Introduction To Hierarchies And Categories

In order to control and apply this vast mental power, you need to structure your thoughts and your Mind Map using hierarchy and categorisation. The first step is to identify your Basic Ordering Ideas (BOIs).

Basic Ordering Ideas are key concepts within which a host of other concepts can be organised. The term 'machines', for example, contains a vast array of categories, one of which is 'motor vehicles'. This in turn generates a large range, one of which is 'cars'. 'Cars' in turn contains a host of types, including Fords, which can themselves be subdivided into various models.

Seen from this perspective, 'machines' is a more powerful word than Fords because it encompasses and potentially structures a huge range of information. 'Machines' both suggests a set of categories and puts them in a hierarchical order subordinate to itself.

Likewise this hierarchy can be extended upwards to even higher levels of generalisation: 'artefacts', for example, has 'machines' as one of its subjects. These power words or Basic Ordering Ideas are the key to shaping and steering the creative process of association. To put it another way, they are the chapter headings you would use if you were writing a book on the subject, f A classic study carried out by Bower, Clark, Lesgold and Wimzenz in 1969 demonstrated the importance of hierarchies as an aid to memory. In this experiment the subjects were divided into two groups. Each group was shown four cards, with 28 words written on each card.

The people in Group 1 were shown words organised hierarchically. For example, the word 'instrument' was placed at the top, and there were branches down to 'strings' and 'percussion'. On the next level there were branches from the word 'strings' down to 'violin', 'viola' and 'cello', while 'percussion' branched down to 'timpani', 'kettledrum', 'bongo' and so on.

The people in Group 2 were shown exactly the same words but arranged randomly. Both groups were then tested on their ability to recall the words. As you would now expect, those in Group 1, who had been shown words in hierarchies, did far better than those in Group 2, who had been shown random lists of the same words.

Making Time Work With You

Making Time Work With You

Of course we all have the same amount of time in the day. But some people struggle to get even the simplest of tasks completed while others can work a weeks worth of jobs into one single day. Time can be our worst enemy or our closest friend. If you are struggling to find the time to get everything in order, if you want to find a way to accomplish a few more dreams and release a few of those huge tasks that seem to be forever hanging over your head, then making time work for you is the key.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment