The Real Value of Mnemonics: Creative Enhancement and Superior Memory

Educators, this is your chance to teach creative thinking in combination with learning and memory. When I first started studying the Art of Memory I was struck with the obvious realization that it was the exact same thing I was reading about in books on creativity. This realization, no doubt, was probably brought to my attention at first by Tony Buzan in his book Use Your Perfect Memory. All of the best books and articles, both academic and popular, related to defining and exemplifying creativity share an eery parallel resemblance to mnemonic techniques. To be a highly skilled mnemonist, capable of memorizing anything, one must be flexible, fluid, original, and elaborate in creating reminiscent cues for storage and retrieval. Likewise, to be a highly creative thinker, one must also be flexible, fluid, original, and elaborate with innovative ideas. Many of you, no doubt, were introduced to this idea in Joshua Foer’s book Moonwalking with Einstein, when he quotes Tony Buzan.

Some day there will be a study done by cognitive psychologists to measure the creative thinking ability before, and after, several weeks of training in mnemonics. When that study is done, I am certain they will score significantly higher on all measures of creativity.

Anyone else have further thoughts and insights into this matter? Please share.

You might be interested in the book Remembering Willie Nelson.

I have not heard much about that book, but after clicking on your link and then the other link to the forum post about it’s outline was very intriguing. I have been experimenting with using only similarities and differences to remember items as well. For example, to remember that restaurant, is not spelled restuarant, I simply told myself that the word ca begin with a capital R, and that it looks similar to a backwords “a” with legs, and this “a” is close to that are. Now I cannot forget how to correctly spell restaurant. The word restaurant is also similar, yet different from the words “rest and rant”, which also reminds me of the correct spelling order, since “and” begins with “a” and the letter “n” is an upside-down “u”.