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What is your memory like?

  1. Sep 22, 2004 #1
    Being on this sort of forum I thought there would be people with quite good memories.

    Myself, I have great attention to detail and can remember many small things for a longer period of time.

    However for somethings I'm absolutely terrible. Math for example--I can "understand" how things work but if I don't touch it I'm bound to forget it -all- within a short period of time. Then I meet people often who have been outside of university for 10, 20 even 30 years and still remember certain math processes :bugeye:

    Discuss your memory both long and short term and any particular thing you are good at remembering! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2004
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 22, 2004 #2
    I'm sorry, what was your question again? :redface:
  4. Sep 22, 2004 #3
    Not really a question, I'm just asking how good your memory is and in what way. What can you remember and what do you forget? :tongue2:
  5. Sep 22, 2004 #4
    I'm extremely good at memorizing things quickly for a test. Concepts like in math however, I usually need a sheet of examples on how they are used.

    For example, recently I did horrible on a math test. I understood all the concepts and how they worked, but I forgot how to do many of them.

    I'm doing I retest. The teacher gave me and the class a sheet with an example of how each problem is done. I then did a practice sheet extremely quickly and only had to turn back to check a process once. It was simply a matter on how the information was presented to me.
  6. Sep 22, 2004 #5

    jimmy p

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    I keep forgetting what I eat or drink at work. I can have a bag of crisps or something, leave the room for about 10 seconds, come back and wonder where the heck it is, when I have just finished it!
  7. Sep 23, 2004 #6
    If I see something, I can remember it pretty well. I have lots of photographs of my life in my brain. I can recall fairly subtle details. If I hear something, I forget the first part of it before the sentence is even finished.
  8. Sep 23, 2004 #7


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    I can remember everything almost perfectly, but not with respect to time. I know something happened, but I don't know if it was tuesday, wednesday, or thursday. I usually don't know what the date is, and I'm sometimes caught on what year it is.
  9. Sep 23, 2004 #8


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    Some things I remember fine : like several digits of pi or SQRT(2) or the logarithms of 2, 3, 5 and 7. I also remember several bits of obscure trivia (like the guy who played Darth Vader in Star Wars was the physical trainer for Christopher Reeve when he was playing Superman).

    I'm very bad at remembering everyday things, like what the date is, or why my electricity, phone, cable and internet have all been disconnected, etc...
  10. Sep 23, 2004 #9
    i have a photographic memory, i remember dates and times like no other, i remember exactly what that person was wearing during that time, and so on, my memory is what got me to university, i didt do nothing in school
  11. Sep 23, 2004 #10
    My memory is very creative...
  12. Sep 23, 2004 #11
    I have 768 MB of 333DDR RAM :smile:

    Actually, I have a photgraphic memory, but I forgot to take the lens cover off. :smile:

    Memory is the second thing to go. (I can't remember what is first.) :smile:

    Okay. My memory is actually bad for some things and extremely good for others. Visual things are very easy for me to remember in detail, such as what color drapes will match what color carpet, etc. I have very good 3D recall, such as the shape of oddly shaped objects, for drawing them.

    I have very bad recall of dates, numbers, music (both written notes and sound, I play and read music for several instruments, but I prefer to improvise so I don't have to memorize notes) appointments, peoples name's (even people I have known for over 20 years. It's almost scary when I look at the face of someone I've known for years and can't come up with their name. I read somewhere that Pop artist Andy Warhol had a similar condition.)
  13. Sep 23, 2004 #12


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    That's one of my random little fears, that I'm going to wind up in an accident or something and to determine if I'm lucid, they'll ask me what day it is, and I won't know. I never know. I miss appointments if the calendar on my computer isn't set to remind me, not because I don't remember I have the appointment, but because I don't know what day of the week it is.

    I have a lot of trouble with people's names. I'll be picturing their face, and will have known their name for a long time, and suddenly their name just drops out of my mind when I'm trying to recall it. Then, I also sometimes have the opposite problem. I remember the name of someone I met, but can't at all place their face, or I pass someone and I know they look familiar, but because it's a different context, I cannot at all place who they are or where I know them from.

    I'm especially guilty of not noticing the authors of articles I'm reading. It's somewhat embarrassing to be discussing a paper with someone to find out they were an author on it and I didn't realize it. :redface:

    But then the scientific content of the papers, I remember much better. I guess I'm not into the whole fame and fortune thing to bother remember who did what. What always disturbs me is that other people seem to remember who I am, even when I don't think I've met them personally! Maybe I'm the one who forgot meeting them.
  14. Sep 23, 2004 #13


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    I never forget a face, or remember a name. It is a curse. It leads to a lot of conversations that go 'Hey, it is so great to see you again!' while desperately hoping someone else happens by and calls them by name. I was doing this one time when luckily this guy walks up behind me and says 'Hey Bill'. He then paused and spoke briefly to my companion before proceeding to another table. After chatting awhile longer I said 'It was nice seeing you again, Bill'. On my way out I saw the guy who said 'Hey Bill' sitting with some people at another table. As I passed by I heard him say 'Bill, did you see Tom? He was sitting over there talking to some other guy when I came in.'
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2004
  15. Sep 23, 2004 #14

    Ivan Seeking

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    I wonder if having a good memory for faces but not names is typical of visual learners. In any case this all applies to me. I also have a great memory for key details but quickly forget the peripheral information; usually. Then again, I can't remember how to get anywhere until I drive there myself; and I have to control the vehicle or I won't remember. I could get lost in a parking lot. :yuck: Oh yes, as for the day of the week, don't ask.

    On the other hand, years ago and to some degree now I walk(ed) around with a virtual phone book in my head. I don't know how many phone numbers I knew but it may have been well over a hundred. I have very good recall for numbers. I even used to annoy my physics and chem professors on occasion with my recall of most physical constants needed - usually up to six digits or more. I was once accused of sitting up at night and memorizing the CRC. :biggrin: Really the numbers just stuck for some reason.

    How would you rate your certainty upon recall? In other words, when you "remember" a specific detail of something, how certain are you about that memory. For me , more often than not, it is all or nothing. What I do remember I remember very clearly.
  16. Sep 23, 2004 #15
    I have a good visual memory and a good memory for numbers (I once memorised pi to 100 decimal places), but my verbal memory is atrocious (recalling words, expressing myself verbally). I make US Prez Dubya look like a genius in that respect.
  17. Sep 23, 2004 #16


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    I know all about the driving thing. Let me drive there one time and I got it. Verbal learning? I have the retentive prowess of a female bladder on a long drive. I had an awful time remembering anything from lectures until I started taking notes. Once I started taking notes, my memory was virtually photographic. I rarely needed to even review the notes. It got to where I even took notes when doing reading assignments. For whatever reason, the act of writing things down hardwired it to memory. I always thought that was kind of weird. Certainty of recall? If the recollection comes immediately to mind, it is virtually 100% accurate. Sometimes I can get it right after pondering for a bit, but, it's mostly an all or nothing proposition. At one time I had the logarithmic table [for numbers 0-10] memorized to 4 places. Chicks used to dig guys who could do cube roots in their head.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2004
  18. Sep 24, 2004 #17
    I can't remember names or dates worth **** usually, but for some reason I find it very reasy to recall odd facts and whatnot that I might've heard once about 5 years ago. I've a mind for historical facts and I find if I learn something while using it, as opposed to learning it in a classroom and then going home and using it (one of the reasons I did so poorly in highschool), I remember it very efficiently.
  19. Sep 24, 2004 #18
    I don't like memorizing a list of facts. What I do though is make a drawing of a particular list, a drawing that can describe everything in the list. When a test calls for enumeration of such facts, I just try to remember what I drew and the rest is done! I also do acronyms or codenames for such lists (I started during my elementary school years, the first one of which was MeVeErMarJuSaUrNePlu: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto). I think it helps to chunk information when we process it.Ü
  20. Sep 24, 2004 #19


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    I'm like Chronos. If I write something down, it's committed to memory. Good thing, since when I leave to go somewhere, I forget to take my post-it notes.

    Actually, I have a very good memory. I remember back in my day, we didn't have days. God hadn't split the heavens into day and night yet. The only way we could tell it was time to go home from work was by counting the tics from a metronome...... or, was that the siege of Leningrad. Well, I remember when I had a good memory, anyway.
  21. Sep 24, 2004 #20
    it is proven scientifictly, this aplies for anyone, that if you write something down, or speak it back to someone or something, its will increase your chances of remembering it longterm wise
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