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Introduction to Psychology: Ways of Improving Memorizing Abilities

3. Describe three mnemonic devises that would enable you to remember the following list of grocery items: milk, eggs, margarine, oranges, rhubarb, ice cream, eggplant, and sausage. Explain why each would be effective.

The overwhelming majority of people have faced a necessity to memorize large amounts of information at least once in life. Very often, people try to memorize items by monotonous repeating and rehearsing the information and end up concluding that they have a bad memory. Nevertheless, claiming that people who are successful in memorizing things have a good memory may be far from the truth. They may be simply aware of the way the human brain functions. This knowledge can help to understand the essence of memory and discover ways of improving memorizing abilities. One of such ways is mnemonic devices. This essay will describe three of them.

Assuming that I need to remember a list of eight grocery items, I would use such a mnemonic device as a mnemonic peg system. According to Higbee (2001), this system was developed by Henry Herdson (p. 158). Using it means that items are memorized in connection with their number in the list. Every number is associated with some word. For example, one – gun, two – shoe, or three – tree. Rhyme helps to keep these associations in memory. Then, these words and items from the list are connected in a story. For instance, if in my list of grocery items, number one is milk, I can imagine a gun, which shoots with milk because, according to the system, number one is a gun. The absurdness of connections is an advantage because it simplifies remembering. I can apply this scheme to all the items from the list. This mnemonic device is effective because it makes the information meaningful to me, evokes positive emotions, which help to recall the information, and makes the process of learning less boring.

The second mnemonic device, which I would use, is a mnemonic link system, or a chain method. It requires making a story with all the items I need to memorize. For example, I can invent a story about Mr. Orange and Rhubarb who decide to dine together; Mr. Orange brought milk, eggs, and margarine, while Mr. Rhubarb find it necessary to bring ice cream, eggplant, and sausages for this occasion. He was very surprised to discover that Mr. Orange brought margarine for the dinner. I believe that this funny story will help me to memorize all eight items from the list because it also makes the information more meaningful, structured, and interesting to me.

The third mnemonic device I would use is the method of loci. It consists of creating an imaginary room filled with the items needed to memorize. According to Bremer (2011), the method of loci is particularly effective for long-term memorizing. As it seems to me, it is particularly effective for those who have a good visual memory.

Concluding, knowing the way the human brain and memory function can help to improve my ability to memorize big amounts of information and keep it in memory for a long time. Mnemonic devices help to memorize things easier and more effectively because they make information more structured, personally meaningful, and interesting. Moreover, they make the process of memorizing less boring, which prevents being tired. Such mnemonic devices as the mnemonic peg system, mnemonic link system, and the method of loci are very effective for memorizing lists. Funny and absurd stories are easier for our brain to remember.

4. Differentiate between Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. What relationships might exist between each disorder and insanity?

Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia are all personality disorders. However, despite having this in common, they are quite different. This essay will explain the differences between these three disorders and describe their relationships with insanity.

Antisocial Personality Disorder is the term used to describe a situation when a person has no conscience even towards his friends and family. A person with such disorder has an abnormal emotional connection with other people, which often results in criminal behavior. Having Bipolar Disorder means that a person experiences periods of depression combined with periods of the so-called mania. During the period of mania, a person is hyperactive, extremely optimistic, overtalkative, and elated. Schizophrenia is a cluster of disorders. It has several subtypes with different symptoms. Nevertheless, all the symptoms of Schizophrenia can be divided into two categories. The first is inappropriate behavior, which includes speech disorders, hallucinations, unmotivated rage or tears. These symptoms are called positive. Negative symptoms are the term used to describe the absence of appropriate behavior, such as toneless voice and expressionless face.

All these three disorders are a combination of mental and physical abnormalities. Defining the relationships between each of these disorders and insanity is not an easy task because according to Tighe (2005), the latter is not a diagnosis but rather a legal term. The definition of this term is very broad. According to Tierney, McPhee, and Papadakis (2002), it covers a wide range of various mental disorders, including Antisocial Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia.

Concluding, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Bipolar Disorder are personality disorders that are caused by genetic and functional abnormalities. Schizophrenia is a cluster of disorders, which seriously affects one’s life and psychological state. All three disorders can be called insanity, although it is not a diagnosis, but a legal term.

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