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Your Memory: How it Works and How to Improve it Paperback – Nov 1996

22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Marlowe & Co; 3rd Revised edition edition (Nov. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156924801X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569248010
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,644,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
For years, claims like these have been made in advertisements for memory-training books and courses. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Relativitydrive on 22 May 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is so essential that all others books in this area should reference it. The coverage of the topics of memory, recall and storage go deep enough to satisfy all, but if you have any further queries then the references should put you on the right track.
The presentation of the subjects are clear, concise and given without being condenscending in any way. Remember to try what is taught and you will go a long way with only this book.
There are only two areas that this book could do with improving on: firstly as this book is now relatively old it should be noted that further reading is essential to keep up with recent study (most of which confirms that which has been stated) and the practicalities of the Phonetic system given here are not easy to grasp when there are simpler and more logical manifestations of this powerful technique (Tony Buzan in Master Your Memory is the one I know well)
A superb book that will be passed around my friends for a good time yet.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John M. Ford TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Kenneth Higbee's book is written to help people improve their memories. It doesn't spend much time with theories of memory or research that support these theories. It explains how memory works and some techniques -call them tricks if you like--that can make it work better.

The book begins by dispelling a number of memory "myths" that often stand in the way of memory improvement. These false beliefs include regarding memory as a physical "thing" and exaggerated claims about photographic memories. Higbee then presents the basic model of sensory, working, and long-term memories contained in most cognition texts. He derives ten fundamental principles of memory improvement from this model and demonstrates their effectiveness. Several chapters are devoted to specific mnemonic techniques, including the link, story, loci, peg word, and phonetic systems. The book closes with suggestions for remembering names and a general discussion of memory in education and everyday life.

I've used this book to teach a brief college course in mnemonic techniques. Students found it easy to understand and useful in designing mnemonic strategies for practical memory tasks. Compared to other psychology textbooks, they also found it affordable. My only negative comment is that it could use an update. It's not that mnemonics have changed, but that many of the book's examples seem a little dated to today's students. An update would give it more audience appeal and help convey its very useful messages to a younger, attention-challenged generation.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Feb. 1998
Format: Paperback
Dr Higbee reviewed literally hundreds of papers, books, etc, on memory. Here he distills what's fact & fiction. He teaches methods that really work. But, they do take some practice. The easiest ones can be picked up in minutes. Others take prep time & practice of an hour or more, but will help from then on. For instance, want to know how to remember long strings of numbers? It's here, it's easy (once you learn the technique) and it's probably not what you think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nick on 15 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book with no significant prior understanding of the human mind and memory. I bought it in the hope of improving my own ability to recall information at work. My conclusion: highly recommend in certain situations, but of very limited use in others.

This is not really a fault of the book - hence it still gets four stars - but it's important that you understand what it is and what it is not (the author does go some way to admitting this but he also does not highlight how unnecessary the techniques are in certain situations). Let me explain.

If you are a teacher, this book will be immeasurably useful to you. It provides excellent, qualified guidance on techniques to help students digest and recall information efficiently. The memory aids discussed, used properly, can be very effective in helping you store and recall lists of information: eg. Kings & Queens of England in date order, 7 characteristics of living organisms, prime numbers from 0-100, lists of bible verses, etc etc

Part and parcel of this is to give excellent guidance on what helps students digest information in the first place - a necessity if it is to be recalled effectively - so teachers, this book is a must.

However, in many other respects the techniques are simply unnecessary or cannot be used. This is not a failure of the book, I guess it shows that our memories are not miraculous, there has to be a limit to what you can and can't do with your mind, but just note this before you buy the book.

The author goes some way to try and demonstrate the situations in which the memory aids can be used effectively.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By psuedo-physicist on 4 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm not the type of person that reads a lot but i struggle to put this book down. This is the second day i've had this book and i'm only on page 56 at the moment.

When i started reading this book i thought it would have a lot of irrelevant information and that i would have to skim read to get the main details however i was wrong. This book gives more than is needed and is well worth the money.

This book brings up myths about memory and discusses scientific evidence on them. This book not only unravels myths about learning it also provides an abundance on information to help you remember.

Simply put this is the best book i've ever read.
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