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Individual differences |
Methods | Statistics | Clinical | Educational | Industrial | Professional items | World psychology |
A mnemonic room system or Roman room method, is a method of remembering items using a description of a room, based on creating an association between the item and the room. For example, if one wished to remember the items (dog, envelope, thirteen, wool, window), one could visualise a room, possibly one's own sitting room, and associate a particular item with a particular object/spot/position within the room: imagine a rainbow coloured dog sitting astride the dining table with a ludicrously long rainbow coloured tail snaking through all the chairs; imagine the walls covered in vivid paintings which all have envelopes as their subject in some way, every single painting; imagine a television with the shape of the digits 1 and 3 side by side, which is unlucky as it means nothing can be clearly seen the screen, only some voice somebody saying "unlucky for some" over and over again; imagine the dog is eating a bowl of blues spaghetti, which, upon closer inspection, appears to be blue wool; imagine the floor is a window through which only mud is visible, and it keeps cracking every time weight is put on it - a useless window in a silly place.
In theory one should be able to retain these items in memory longer than learning them by rote due to the fact that it is not just a method for storing words (abstract symbols at best), but are storing information about the words, whether the information is real or imagined (which you can visualise). Using this method, which is really just another form of the mnemonic peg system, one can remember and subsequently recall information any order, according to how one wishes go through the room mentally. However, one is usually initially limited by a lack imagination/creativity, though with some practice one can easily come up with many ideas.
A similar mnemonic technique is the story system, which uses a story instead of a description of a room. For example, if one wished to remember the list above (dog, envelope, thirteen, wool, window), one could create a story such as "There once was a dog stuck in an envelope, who was mailed to an unlucky black cat playing with a ball of wool by the window". This technique is better for memorizing items in an ordered list; the room system is better for unordered lists (using the story system, to recall the item "thirteen", the entire list has to be traversed in the story).