A pictorial mnemonic numeric system for improving students' factual memory


This study examined a combined loci-pegword-keyword mnemonic system for remembering numerical information in 3 separate experiments. In Exp 1 the authors investigated 6th graders' ability to learn 2-digit numbers associated with concrete and familiar concepts (i.e., 19th century inventions and their dates) or less concrete and unfamiliar concepts (i.e., chemical elements and their atomic numbers), under both mnemonic and free-study control conditions. Mnemonic students statistically outperformed controls on both immediate and 2-day delayed number recall tests and the advantage for mnemonic students was comparable for inventions and elements. In Exp 2 the system was expanded to incorporate 3 digits: the dates of inventions across 3 different centuries (18th,19th,20th). Fifth and 6th grade students using this 3-component (century-decade-unit) system outperformed free-study controls on a test of immediate date recall; and students presented the 2-component (century-decade) system exhibited even more pervasive success, including 1-wk delayed recall. In Exp 3, the 3-component system improved college students' recall of inventions' dates on an immediate test but not on a 1-wk delayed test.



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Journal of Mental Imagery