How Do Mental Images Improve Memory?

In this essay i will look at how mental images will help improve memory.

Mental images or iconic thought , is your minds way of forming and thinking in pictures, you use mental picture in everyday life evens when recalling what someone looks like the use of mental pictures can be very effective. We use mental images to help process information we take into our brains. For example, when reading a book, we use a mental image of what we think the characters look like. By generating a mental image, we are actually helping the information to stay in our memories for longer, therefore making recall easier and quicker. Mental images play an important role in our memory. Sometimes we tend to learn or remember written or verbal information better if we create a mental image. The process of creating a mental image helps the image stay in your mind due to the effort it has took to create the image. The mental image sometimes acts like a cue in helping you to remember something. The image will often come to your mind before the words do.

In starting with psychology (2010) Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) developed an idea called the key word technique by which you take a word ,for example “poubelle” (pronounced pooh-bell) this is the French word for bin in English and form a large bizarre mental picture, broken down into English the French word “poubelle” would be the equivalent of pooh and bell, this is classed as your key word because it is the English word or words, that sounds like the French word you are learning . You then form a mental picture from the English translation you have made, picture a bin in the shape of a bell and when lifting the lid holding your nose because of the pooh smell. Raugh and Atkinson (1975) tried and tested this out on a group of participants which were asked to learn a list of 60 Spanish words, half the participants were taught the key word technique and the other half the controlled group were not. Later when asked to recall...