Then, all students were made to perform a “filler task” to distract them from the previous exercise. Afterwards, they were asked without warning to recall as many of the 40 words as possible. Those who drew them remembered over twice as many as those who wrote them.
To hammer the results home, Wammes conducted a series of secondary experiments, inviting students to partake in similar memory-related tasks ― like looking at pictures of objects, creating mental images of objects, listing physical characteristics of objects, writing words with visual details. Those who drew pictures of the words still remembered more than those who participated in the secondary strategies.
The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Volume 69, 2016 - Issue 9
In 7 free-recall experiments, the benefit of creating drawings of to-be-remembered information relative to writing was examined as a mnemonic strategy. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were presented with a list of words and were asked to either draw or write out each. Drawn words were better recalled than written. Experiments 3–5 showed that the memory boost provided by drawing could not be explained by elaborative encoding (deep level of processing, LoP), visual imagery, or picture superiority, respectively. In Experiment 6, we explored potential limitations of the drawing effect, by reducing encoding time and increasing list length. Drawing, relative to writing, still benefited memory despite these constraints. In Experiment 7, the drawing effect was significant even when encoding trial types were compared in pure lists between participants, inconsistent with a distinctiveness account. Together these experiments indicate that drawing enhances memory relative to writing, across settings, instructions, and alternate encoding strategies, both within- and between-participants, and that a deep LoP, visual imagery, or picture superiority, alone or collectively, are not sufficient to explain the observed effect. We propose that drawing improves memory by encouraging a seamless integration of semantic, visual, and motor aspects of a memory trace.
Modern Chinese characters have evolved through many stages, but if one goes back to "oracle bone" inscriptions circa 1400 BCE many of the original "logograms" were pictures.
This research is consistent with many of the memory techniques I've been practicing and reading about. I just bought a book called "Chineasy" by Shaolan in which she offers pictures to help remember 400 basic characters, about 140 of which are component building blocks used to compose more complicated characters.
I was having a difficult time remembering the genders of the German nouns used to determine the definite and indefinite articles. A fellow named Anthony Metiveir has written several papers and offers workshop on memory methods for learning languages suggested using colorful and wild images for remembering vocabulary and including in the image a boxer or masculine symbol in the image for masculine nouns, a ballerina for feminine, etc. So I tried out using Mohamed Ali, a Ballerina, and an image Farinelli, the famous castrati for neuter. I was astonished at how well that works.
Does anyone else have memory enhancing techniques they use to accelerate learning?