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Memory Improvement Tip: Repeat Information To Another Person Right After Learning It

Update Date: Jan 18, 2017 09:40 AM EST
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In preparing for an exam, most students would just study their lessons by memorizing the information and re-reading their notes over and over again. This technique might help a student pass an exam but with just at most a sixty percent pass rate.

On the other hand, a study recently determined an effective memory improvement tip that will help students remember lessons for a longer period of time. The tip is to repeat the information, in this case, the lesson, to another person like a fellow student or friend right after learning it.

According to researchers from Baylor University, people have the tendency to lose details of a memory over time. But the loss of memory does not happen right away but happens over a period of time. Their study, published in Learning & Memory, investigates retrieval of memory, specifically episodic memory, over a period of time.

The study defines episodic memory as "the conscious recollection of autobiographical events that contains context-specific information that can be retrieved and re-experienced in rich detail." Episodic memory, which is made up of peripheral details and central themes, is more prone to memory loss. This is important to note as peripheral details and central themes play significant roles in memory recall.

The study conducted three experiments to test different memory retrieval techniques conducted on three groups of students with an average age of 21 with 20 students in a group. The student participants were asked to watch film clips and were asked what they remembered after a period of time ranging from several minutes after watching the film to three days after.

The researchers found that students quickly forgot the peripheral details of the film and over time, the central themes of the film. On the other hand, the second group of students, who were given cues before being asked to remember the film, faired a bit better by remembering most of the peripheral details and central themes but just like the first group, forget them over a period of time.

The third group of students was asked to remember the peripheral details and central themes of the film by telling someone, in this case, their groupmates, right after watching the film. The researchers found that this technique helped the students remember both the peripheral and central themes of the film even after a long period of time.

This memory improvement technique is called the "testing effect". This phenomenon is the active retrieval of memory by sharing the memory to others. By doing this, the memory loss is prevented and over time, memory retention is preserved. This kind of memory improvement technique is not only applicable to students but also in real life situations like in eye witness report.

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