New York Times literary critic Pamela Paul reads countless books. She remembers their covers, editions and stores where they were bought, but admits that after a few days she forgets the content. And this is understandable.
“Memory is limited,” says Canadian psychologist Faria Sana, “that’s the catch.” And everything that the brain considers garbage, it sweeps out.
According to the forgetting curve, in the first hour after studying the material, up to 60% of information is lost. After six days, up to 20% remains in memory.
How to cheat a curve? If you have at least two days left, psychologists recommend repeating what you have learned immediately after reading, after 20 minutes, 8 hours and in a day. In order for the information to be deposited for a long time, after two or three weeks and two or three months, you need to refresh your knowledge again.
Apparently, technology is to blame for our leaky memory. As researcher Jared Horvath from the University of Melbourne notes, we are losing the skill of “digging” in memory – after all, in our time, everything can be Google.
When people know that it is easy to return to information in the future, they lose the incentive to memorize it, according to an article by psychologists at Columbia University. Incidentally, for the same reason, the ancients, including Socrates, called writing the “killer” of memory.
In a recent study, Horvath and his colleagues found that those who watch TV shows heavily forget the plot more quickly compared to viewers who watch episodes per week. It’s the same with books: what you read in one sitting (for example, on an airplane) is poorly remembered.
Therefore, if you want to be known as an erudite, read in several approaches. By the way, Pamela Paul nevertheless came up with a way to memorize books – she started a “reader’s diary”. In this book, which she called Bob (Bob – book of books), the critic makes extracts from the volumes read.
And in the book of the world champion in mnemonics Boris Nikolai Konrad “How to remember everything!” “The best advice is very simple: [чтобы память укреплялась], sleep should be sound and long enough. ”