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Decoding Abstract Words: The Key to Improved Memory and Comprehension


    Abstract words can often seem like a labyrinth for many when it comes to comprehension and retention. Words like ‘necessary,’ ‘creativity,’ and even ‘abstract’ itself can present a challenge to visualize and remember. However, through a series of exercises and strategies, this blog post will guide you towards mastering these abstract words and improving your overall understanding and memory.

    The Problem with Abstract Words

    Why does this matter? Imagine trying to improve your comprehension or memory skills. One of the key strategies is to create visual imagery for the words you encounter. The quicker you can form this mental image, the faster you process and understand the information. If you can increase the speed at which you visualize groups of words or even individual words, you’ll notice a considerable difference in your comprehension and memory retention over just a few minutes of reading or memorization. This slight tweak in your approach can have a profound impact on your long-term memory, focus, and concentration.

    The Power of Visualization

    Let’s start with the word ‘creativity.’ It’s an abstract word, but it’s not devoid of visual imagery. Quite the opposite, in fact. When you think of ‘creativity,’ you might think of art, Albert Einstein’s renowned image, or your own experiences of being creative. The challenge is choosing the most potent image for you, especially when reading or listening to something in real-time.

    For example, the word ‘creativity’ might bring to mind a particular conference where I gave a speech. The emotional connection that this memory holds for me makes it an effective anchor for the abstract concept of ‘creativity.’ By associating the word with an emotionally charged event, your memory will significantly improve.

    Abstract Words Lacking Imagery

    Let’s now consider an abstract word that’s harder to visualize, such as ‘contribute.’ It’s difficult to create an image for ‘contribute’ out of context. An image for ‘contribute’ only really emerges once you understand how it works in context. For instance, if I recall a situation where I contributed to a football team’s performance, I can visualize that situation and connect it to the word.

    In addition to personal experiences, you can also create a broader context. For example, visualizing a group of people contributing to a cause. While personal and emotional connections make abstract words more memorable, creating visual imagery alone can also be effective, especially when encountering these words at speed.

    The Role of Memory Training

    Practicing memory training can dramatically enhance your ability to tackle abstract words. It allows you to play around with these words, understand them better, and visualize them more vividly. Remember, the key is to create meaningful context and imagery around these abstract words, making them easier to comprehend and remember.

    However, the reality is that most people are reading emails, reports, or books at speed, and they don’t have the luxury of time to deeply consider every abstract word. This is where the techniques outlined above can be most beneficial.

    Mastering abstract words involves creating meaningful and memorable contexts and images. So, next time you come across an abstract word like ‘creativity’ or ‘contribute,’ remember these strategies and give them a try. Feel free to download some of the resources on my website and practice these techniques.


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