Are You Still Shoving Down on Paper to Memorize?

By Runa Akagawa

Self-Reference Effect 

Memorization. How long do I have to suffer with it? I relied on blue ink pens, but I couldn’t memorize. I repeated writing down over and over again, but I couldn’t!

Are you experiencing like that? Ok, let me introduce a useful tip “Self-Reference Effect” to memorize effectively.

Your Brain Prefer Information about You!

According to American psychologists Kuiper, N. A. and Rogeres, T. B., you memorize things related to yourself better than things not related. Why don’t you utilize this?

Make Example Sentence about You

Let’s say you want to memorize a description “Reaction formation is a type of defense mechanism in which a person acts in the exact opposite manner to his own disturbing or socially unacceptable thoughts or emotions (Pedersen, 2018).” What you should do now is thinking when you exemplified reaction formation in your life. Have you ever had anyone in your mind? If you do, have you ever teased the person, especially when you were a child. That is reaction formation.

The Mechanism of Storing in Self-Reference Effect

The article The Self-Reference Effect in Memory: A Meta-Analysisby Cynthia S. Symons and Blair T. Johnson appeared why self-reference effect makes something be easily memorized. Symons and Johnson mention that the reason of that is the object “self” is a concept used by each person on a daily basis, thus it is easily refined and structuralized. 

  • Structuralize your experience
    • When you try to remember something, the stereotype is important as a clue to reach an answer. If you have already known about a thing, you can match it with what you are trying to memorize now. Thus, you will be able to remember that easily.
  • Refine your experience
    • Memorize new things by adding some information to knowledge which you already have. For example, if you cannot find an episode related to the thing what you want to memorize, you imagine what would you do if you were in the situation. You have never done in reality, but your brain recognizes as if you have done.


When you want to memorize something, ask yourself

  1. Whether you have ever experienced same situation. If not,
  2. Imagine as if you have done it.


Horiuchi, T. (1998). The multidimensional property of the self and self-reference effect. The Japanese Journal of Psychology. Vol. 68. Retrieved from

Meade, M. B. (October 14th, 2014). The Self-Reference Effect in my Everyday Life.Psych 256: Cognitive Psychology FA14. Retrieved from

Motohashi, Y. (2014). Brain Loves themselves. Study Hacker.Retrieved from

Pedersen, T. (2018). Reaction Formation. Psych Central.Retrieved from

Symons, S. Cynthia & Johnson, T. Blair. (1997). The Self-Reference Effect in Memory: A Meta-Analysis. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 121. Retrieved from

Memory in Action

By James Marrs

It is no surprise that the human element often lacks explicit memory in which individuals don’t understand. Most researchers have proved that people can remember around seven items or words, give or take a couple. Most recent studies have indicated that number has decreased over time, to around four items, or words, on average. I question if the timeline of events is a role that affects this variable or if the general rule has always been around four items that we remember. An example of the timeline approach I mentioned is as more distractions raise, then the possibility of items remembered are less. Our society has moved at a very rapid rate of technological advances which has its benefits and risks. Working memory has often been referred to as short term memory, where you pick up pieces to a puzzle, from what you have learned, in hopes to use the information in the near future. Often, working memory requires individuals to be focused and goal oriented to move in a direction of progress, a lack of maintaining focus would cause higher levels of frustration which would be very intolerable, if persistent. By this, I refer to using our memories with action or other variables such as word chunking. This creates better opportunities for humans to remember important information. It is also necessary to learn using the hands-on traits of learning to restore memory.

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Better Organization May Raise Your GPA…. Who knew??

By Ariel Campbell

It’s a week before your first college finals week. You’re past due for a break from school, and you’re barely hanging on for the final stretch of what seems like the fastest semester ever. While studying, you think to yourself, “how in the world am I going to be ready for all of my finals??” As hard as it may seem to keep track of the endless papers and presentations that come at the end of the semester, your organization is the first step. And you may be thinking, “why should I care about being organized?” Trust me, at this point of the semester, that’s what we’re all thinking. Your organization may actually have more to do with your success than you might have thought before.

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Is the Load Too Much to Bare?

By Sarah C. McSparin

You feel as though everything is piling up and you’ll never get it all done. Join the club! Your not alone; there are thousands of students and employees with a mountain of responsibilities that seem too overwhelming. Not to mention the countless distractions life throws at you, especially cell phones. You wish there was some formula for completing all the tasks your assigned. Unfortunately there is not but by gaining knowledge about your ability to pay attention you can learn some tips and tricks to help you focus your attention on the things you want while ignoring the things that are distracting.

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A Reasoning Behind An Excuse You Always Use: “In One Ear, Out The Other”

By Taylor Peterson

Finally, out of high school: no more being stuck in the same building for 7 hours every day! Only a few classes every day- how awesome does that sound? Incoming students may think that with only 2 or 3 classes every day instead of 7, it will be so much easier to pay attention the entire class than it was in high school. After the first few weeks you realize, it is just as hard, if not harder. There are still days that you may nod off in class, or days you just stare at the board and have no idea what is going on.

The days that you just listen to the teacher lecture and stare at the board are always the days you may look back at the notes and say, “Was I even in class this day?”. The depth of processing theory explains this feeling you may have every Monday morning or Wednesday after lunch. The information was shallowly encoded into your memory, making it hard to recall ever seeing it before or understanding the content. Continue reading “A Reasoning Behind An Excuse You Always Use: “In One Ear, Out The Other””

Take A Study Break, Why Don’t You?!

By Dymond Hunley 

What are you doing? In college studying for tests or maybe even finals. Let me Guess?! You’ve been cramming information for the last several hours. Let me guess again… You’re tired and ready to crash. Well let me be the one to tell you that you should not study for several hours constantly without taking a break. Time management is your best friend and procrastination is your worst enemy. When I started as a freshman that was one of my biggest flaws and sometimes still is.

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How to Solve Life’s Problems…Well At Least Some of Them

By Austin Zielsdorf

Congratulations you have past high school and you are ready to face the world. More importantly, you are ready to face college. However, if you are like me, you will experience the “uh-oh” moment. This is the moment where you realize that you have no clue what you are doing and you do not know how to solve the problems college is throwing at you. Do not worry! I’ll show you some methods of solving those tough problems. Yes there are more than one, and yes you can do it. The methods include the Gestalt Approach, the Information Processing Theory, Analogical problem solving, and the Thinking Out Loud Protocol. So Sit back and put those learning caps on.

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Study Smarter Not Harder

By Savannah Little

So, you are a freshman in college now. How exciting! Everything is about to change, and you will be surrounded by so many new things such as new people, new classes, and new responsibilities. Something that changes when entering college classes is going to be how you study. Whether you needed to or not in high school college is a whole new adventure and to pass the classes you are enrolled in you need to make sure you are equipped on how and where to study. There are many things to do to help improve your test scores, but there are a few simple things to do to make your next test run a little more smoothly. You can improve how you study which in return will improve your test grade simply by learning about a few simple things such as: context dependent memory, state dependent memory, and the encoding specificity principle. By incorporating these things into your daily study rituals, you will be sure to get an A on that next college exam!

Digital Camera

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Easy as 1,2,3

By Jhariana Floyd

It is no secret that math tends to be the subject that most students struggle with. There are numerous reasons as to why that is so, but there are steps that can be done to develop stronger math skills. Math teachers are taught to present concepts in CPA format. That means concrete examples, then pictorial examples, and finally abstract examples. It is believed that this allows students to best comprehend new material. However, there are many debates on how information should be delivered to students. It is believed that it is best to teach information with concrete facts and work up to abstract material. Think back to when you first took algebra. Sorry if I am forcing you to relive horrific memories., but it’s to help you.  You were prepared to learn algebra your whole life through the use of concrete methods. Your teachers taught you how to solve equations, then how to graph equations, and then how to guess what a line would look like given facts. Guessing the line requires mental imagery, and I’m going to help understand how mental imagery contributes to one’s success in math.

Breaking down math visuals to gain a better understanding.

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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

By Emma Overton

Picture this: you’re sitting in your first final of the semester. You can hear your heartbeat in your ears, you have no idea what to expect on the exam your professor is carrying towards you. You take a glance at the first question: What are the three categories of depressants? Immediately an image of a dark, fluttering bat invade your mind. BAT! That’s the image you used to remember this topic; Barbiturates, Alcohol, and Tranquilizers. Your fear dissipates, because you realize your studying habits have achieved just what you need to ace the final.

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