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DTP Foundations Week #24

Week 24 of the deductionist training program.

Mnemonics #2.

Level: Intermediate.

Mnemonics #2 - Organisation:

So what can you deduce about me detective?” JM asks. You try to remember some of the signs for the “Big Five” personality traits.

You remember it like this:

To be efficient in mnemonics you need to organise what you memorise. This is something I think most have a problem with in mnemonics (I’ve never seen anyone do this in a good way). They tend to organise via rooms in their memory palace, and that’s okay but you can’t really do that efficiently with small lists you need to memorise, or even big lists. You would waste space in your palace. So this technique is what you always should utilise when using mnemonics. Sortation with the palace should only be done when you have a room for a specific topic.

I associate organising of mnemonics with an article in a newspaper. You have the headline, the subheads and the content. Remember this for later.

First, visualise this:

An aquarium which is like an OCEAN (An acronym for the big five, if you haven’t read about the big five look for my post called “Big Five”). But we need a picture for every trait because we want to organise this the best we can.

So remember these with the linking method (which we talked about last week):

      1. Openness to experience - Visualise a roller coaster.

      2. Conscientiousness - Visualise a filing-cabinet falling down and crushes the rollercoaster.

      3. Extraversion - Visualise a party hat that forces itself to be on the filing-cabinet.

      4. Agreeableness - Visualise two hands doing a handshake exactly over the party hat.

      5. Neuroticism - A shaking skeleton that shakes on the shaking hands.

Remember the newspaper article? Now we want to organise the OCEAN picture to be the headline and the traits to be the subheads and then the signs to be the content (more on that later).

So do this:

Link the aquarium (OCEAN) with the roller coaster (Openness to experience).

This you do a particular way:

Every time you make a connection between a headline and a subhead or a headline and content or subhead and content you should make the code for the headline big, the code for the subhead medium/small and the code for the content small. This will be zoomed in later.

So visualise the aquarium(OCEAN) quite big and the roller coaster(Openness to experience) as a small ornament inside the aquarium. When you have seen the aquarium as a big picture and the roller coaster as a small picture you should zoom in on the roller coaster and see every subhead as the same size. So all in the same category should be the same size.

Now we shall memorise the signs so that we can deduce what personality traits someone has.

The signs of openness to experience - Rollercoaster:

  • Colourful clothes - Clown clothes.
  • The shoes have strong colours - Neon shoes.

Now you are going to make a connection with the roller coaster (openness to experience) and the clown clothes (colourful clothes). The roller coaster is a subhead and the clown clothes are the content, so the roller coaster is going to be a big picture and the clown clothes are going to be a small picture.

Visualise the roller coaster and visualise the clown clothes to be small as doll clothes in one of the seats of the roller coaster. Now you zoom in on the clown clothes and see neon shoes as big as the clothes but inside them. The clothes later fall apart and reveal the shoes.

Now you should know how to connect these different pictures, so I’ll give you the coding and the size of the picture but you’ll need to connect them yourself.

The signs for conscientiousness - File cabinet (Medium):

  • Formal clothes - A suit (Small but the filing-cabinet is big compared to the suit)
  • Clean shoes that are in good condition - Cinderella’s glass shoes (Small but is the same size as the suit)

The signs for extraversion - Party hat (Medium but is the same size as the filing-cabinet):

  • Stylish external - A king’s crown (Small)
  • Friendly facial expressions - Smiley face (Small)
  • Confident facial expressions - Sunglasses (Small)
  • Smiles a lot - Smiley with botox in the cheeks so that it stays smiling (Small)
  • Relaxed gait - Ragdoll (Small)
  • Swinging arms when walking - Robots arms that are spinning (Small)
  • Loud and powerful voice - Megaphone (Small)
  • Good eye contact - Creepy old portrait (Small)
  • Lift their feet when walking - Boot with a spring under it (Small)
  • Shoes have lots of colours and the colours are strong - Clown shoes (Small)

The signs for agreeableness - Handshake (Medium)

  • Soft facial features - Faceless round face (Small)
  • Friendly facial expressions - Mona Lisa (Small)
  • The shoes are practical, non- pointy, affordable and no visible brands - Shoes made of clouds (Small)

The signs for neuroticism - Shaking skeleton (Medium)

  • Dark clothes - Dracula (Small)
  • Pointy shoes and high heels - High heels (Small)

Like with everything, you’ll need to recall this now and then to remember it.

So just to be overly clear. The category of what you are memorising is the headline (in other words OCEAN or the Big Five is the headline) and has the size “BIG” relative to “MEDIUM” and “SMALL”.

The subcategories in the category are the subheads (in other words the five traits, like “openness to experience”, “conscientiousness“, “extraversion” and so on. These are the subheads) and have the size “MEDIUM” relative to “BIG” and “SMALL”.

The signs, in this case, are the content and have the size “SMALL” relative to “BIG” and “MEDIUM”.


OCEAN - headline - BIG

Openness to experience - subhead - MEDIUM

  • Sign - content - SMALL
  • Sign - content - SMALL

Conscientiousness - subhead - MEDIUM

  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL

Extraversion - subhead - MEDIUM

  • Sign - content - SMALL
  • Sign - content - SMALL
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL

Agreeableness - subhead - MEDIUM

  • Sign - content - SMALL
  • Sign - content - SMALL 
  • Sign - content - SMALL

Neuroticism - subhead - MEDIUM

  • Sign - content - SMALL
  • Sign - content - SMALL

You notice that JM have formal clothes and clean shoes that are in good condition, so you tell him that he scores high on the personality trait conscientiousness, he confirms your suspicion.

And with that, I’ll see you my irregulars.

DTP Foundations Week #23

Week 23 of the deductionist training program.

Mnemonics #1.

Level: Basic.

Mnemonics #1 - Linking method:

One of the professors come up to meet you and asks you what this visit is about. You answer that you’re looking for a JM and he tells you that he is JM and is wondering what you want with him. You ask him if you can talk in private. You and JM go to a classroom and he asks you “So detective, what traits could you deduce about someone?”. You have memorised a checklist just for that so that it would be easier making deductions.

NOTE: You should read this before going into this.

You memorised it so that:

When using mnemonics you’ll visualise the information you want to remember and use a kind of filing system so that you can always find it. To do this you’ll need to know how to visualise and you have to know how to code the information to something you can visualise. There are three important rules when using mnemonics.

Always visualise like this:

  • Bright and vivid colours.
  • Visualise in 3D.
  • Visualise in a lot of detail.

Some seem to think that it’s necessary to visualise weird and abstract pictures but it really isn’t. It sure helps but it isn’t necessary, especially if you need to memorise it quickly. (More in-depth about the rules here)

There are three ways of coding efficiently:

  • Symbol coding - Death would become a skull. Death is an abstract word and a skull symbolises that word.
  • Phonetic coding - To code the sound of something to a picture. Let’s say we want to code “Conjunctivitis” (Pinkeye) Con/junc/tivi/tis so a CONman(con) throwing out a JUNk(junc) TV(tivi) while TEaSing(tis) you with their amazingness.
  • Experience coding - If you’ve always associated your grandpa with cars because he loved cars then his memory experience code would be a car he loved.

Only visualise two objects at a time and in this method (the linking method) they should be the same size. Coding and memorisation should never take more than 30 seconds each. You don’t have to use my coding for these create your own if you want to! (More in-depth about coding here)

Follow these rules and do this:

  • Checklist. (This is only to find the checklist easy) - Visualise a checklist with a lot of detail. Maybe it’s stained so that it looks old, maybe someone has spilt coffee over it.
  • Physical attributes. - Visualise parts of Mr Potato Head from “Toy Story” on top of the checklist, maybe weighing the checklist down or perhaps piercing the checklist.
  • Dominant hand. - A chopped off hand which is bleeding al over the potato heads parts.(Don’t visualise the checklist now)
  • Personality. - A skull from Hamlet “To be or not to be” which is held by a chopped off the hand.
  • Physical and mental health. - An ambulance that drives around on the skull from Hamlet.
  • Economical status. - On the ambulance, there are a safe packed full with money.
  • Relationships. - An engagement ring is around the safe packed with money.
  • Family. - A family portrait is the stone of the engagement ring.
  • Animals. - A dog is peeing on the portrait.
  • Education. - A student cap is covering the dog like a blanket.
  • Occupation. - A safety helmet comes crashing down on the student cap.
  • Background. - Two mountains start growing on the helmet.
  • Hobbies. - A hobbit that climbs the mountains.
  • Political views. - A tie wrestles with the hobbit.
  • Past activities. - An hourglass which stomps the tie down.
  • Dreams. - A genie lamp pours sand on the hourglass.
  • Musical taste. - A speaker comes out of the top of the genie lamp.
  • Religion and ideologies. - A cross comes flying down and pierces the speaker.
  • Food and diets. - Plate with food that spins on the cross.
  • Musical instruments. - A guitar that’s trying to get out of the food where it got stuck.
  • Sports. - Soccerball that comes out of the guitars hole.
  • Home. - House that grows on the soccer ball.
  • Transportation. - A train that crushes the house.
  • Abroad. - A passport that cuts the train in half.

Now, this needs to be recalled once in a while, so do check on this. But you should use this when deducing so that makes you check it. (More in-depth about fixation in mnemonics here)

This was the linking method, become confident in using this.

Now I have a question for all of those who are reading this. What downside does this method have?

You tell JM this list.

And with that, I’ll see you my irregulars.

DTP Foundations Week #22

Week 22 of the deductionist training program.

Observation exercise #3.

Level: Addition to the other observations.

Observation exercise #3 - Auditory observation:

The only exercise you feel the need of doing now is an auditory exercise. You do it when you walk to the staff room in the university.

This is how you do it:

  1. Sit comfortable.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Try imagining people talking like a blue smoke where the sound would be.
  4. Do the above and try imaging every striking sound as a blue smoke.
  5. After this try imagine every sound as a blue smoke around you where it would have come from.

Now when you’re comfortable with that try this:

  1. Make your sight slightly unfocused.
  2. Try focusing on what people are saying around you, and where it is.
  3. After this, try focusing on the people and on striking sounds.
  4. After this, try focus on every sound around you.

When you’re comfortable with that try doing it exactly the same way except for the eyes. Keep your eyes focused.

You should try doing this all hours of the day, it’s not possible to do that much because it makes you quite tired, but you will be able to do this most hours of the day when you are getting used to the exercise.

You feel refreshed and ready for meeting the professors in the staff room.

And with that, I’ll see you my irregulars.