Using the Context Effect

Improve Memory – Simple Memory Secret #1

To improve your memory, if you’re like most people, when you memorize new information, then you probably focus MOST of your mental energy on remembering the WHAT aspect of that information, right?

Here’s what I mean, exactly:

For example, if you’re studying for a history exam, you might focus on memorizing WHAT occurred on a particular historical date, right?

Or if you’re giving a presentation at work, you might focus on WHAT were your sales numbers from last month.

And this makes sense, right?

But here’s the problem:

You see, our brain isn’t really good at remembering information in isolation like that.

But there’s a little TRICK you can use to help your brain out and boost your recall:

Because, whenever you first learn or memorize new information, in addition to that WHAT aspect, there’s also a WHERE component.

Which is something most people don’t think or talk about…

Now by WHERE, I’m talking about WHERE you physically are – your physical surroundings – when you take the time to learn that information.

Because as it turns out, paying close attention to the WHERE component is more important to boosting your memory than you might think…

And the reason why, is because of something known as the Context Effect™

Context Effect™ – How it works:

Numerous studies have shown you are BETTER at recalling information in a particular context or location — if you first learned that information in the SAME context.

For example:

One study from the 1980s illustrated an extreme example of the Context Effect™ at work by putting test subjects underwater in a scuba diving suit and teaching them new information.

Later, subjects were tested on their recall ability — both above and underwater.

Any guesses on how they did?

Normally, you’d expect people to perform MISERABLY underwater.

Because unless you’re Jacques Cousteau, then putting on a scuba suit and hanging out underwater is NOT something we do every day.

And so, our brain tends to freak out a little bit and shift into survival mode.

Or in other words, we tend to be preoccupied trying very VERY hard not to die :-)

But with this group:

The subjects had remarkably better recall underwater — the same environment in which they originally were taught the information.

And since then, dozens of studies have replicated similar results.

Okay, so here’s the question:

How can YOU use the Context Effect™ to improve your memory in regular, everyday situations?

Context Effect™ – How to use it:

First, something that’s important to know:

When you pay attention to the context in which you learn something WHILE you learn it — that context becomes an ADDITIONAL cue or “Memory Landmark” associated with that newly-learned information.

In other words:

Just how you might use a physical landmark to help you navigate around an unfamiliar city, you can use a “Memory Landmark” to help find your way to that information in your mind.

So here’s a good example:

Say you’re at a conference, you meet someone new, and you want to remember his name in case you run into him down the road.

To use the Context Effect™

What you want to do, is first associate that name in your mind with your general surroundings (i.e. the conference).

But then, here’s the important part:

You ALSO want to associate his name with a very specific, concrete element within that environment.

Like for example, associating his name with the coffee machine you were standing next to, when you first introduced yourself.

Then when you run into him down the road, you might recall that you met at the conference… and introduced yourself next to the coffee machine.

And those additional cues or “Memory Landmarks” can be extremely powerful in helping you recall his name.

Context Effect™ – A Simple Study Strategy:

Now here’s one example of how you can use the Context Effect™ to help you study:

For example, if you’re studying for a test or preparing to give a performance or speech – you’ll be better at later recalling that information by studying or rehearsing in the SAME place where you’ll be taking the actual test or giving the final performance.

EVEN if it’s an unfamiliar place, where you might NOT normally study…

(Think back to the Scuba example…)

Because when you do this, you’ll be giving yourself the same visual, environmental cues or “Memory Landmarks” around you come test/presentation time to help jog your memory whenever your mind goes blank…

So the bottom line is this:

It really doesn’t take much time or effort to USE the Context Effect™ to your advantage to help you improve your memory.

But payoff of this strategy can be tremendous.

Of course, this is just ONE simple little trick you can put into practice to help your memory right away.

BUT if you’re interested in taking your mind to the next level, and REALLY improving your memory (in as little as just 10 days) you should check out the ROCKETmemory™ Rapid-Learning Program.

Click on the following links to see How it Works and read all about some of our customer Success Stories.

In the meantime, here’s to YOUR success! :-)

My warmest regards,

Ryan Levesque Signature

Ryan Levesque
Co-Founder, ROCKETmemory