Number 14 of 21 for 21 – No Audio: Part 2
Expanding on post 13 that offered a new tool – rehearse for forty seconds – this post delves more deeply into the source of such twitter-like advice.
Having read an article about the original research cited in the September Inc. piece 3 Nearly Effortless Ways to Improve Your Memory and Recall, Backed by Neuroscience, I remained curious about one of the Inc. author’s conclusions to “rehearse for 40 seconds.” The original study used stimuli clips of 29-48 seconds from movie scenes that portrayed complex activities to test the accuracy of recall in the participants.
I corresponded with one of the authors/researchers (Chris Bird, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, School of Psychology, University of Sussex) to explore that and the duration time as a basis for the subsequent “tip” in the Inc. piece. As a tool in trial prep, I was sure this would be an easy one for our clients to adopt given the demands for their time during trial.
Turns out, there’s no magic to the 40 seconds length, but there does seem to be magic in the rehearing/retelling component. Participants who rehearsed (or reheard and retold), created more lasting and accurate memories than those who did not.
Even more compelling to me than the short duration times was that the original researchers played those clips (scenes from movies on youtube.com) for the participants, with the sound turned off. They asked participants to recall as many details as possible of what they saw, but not what they heard. Does this help prove or disprove the memorability advice we trial consultants often give that “seeing and hearing is better than just seeing or just hearing”?
Regardless, I may still use the 40 second rule as a carrot with our clients, and if that helps them rehearse for longer than that, all the better for recall and taking command of their trial presentation material.
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