of the book more fun to read, less magical and more understandable. But don't get me wrong, 'more fun to read', still isn't 'funny and engaging read'. The way it's written is the only slight downside of this book. The focus of the writer clearly was on the 'matter' a I loved it. It seems to be very well researched. At least every mnemonic technic is well explained. What I especially like is that the first part of the book explains what we know about how memory works. That makes the mnemonic part of the book more fun to read, less magical and more understandable. But don't get me wrong, 'more fun to read', still isn't 'funny and engaging read'. The way it's written is the only slight downside of this book. The focus of the writer clearly was on the 'matter' and less on the 'form'. Which is alright, because I bought this book for the 'matter'. Oh, another small disadvantage is the book is a bit dated. But I really don't know if that means a lot of groundbreaking memory knowledge is missing from this book. This two small negative points are the only reason for not giving this book 5 stars. Which is a break with my normally rigidly followed staring-system, in which a 5 star book means I will (probably) reread it. I will reread this book for sure. I really need to blow my card playing competitors out of the water. I've been losing my bridge games far too often :). This book will give me the edge I need.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I've read a few books on memory and mnemonics and this has to be one of the better books. Dr. Higbee presents a lot of research on memory in a very clear manner, before he delves into mnemonics and techniques for improving memory. When he gets to mnemonics, he presents five different techniques for improving memory. Each is presented with research and explanation, before he gets into the techniques. There is no hype in this book. I found the research and background interesting and it gave a good I've read a few books on memory and mnemonics and this has to be one of the better books. Dr. Higbee presents a lot of research on memory in a very clear manner, before he delves into mnemonics and techniques for improving memory. When he gets to mnemonics, he presents five different techniques for improving memory. Each is presented with research and explanation, before he gets into the techniques. There is no hype in this book. I found the research and background interesting and it gave a good understanding of what you can expect out of these techniques and how to use them. The five basic techniques he describes are: 1. Link System 2. Story 3. Loci System 4. Peg System 5. Phonetic System (By the way, I used the Link System to remember those five items a couple weeks ago!) This is a great book, well worth it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Taka

    Comprehensive-- This book pretty much covers everything about mnemonics you need to know and some more. It doesn't promise you any incredible things (e.g.,You can remember ANYTHING in a matter of seconds! With no effort!) that other books do, but it doesn't dismiss mnemonics as a sham, either. The mnemonics included in this book are the simple story and link system, the very useful loci system, the peg system, and the powerful phonetic system. I learned all of them and am intending to practice the Comprehensive-- This book pretty much covers everything about mnemonics you need to know and some more. It doesn't promise you any incredible things (e.g.,You can remember ANYTHING in a matter of seconds! With no effort!) that other books do, but it doesn't dismiss mnemonics as a sham, either. The mnemonics included in this book are the simple story and link system, the very useful loci system, the peg system, and the powerful phonetic system. I learned all of them and am intending to practice them to boost my memory (which isn't bad, but like anything else, there's always room for improvement). So yes, the bottom line is this: you can improve your memory, and though mnemonics won't give you perfect memory, it will help you A HELL OF A LOT. So why not use them? A highly informative and useful book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sreejith Puthanpurayil

    A book worth reading for any college or high school student. Although the book starts out slow, the later chapters are what really matters. My only problem was that the author spent an inordinate amount of time explaining how other people found this useful and on personal anecdotes although some people may enjoy reading this. Also, the first few chapters were pretty much a waste of time, with a lot of obvious points made. Don't read this book thinking about ways to improve your memory. This book A book worth reading for any college or high school student. Although the book starts out slow, the later chapters are what really matters. My only problem was that the author spent an inordinate amount of time explaining how other people found this useful and on personal anecdotes although some people may enjoy reading this. Also, the first few chapters were pretty much a waste of time, with a lot of obvious points made. Don't read this book thinking about ways to improve your memory. This book merely gives you techniques to memorize things like lists, names or associations and helps you understand what current science understands of your memory. For someone who thinks this book may help you improve your memory by remembering books that you've read (like me), it may be a disappointment. All in all, 4 stars

  26. 5 out of 5

    John Martindale

    Well, I read most of this book and then, well... forgot about it (oh the irony) and yeah, I also forgot many of the mnemonics tools Higbee taught me. They were helpful when I employ them; I was able to remember the names of twenty or so folks I met in one evening, which for me was quite a feat. I tried its study techniques and I memorized some card numbers. But the deal is, one must remember and be willing to use these tools regularly or they'll be washed from ones mind by the stream of time. Fo Well, I read most of this book and then, well... forgot about it (oh the irony) and yeah, I also forgot many of the mnemonics tools Higbee taught me. They were helpful when I employ them; I was able to remember the names of twenty or so folks I met in one evening, which for me was quite a feat. I tried its study techniques and I memorized some card numbers. But the deal is, one must remember and be willing to use these tools regularly or they'll be washed from ones mind by the stream of time. For example with card numbers, its so rare that I need one, that by the time I do, I've forgot a stop or two of the creative memory chain in the memory castle. Or I get one crazy set of connections mixed up with another.

  27. 4 out of 5

    J

    This book covers techniques about as well as books by other authors such as Katz's Where Did Noah Park the Ark. A big difference is that Higbee substantiates his assertions with cited studies. He explains why. It has the feel of something written by an academic, and he is in fact a university professor of psychology. So, the book has content which will help you understand more about memory in general as well as techniques. pg 9 "You have probably heard the saying that you can't teach an old dog ne This book covers techniques about as well as books by other authors such as Katz's Where Did Noah Park the Ark. A big difference is that Higbee substantiates his assertions with cited studies. He explains why. It has the feel of something written by an academic, and he is in fact a university professor of psychology. So, the book has content which will help you understand more about memory in general as well as techniques. pg 9 "You have probably heard the saying that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Actually, there is another saying that is probably more accurate, but is not quite as well known: 'The quickest way to become an old dog is to quit learning new tricks.'"

  28. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Matthews

    The best book out there on memory, mnemonics and how to use your memory more effectively. I believe it strikes a better balance between dumbing down a technical topic and making the practical advice more accessible. It makes the assumption that you are intelligent and interested. I find such a tone more engaging. I myself find it easier to adopt new techniques if I understand how and why they work. Your mileage may vary, but I dislike breathless hype or a carnival barker-style hard sell. I'm alre The best book out there on memory, mnemonics and how to use your memory more effectively. I believe it strikes a better balance between dumbing down a technical topic and making the practical advice more accessible. It makes the assumption that you are intelligent and interested. I find such a tone more engaging. I myself find it easier to adopt new techniques if I understand how and why they work. Your mileage may vary, but I dislike breathless hype or a carnival barker-style hard sell. I'm already sold on the idea of mnemonics - I just want to learn more. This is one of the few that don't sound like they're selling a timeshare or teaching a kindergarten class.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Brian Welsch

    This book offers both methods for improving your memory as well as a lot of cited tests to back up the claims made within. If you aren't so much interested in the science, you can skim through a lot of this book without missing on the "how to". There is a lot of repitition of ideas for the various methods, but that really is somewhat to be expected. I gave this book a 4, because of the layout and how thoroughly mnemonics were discussed. There were often times; however, I found myself thinking, " This book offers both methods for improving your memory as well as a lot of cited tests to back up the claims made within. If you aren't so much interested in the science, you can skim through a lot of this book without missing on the "how to". There is a lot of repitition of ideas for the various methods, but that really is somewhat to be expected. I gave this book a 4, because of the layout and how thoroughly mnemonics were discussed. There were often times; however, I found myself thinking, "OK, I get it, move on already."

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arif Vakil

    Ever since I've been getting deeper into practicing GTD, I have seen myself become more forgetful. This is a trend that's experienced by many serious GTD practioners. Inspite of which the returns of "relaxed Productivity" that GTD provides are worth the cost. I'm now looking into how I can improve my dwindling memory. I read the first chapter yesterday, this book seems to be spot-on. Looking forward to complete it. Ever since I've been getting deeper into practicing GTD, I have seen myself become more forgetful. This is a trend that's experienced by many serious GTD practioners. Inspite of which the returns of "relaxed Productivity" that GTD provides are worth the cost. I'm now looking into how I can improve my dwindling memory. I read the first chapter yesterday, this book seems to be spot-on. Looking forward to complete it.

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