Help to Formally Update Mnemonic Classification and Nomenclature

Hey @thinkaboutthebible, thanks for this,

This is a nice and succinct term that quickly brings to mind that it is an intrinsic cue helping to connect new with new information

Which mnemonic/video is this? I have written a Neurology book with visual mnemonics covering Sturge Weber Syndrome, but the mnemonic is different from the one you have broken down. In post about YouTube Neurology videos I was referring to the analogies and mental models used to explain difficult neurology concepts: link here

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The video was in your first post:

I’ll look through your videos as well. If you would like me to decompose any of them, let me know.

That’s ok. I don’t think my analogy videos really fit your idea of a visual sentence, as they are not visual mnemonics

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No, but they are very well produced educational medical videos!

Thanks for the kind words :slight_smile:

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@swiftdeck, I finished Mnememology last night and was very happily encouraged as I saw much that reinforced beliefs I held as a professor and recenly as an amateur analyst of memory systems. Also, I reviewed Bellezza’s structure of mnemonic devices and saw a general similar pattern except for my subdivisions of data types.

I did disagree on one point in his diagram. I don’t think single use and multiple use are that useful as a category. They are of a lesser importance, more of that of a characteristic.

I could reuse his Great Lakes mnemonic (HOMES) to associate a list of five things many times over. That’s a very small peg list. I recently started a topic on adaptable pegs which explains the use of reusability for peg lists.

But I now have a good understanding of the psychological view of mnemonics and will be posting some excerpts from Worthen and Hunt’s book that are relevant to people here on the forum. One of their last recommendations was to develop effective mnemonics with a view towards organization and elaboration (distinctive processing) and I think I am moving that way in my use of the SEA-IT data types with E being the elaboration element along with the other organized visual images.

Again, thank you for your references. The only remaining question I have is why don’t we see more application of psychological principles in education and mnemonics today? Even though I’ve been properly trained as an instructor at UC Berkeley and read continuously on the subject, I learned a completely new term from Worthen and Hunt. I’m preparing a course for introductory MIS students and wrote summaries of the subject to introduce the vocabulary and organize the concepts. Now I know that the proper term is advance organizer.

I hope to see more from you on the forum.

Exactly! Mnemenology has a good bit in its history of mnemonics chapter where due to the so-called gimmicky nature of mnemonics, its usage was attenuated in general schooling, with more focus on rote methods. It is a shame, but hoping this will change in the next few years/decades.

Glad you liked the book, and thanks for the conversations :slight_smile:

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Regarding your 3rd question: have you considered terms from network topology like star or spoke-hub for these particular chain-like links? See also: Star network - Wikipedia

I like this phrasing, will see how it works alongside ‘focal’ to indicate linking. Thank you :slight_smile:


Hi, many items stemming off one item does sound like a ‘star network’ but if stem 1 is always a year, stem 2 is always part of a law case name, stem 3 is the other part of a law case name, it is more bespoke than a standard star network.

Also, the AA-ZZ system where HI can represent a word beginning HI (Hippocratean) is missing from the table. And do you have literal mnemonics such as an image which means ‘want’ when memorising a passage rote?
(memory bloke)

Hi Mike, I haven’t come across the AA-ZZ system. Reading around, correct if wrong, but this is to learn strings of letters? If this is the case, it could be letter conversion subset under word conversion mnemonic, as all that’s being done is to create a person, action or object from a 2-letter combo.

After this, the process of linking uses the novel information itself rather than a preformed peg-type system, which would fit with a chain-like sequential system.

I haven’t heard of the term literal mnemonics, but from your description sounds like a keyword mnemonic, where a concrete/abstract word is phonetically/semantically encoded, then created into a image. So if to learn ‘want’, could think of wonton dumpling image (wonton being phonetically similar to want). This image can then be used as needed in an organising mnemonic. Is this what you meant?

Hi, When I wanted to learn part of a page of text, I thought an Aa-Zz list of images would help.
(reduces to)
Hi wh I wa to le pa of a pa of te,…
Pegs could then store the 2 letter prompts.
Later, I developed one image for each frequently occurring grammar word or frequently occurring verb like: want, say, use.

By the way, ‘keyword’ in your diagram suggests a prompt for an essay paragraph. ‘Keyword’ is not quite the same as memorising text.
(Memory Bloke)

Ah I see about the letter system, interesting way of learning text verbatim.

Re: keyword, they act as mnemonic prompts, commonly used for language learning etc. Can be used for text memorisation but seems you have comprehensive system for this already

I wonder if your diagram would include the use of the pegs.
Someone could store up instructions in the pegs for sketching an annotated diagram, or for reproducing tabulated facts.

On a tangent,
I like the idea of a science student having one image per reagent in a chemical reaction.
Having a bespoke image frees up a lot of peg use.

(Memory Bloke (I have online articles but I don’t know if search engines show them highly ranked) )

Yup, pegs are very important; come under ‘scaffold’ umbrella, as pegs are extrinsic to the information to be learnt, but help to attach new information to it.

Had a quick look at your website, you’ve done a lot of work - nice job :slight_smile:

@swiftdeck, after working a bit on my teaching outline, I extracted a section into a curriculum for mnemonic visualization on my web site where I post my updates. It has benefited from our discussions. Here’s the first rough version, and the updates will be posted on my repo (web site).

  • Visualizing words
    • Metrics
      • Stickiness
        • Relevance
        • Familiarity
      • Low mental load
        • Simplicity
        • Conciseness
    • Data types (SEA-IT)
      • Subjects
      • Elaborations
      • Actions
      • Items
      • Terrains
    • Techniques
      • Related meaning (semantic)
        • Same data type
        • Different data type
      • Related sound (phonological)
        • Same data type
        • Different data type
      • Related shape (orthographic)
  • Visualizing letter sequences
    • Shape of letters
    • Embellishment with rote memorization
    • Grouping letters to form words
  • Visualizing word sequences
    • Acronym
      • Simple
        • Non-semantic
        • Semantic
      • Embellished
    • Substitution
      • First letter
      • Syllable
    • Visual sentence
  • Converting digits
    • One-step processes
      • To decimal
      • To word of same length
      • Related sound
      • Related data type
      • Related shape
    • Digit-to-sound
      • Major system
      • Major system variations
      • Ben system
      • Dominic system
      • Other systems
    • Digit-to-letter
  • Visualizing sentence associations
    • Metrics for distinctive processing
      • Organization
      • Elaboration
    • Traversal types in sentences
      • No traversal
      • Narrative
        • by subject (story)
        • by item (MacGuffin)
        • by terrain (journey)
      • Rule
        • by subject (person pegs)
        • by item (object pegs)
        • by terrain (palace)
    • Traversal maturity
      • dynamic
      • static
    • Traversal creation
      • real or top-down
      • imaginary or bottom-up
    • Narrative styles
      • Semantic
      • Proairetic
      • Hermeneutic
      • Symbolic
      • Cultural
    • Rule styles
      • sequence
        • numeric
        • alphabetic
      • imposed (pegs)
      • scale
      • position
      • time
    • Combinations
      • Paired pegs
      • Index pegs
      • Synced pegs
        • PA
        • PAO
        • PAIL
      • Pegs with narratives
      • Extensions
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I also wanted to mention ‘pointers’ : where a mnemonic is a pointer to the peg where the information sits (rather than the information itself). It makes me think of a network of points linking together.

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Very nice work, will be good to see updates :slight_smile:

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I guess in this sense, the pointer is still holding information about where to look? How do you encode this, is it an arrow or link to another place?