My friends and I are always laughing. Except for when we are reliving an inside joke between us, that's when I'm the one scratching my head. They make fun of me because I can't seem to ever remember details of something like an inside joke. So for the sake of my funny bone, I decided to make a change!
I Google-ed "how to improve memory" and found a site called Lumosity. Lumosity targets five areas (speed, attention, memory, problem solving, flexibility) to help improve brain function. I signed up for a free account to work on improving my memory. They had me play a game where the screen showed a grid of squares. A certain number of squares would light up for a few seconds and then dimminish. Then I was to click on the squares that had been lit. As I picked a round of squares correctly, they would show me a bigger grid with more lit up squares for the same amount of time as previous.
I noticed a few things that reinforce the information in Chapter 7 of the Lilienfeld text. The first was that the first few rounds of the game were relatively easy yet they got harder as the grid got bigger. I noticed that as I was asked to recall around 8 lit squares was when I began to struggle. This follows George Miller's theory of the Magic Number, meaning one can remember plus or minus seven pieces of information. Another concept I noticed at work was chunking, the organization of information into groupings. When some squares were located directly next to each other, it was easier for me to remember those squares. The last aspect I noticed in this activity was that I always remembered the first few squares that I looked at on the screen while the last squares I saw were harder for me to locate, a concept called the primacy effect.
If anything, I hope these games have taught me to better chunk parts of inside jokes together or maybe I'll be lucky and the punch line will be in the first few moments of the memory. I'm ready for a good, hard laugh!