Running head: MNEMONICS
Mnemonic devices have been in use as memorization aids for eons. A modern example of their use pertains to a Japanese gentleman known as Hideaki Tomoyori, who made the Guinness Book of World Records in 1974, by reeling off a staggering forty thousand digits of pi. He did this through the use of a mnemonic digit-syllable device using his native Japanese language. As Takahashi, Shimizu, Saito, and Tomoyori (2006) explain, he used the first ten digits of pi (1415926535), divided them into parts, and related them to images of person, place and thing. The sequence is as follows: “…141 toshi-no (in the city), 592 koku-zin (a black man), 65 muko (the bridegroom), and 35 sango (a coral)…he could form a vivid image of the sentence, In the city, a black man gave the bridegroom a coral.” (pg. 1195)
According to Bellezza (1981), Hemetic philosophers touted mnemonic devices as magical, and Giordano Bruno found himself at the mercy of the Spanish Inquisition by espousing his mnemonic technique as occult based. Magic and occult aside, there is a variety of mnemonic devices in use in modern society, however, in the interest of brevity, this paper will address only two of them: keyword mnemonics and pictorial text-learning aids.
Keyword mnemonics consists of connecting new words or ideas with similar sounding cue words or images to form an association. According to Campos, Amor, and Gonzalez (2004), keyword mnemonics is useful for learning foreign-language vocabulary, though there seems to be some debate as to the efficacy of keyword devices with respect to long-term memory. It is generally agreed, as Grunberg (1998) contends, that the encoding involved in the use of keywords is flimsy and other symbolic interpretations may attach to the keywords after some time has passed.
Campos et al (2004) decided to test the question as to whether or not keyword mnemonics was effective for learning words with low...