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Memory & Learning

Memory & Learning

Context Dependent Memory

“We tend to forget things when we’re out of context.”
Do you recognize the following situation? You enter your basement, but instantly forget why you went there. You walk back, and as soon as you enter the kitchen you go “Oh, I remember, I went to get the juicer!” That’s cue dependent forgetting and remembering; it is our tendency to forget things which are out of context, and to recall information more easily when the original contextual cues are present (the cues that were also present when we learned it).

Take for example retargeting: someone visited your website and looked at a

Choice-supportive bias

“I chose this option, therefore its features are the best”
We have a tendency to remember our choices as being better than they actually were. We over-attribute positive features to the options we’ve chosen. On the other hand, we do the opposite for options that we did not choose: we attribute negative features to the non-chosen options.

Scientific research example
Imagine researchers ask you several times to choose between two classic cars, each with a couple of distinctive features. After you finished, the researcher thank you and ask you to come back in 7 days.

One week later you come back. The researchers

Self-generation memory effect

“If we think of it ourselves, we find it easy to remember”
We remember information better if it is generated by our own mind, moreso than when we read or hear it from someone else. So if you want your customer to remember something, a highly effective strategy is to have him generate the information himself.
Scientific research example:
Imagine that you’re given a list of simple multiplication problems. Some calculations include the answers, for others the answer is absent. For calculating the missing answers you can use your head, or a calculator. You are asked to remember as many of the

Availability heuristic

“If we can think of it, it must be important”
The easier we can recall an event, the more often or likely we think this event will occur. So we have a tendency to judge the frequency of an event based on how easy it is to recall similar instances. And since memories are highly biased toward vivid, unusual, and emotionally charged examples, these later also influence how likely we are to consider events.
Scientific research example:
Imagine that two researchers (Tversky and Kahneman) present you with a list of people’s names. While reading them, you recognize some famous names. At the