Visual Association

Visual association for learning names and relationships

I had studied visual association as a way of learning people’s names. Johnny Black was easy if he had black hair and was the only one with black hair. But normally I needed to picture Johnny with black stripes on his An ornate red chair with curved arm-restsface. I imagined Teddy turning into a giant Teddy bear. I pictured Susan with flowers called Black-eyed Susans on her head instead of hair.

I pictured Jarod sitting on a red chair. When I imagine a beautiful red chair like the one in the picture – I think of a man sitting in it – I think Chair red – I know his name is Jarrod.

As a teacher, my goal was to know everyone’s name by the end of the first class, knowing I’d forget more than half by the next day. But often, I knew everyone’s name in all five or six classes by the end of the week. It wasn’t easy.

While I usually did fairly well with this method, I failed miserably while teaching in the Marshall Islands. Actually, I knew them all until they went out for recess. when they returned, they asked if I still remembered their names.For some reason, I knew the girls’ names but I couldn’t remember any of the boys. During recess, the boys switched shirts. While I hadn’t meant to remember them by the color of their shirts, I apparently had done exactly that.

Visualization for learning names

Harry Lorayne says in his Page a Minute Memory Book “When you look — that’s the key word — at any face, there is usually one feature on that face that you notice first. That one feature will serve as the second “thing” in this important entity of two — names and face.” p. 43

According to Lorrayne, with some names, it easy to create a picture to go with the name. Mr. Brooks has big ears: you can picture two brooks,  one flowing from each ear.

Mr. Wolfe has a large mouth: you might picture him slowly turning into a wolf and howling. You could also imagine Mr Wolf leading a pet wolf around on a leash The wolf has a big mouth. You might remember even better if the wolf has a purple collar studded with rhinestones.

You meet Mrs. Carpenter: Picture her with her hammer and saw. But you will remember more easily if she’s making something unusual, perhaps a wooden spaceship. If her first name is Dolly, she could be making a life-sized doll. If her name is Annabelle, she could be making a large bell. Dora could be making door.

Another way to remember a name is to associate it with someone you know well. When I meet someone named Libby, I think of a Libby I went to school with, my best friend for years. I picture this new Libby talking to my old friend. It might work better if the new Libby would be sitting on my old friend’s head. It works just as easily with familiar last names.

Visualization for learning relationships

Harry Lorayne says, “Association aids visualization. When you associate one thing to another properly, it’s difficult not to visualize those two things.”

Imagine that Mrs. Zebarrio is a bank teller. You can picture her hair with black and white stripes or imagine her entire body striped in black and white.  But how do you remember her job?

Lorraye gives an example.  “How does association aid visualization? Let’s say I told you to see a zebra behind the teller’s cage at your bank. When you think of teller, you will visualize a zebra (cashing a check, perhaps), and vice versa. One makes you visualize the other.”  Visualization is easier and more memorable when we picture something outrageous.

Mr. Wolfe is a teacher. Picture a large wolf with long sharp teeth sitting behind the teacher’s desk, or writing on the blackboard.

Bridget  works at the grocery story. Imagine a long bridge with grocery items, meat, fruits and vegetables, dairy goods, and many can sand boxes all along the sides of the bridge.

My biology teacher was Dr. Muckenthaller. He taught genetics. Imagine that, in order to get to class, he must walk through fields of muck and his feet sink in. A genetic mutation makes him grow taller.  Muck-in-taller-genetics.

You might also was to read  Auditory Associations to learn names and vocabulary

To learn more about Relational Memory:     Experience and Memory 

Emotional Memory

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