Psychology Tma01 Y163


Thinking is one of the most difficult processes to describe; the people who work in this area are called Cognitive Psychologists.   Thinking mostly involves the use of words (semantic thought) and the use of mental images (iconic thought).   There is also another type of thinking which is called enactive thought.   This is when we may do actions along with our thoughts, for example driving a car.   When talking to someone about this, we may do the actions.   These are all different ways to help remember our thoughts.   I am going to discuss the how the use of mental images, concepts and schemas can help improve our memory.

Firstly I am going to discuss the use of mental images.   We mainly use semantic thought; however it has been proven that the use of mental images can help us remember more.   A mental image is basically the image you create of some information in order to easily recall it.   It will help if the image is unusual or distinctive as more thought is going into it.   This can help improve our memory as it can cue other information as well.   Mnemonics are one way to use mental images, for example ‘Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain’ is used to remember the colours of the rainbow.   These are easy to learn and easy to recall.   The ‘method of loci’ is another technique and in this, people will link their mental images together in a sequence.   The more thought we put into this information, the easier it will then be to recall.

Using mental images when learning a new language has proved effective; this is called the key word technique.   An example of this is la poubelle, which is the French word for ‘bin’.   You could create a mental image of a smelly bell shaped bin which could help you remember that it is la poubelle.   Raugh and Atkinson (1975) developed this key word technique.   They carried out an experiment in which 2 groups of participants were asked to learn 60 Spanish words.   One group of participants were asked to use this key word...