How Can Memory Be Improved by Use of Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas?

Topics: Memory, Method of loci, Mnemonic Pages: 3 (1030 words) Published: May 21, 2013
According to Spoors et al. (2011) adults have a predisposition to sematic thought (thinking in words) and sometimes use iconic thought (mental images), whereas children use schemas (frameworks). Adults access and build upon these schemas throughout their lives. Improvement and organisation of thought and memory can be enhanced by the use of mental images, concepts and schemas. In this essay I will explain what mental images, concepts and schemas are, how they help to improve memory and bring in supporting evidence from psychologists. A mental image is a cognitive technique for utilising iconic memory and linking a work with a picture or image of the item to aid recall. Using mental images improves memory by organising our thoughts and helps focus on the words to be learnt thereby fixing them into long term memory for example, ci (pronounced key) is Welsh for dog, by visualising opening a giant lock with a dog helps to remember the translation. This form of linking a word with a bizarre image has many applications and is known as the keyword technique which was developed by Raugh and Atkinson (1975, cited in Spoors et al., 2011). Raugh and Atkinson conducted an experiment where a group of participants were given sixty Spanish Words to memorise and divided into two groups. The keyword technique was taught to one group but not the other. Results showed that the group who were taught the keyword technique recalled a greater number of words than the other group, thus proving that mental images improve recall. Another application of using mental images is mnemonics. An ancient mnemonic, known as the method of loci, was devised by the Greek poet Simonides (cited in Spoors et al., 2011) he found that when trying to remember a list of words memory is improved if the words are linked with familiar objects and a story compiled that follows a logical sequence. A basic application would be a shopping list where the items of food were placed around the home....
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