How To Use The Fairytale Effect

Improving Memory: Simple Memory Secret #5

Think fast:

What’s the first and last line of the story Cinderella – (AND like, every fairy tale ever written?)

In case you DON’T have a six-year old niece OBSESSED with Disney princesses around to give you a gentle reminder…

The answer is:

“Once Upon A Time…”


“They Lived Happily Ever After…”

Starting to ring a bell?

But what about all the stuff in that story that happens in the MIDDLE…

I mean, you probably remember the BIG stuff, right?

Prince charming… fairy godmother… crazy nut-job of a step-mother… big-ass pumpkin… and something about a lost glass slipper…

Which if you’re keeping score at home, is the first and LAST pair of shoes EVER made of glass in the HISTORY of stories, by the way.

I mean, who came up with THAT idea?

Except for maybe glass underwear, honestly: Can you think of a more PAINFUL piece of clothing made of glass?

Anyway, moving on…

Back to the original question:

What about the middle of the story?

If you’re like most people, then you probably couldn’t rattle off any one single line from the MIDDLE of Cinderalla that’s quite as memorable as our “Once Upon a Time” or “Happily Ever Ever” quotes, right?

But why is that exactly?

I mean, why is it that the first and last line are practically SEARED into our memory?

And everything in the middle is jumbled in our head like a big ‘ol mess…

Well, it has to do with something known as the PRIMACY and RECENCY effects, and here’s what that means:

The Primacy and Recency Effects

When it come to remembering things, our brain is really good at remembering stuff that happens at the BEGINNING of something and stuff that happens at the END.

And that holds true whether we’re talking about stories (like Cinderella) or something as simple as a basic shopping list.

The reason why we’re good at remembering things at the beginning has to do with something called the PRIMACY effect.

And the reason why we’re good at remember things at the END (or that happened most RECENTLY) has to do with something called the RECENCY effect.

So how can you use that info to your advantage?

Simple actually…

You want to create for yourself as many BEGINNINGS and ENDS in your life as possible…


Here’s what I mean:

More Beginnings + More Ends = More Remembered

Let’s say you’ve got two choices in front of you:

Behind Door #1: You have a Single list containing 20 items.


Behind Door #2: You have TWO separate lists EACH containing 10 items, for a total of 20 items.

There’s a million bucks at stake.

You’ve got 2 minutes.

And your challenge? Memorize at LEAST of 15 of the 20 items.

Knowing what you know, which door are you going to choose?

Door #2, right?

Because More Lists = More Beginnings + More Ends = More Remembered.

So in other words, when in doubt, break down things into smaller chunks.

And I’m not only talking about lists.

Because here’s another thing you can do to take advantage of those Primacy and Recency effects:

Rather than doing an hour-long study marathon, you’re actually better off breaking your time down into two 25-minute chunks, with a 10 minute break in between.

Now, you might be thinking: But by doing that, you LOSE 10 minutes of valuable study time.

But here’s why doing that make sense:

Because even though you lose a few minutes of MIDDLE time… You pick up an additional BEGINNING and END.

And remember our simple formula:

More Beginnings + More Ends = More Remembered :-)

And I promise:

If you stick to that rule, you (and your memory) will live happily ever after :-)

(Or at least, you’ll remember a little more than you would otherwise…)

My warmest regards,

Ryan Levesque Signature
Ryan Levesque
RocketMemory™ Co-Founder

P.S. – In the meantime, now is actually the perfect time to check out the RocketMemory™ 10-Day Home Study Memory Course (which is our program that teaches you how to DRAMATICALLY improve your memory in just 10 days.)

This course arms you with a complete (and VERY powerful) MEMORY SYSTEM that you can start using in your life right away.

(And in case you’re wondering, YES, this program is FAR more powerful and comprehensive than the quick memory hints and tips I’m able to cover in the free articles, like this one.)

So here’s the link again to check out the RocketMemory™ Rapid-Learning 10-Day Home Study Memory Course.

(I think you’ll be THRILLED you did :-)


  1. […] Simple Memory Secret #5 – I talked about the Fairytale Effect™. How you’re better at remembering the beginning and end of a story, event, or learning […]

  2. […] your time into short sessions is beneficial to your brain (For example, see my article about Improving Memory through the Fairytale […]