Someone once said that there’s no such thing as useless information. However, in an age of information overload it may be quite useful to know what kind of things we will memorize readily and what kind of stuff will require us to employ more mental horsepower.

Is it the right, carefully crafted structure that accounts for a message’s memorability? Or is it its natural, free-flowing conversational quality?

Check out: Neural Networking: Online Social Content Easier to Recall Than Printed Info




  • recollect – to recall to mind; recover knowledge of by memory; remember
  • patter  – meaningless, rapid talk; mere chatter; gabble
  • comb – to search thoroughly
  • resemble – be similar to
  • mundane – common, ordinary, banal, unimaginative
  • impair – make or cause to become worse, diminish in ability, value, excellence etc.


Think about it

Are the statements below true or false?

  • Language in books is more structured and therefore easier to remember.
  • The human brain developed in such a way as to encode well-structured, edited information.
  • Emoticons and font sizes have no impact on the memorability of a post.
  • Most people think that banal pieces of information are highly memorable.
  • The memory-impaired will remember Facebook’s posts better than the average person.


Practice makes perfect

In the fragment below, the original words and phrases have been replaced with synonyms. Put back the original words and phrases where they belong.

resemble, due to, carefully, tend to, wasn’t involved, combed over, spontaneous

The result could be because of the colloquial and largely improvised nature of Facebook posts. Whereas books and newspapers typically are examined by fact-checkers and meticulously rewritten by editors, Facebook posts are likely to be free flowing and more closely look like speech. “It’s a new way of thinking about memory,” says John Wixted, an experimental psychologist at the University of California, San Diego, who did not participate in the research. “Our minds are naturally prepared to encode what is naturally produced.”


Put the words in bold in the blank spaces to form the right collocations.

trivial and dull,  pronounced, study, colloquial, extensive, average, profound, associative

  • __________ Facebook posts
  • __________ thinking
  • __________ effect
  • __________ person
  • __________ subjects
  • __________ implications
  • __________ sentences
  • __________ applications


Explore it more

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