School of Phenomenal Memory
I came across this website that promises some pretty ‘phenomenal’ improvements in memory if you complete their course.
Here is their promise:
"After I complete the full course, I will be able to fully control the memorization process. I will be able to manipulate, delete, copy, and edit information I have memorized and keep the memorized information for as long as I need — a few hours, weeks, months, or a lifetime. I will be able to memorize any type of information without any limitation, including medical texts, math, new languages, programming languages, and entire books of any kind. My overall mental shape will be dramatically improved, including attention, visualization, thinking speed, etc."
Anyone ever heard of this or tried it? I’ve done some research on it in other forums and blog reviews and it looks really legit. Basically if you put in the 100 hours necessary, then you get what they promise. Worth it? I can’t think of anything more worth that time.
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Pretty much it just makes impossible claims. You don’t have a computer with an interface in your head, you have a brain. No one will ever, ever be able to do this: “I will be able to manipulate, delete, copy, and edit information I have memorized and keep the memorized information for as long as I need — a few hours, weeks, months, or a lifetime.” So either he is working off extremely newly discovered information (which if he is, I would question its effectiveness), or it is a scam. My psychology textbook is Psychology 9e by David Meyers (first printed in 2008), and I will attempt to summarize the chapter on memory.
So basically, you exist in a sea of energy. Think about it. The electromagnetic spectrum is fucking HUGE and we see such a small fraction (google visible light electromagnetic spectrum). you also exist in the present. Without memory, you would just experience a stream of (seemingly) unrelated stimuli without being able to draw any significant meaning or conclusions from said stimuli. But luckily we do have Memory.
The accepted model as of now is the Atkinson-Shiffrin three stage memory model. You have encoding (senses to brain), storage (brain to memory), and retrieval (your ability to recall said memory). “[The Atkinson-Shiffrin memory model] sugests that we (1) register fleeting sensory memories, some of which are (2) processed into on-screen short term memories, a tiny fraction of which are (3) encoded for long term memory and possibly, later retrieval.”(366) So basically out of the billions of sensory perceptions you are feeling right now your brain only consciously recognizes a very small portion of them, and of those it recognizes, an even smaller portion of those get converted into your short term memory. You can think of your short term memory as a workspace for your brain. For the vast majority of human beings there is enough room in their workspace for seven items, plus or minus two depending on how stressful the situation. This is why seven is such a crazy fucking number (seven wonders of the world, seven deadly sins, seven days of the week, Snow white and the seven dwarves, 7-11, 007, 7- up, and many many many more). But anyways, seven item workspace. “at any given time we can focus on and process only about seven items of information (either new or retrieved from memory store). Without rehearsal, information disappears from our short term memory within seconds. Our capacity for long term memory is essentially unlimited.” (366) So thats basically how your short term memory works.
Long term memory is way, way more complex, and way, way more unreliable. People consistently trick themselves all day everyday. But i’ll talk about that in a second. “Recall is the ability to retrieve information not in conscious awareness; a fill-in-the-blank question tests recall. recognition is the ability to identify items previously learned; a multiple choice question tests recognition. Relearning is the ability to master previously stored information more quickly than you originally learned it. Retrieval cues catch our attention and tweak our web of associations, helping to move target information into our conscious awareness. Priming is the process of activating associations (often unconsciously).” So that is recall. But we also forget. “Why do we forget? we may fail to encode information for entry into our memory system. Memories may fade after storage-rapidly at first, and then leveling off, a trend known as the forgetting cuve. We may experience retrieval failure, when old and new material compete, or when we don’t have adequate retrieval cues…” One thing that was super interesting is how in studies, psychologists influenced people’s memories using misinformation. A group of people witnessed a car crash. They split that group into two subgroups. One subgroup they asked “how fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?” The other subgroup they asked, “how fast were the cars going when they came into contact with each other?” then a week later they asked both groups if they recalled seeing broken glass.Those heard smash rather than contact were more than twice as likely to report seeing glass fragments.
So basically, this model of memory directly conflicts with most of the claims that the website makes. HOWEVER, it claims to be working off of a different memory model.
“Significant memory improvement is virtually impossible if memory mechanisms are not known. We need to know EXACTLY what is happening in the brain on the cell level when we memorize in order to develop an effective and optimal training program.
Unfortunately, memory mechanisms are not known anywhere in the world outside of our school. You cannot find information on how memory really works in medical institutions, universities, psychology and any other fields, or websites. That’s the bottom line.
The only existing memory model that can explain and prove memory mechanisms is the GMS Memory Model created by a Russian scientist. His name is Vladimir Kozarenko. After more than 10 years of scientific research, he managed to fully understand and, for the first time, explain, how memory really works. Now his model is the core of our Phenomenal Memory Course and training.”
It basically claims in this paragraph to know “EXACTLY what is happening on the cell level when we memorize”. Are they on CRACK? The brain is one of the most if not the most complex organic systems on the planet. If anyone claims to know “EXACTLY” what is happening in the brain, i’m calling shenanigans. It also claims that its school is the only authority on memory and that “you cannot find information on how memory really works in medical institutions, universities, psychology and any other fields, or websites.” So basically those things called experiments that they’ve been doing in hospitals and colleges are poppycock, and we should accept this websites claim, with its prestigious .com domain.
Just what the dr ordered..
Hey! I am almost finished with this course, and…
Well, I have been memorizing pages within books, and several hours worth of video lessons on IT and well, pretty much anything else I felt like memorizing. I do not forget, unless I choose to (and even then it’s actually pretty hard)!
1. The course is hard. It takes a long time to finish. It takes a lot of effort. Sometimes it’s excruciatingly boring. But… do you want photographic memory or not?
2. If you really don’t have money, there ARE ways to get things for free in the internet… You might want to look up the word “torrent” on google or something like that. Just sayin’.
:) I still have yet to find somebody else I know who wants to go through the course. It’s funny to see how they just pass up this opportunity of a lifetime.
@Cameron, the claims might sound crazy and some of them might conflict with the understanding of how memory works in classical psychology (please note that memory is still a huge mystery in classical psychology) and might just go against everything you believe (saying that you can memorize books is very unbelievable with the current understanding, or should I say ‘lack of understanding’ of how memory functions) and that’s why we offer a free manual of the Giordano Memorization System that has detailed explanations of the theoretical basis and the practical basis of the system. You can get it for free from here: http://www.pmemory.com/downloads/ We are actually giving away everything that our course is based on for free. The course is basically a practical training course into GMS. Just reading a book and knowing the theory and techniques will not allow you to memorize entire books. To memorize such a high volume of information one must train his attention span and his visualization skills to such a degree where memorization becomes efficient, he also must make sure that his brain is healthy. Memory training within our School is very much like working out in the gym.
And to address your last paragraph, yes, GMS manual does include a description of how memory works on a cellular level and no, we are not on crack ;) Feel free to have a look!
In addition I would like you to take a look at this page: http://www.pmemory.com/super-memory-demonstration/
These video demonstrations show our head instructor Ruslan.M and one of our students demonstrate what they can do with their skill. It actually shows everything that is claimed here (except the time periods for recall as that is quite hard to demonstrate in a video):
“I will be able to manipulate, delete, copy, and edit information I have memorized and keep the memorized information for as long as I need — a few hours, weeks, months, or a lifetime.”
So what this means is that the whole thing is either fixed or they are really able to do what they claim in which case it is quite clear that your explanation of why the system can’t work is incorrect as it is based on incomplete understanding of memory.
It would be a pretty good scam if these demonstrations and hundreds of user submitted testimonials on forums were fake. This is something that is up to you to decide based on the information we provide for free on our website. We want you to decide on your own and that’s why we offer so much information for free (an entire book explaining the system we teach).
Im definitely interested. I’ve looked around, found many great posts, and many positive things said regarding this program, but interestingly enough, most of the recommendations came from the within the host site (pmemory), but all other discussion was found at random forums, etc. Jordan, were counting on your to give us the trusted scoop!
found a coupon code scrolling through their discussion boards! 100coursesnow its legit. knocks off 100 dollars on top of the current 100 dollar discount promo. 197 dollars for a phenomenal memory? if it works that is a pretty amazing deal. i’ll let you know how i get on.
I downloaded your ebook and skimmed it for a short while, and then began searching for sources. I wasn’t able to find any. Please direct me to the works cited page number of your book. If it doesn’t exist, I rest my case.
Just completed the first lesson last night and learned how to easily memorize 25 random objects. I can still remember the list from last night too! Pretty cool stuff. I’ll be posting actual articles on my progress & will keep posting little updates in this discussion too.
Awesome find, Julian! I’m going to contact the guy that created it to see if I can get a program to test and blog about on here. If it works, I can’t imagine that anyone on here that would not want to try it.
There isn’t a specific page dedicated to sources as most of it comes straight from the authors. A few sources are mentioned in the part 2 of the manual which explains the theoretical basis though.
If you disregard the book just on this basis without reading it then there isn’t much that we can do to help you.
I would try it (if i could scrounge up the money,) but I already have pretty good memory. I can spell almost any word that I have ever seen. I have often called myself the human dictionary, haha. But I forget important things like taking out the trash, or names…
adenosine triphosphate. :) I used to be able to spell sphygmomanometer, but I had to google it this time :/
That’s fine. Theories take a while to become accepted and that is not something School of Phenomenal Memory is focused on. It is up to Vladimir Kozarenko (the creator of GMS) to get it out there. Our goal is to help people improve their memory based on a system that we believe in and that has been proved to work through experience.
I looked it over and searched for outside sites (other than forums sponsored by the same company trying to take my money) that had something to say about it. I’d definitely try it if it was less expensive (even with the half off price). For a course that’s purely online and costs them close to nothing to reproduce, it seems like it’d be more profitable if they priced it at, say, $50 instead of $400. But hey, if people are willing to pay that much for it, who am I to suggest otherwise.
I’m interested in how the progress is going as well. I just finished reading ‘Moonwalking with Einstein’ by Josh Foer, and he outlines various mnemonic ‘tricks’ that allowed him to win the U.S. Memory Championship. However, the tricks pretty much useless in day-to-day life (ie. memorizing 25 random objects, or a string of numbers, etc). I’m interested to see if the course can improve our memory capacity, although doubtful because MWE claims that’s currently impossible.
I just finished my Memory Unit in Intro to Psych at Lewis & Clark College, and from what I learned in that class, this is a scam. However, I would be really interested to hear how this turns out for you. Looking forward to your posts!