One Way Geniuses Recall Information, By Dr Ibraheem Dooba
AREWA AGENDA – Recently, as I was driving my children to school, I asked my son to quickly list 30 English words. As can be expected, he struggled. But I knew he could do it.
I agree with Lisa Genova, author of “Remember”, who said that the average person can recall over 100,000 words. In the case of my son, he could recall at least 200 words in five minutes. He just didn’t know it yet.
So I asked him to recall his three synonyms lessons. (Everyday, he has to master at least three keywords and at least two synonyms for each word. Which means he learns a minimum of nine words a day.)
“If you take 10 keywords and list their two synonyms,” I told him, “you should be able to come up with 30 words in no time.”
He immediately got the idea and started chanting “three synonyms: abandon, desert, chalked, leave. Three synonyms: above, over, higher. Three synonyms: clever, intelligent, smart…”
In about two minutes he had his required 30 words.
What this means is that you remember information faster if you put them in categories. I learned from a book or an article or a video (I can’t remember which) that this is one way geniuses process information.
At the core of this idea is a simplification. Instead of looking for a sophisticated way to solve something, you look for a simpler way. One way to do that is by grouping.
And it works. Try it yourself. Here is a question. How many plants can you name in 30 seconds? This is a tasking challenge. But if you categorize the plants into vegetables, fruits and ornamental plants, I bet you can come up with many names. Simply exhaust one category and then move to the next group.
It is the same thing if you’re trying to invite people to your wedding or any other occasion. To avoid angry reactions from friends you forgot to invite, you can group friends into different cities of residence and you’re more likely to remember more of them.
So if this is the genius way, how do we define a genius? No one knows. Or, it depends on who you ask.
For example, in his 1904 research on geniuses, Havelock Ellis said that geniuses are fathered by men over 30 and women under the age of 25 and are usually sick children.
Some say it is high IQ. While Bill Gates, who merits the label, has an IQ of 160, another genius and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics Richard Fynmann had an IQ of only 122. This is lower than mine.
You can find that some people with very high IQs are actually not productive or do not make any impactful contribution to humanity. Maria dos Savant is a case in point. While she has the highest ever recorded IQ (of 228), she is only a question-and-answer columnist for Parade magazine.
You see, no one knows! Just use the technique.