15 Ways to Improve Your Memory

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2. Recognize the factors leading to inadequate memory retention

To improve your memory, make an effort to understand the reasons for your forgetfulness. One of the causes of forgetfulness is memory interference: Harboring previous information blocks new memories from being saved as long-term memory. For instance, people may have difficulty remembering a friend’s new phone number because they retain a memory of the old phone number.

Retrieval failure means that you are unable to summon the memory when you need the data. The information is still there, but you have not created the pathways that would successfully pull up the information when you want it. In other cases, some people may practice motivated forgetting through memory suppression, which requires a conscious effort. Repression is the unconscious blocking of certain memories due to traumatic or unpleasant events associated with the information. In both cases, the person may lose chunks of memories and the ability to do certain tasks because of memory suppression or repression.

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