Chunking mnemonic memory technique
Chunking is a technique used when remembering numbers, although the idea can be
used for remembering other things as well. It is based on the idea that short-term memory
is limited in the number of things that can be contained. A common rule is that a person
can remember 7 (plus or minus 2) "items" in short-term memory. In other words,
people can remember between 5 and 9 things at one time. You may notice that local
telephone numbers have 7 digits. This is convenient because it is the average amount of
numbers that a person can keep in his or her mind at one time.
When you use "chunking" to remember, you decrease the number of items you are
holding in memory by increasing the size of each item. In remembering the number string
64831996, you could try to remember each number individually, or you could try thinking
about the string as 64 83 19 96 (creating "chunks" of numbers). This breaks the
group into a smaller number of "chunks." Instead of remembering 8 individual
numbers, you are remembering four larger numbers. This is particularly helpful when you
form "chunks" that are meaningful or familiar to you (in this case, the last
four numbers in the series are "1996," which can easily be remembered as one
chunk of information).
Practice your skills with examples in the comfort and privacy of your own
home and at your own pace.
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Memorizing up to 31 digits of Pi can be a great way to impress friends, use
as a party piece, or win bar bets.
One of the simplest ways to memorize Pi is to memorize sentences in which
each word's length represents a digit of Pi. This method can only be used up
to 31 digits after the decimal point, because the 32nd digit after the
decimal point is 0. Here are some classic sentences of this type:
- May I have a large container of coffee?
I wish I could recollect pi.
"Eureka!," cried the great inventor.
Christmas pudding, Christmas pie,
is the problem's very center!
- How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy
chapters involving quantum mechanics.
One is, yes, adequate even enough to induce some fun and pleasure for an
instant, miserably brief.
- Sir, I bear a rhyme excelling
In mystic force and magic spelling
Celestial sprites elucidate
All my own striving can't relate.
Or locate they who can cogitate
And so finally terminate. Finis.
Exercise for mnemonic memory
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