Mnemonics - Link Method

The Link Method is a very simple but effective method of remembering a series of items. These items could be jobs to do, a shopping list, appointments, or even a list of randomly selected words.

The main idea is that each successive item in the list is linked to the preceding item. So, if the first item was a "bicycle", and the second item was a "cow", then you might picture, in your mind, a cow riding a bicycle.

You will note that this mental picture is bizarre - after all, you don't often see real cows riding real bicycles, do you?!

But that is one of the key points about mnemonic techniques. It really helps if the mental pictures:

One of the best examples I have seen in print of this technique is in the book "A Question Of Memory" by David Berglas and Guy Lyon Playfair, although another generally excellent book on the subject of mnemonics is "The Memory Book" by Harry Lorayne and Jerry Lucas.

One of the disadvantages of this method is that to find, say, the seventh item in the list, your have to start at the first and work your way through each link until you come to the seventh item. Whilst this may not be a big issue for small lists, it becomes impractical when trying to memorise larger lists (such as an entire deck of playing cards!). This is where the Peg System comes in.

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This page is Copyright © 1999, Mark S. Farrar.
Created: Wednesday 10th March, 1999

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