A person-action system is a method for placing mnemonic images numbers and cards in a memory palace. Person-action systems are most commonly used with the Dominic System but they can also be used with the Major System or other Phonetic Number System.
Each number or card to be memorized is given a fixed mnemonic image of a person and an action. Here are some examples based on the Dominic System:
|15||Albert Einstein||Writing on a blackboard|
|16||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Lifting weights|
|45||Dwight Eisenhower||Riding in a jeep|
|54||Emily Dickenson||Writing a poem|
When encountering a long number, like 15164554, it would be broken into chunks of four: 1516 4554, and then again into chunks of two: 15-16 45-54. Each set of four digits would then be converted into a person and an action:
- The person for 15 is “Albert Einstein”
- The action for 16 is “lifting weights”
The resulting compound image for the number 1516 would be Albert Einstein lifting weights.
- The person for 45 is “Dwight Eisenhower”
- The action for 54 is “writing a poem”
In that case, the compound image for 4554 would be Dwight Eisenhower writing a poem.
If the numbers were switched, 5445, then it would be Emily Dickenson riding in a jeep.
1654 would be Arnold Schwarzenegger writing a poem.
In this way, a set of 100 persons and actions can make 10,000 unique compound images from 0000 to 9999.
When memorizing long numbers, the compound images are typically placed in a memory palace using the Method of Loci.