July 10 2012

Memorisation & The Baker/baker Principle

I have always had a great interest in memory and how the brain works. This is partly due to my discovery at a young age that people sometimes did feats of memorisation as a sort of magic trick, but it is also due to my horrible memory. Anyone who knows me, knows that I can’t remember names, am always forgetting details and am very embarrassed by this flaw that effects me nearly every day. If you don’t know me, you might think that I have an amazing memory from the fact that I can remember whole books of the Bible (I toured a performance of “Philippians” in 2011) and I can do impressive tricks like the one in the video below.

In the video, I recall 25 random words and am able to tell you exactly which word is at which number on the list in any order I am required to.

I then go on to explain the method I use and how you can use it yourself. Enjoy.


The philosophy behind it is called the Baker/Baker principle, which I learnt from a fascinating TED talk that I watched recently. I will also include that below. (If there is nothing below, click HERE to see the TED talk)

The basic idea is that if you asked one person to remember a man named “Baker” and you asked another person to remember a man who is a baker, the person trying to remember the name will forget more easily than the other person. The reason is because the name “Baker” means nothing, whereas the profession “baker” is quite meaningful to us.

The secret to seemingly amazing feats of memorisation is to be able to turn forgettable facts into meaningful memories – to turn “Baker” into a baker.




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Posted July 10, 2012 by Simon in category "Life", "Magic

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