Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to improve your memory - chunking


Perhaps Chunking is the oldest method used in memorization. In this method, the items to be memorized are divided into small and easily memorizable chunks or groups. This method works best when the order of the items is not important.

This method is found to be particularly well suited for memorizing multi-digit numbers (eg., ID nos., telephone nos., etc.) and for committing complicated spellings to memory.


1. The number 472627607 may be memorized easily if it is grouped as 472, 627,607 or as 47, 26, 27,607.
These chunks may then be learned by rote. Learning and retention are much facilitated if you further explore the nos. by finding some relationship among these different chunks. Finding the digital root will also be helpful. The more explorations or relations you do, the better.
2. Words like mathematics may be divided into mat +he +mat +ics, Together may be divided into to + get + her; Important may be divided into im + port + ant. This technique will make us learn much faster.
3. The list Apple, cucumber, paper, ink, cabbage, banana, grapes, beans, stapler, orange can be better learned by rearranging and applying chunking as :-
Apple, banana, grapes, orange, cucumber, cabbage, beans, paper, ink, stapler
-- 4 fruits, 3 vegitables and 3 stationary items.

If possible, organize the material as meaningfully as you can and think out relationships among each group. This not only improves learnability and retention but also aids in faster and effortless recollection.

Psychologists doing research on Human Memory have found that the capacity of Short Term Memory (STM) for humans is 7± 2 that is from the range 5 to 9 items. So you should take care to keep the chunks you create within this limit.

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