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The Paradox of Learning and Forgetting

The ability to quickly and accurately recall facts and figures may serve you well if you ever go on a game show, but it doesn't necessarily mean that any profound learning has taken place. Nevertheless, memory is a vital part of learning. We are forced to memorize certain facts and information. Therefore, you can improve your total learning ability by taking care of your recall mechanism.

A paradox of memory is that at the same time you begin to learn something new, you begin to forget it. Learning and forgetting go hand in hand. New information is forgotten quickly. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of new information is forgotten within one month.

Generally, we are only able to recall 10 percent or less of the information stored in our long-term memory. The information is there. It's just that we can't recall it. Much of our new information loss occurs within a day or two of acquiring the information.

Your memory can be trained, improved, enhanced, massaged and cultivated, though. Your forgetfulness can be minimized. Your ability to be a successful adult learner can be enhanced through memory training. The following pages describe some memory training techniques -- ways of massaging your memory to get the most out of it.