How Can the Use of Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas to Organise Our Thinking Help Us to Improve Our Memory?

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  • Topic: Memory, Method of loci, Concepts
  • Pages : 3 (1080 words )
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  • Published : May 23, 2012
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How can the use of mental images, concepts and schemas to organise our thinking help us to improve our memory?

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think--rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men" (john Dewey)
There are many ways to memorise important information that we later want to recall. This could be as simple as a shopping list or as complicated as a foreign language. Luckily, the human brain has the ability to store and organise information so we can do just that. In this essay i will be looking at a few of the techniques we use consciously and sub consciously to remember, memorise and recall information.

There have been many studies that have shown that, although we use mainly semantic thought in our day to day lives, using mental images would prove to be a more effective aid to memory. An example of this is by Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975). They created a way to form mental images of foreign words by using english words that sounded similar to some or all of the french word. The Open University, Starting With Psychology textbook (2011) Figure 16 pg. 46 shows, For example, the french word "Poubelle" translated into english as 'bin'. The Image shows someone taking the lid off a "bin", which has turned into "bell", holding their nose because of the "pooh". Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) used two groups of participants for their study. Both groups were asked to learn a list of 60 spanish words, one of these groups was taught the "Key Word" technique. The findings showed that the group that was taught the key word technique scored an average of 88%. In comparison, the group that were not taught the technique only scored an average of 28%.

Another mnemonic (a technique used to aid memory) is the "Method of loci" which was developed by Simonides, an ancient greek poet (500 BC.) This...
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