There are various ways in which we can organise our thinking. These can be helpful when we are trying to improve our memory or when trying to recall things from the past. The three ways I am about to explain are all similar in the way we organise our thinking, and can be a powerful aid to our memory. Each point is backed up with evidence to support this.
One of the ways we organise our thinking is by using mental images. By forming a mental image, we are thinking about something by constructing a mental picture of it in our mind. There are various ways of constructing mental images which can lead to better recall when trying to remember things. The mental image will give us a cue when we come to recalling the information. We will have spent time and effort studying the information previously and formed an image which we will have fixed in our memory. This will then help us to recall the information more easily. One technique for improving memory would be by using Mnemonics, which are based on the construction of mental images. An example of a mnemonic would be ‘Never Eat Shredded Wheat’ which would help us to remember ‘North, East, South and West’ in the right order. Another technique for improving memory would be the key word technique. The key word technique is useful when trying to learn a foreign language. To form the key word, you would find an English word or words that sound like the foreign word. Then you would make a mental image of the key word, along with the English translation, and this would be the key word technique. To prove that this technique is successful, Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) carried out an experiment on two groups of participants using the key word technique. The participants were asked to memorise sixty Spanish words, but only one group were taught to use the key word technique. The participants using the key word technique scored much higher than the participants that did not use it.
Another way we can organise...
References: Spoors, P., Dyer, E., Finlay, L. and Marsh, G. (2011) starting with psychology, Milton Keynes, The Open University.
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