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The Peg Method

 

Techniques > Memory methods > The Peg Method

Usage | Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Usage

Use this system when you want to remember numbers.

Description

Pick a set of words that are easy to remember and which can easily be used in the sequencing of this method.

A common way is to have pegs that rhyme with the individual digits. These are good for people with stronger auditory preferences. An alternative is to use a peg that has a similar shape to the digit, which may well be good for people with a stronger visual memory.

Here are examples you can use, though it is a good idea to pick pegs that are easiest for you to remember and use.

 

Number Rhyme

Peg

Shape

Peg

0 Hero Hole
1 Bun Stick
2 Shoe Swan
3 Tree Breasts
4 Door Yacht
5 Hive Hook
6 Sticks Elephant
7 Heaven Walking stick
8 Gate Hourglass
9 Line Balloon

 

Memorize these links so the number quickly and easily leaps to mind when you think about. Then, when you need to remember a sequence of numbers, create a memorable story using the sequence of pegs.

A way you can enhance this is to link the number and the peg in a short rhythm, eg:

  • Zero the hero
  • One in a bun
  • Two are shoes
  • Three standing trees
  • Four knock on door
  • Five bees in hive
  • Six picket sticks
  • Seven ways to heaven
  • Eight at the gate
  • Nine in a line

Example

I want to remember a phone number: 020 3345 9424.

 

Number Peg Story
0 Hero One day, Superman
2 Shoe Lost one shoe
0 Hero Then Superwoman
3 Tree Flew down from a tree
3 Tree And crashed into another tree
4 Door Which fell down and broke a door
5 Hive Of a bee hive
9 Line The bees flew in a line
4 Door To the front door of a nearby house
2 Shoe Where they found Superman's shoe
4 Door And took it to his door and gave it to him.

 

Discussion

The most common method of selecting associated words is ones which rhyme. This is because the human memory is good at using 'sound-alike' associations.

You can use any association you like, for example you could use 'swan' for the number two because the number two looks like a swan.

To make sequences easier to create, you can also have multiple peg words for each number, for example six could be represented by sticks or a person being sick.

You can also use pegs for numbers with multiple digits, allowing you to remember numbers in groups. This of course requires more effort in initial memorizing. Professionals who use this system may have three-digit associations, for example 154 may be remembered as 'dancing man'. This means having a thousand images to remember, each of which recalls three digits at a time.

See also

The Consonant Peg Method

 

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