Ways in Which We Organise Our Thinking by Using Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas to Improve Our Memory

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Ways in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas to improve our memory

Task 1


Essay Plan

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

improve memory.

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

work environment.

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

within food.

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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