How can the way in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas help us improve our memory?
In this essay I am going to break down mental images, concepts and schemas to explain what each is and how they help us to improve our memory. I am also going to give examples of how we use these methods everyday.
I am going to start with mental images. A mental image is “a cue that helps us to recall information.” (Spoors et al) For example you can use mental images to help you learn a new language. In Spoors et al, Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) developed this technique and performed an experiment to prove that it worked. The experiment they used was to gather two groups of participants and asked them to learn 60 Spanish words. One of the groups were taught the mental image technique and managed to recall an average of 88% of the words in the test, whereas the other group that were not taught the technique scored an average of 28%.
Mental images are also helpful for remembering lists because if you associate something with a funny word or story you are more likely to remember it. Spoors et al (2011) shows the example of making an image of a bell being used as a bin and which has an unpleasant smell which can then help us to remember the word 'poobelle' which in French means bin.
Mnemonics are another way of constructing mental images. For instance, the phrase “Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain” helps us remember the colours of the rainbow. In conclusion mental images improve our memory by making our thinking and remembering more efficient.
Next I will be talking about concepts. A concept, or concept formation, is “the process of making mental representations of a group of events or objects that share similar properties.” For example, dolphins are often associated with fish because they have fins and live underwater, despite being classed as mammals.
Because we use... [continues]
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