Ways in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas to improve our memory
Introduction to set out the scene of the essay giving brief
explanation of the purpose of essay; the ways in which we organise
our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas to help
Main body of essay; ensure that all parts of question are answered
in full; what is a mental image, or schema? How can the use of
mental images or concepts or schemas improve memory? Using
evidence from Y183 to support this.
Conclusion to briefly explain why using mental images or concepts
will improve memory.
There are many ways in which we can organise our thinking; in this
assignment we`re going to look at the idea of mental images,
concepts and schemas and will attempt to describe and illustrate
how they can help us organise and improve our memory.
First, to consider is the role of mental images as a way of
organising thinking by using pictures in your head which will
describe the word you are trying to remember. For example in the
Y183 course book (2011) there is an image of a bell (Figure 16,
Page 46) which emits an unpleasant smell which in turn can remind
us to remember the French word "poobelle" which translates to the
word "bin". Pictures can help us when learning foreign languages.
In Chapter 1 the study carried out by Raugh and Atkinson is a good
example of reinforcing the idea of using images to improve memory.
An experiment was carried out where groups of people were given a
list of words to learn in Spanish, one group was given extra help
remembering words to prompt memory and the second group was not.
The group that was given the extra help were found to remember
more words than the second. The technique used is called "key
word" and this proves that using mental images can help you
remember things better.
Another advantage of mental images can be to remember a shopping
list by making a story containing items from the list. This
particular technique called "the method of loci" was developed by
Simonides and was invented in ancient Greece in the year 500 BC,
This has been proved to be an asset in other ways for example
students revising for an examination. When writing an essay we
can try to make up mental images of research and arrange
these images into a sequence that takes place around the home or
Mental Images do not always work, some individuals may find this a
waste of time as they may find it difficult to think in pictures
an alternative would be to think in words rather than pictures.
The second subject to discuss is concepts, putting our thoughts
into categories. For example, it is a way of putting things into
groups such as music or food, within concepts there are sub-
concepts such as genres i.e. rock, pop, dance, heavy metal etc
relating to music or Italian, French, Welsh, English are examples
Using concepts can be a difficult to put into words as it is about
how an individual sees the world so can be confusing. The course
book (Page 51/52) explains how children can over generalise a
concept; they may have a concept for a dog as an animal with four
legs, a tail and fur however they could think that a cow or zebra
is also a dog as it has similar characteristics.
Concepts can be used to improve memory by putting items from a
list into categories such as shopping. Items from a shopping list
can be grouped into dairy, vegetables, fruit etc by using this
method our memory can be improved as it has been proved that
categorising items rather than a unorganised list enables us to
link items to another in our memory.
An experiment carried out by Weston Bousfield (1935) demonstrates
how using categories can improve memory;...
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