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

How can the way in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas help us improve our memory How can the way in which we organise our thinking by using mental images, concepts and schemas help us improve our memory This essay is going to look into how people organise there thinking. It will look into mental images, concepts and schema. In adult life we tend to use words to help us remember things, this is also know as semantic thought. However it has been researched and found out that when people use mental images to remember things such as verbal or written information they remember things more clearly. They can act as a prompt to remember the information. This is aided when the image that we use is something big, bright and distinctive so that it is thought provoking rather than an everyday object. Times when we might use mental images are also when we learn a new language, for example in French the word ???poubelle??™, which is pronounced, ???pooh-bell??? which means ???bin??™ in English. The way of remembering this is by imaging that a bin can smell very bad and if you imagine yourself lifting the lid of a bin that is shaped like a bell and holding your nose due to the ???pooh???. This one example does not always work with everyone however people can get into there own routine and what works for them. However that is a basic example of what using mental images is about. This key word technique was developed and carried out by Michael Raugh and Richard Atkinson (1975) in which they carried out experiments on two groups of people who were asking to learn 60 Spanish words. One of the groups had been taught the keyword technique using mental images. The other was left to there own devices. When the groups were tested the first group scored an average of 88% where their second group only managed an average score of 28%. Mnemonics are able to help us to remember things that are constant and don??™t change like ???big elephants can always use small entrances??? which helps me remember how to spell ???because??? which was taught to me as a child. Mnemonics can be as different and unusual, as you want to make them as like with the mental images it helps you remember when they are more unusual and not like everyday things. The using of mental images is able to help us become more efficient with the way we think and remember however being about to sort things out in our minds and organise our thoughts can be helps by putting things into there own categories.Concept formation is the process of developing categories. An example of this is ???animal??? a concept that contains other sub-concepts and then further sub-concepts. We could sort them into birds, fish, mammals etc. We could then divide the birds into Eagles, Seagulls, and owls??™ etc/. When we apply our concepts we tend to use defining features for example to define an owl a bird because it has features like feathers, beak and can fly. Although these are very defining features they are not rigid as Penguins and ostriches are classed as birds and yet they are unable to fly. Another example of this is a table; having four legs, flat and we put things on it. But the same can be said for a stool, so as you can see it is not like a rigid law of features each concept must have to be identified. We actually use concepts without even noticing it. However if we watch children develop they often use it in there thinking to develop their concepts. However they can often make mistakes in overgeneralising a concept that they are trying to get to grips with. They may have developed a concept for a sheep as an animal with hair, four legs and a tail, but then they may also apply this concept to a horse, dog or cat. Similarly they may also learn that a tall person with a deep voice is called Daddy and then associate that with any passing man in the street. A schema is a word used by psychologists to describe framework in which you would file all your knowledge about certain situations, objects, and groups of people or even yourself. An example of this is Dentist as an occupation. But a list that you would associate with the word dentist would be your schema. A list may contain a waiting room; dentists chair sound of drilling, worry etc. The term schema (plural schemas or schemata) was used by a Swiss psychologist named Jean Piaget, who died in 1980, he spent over half a century investigating the way children develop there thinking or there cognitive skills. He proposed that they did this by developing schemas that are built up from their experience of the world around them. Schemas can aid in us recalling information as they can provide a framework that is organised and the information is stored appropriately and they can provide us with prompts that can trigger our memory. In an experiment carried out by John Bransford and Marcia Johnson (1972) they gave participants a passage with only half having a title to the passage an extract is printed below:???The procedure is actually quite simple. First you arrange
Items into different groups. Of course one pile may be
Sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you
have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities that is
the next step; otherwise you are pretty well set??¦.??? Most of the participants who read the extract without the title reported great difficulty in understanding the passage, let alone trying to recall the details. However the ones with the title ???Washing Clothes??? in mind everything fell into place. The title provides a schema for the information to be stored correctly and recalled more easily. To conclude this essay I have discovered that the more senses that you use to associate with a particular item the likely you are to remember it. Either by using one of the methods, or by using a combination of mental images, schemas and concept formation. BibliographyStarting with psychology Chapter 3

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