Association method to improve memory

Through out our life, our memory is very important. It helps us with everything thing from where we parked the car to remembering those all important exam answers. Even for simple things like social interaction, we need our memory; Without it we can not even remember a persons name. Our success or failure can be determined by our memory.

If our memory is so important, is there a way to increase our memory? The association method can be used to greatly improve a persons memory. It involves finding something easier to remember that will help us recall the information we want. For example, if you think of the word “bed”, what do you remember? The very first thought that came to your mind was because of association.

Through out our lives we make associations between memories. When one memory is recalled, the associated memory will be very easy to recall. The problem is that we do not use these associations very well and when we do remember the associated memories, they are often not the memories that we wanted. The association method is about improving the associations so that we can recall the information that we desire.

There are many ways that associations can be strengthened:

  • Through having fun or playing games,

  • Visualising and using your creative imagination,

  • Associating though actions (Have the first item doing something to the second item),

  • Add emotions such as anger, fear or love,

  • Keeping things simple (only focus on connecting 2 things at a time),

  • Exaggerating things until they are bizarre and ridiculous,

  • Practice your recall to strengthen the association.

The best way to show how this is done is with an example. For the purpose of this example we are going to try and remember the following items in sequence.

  1. Aeroplane

  2. Tree

  3. Roses

By this time you will already have some associations building up in your mind. The problem is that trees are not easy to associate with aeroplanes. An example that could be used to associate these is a low flying aeroplane striking the the tops of trees. The aeroplane can then have an emergency landing in a field of roses.

The above example is a short chain of visual associations. It is bizarre and connects each item with an emotional connection. All you need to do now is remember the plane and you should remember the tree and the roses.

The association method can also be used to remember someone's name when you see their face. Just take their name and break it up. Try to associate something that you know to each part of the name. Now take the association you have and apply it to the most noticeable feature of their face.

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