definition in psychology. Features of memorization in children and adults, methods of development, examples of exercises and techniques

Mechanical and logical memory: distinctive features and ways of development

The vast major­i­ty of peo­ple believe that mem­o­ry is just a kind of “ware­house” for infor­ma­tion. How­ev­er, pro­fes­sion­als have long found out that there are at least two dif­fer­ent com­po­nents — mechan­i­cal and log­i­cal mem­o­ry. They have their own dis­tinc­tive fea­tures and spe­cif­ic ways of devel­op­ment.

Characteristics and features

In psy­chol­o­gy, the dif­fer­ence between types of mem­o­ry is dis­tin­guished not only because it is con­ve­nient. A num­ber of stud­ies have shown that such a divi­sion cor­re­sponds to the true real­i­ty. Thus, the mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry of a per­son implies the preser­va­tion of mate­r­i­al and facts in the state in which they were under­stood. If, for exam­ple, a for­eign lan­guage or pre­vi­ous­ly unknown terms of the native lan­guage are stud­ied, then the words will be acquired in iso­la­tion. The for­eign lan­guage is not men­tioned by chance. Only pure­ly mechan­i­cal­ly one can ini­tial­ly assim­i­late unac­cus­tomed words and gram­mat­i­cal struc­tures.

In this case, they form clear, bright and juicy images. Attempts to aban­don the use of mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry inevitably pro­voke sig­nif­i­cant errors.. But it is need­ed not only in pure­ly infor­ma­tion­al terms. It is on mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry that the devel­op­ment of sim­ple motor stereo­types, includ­ing the skills of per­form­ing phys­i­cal exer­cis­es, is ulti­mate­ly based.

A nec­es­sary con­di­tion for suc­cess is greater plas­tic­i­ty of the ner­vous sys­tem.

But mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry also has sig­nif­i­cant lim­i­ta­tions.. So, although it is valu­able as oper­a­tional assis­tance in dif­fi­cult cas­es, it does not allow you to imme­di­ate­ly weed out errors and short­com­ings. If ready-made speech for­mu­las or ath­let­ic exer­cis­es are mas­tered imme­di­ate­ly incor­rect­ly, it will be extreme­ly dif­fi­cult to cor­rect these devi­a­tions. For many peo­ple, this is almost impos­si­ble to do. In addi­tion, even with a slight change in con­di­tions or require­ments, the appli­ca­tion of a mechan­i­cal­ly learned skill is dif­fi­cult.

Oth­er­wise, log­i­cal mem­o­ry works. It con­cen­trates not so much on the exter­nal form as on the con­tent of the processed mate­r­i­al. In this case, the def­i­n­i­tions of var­i­ous terms are care­ful­ly stud­ied, seman­tic chains are formed between spe­cif­ic facts and judg­ments. And even in the same phys­i­cal def­i­n­i­tions, one can trace their own log­ic, sequence. Assim­i­lat­ed infor­ma­tion is care­ful­ly ana­lyzed, divid­ed into com­po­nent parts. Sub­se­quent­ly, you can always even swap these infor­ma­tion blocks in places or cre­ative­ly use them in a non-stan­dard, unfore­seen sit­u­a­tion in advance.

Log­i­cal mem­o­ry does not rely sole­ly on the analy­sis of the mate­r­i­al.. It also needs to be repeat­ed sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly. But this rep­e­ti­tion has a dif­fer­ent mean­ing than mechan­i­cal repro­duc­tion.

Be sure to pay atten­tion to the mean­ing of the infor­ma­tion being mas­tered. The use of log­i­cal mem­o­ry is more labo­ri­ous, but a more durable result is achieved.

Memorization mechanism

The dif­fer­ence between the two types of mem­o­ry is expressed not only in how they are arranged from the point of view of psy­chol­o­gy. Pro­fes­sion­als know that mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry is based large­ly on the first sig­nal sys­tem. Log­i­cal mem­o­riza­tion also relies on this lev­el of the psy­che, but still it main­ly uses the capa­bil­i­ties of the sec­ond sig­nal­ing sys­tem. It is worth con­sid­er­ing that the mechan­i­cal assim­i­la­tion of infor­ma­tion has an impor­tant advan­tage — it is prac­ti­cal­ly inex­haustible. In any case, no spe­cial­ist can con­fi­dent­ly say what is the gen­er­al capac­i­ty of this type of mem­o­ry.

But what is learned mechan­i­cal­ly (“jagged”) can just as eas­i­ly be for­got­ten. Only with sys­tem­at­ic new rep­e­ti­tions will infor­ma­tion be stored for a longer peri­od. For exam­ple, the names of peo­ple, address­es or phone num­bers that are no longer rel­e­vant are quick­ly for­got­ten. But by build­ing clear log­i­cal chains, you can min­i­mize this risk. Undoubt­ed­ly, stud­ies of both types of mem­o­riza­tion will still reveal a lot of inter­est­ing things, but these basic facts will no longer be refut­ed.


In real life, and in every pro­fes­sion, a per­son needs both mechan­i­cal and log­i­cal mem­o­ry. How­ev­er, the pro­por­tions between them are very dif­fer­ent. The more dynam­i­cal­ly a cer­tain sphere devel­ops, the more com­plex it is, the less one can rely on a mate­r­i­al learned once and for all. And even the basic prac­ti­cal approach­es become obso­lete over time. Mechan­i­cal mem­o­riza­tion is effec­tive when it is required to fix:

  • names and dates;
  • dig­i­tal indi­ca­tors;
  • tab­u­lar data;
  • long lists;
  • texts of offi­cial doc­u­ments;
  • poet­ic works;
  • for­mu­las used in sci­ence and tech­nol­o­gy, for­mu­la­tions of the laws of nature.

If we take an ath­lete as an exam­ple, then he will learn ele­men­tary move­ments and manip­u­la­tions mechan­i­cal­ly. And this is the most jus­ti­fied way, because they will be repeat­ed con­stant­ly. But the gen­er­al strat­e­gy lead­ing to vic­to­ry in com­pe­ti­tions, tech­niques that allow you to defeat your rivals — this is already the pre­rog­a­tive of log­i­cal mem­o­ry. The more com­plex tech­nol­o­gy is used in human activ­i­ty, the more empha­sis will be placed on seman­tic rela­tion­ships. But in the admin­is­tra­tive sphere, office work, the empha­sis on tem­plate, repet­i­tive actions and schemes is of pri­ma­ry impor­tance.

Ways of development

In chil­dren and ado­les­cents, it is impor­tant to devel­op equal­ly mechan­i­cal and log­i­cal mem­o­ry. The first — because in edu­ca­tion­al insti­tu­tions they have to mas­ter a huge amount of infor­ma­tion. The sec­ond is because it is impor­tant to instill the skills of ratio­nal com­pre­hen­sion of incom­ing data. But here It is also impor­tant to pay atten­tion to the tem­po­ral stages of the mem­o­riza­tion process. Short-term mem­o­ry is devel­oped by strength­en­ing the abil­i­ty to trans­fer data from an abstract to a fig­u­ra­tive state.

For this pur­pose, var­i­ous options for fig­u­ra­tive visu­al­iza­tion are suit­able. In chil­dren of preschool age, direct mechan­i­cal mem­o­riza­tion is devel­oped very inten­sive­ly. As we grow old­er, this abil­i­ty is steadi­ly reduced. But still, psy­chol­o­gists rec­om­mend such meth­ods of strength­en­ing mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry in chil­dren, such as:

  • refusal to assim­i­late all the mate­r­i­al in one approach, divid­ing it into parts;
  • a com­bi­na­tion of sim­ple rep­e­ti­tion with attempts at repro­duc­tion;
  • appli­ca­tion of mnemon­ic meth­ods;
  • peri­od­ic change in the nature of intel­lec­tu­al work;
  • main­tain­ing the max­i­mum diver­si­ty of digestible mate­r­i­al.

The devel­op­ment of log­i­cal mem­o­ry occurs some­what dif­fer­ent­ly. This requires, when study­ing each task (prob­lem), divid­ing it into its com­po­nent parts. It is nec­es­sary to under­stand what exact­ly and for what pur­pose is being stud­ied.

It is use­ful to spend time design­ing dia­grams, graphs, tables, and oth­er ways of rep­re­sent­ing rela­tion­ships between data. This approach will save much more effort in the future.

If any new infor­ma­tion comes in, one must always think about how it affects the already estab­lished pic­ture of ideas. Some­times, because of this, one has to change the sequence of judg­ments and even aban­don pre­vi­ous con­clu­sions. But along with log­i­cal mem­o­ry, the flex­i­bil­i­ty of think­ing will devel­op. When you want to learn some­thing abstract, it is use­ful to work out asso­ci­a­tions with more famil­iar things. How­ev­er, each asso­ci­a­tion must be catchy and attract atten­tion with its unusu­al­ness.

So, if you just try to men­tal­ly arrange the prod­ucts that you need to buy in the refrig­er­a­tor, it will turn out fad­ed and inef­fi­cient. But you can arrange them along the route of going to the store, for exam­ple:

  • a pack­age of milk on a green bench;
  • chick­en wings stick­ing out of a hol­low tree;
  • apples some­one throws out of a bus win­dow;
  • let­tuce hang­ing on a clothes­line;
  • a crow drag­ging a chain of sausages.

The brighter and more expres­sive the asso­ci­a­tion (and the spe­cif­ic sit­u­a­tion), the bet­ter. For the devel­op­ment of log­i­cal mem­o­ry, spe­cial exer­cis­es are need­ed, such as the “redun­dant word” (high­light­ing what clear­ly does not fit into a series of objects or phe­nom­e­na for some rea­son). Exam­ples:

  • “bon­fire — motor­cy­cle — dew” (the first two things are dan­ger­ous, and the third is not);
  • “fog — fal­con — dis­trict” (fog does not have clear bound­aries in space);
  • “peak — anten­na — globe — rail” (the globe is the only object that is not oblong).

You can also do this: read any text flu­ent­ly, and then briefly out­line the main the­ses and nuances on paper. Then this record is com­pared with the orig­i­nal. Oth­er­wise they act in order to devel­op a mechan­i­cal mem­o­ry. Here are exer­cis­es such as:

  • quick inspec­tion of a com­plex geo­met­ric fig­ure or pat­ternwith their imme­di­ate play­back;
  • a quick intro­duc­tion to the vol­ume table (the same in essence, but they already write the num­bers that they could remem­ber);
  • pic­ture mem­o­riza­tion, where the names of the col­ors are writ­ten in the wrong paint, which is indi­cat­ed;
  • pat­tern repro­duc­tion (orna­ment);
  • dai­ly work­out - mem­o­riz­ing the list of cas­es, pur­chas­es, calls, meet­ings sched­uled for a meet­ing or report on top­ics, items of expen­di­ture and income in the per­son­al bud­get and the bud­get of the orga­ni­za­tion “with­out a piece of paper”.

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