Eight Laws of Memory

Laws of memory

  1. The Law of Comprehension.

According to the German writer Georg Lichtenberg,

People poorly remember what they read because “they do too little thinking”. The more deeply you grasp what you memorize, the more easily and the more in detail it will remain in your memory.

  1. The Law of Interest.

“For knowledge to be digested, it must be absorbed with relish,” wrote Anatole France. The interesting and “the appetizing” are remembered easily as man does not have to make special efforts, as the ability to spontaneously memorize comes into play.

  1. The Law of Previous Knowledge.

The more one knows on a certain subject, the more easily one memorizes everything new pertaining to it. Everyone must have noticed that when he opens a book read long ago, he reads it as if he had never read it before. This means that when he read it for the first time he lacked the relevant

Experience and information but by this time he has accumulated them. Thus reading forms connections between the accumulated and the new knowledge. This is the result of memorization.

  1. The Law of Readiness for Memorization.

The reader derives the information he sets out to derive from the text. The same goes for the duration of memorization. When one wants to remember something for long, one will remember it in any case better than when one wants to remember something for a brief while.

  1. The Law of Associations.

This was formulated back in the 4th century B.C. by Aristotle. The concepts which arose simultaneously summon each other up from the memory bank by association. For instance, the atmosphere of a room evokes recollections about events which took place in it (or recollection of what you read staying in it and this is exactly what you need).

  1. The Law of Sequences.

The alphabet is easy to recite in its regular order and difficult in the reverse order. The conceptions learned in a certain sequence, when recalled, summon each other up in the same sequence.

  1. The Law of Strong Impressions.

The stronger the first impression of what is being memorized, the brighter the image. The greater the number of information channels, the more strongly the information is retained. Hence, the task is to achieve the strongest possible initial impression of the material subject.

  1. The Law of Inhibition.

Any subsequent memorization inhibits the previous. The learned portion of information must “settle” before the next is taken up. The best way to forget newly memorized material is by trying to memorize something similar directly afterwards. This is why school children are advised not to learn physics after mathematics and literature after history and to learn poetry before going to bed.

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