Self-Empowering Motivation Is a Shortcut: 2 Scientific Methods to Stop Forgetting

Why do we supplement our diets with omega-3s and do puzzle games to strengthen the health of our brains? The most important reason is to prevent memory loss. However, in order to enhance our memory and lessen the instances of forgetting both big and little things, these brain-based strategies can help! 


When losing weight, some people find it helpful to stop checking Facebook or Instagram to prevent self-comparisons. Similarly, your brain forgets what’s important when you compare your performance to others. 

Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have found that mastery approach goals (i.e., developing your own competence) enhance memory of newly learned material, whereas performance-approach goals (i.e., comparing yourself to others) can create “tenuous connections” in memory. The authors concluded the study by saying, “Motivation factors can influence inhibition and forgetting.” 

So, it might be time to ask yourself: What motivates you to learn new things, and how can you change your approach? 

#2: ASK WHY 

A 2016 study from the European Journal of Social Psychology found that thinking more abstractly can actually reduce memory issues. The study examined how levels of “construal” (examination and interpretation) can affect memory, and their results suggested that “abstract thinking can eliminate retrieval-induced forgetting because of relational processing, demonstrating the roles of the levels of construal on memory inhibition.” In other words, if you know the “how” and “why” behind things you intend to remember, you’ll be more likely to remember them. 

If you’ve been forgetful lately, maybe it’s time to rethink how you approach new information — according to researchers, a new source of motivation or critical thinking mindset could make all the difference!

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