If you scored high on visual in the previous article’s exercise, then you are a visual learner. You use pictures and sights as your main way of perceiving the world. Artists, photographers, fashion designers, website designers, and interior design people are primarily visual. If you have a hobby of freelance art, or if you plan a career in anything visual, then you are a visual learner. Maybe you are one of those people who take many pictures on vacation or constantly take pictures of their children.
It has been my observation that most people are visual as opposed to auditory or kinesthetic. Computer graphics and social media are popular, and schools use PowerPoint and so many visual aids.
Visual learners find it easy to do the exercises from the previous articles. The tools all involved making pictures in your mind and using your visual imagination. Yet it might be more challenging to visualize abstract concepts in your visualizations. For example, prudence, well, maybe don’t think of a prude. Maybe think of a prune.
When you did the previous exercises, you created pictures and did not think much about sounds or sensations. You made pictures of the items that were in the car and in the rooms of your house.
Visual people also have an easy time picturing printed words on a page. For example, if you want to memorize a recipe, imagine the printing of the word ‘prune’ as well as picturing a prune. Then imagine the words on the page as well as create an association of the ingredients in order by putting each one in your car in different places.
As a visual learner, you are likely a fast talker. When you talk, you try to describe everything in a scene and every detail. You are probably detail-oriented. When you make a shopping list, you picture everything on the list and visualize where it is in the store. You also visualize the streets to get to the store. The GPS is your friend when you go to an unfamiliar destination. The visual map gets more attention from you than the voice that says “recalculating.”
Rote rehearsal for a visual person is more about picturing the facts in your head than reciting them. It can be helpful to write the information a few times instead of saying it aloud. Diagrams work wonders for visual people. Imagine you have an assignment to memorize the American Presidents. Instead of saying “George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, etc.,” you would write the sequence down a few times, picture what they look like, or picture the writing on the paper.
Flash cards work well for visual people. You can write a question about the material on one side of a flash card and write the answer on the other side. Whether you use writing or pictures on the card, you will learn the material by picturing the question and the answers on the card.
Visual learners love charts and diagrams. It can be a chart with numbers and connected ideas in different columns, or it could be ideas in circles, and all relevant ideas get connected. The mapping techniques from a previous article are helpful. Outlines work well too.
In a recent article, I gave you lists of things you could have an interest in. You may want to take your choices from that list to do the next exercise. Here is the list: animals, antiques, art history, birds, boats, card games, chemistry, children’s books, coin collection, crafts, magic tricks, marine life, movies, scrabble, stamps, science fiction, shows, trains, trucks, and video games. Or you can use a topic that you are already familiar with.
Here is an outline of reasons people believe their memory is poor and what you can do about it:
- People believe their memory is poor.
- They are older, and their memory faded with age.
- We lose brain cells with age.
- We stopped using our brains much after graduating from school.
- But we can do puzzles.
- We can eat right, such as the Mediterranean diet.
- We can do Aerobic Exercise.
- A good memory is genetic, and I did not get the genes.
- It is like athletic ability.
- It is like artistic ability.
- But I can make rhymes, and that will help me remember.
- I can hum a tune with my own words to remember something.
- I can use the methods such as the car method, mapping, and make up a story.
- I have had depression and stress in my life, and that causes bad memory.
- Depression and stress only cause temporary memory loss.
- When you have depression and anxiety, the nerves are taken with the feeling.
- Combining methods for memory.
- Rote Rehearsal
- Elaborative Rehearsal
- Combining the methods
To memorize this outline, I will now make some suggestions for what you can picture. Then you can do some to memorize the rest of the outline.
For the first headline, ‘People believe their memory is poor,’ imagine a brain with water pouring out of it. The words ‘memory’ and ‘facts’ are part of the part poured out. You now have ‘poured’ for poor, and the brain losing its facts for poor memory.
Next, we use our visual skills to remember the concept ‘fades with age.’ Imagine the number 30 above a brain. Then see the number going up. As it goes up to 31, 32, and so forth, the brain becomes smaller until it fades out of your picture.
The brain loses cells. Imagine the brain comes back into the picture. Repeat the number sequence, but this time, instead of the brain fading, see cells dropping away. Then picture it smooth, as it has lost all its convolutions.
Then we have the ideas to improve your memory despite your age. Do puzzles. Imagine that the brain that has been losing cells suddenly has a body around it, and the person does a puzzle. Be sure to make the puzzle visible in your visual. Otherwise, it might just look like a person reading or writing.
Then you can play games. Since this idea is like the previous idea of puzzles, you will need to turn the puzzle into a game. Perhaps you can make it a scrabble board or any game of your choosing.
Close your eyes and go through the sequence. Begin with the brain with water pouring out of it, and then end with the game board.
You may have noticed that the game you created just flows, and it is like a moving picture. Pictures are remembered more easily when they move. Since we perceive things in our line of vision as moving, it is what our eyes and brains will do.
If you missed any of the key points when you visualized, go over the outline and visualize again. Sometimes you will miss one or two points. It is because you did not make the picture specific enough.
You should now have that part of the outline memorized. Why?
- You used rote rehearsal. Picturing or writing it a few times.
- You used elaborative rehearsal by making the pictures.
- It was an easy exercise.
- You used moving pictures.
- You are smart and developing a great memory.
- A, B, D, and E combined.
- None of the above.
If you guessed option F, you are right. You have applied everything you have learned in these articles.
Now let’s try memorizing the rest of the outline. Take a few minutes to make your own pictures. No, don’t look ahead yet. Do that before you read the rest of the article.
Since you created your own images, then you are a whiz at visual learning. Here are some suggestions. Yet you should have created your own. If you had trouble, here are some ideas:
For ‘Good Memory is Genetic,’ first go back to the Scrabble board. The board has the word ‘baby’ on it. Then the stork pops out with a baby boy.
Then the baby leaps out of the stork’s cloth, grows a track uniform and starts running. Then for the artistic ability, the baby stops running when there is a canvas. It starts painting. You now have an association for athletic ability and artistic ability.
Since you are visual and not auditory, you need to create a picture in this. Instead of the baby saying “I am a poet and don’t even know it,” the baby rips off the first picture and then writes on another sheet, “I am a poet and don’t even know it.” Remember that picturing words works for you too.
For ‘hum a tune,’ the baby can put its lips in a humming position. Or you could picture a thought balloon as they have in the comic strips. The white balloon has musical notes in it. The baby then picks it up and starts reading a story.
Now, as you did before, close your eyes again and picture the whole sequence of events for the outline that you have memorized.
You may wonder, How do you tell the crossover between the headlines in the outline? After you have made the connections with the pictures, it is time to go back to the basics. Picture the outline with its headlines, numbers, and letters. This will keep you from being confused about which idea is which.
Now you have maximized the idea of using your visual skills to improve your memory. I will have more ideas and exercises for all you visual learners in a later article. Next week’s article will be for all you auditory learners.