Scam School: Memorize 20 Items

Published on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in , , , , , ,

Scam School logoScam School's newest episode is right down the alley of many regular Grey Matters readers.

Their 265th episode teaches how to memorize a list of 20 items very quickly. This is a classic feat and a classic technique, but it's a rare treat to see it actually performed.

You can find the episode on Scam School's own site, and on YouTube, as well. Let's get right to the memory feat and the explanation:

As you see it performed in the video above, it's a pretty bare bones technique. That's a great way to learn it, but there are other handy tips that can take it to another level.

First, as the items are called out, make sure to specifically ask for objects you can encounter in everyday life. That way, you don't get hard-to-picture images such as sickle cell anemia, as in the video. Hopefully, you don't encounter maggot-infested tacos, either, but at least it's easier to picture.

Also, ask for more details. If someone calls out a car, ask for a specific model of car, or even the color. This additional level of detail makes the feat seem more difficult, but actually makes the image more vivid, and thus easier to remember.

In the video above, you always see them calling out numbers, and having the item given in return. As long as you've formed your images effectively, there's no reason you can't have them call out the items and give the number in return, as well.

Once you've memorize the list, and they're starting to call out numbers or items, each time you recall the image, imagine your mnemonic frozen in a block of ice. If someone calls out 2, and you recall that's a unicorn, imagine the unicorn with a shoe for a horn frozen in a block of ice. Have them call out numbers or items until they've covered about 60% of the list or so. After that, you can recall the items and numbers that were never called by mentally going through the list from 1 to 20, and recall which images weren't frozen! This is a great finish!

You don't have to use rhyming pegs, of course. On my Memory Basics page, you can also learn shape-based pegs, or even the Major System, which allows you to turn any number into a vivid image.

If you've already learned pegs from something else, such as the pegs I teach for 1 through 27 in my Day One calendar feat, you can quickly adapt those, too.

To learn more about various peg systems, I have one YouTube playlist focusing on simple peg systems, and another focusing specifically on the phonetic peg system.

Yes, this feat requires a little more work than most Scam School feats, but it's worth it not only for the results, but also for practical everyday uses!

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