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

TMA 01 – Task 1 Part BHow Can The Way In Which We Organise Our Thinking By Using Mental Images, Concepts And Schemas Help Us Improve Our MemoryIntroductionTo answer this question, I will be looking at each organisational method in turn. I will be describing each of these terms, then, I will explain how they can help improve memory, and follow that up with evidence in the form of case studies. Finally I will draw up a conclusion summarising the main points that I have made.Mental ImagesA mental image is a picture created within the mind, it can be of a person, an object or a location.Mental images can be used to recall information in several ways. The idea is that we usually think with words, the extra effort of associating a related image to the information you want to remember, increases your concentration on the information, helps implant it in your mind, and gives you extra cues to remember the information by. The image is more likely to be remembered if it is big and colourful.A mnemonic is a method of remembering information, it is commonly in the forms of rhyme, or an easy phrase to remember. However in 500bc the Greek poet Simonides developed the ???method of loci??™. The idea is when trying to remember a list of items, to try and picture each item within a sequence of familiar settings.Mental imaging can improve the recall of foreign words and their meanings using the key word technique. This is where you take the foreign word, and associate the meaning with words that sound similar in English. So ???poubelle??? is French for bin, and it sounds like pooh and bell. So you could create a mental image of a bin, and combine it with images of pooh (or rather your reaction to it) and bells.Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson carried out an experiment to see if using this technique could improve the recall of foreign words. They took two groups of subjects, and asked them to memorise sixty Spanish words. The independent variable was that one group was taught the key word technique. The dependent variable was the average amount of words each group could remember. (Atkinson et al., 1975, cited in Starting With Psychology, p.45, 2011)The participants who were taught the key word technique remembered an average of 88% of the words, whilst the ones who weren??™t only remembered an average of 28%.ConceptsA concept is a set of defining features that helps to categorise an object or animal. For example the concept of a door is that it is usually rectangular, attached to a frame by hinges and has a handle that opens and closes it. Concepts are not rigid however, as we can see when we look at a round door which is not rectangular, or an automatic door with no handle.Concepts can help the recall of information by categorising it. By taking a list of objects and sorting them into different concepts, such as furniture, clothing items etc., we can remember other things from the list within the concept.Weston Bousfield asked participants to learn a list of sixty words, which could all be divided into one of four categories. The words themselves were in a random order. Participants showed that they tended to remember in these four concepts. So if they remembered the table from the furniture concept, they tended to then be able to remember other items in the list within the same concept. (Bousfield, 1953, cited in Starting With Psychology, p. 53, 2011)George Mandler also did a similar experiment in which he found evidence to suggest that this is an automatic process. In this experiment he took two groups who were given a pack of 100 cards each. Printed on the cards were words from a variety of concepts. The participants were asked to categorise the cards into groups. The independent variable was that one group was asked to memorise the information on the cards as they sorted them. When both groups were later told to write down all the words they could remember, both groups did equally well. (Mandler, 1967, cited in Starting With Psychology, p. 53, 2011)SchemaA schema is a framework, by which you associate certain actions and features. A schema is based on past experiences, and can help us to tackle new situations that are similar to our experience. An example of a schema is a visit to a shop. In our schema of our shop we will generally have a list of the things that are expected of us, you go in, you choose what you want to buy, take it to the cashier, and exchange it for money and leave. Once you have the schema set in place you can then visit any other shop and using your schema, know what is expected of you.Schemata essentially categorises information and so gives you cues to remember the information by. As shown in the following example, giving information a context can help us access it. In the following example, it is shown that it is easier to understand and therefore remember it, if you know the context it relates to Specifically in this example, the passage relates to doing laundry.John Bransford and Marcia Johnson carried out a number of experiments on this. Participants were read a passage. One group of participants were given the title of the passage, whilst the other was not. The group that was not given the title, had great difficulty in understanding the passage, and found it even more difficult to recall the information. The group given the title were found to understand the passage easily, and to be able to recall more, additionally the former group were able to understand the passage once they were given the title, as they had a schema to relate the information too. (Bransford et al., 1972, as cited in Starting With Psychology, p.55, 2011)ConclusionIn conclusion there are many methods of improving recall using mental images, schema and concepts. There seems to be a common theme wherein these methods help associate information, give extra cues to remember it by and categorise information.Total: 1008 WordsReferencesAtkinson et al., (1975), cited in Starting With Psychology, p.45, (2011)
Bousfield, (1953), cited in Starting With Psychology, p. 53, (2011)
Bransford et al., (1972), as cited in Starting With Psychology, p.55, (2011)
Mandler, (1967), cited in Starting With Psychology, p. 53, (2011)
(2011) Starting With Psychology, Milton Keynes, The Open University

Conservation of Chinese Opera

My group chose to conserve live Chinese opera in Singapore based on the strategies and the lesson learnt from conservation of Borobudur.
One of the strategies is to enrol students to take part in Chinese opera performance. This will be done by initiating Chinese Opera CCA in school. However, the limitation of this strategy is that students may be unwilling to join the CCA offered by the school as some of them may find it uninteresting. Therefore I propose to hold an audition for Primary 5 pupils. The reason for choosing this age group is because they have no major examinations to prepare for and are old enough to understand the significance of the art. This method of recruitment will help us maximize the intake of young performers as we will make the audition compulsory.
The strongest strategy of this project concerns modifying the script for Chinese opera. The modification will include the use of English and the choice of using political satires as our theme. This strategy is to modify the performances itself to suit modern audience which will result in increasing the popularity of the Chinese Opera performance itself. The use of English in our performance will target people who understand English and who are willing to know more about Chinese Opera but cannot speak Mandarin or the dialects. Thus, we increase awareness of Chinese Opera among different groups of people. The use of political satires in the performance is based on our survey. More than half of our correspondents chose political satire as the theme. Thus, we will use political satire as our theme in the performance as we can attract more people to watch our performance.
Modification of the Chinese Opera performance through the use of political satire as our theme and the use of English in our performance will be an effective way to increase awareness for a short term. However, they will lose their effectiveness for a long period time. As we will carry out the performance yearly, we will eventually run out of fresh political satire for the performance. Therefore, I propose a new strategy to make it effective in the long run. We will hold script writing competitions annually among junior college and polytechnic students in Singapore. We feel that this strategy is sustainable as we will give certificates and cash prizes as incentives for them to join this competition. This certificate will also bear the logo of NAC and COI to make it more attractive to the students. The winning script will be used for our play. Each year, the winning script will be used in our performance. This will attract more people to watch as the stories vary.

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 was that I had written them in four groups, each containing up to four words ??“ I managed to recall 15 of the 16 words at the first attempt. I had automatically identified the categories and used these sub-consciously to memorise and recall the words, although I was unaware of the process I was using at that stage.
Two pieces of research mentioned in the course book were Weston Bousfield??™s experiment from 1953 in which he gave a list of 60 words to a group of participants. The lists of words could be sorted into four categories. What Bousfield found was that, although the words were presented in a random order, the participants recalled them in categories, much as I had done.
In a similar experiment in 1967 by George Mandler participants were given 100 cards with words printed on them. The participants were split into two groups, with one group being instructed to memorise and categorise the cards. The other group were instructed only to categorise the cards. When the participants were asked to recall the words that had appeared on the cards, it was found that there was very little difference between the results of the two groups.
There is some potential for distortion with concepts, particularly in children, who tend to over generalise. As an example, a child may associate Daddy as being a tall man with a deep voice. However, to that child, it could be that all tall men with deep voices should be called Daddy.
It is possible for pieces of information to be ???cross-referenced??™, for example toothache could be associated with pain, dentist, teeth, barber (historical), string and door handles etc.
The third method for organising information is schemas. A schema is a ???mental framework of knowledge developed as a result of experience??? (Spoors, 2010). Schemas can be likened to a filing cabinet that groups together all the aspects of experienced events, with each file being the collected data of a different experience. The benefit of this method of organisation is that the memory can recall the information each time we face that same, or similar, situation. This means that we do not have to start from scratch each time we go into a new situation as we are likely to have some point of reference to call upon.
Schemas give us a cue of what to expect or how to behave in any given situation. An experiment carried out by John Bransford and Marcia Johnson in 1972 involved reading a passage of text to two groups of participants. One group had been given a title for the passage, while the other group had no clues to aid their recall of a fairly complicated passage. The findings were that the group who had been given a title to help them make sense of the passage had greater recall than those who did not have the framework on which to construct the memory.
Schemas carry a potential for distortion when expectations may not have been fulfilled or our minds may choose to fill in any blanks within the schema.
On a personal level, I find that I have a schema regarding supermarkets, both generally and for specific stores. My schema becomes distorted when the supermarket change the layout and organisation of the shelves. This tends to be quite common practice at this time of the year when they are incorporating their stocks for the festive season.
When working on the preparation for the writing of this essay I reached the realisation that the brain is an extremely complex organ that can perform seemingly miraculous tasks. Providing nothing occurs to interfere with the memory processes, our memories are able to sort and store an amazing amount of diverse information. Not only is the information stored away, but it is possible to call it back to the surface when needed, on most occasions.
In conclusion, the storage of information and the recall process can be enhanced by becoming aware of different methods for organising the information, for example a shopping list could be remembered and recalled by using mental images. The methods used alter depending on the purpose and the type of information.REFERENCESDavenport, G C Introducing GCSE Psychology
(1995) Collins Educational, LondonSpoors, Pat et al Starting with Psychology
(2nd edition 2010) The Open University, Milton Keynes
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