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Using humor to remember things

What do you do if you want to remember something? According to previous research you should make the things to be remembered into a bizarre scenario or image. However recent research has revealed that the weirdness of items to be remembered is not what matters for later recall, but how funny they are is. The study found that when people remembered things which were bizarre and funny, they had superior recall compared to those who had the less funny bizarre items

The research, published in this month British Journal of Psychology, asked 39 participants to create a bizarre image from three words.  The strange images were then rated for funniness.  Participants did not know that in fourteen weeks time they would be asked to recall the words.  The study revealed that those who had created the funnier bizarre images were much more likely to recall the words later on during a surprise test.

The researchers say that it is the humor, and not the bizarreness, which makes a difference for memory.  The findings suggest that if you want to remember something it may be a good idea to employ some humor to help you along. To access the paper, which you may need to pay for, click here

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