Science Project:

Mnemonics

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In this investigation, a mnemonic is used to test how it increases memory.

Terms

mnemonics: a memory technique using sounds such as music, alliteration, rhymes, and acronyms

alliteration: phrase or sentence in which all the words begin with the same letter

acronym: word formed from the first letter of a series of words

  • What is memory?
  • Are there techniques for improving the memory?
  • Do mnemonics help increase memory?

Experimental Procedure

  1. Decide on the list of items to use for this experiment. The list should include at least 10 items. Type the list and print two copies of the list.
  2. Create a mnemonic for the list. The mnemonic could be a simple song, rhyme, or an acronym.
  3. Select 10 subjects willing to memorize the list.
  4. Show one of the subjects the list. Allow the subject to study the list for three minutes.
  5. After the three minutes, encourage the subject to continue with normal activities for one hour. Do not let them keep the list or make a copy of it.
  6. After an hour, ask the subject to recite or write the list. Use the stopwatch to time how long it takes to recreate the list. Record the results.
  7. Then teach the subject the mnemonic technique. Encourage the subject to continue with normal activities for one hour. Do not let them keep the list or make a copy of it or the mnemonic technique.
  8. After another hour, ask the subject to recite or write the list. Use the stopwatch to time how long it takes to recreate the list. Record the results.
  9. Repeat Steps 4 – 8 for each of the subjects.
  10. Analyze the data collected.

References

“9 Types of Mnemonics for Better Memory” by Dennis Congos at www.learningassistance.com/2006/january/mnemonics.html

“Memory Strategies for Students: The Value of Strategies” by Regina G. Richards at http://www.ldonline.org/article/5736

“Mnemonic Techniques and Specific Memory Tricks to Improve Memory, Memorization” at http://www.web-us.com/MEMORY/mnemonic_techniques.htm

Author: Nancy Rogers Bosse
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