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9. Remembering: Hacks 81–92 > 84. Keep Your Sources Straight (if You Can)

Keep Your Sources Straight (if You Can)

When memory serves up information upon request, it seems to come packaged with its origin and sender. But these details are often produced ad hoc and may not fully match the true source.

Every memory has a source—or at least it ought to. That said, memories can often float loose from their moorings, making it some achievement that we manage to anchor mnemonic detail to their origins.

In Action

This test involves word stems, the idea being to complete the beginning of each stem in Table 9-2 with a word of your choice. So ple___ (complete it with any number of letters) could be “please,” or equally “pledge,” “pleat,” and so on. Complete the odd-numbered stems (the ones on the left) out loud; for the even-numbered ones (on the right), merely imagine saying the words. Use a different word for each stem (i.e., don’t use “please” twice if you run across the ple___ stem twice).


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