What is a Rehearsal?

This is a method usually utilized to improve the storage of information, using a great deal of information repetition. Memory researchers use this term to mention mental techniques for helping people remember information. Its technical meaning isn’t very different from its everyday use by people. Actors rehearse their scripts so that they wouldn’t forget them. Similarly, if people want to retain information over time, there’re strategies for improving future recall. There’re two main types of rehearsal: maintenance rehearsal and elaborative rehearsal.

Maintenance rehearsal: This involves continuously repeating the material one needs to remember. This method is useful in retaining information over the short term. Almost everyone has faced the incident of looking up a phone number and eventually forgetting it (or its part) before dialing it. This demonstrates the fact that new information will fade from memory pretty quickly unless people make a purposeful effort to retain it. Maintenance rehearsal typically includes rote repetition, either covertly or out loud. It’s useful for maintaining comparatively small amounts of information in memory for short periods but isn’t likely to impact retention in the long run.

Elaborative rehearsal: This is a more effective method to memorize information and maintain it in the long-term memory. Elaborative rehearsal includes associating new information with information already present in the long-term memory. There’re countless occasions on which learners are required to remember large volumes of complex information. In these circumstances, reciting the information lots of times isn’t going to help commit it to long-term memory. Elaboration strategies that engage the student in comprehending the material are effective, both for retaining information and retrieving it later. Elaboration can take different forms.

Some effective examples of using this method to learn and remember the human body’s bones include:

Translating information into own words: Instead of simply reading what the study guide mentions about which bone is connected to the next one, the student can try to rephrase the information and then explain it to another person.

Grouping terms: Students can outline different categories or characteristics of the bones and mark those that fit into each group. They can identify all the bones in the foot, list them in a category, and then follow the same method for other body parts.

Using a mnemonic strategy: Mnemonic strategies can be highly useful in learning terms or names. For instance, students can take the first letter of the bones in the hand and arm and form a new word where every letter refers to one of the bones they need to remember.

While rehearsal can help anyone remember things, some groups might find it especially helpful, including those with early dementia or learning disabilities. Patients with conditions such as fibromyalgia that create “brain fog” might also find rehearsal an effective method to improve memory retention. Multiple studies have been carried out to assess the usefulness of rehearsing information to be able to recall it later. For instance, a 2015 study discovered that rehearsing video clips’ details immediately after watching them substantially enhanced recall of those videos weeks later.

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