Words vs Patterns

Imagine having 5 seconds to memorise either (A) or (B) from the choices below.

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Which one is easiest and most likely to be recalled after a few days?

The Science (™)

Some formally conducted studies have shown that we are far more capable of recalling patterns vs words after prolonged amounts of time.

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After being shown a random collection of words and shapes, participants had much higher levels of recall for shapes than words

Being able to recognise shapes more easily than words bears out anecdotally too - we tend to remember faces more easily than names (which makes sense, given that our eye sight and facial recognition abilities predated our use of language).

This phenomenon is known as the “Picture Superiority Effect”.

The Litmus Test

Let’s see if this works.

In the spaces provided, have a go at recalling the missing words and the missing pattern from the example we showed above. No cheating!

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How did you do? 😄