Listen Up! Day 4: Memorize This! | WBEZ
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Only Human

Listen Up! Day 4: Memorize This!

It’s Day Four of our Listen Up! bootcamp week. Today we’re putting your memory to the test. And if you’re here for the first time, you can catch up on our previous challenges here.

Today’s Challenge: Listen to our podcast with today's guest Joshua Foer. Then apply Foer's memory trick in our quiz at the bottom of the page. It includes a video, where you’ll be introduced to several people, and questions about them. And if you’ve got an occasion today to meet lots of people, try it out in real life. Let us know how you do!

If you have to make something memorable, you have to make it weird. At least for information lacking much context — like meeting a lot of new people at once. Memory champion and science journalist Joshua Foer is well-acquainted with this common challenge: you’re at an event where you don’t know anyone; introductions are made; you forget their names ten minutes later.

When Foer was a contestant at the US Memory Championship, he had to memorize a whole batch of faces and names. While training for this event, he learned that associating people’s names with an image helped his memory — and the weirder the picture, the more it stuck in his mind. Listen to today’s podcast to find out how he did it.

The good news is that memory can be learned, and it’s a skill you can work on. But Foer also reminds us of the importance of paying attention, and — remember yesterday’s episode? — caring a little more.

How did you do? What was the weirdest mental image you came up with to memorize a name? Tweet us @onlyhuman or leave us a voicemail at (803) 820-WNYC.

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