How Can the Way in Which We Organise Our Thinking by Using Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas Help Us Improve Our Memory?

Essay Title: How can the way in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas help us improve our memory?

      This essay will consider three methods that can be used to organise our thinking: mental images, concepts and schemas.   Each term will be defined and an outline built of how we use them to improve our memory and look at evidence of research that has been carried out.   I also intend to relate my own personal experiences, where appropriate.
      The first method is mental images, an abstract method for fixing information into our memory so that it may be recalled at a later stage.   The exercise in the course book concerning the shopping list is an excellent example of this technique and I found that I was able to recall eight of the ten items some five weeks after first carrying out the exercise.   This is a method that I had not previously used but one that I now intend to practice as it can be adapted to fit many situations, including aiding studying.
      Raugh and Atkinson (1975) developed the use of the key word technique and used it in an experiment with people who had no prior knowledge of Spanish language.   Their experiment involved using two groups of participants; one group were introduced to the key words technique and the other group a list of words to learn.   Raugh and Atkinson found that the group that had used the key word system had greater recall of the words (88% on average) compared to the other group who were able to recall only an average of 27% of the words.
      The second method is the development of concepts.   A concept is when we make a mental representation of a group of objects or events that share similar characteristics.   I have found, personally, that this is a virtually automatic response, which was illustrated when I worked through Exercise 12 in the course book.   I looked at the list of 16 words, as instructed, and covered them whilst I wrote out the list from memory.   What I observed...