Paired Associates Learning: Abstract Concrete Pairs

(If you have not done so, it is recommended that you read, and do, the preceding post, “Paired Associates Learning: Concrete Abstract Pairs”)

Consider the following word pairs:

PERJURY                  REVOLVER

ABASEMENT           INN

FOIBLE                      AMBULANCE

Here the stimulus, or cue, is abstract, and needs to be made more concrete in the image and the response is concrete.  Here are some possible mental images to help you remember these pairs.

Someone committing PERJURY because there is a REVOLVER pointing at their head

Someone taking a room in ABASEMENT of an INN

Someone committing some type of FOIBLE and ending up in an AMBULANCE.

Now try these ten word pairs:

ADVERSITY             FOAM

REMINDER               TROOPS

RATING                     PROFESSOR

REPLACEMENT       CASE

FUNCTIONARY       LEAFLET

SENTIMENT             BOOK

BANALITY               FLESH

FACILITY                 BAGPIPE

PREDICAMENT       ARROW

BELIEF                      BOSOM

Now, without looking at the above, try to remember the appropriate response to each stimulus or cue by remembering the mental image.

ADVERSITY

RATING

FUNCTIONARY

BANALITY

PREDICAMENT

REMINDER

REPLACEMENT

SENTIMENT

FACILITY

BELIEF

Now let’s try another ten pairs

ANSWER                   PICTURE

EXACTITUDE          FIREPLACE

PROFESSION           SUNBURN

IRONY                       YACHT

UNREALITY             GRADUATION

FALLACY                 ENGINE

EXCUSE                    GIANT

FACT                          RIVER

FATE                          ROCK

EMANCIPATION     FLOOD

Now, without looking back, try to remember the appropriate response to each stimulus or cue by remembering the mental image.

ANSWER

EMANCIPATION

EXACTITUDE

FATE

PROFESSION

FACT

IRONY

EXCUSE

UNREALITY

FALLACY

I think you will agree that this is healthy mental exercise that makes demands on your imagination and creativity as well as your memory.  Undoubtedly you noted that the task became more difficult as the words became more abstract.  It takes more practice to become proficient with the abstract words, but this practice can be quite worthwhile, as you have likely noted that much information that you want to remember is abstract, sometimes even nonsensical. 

I have stressed using mental images. However, it is also possible to use verbal linkages, phrases and sentences.  You might find that the latter technique works better with abstract material. 

Please repeat these blog postings as often as you think it is needed to develop proficiency.  This will serve you in good stead for the remainder of this book.

If you have done all the exercises in this blog, you have accomplished quite a mental workout.  You have exercised both hemispheres of  your brain as well as your imagination, recoding, retrieval, and decoding skills.  You should also be beginning to develop some effective new memory skills.  Remember that you are engaged on a course from which you do not finish and graduate.  You need to keep practicing these skills both to improve your specific memory skills and to exercise and improve your mind and brain.

© Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Douglas Griffith and healthymemory.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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