How Can Memory Be Improved by the Use of Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas (Which Can Help to Organise Thinking?

Y183 TMA01

Task 1 Part B

This essay will examine how the use of mental images, concepts and schemas play a vital part in the way our memory can be improved.
The first way we can improve our memory is by using mental images. A Mental image is an image that helps us to memorise information by making a mental picture of it. The more distinct the image, the easier it is for our memory to recall it.
Numerous experiments have been carried out to support the idea we will be able to remember information better if we form a mental image. A perfect example of this is the Key Word technique, which was developed by Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson in 1975. They conducted their experiment on two groups of people who were asked to learn a list of sixty Spanish words. Only half of them were taught the key word technique. This technique involves taking the word you would like to learn for example the French word for bin is ‘Poubelle’ and thinking of English word that sounds like part of it. This is the key word. For example in this instance you could picture yourself lifting the lid off your bin that has turned into a bell and holding your nose saying ‘pooh’. The results of the Raugh and Atkinson experiment proved this theory when the participants that used the key word technique scored an average of 88% as opposed to the 28% for those who did not use key words. (Raugh and Atkinson, 1975 cited in Spoors et al., 2011)
There are a number of techniques for improving memory based on using mental images. These techniques are known as Mnemonics or memory strategies. An example of this is the rhyme ‘30 days has September, April, June and November, all the rest have 31 except February, which has 28’. The method of Loci is another mnemonic technique that was developed in the year 500 BC by an ancient Greek poet named Simonides. This works by connecting mental images of the items they are trying to memorise with a series of locations they are already familiar with.
A mental...