Studying Psychology Studies/Theory using Method of Loci/Memory Palace

Hi everyone, I’ve been getting immersed into this mnemonic technique of memorizing, and especially the method of loci/memory palace technique. I’ve had no problems so far studying lists and chronological things, but I cant seem to get my head around memorizing psychological studies or theory. Could anyone give me some tips? I’ve put an example of a study and theory below that I need to memorize?
Thanks in advance!

Example Theory 1:
Social Learning Theory, formed by Bandura in 1977, argues that learning is not purely behavioral, but it is a cognitive process in a social context. He posits that people can learn through vicarious reinforcement, the observation of a behavior and its consequences, and involves modelling, the observation, extraction of information from those observations, and decision-making about the performance of those behaviors. Thus, learning can occur without an observable change in behavior, and reinforcement is not entirely responsible for learning. The four conditions required for learning are: attention; retention; reproduction; and motivation. These conditions can further be influenced by factors such as the relevance of the behavior and traits of the model.

Example Study 1:
Bandura et al. (1961) conducted a laboratory experiment investigating the principles of observational learning. The independent variable was the model shown (aggressive, non aggressive, or none), and the dependent variable was the aggression scores of the children investigated. The participants, 36 girls and 36 boys aged between 3 to 6 years old, were pre-tested on their aggressive behavior on four 5-point rating scales. They were then distributed evenly according to gender and aggression score into 3 groups: group 1 (aggressive model shown, who attacked a bobo doll); group 2 (non-aggressive model shown, who played with subdued and calm manner with a tinker toy); group 3 (no model shown). The children were individually shown the corresponding model for 10 minutes while playing with some pictures. Then, all children were subject to mild aggression arousal as each child was taken to a room with relatively attractive toys and as soon as the child began to play with them, the experimenter told the child that these were the best toys reserved for other children. Finally, each child was taken into a room with aggressive toys (including a mallet and a bobo doll) and non-aggressive toys (tea set, plastic animals, etc…), and their behavior was observed for 20 minutes. Researchers found that children observing the aggressive model made more aggressive responses than those in other groups. Furthermore, the boys were more likely to imitate same-sex models than girls, while boys imitated more physically aggressive than girls (although verbal aggression varied negligibly). Thus, Bandura et al. concluded that children learn social behavior through observational learning.

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Hi there!

Good to hear that you are finding the techniques useful!

I’m medical student (5th year) and I’ve used memory techniques (MTs) for more than 7 years. During this time I’ve used MTs for A LOT of school related projects such as exams and preparation etc. I impressed the pants of my history teacher in junior year of high school by listing all the american presidents with their years in office.

But as you’ve found, I found that the MTs were limited in the kind of information that they’ll easily allow memorized.

I ventured into verbatim memorizations; elaborate systems of pictures corresponding to words and syllables. Almost needless to say, this was much too big of a task, as well as, an extremely inefficient way of learning. I soon left that method for a different one, a much more minimalist approach. Here’s what I would do if I needed to memorize the first passage you post above:

  1. read it intensely. Do not think “oh i’ll just make a journey for this so I don’t have to understand/remember”. Read it while you convince yourself; this is the last time I’ll ever be allowed to look at this text, ever.

  2. now boil the text down to the most essential elements. e.i.:

-learn by observation
-attention, retention, reproduction, motivation
-other factors

In this way you have condensed 6-7 lines of text to 6 points.

  1. Make associations to each item on the list: SLT is a BLT sandwich with salmon instead of bacon. Bandura is a professor who’s the lead singer in a band. 77 is GG, gandalf the grey in my system or the 7 dwarves and their twins, if you don’t have system. ‘Learn by observation’ is a mom watching the cooking channel. ‘Attention’ is a tent. It collapses so you have to re-tent (retention), inside the tent are people having sex (reproduction) while being motivated by the host from fear factor.

You’ll have to make your own observations. This is just an example of how I would retain info for a longer period, especially info I know I would have a tendency to forget. I would work the picture into a journey of a coherent story.

I hope this helps you. I have a description of how I memorized some non-chronological information on my un-finished website:

All the best!


Firstly I’d look at 20 rules of formulating knowledge in learning. Think about reforming your material so that it becomes single questions and answers then the data can be added to a Spaced Repetition System for you to test and learn.

Also download the PDF Strengthening the Student Toolbox by John Dunlosky.

This is really cool, thank you for taking the time to break it down like this.

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