Context Dependent Memory

Context dependent memory refers to the phenomenon of how much easier it is to retrieve certain memories when the "context," or circumstances around the memory are same for both the original encoding and retrieval. Research shows improved recall of specific episodes or information when the context present at encoding and retrieval are the same.

You have probably experienced this if you have ever returned to the home where you grew up, or a school that you used to attend. When you do this memories of events that happened there came more readily to mind.

A practical application of this might be in physically reenacting an event to remember some detail. For example, if you have misplaced your car keys, try going through the sequence of actions for the last time you came into your house and you might find where you left them.

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