How Can Mental Images, Concepts and Schemas Improve Memory Essay

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The brain is constantly recalling and forming new memories and the part of the brain that deals with memories is the hippocampus, which is located near the centre of the brain. Three different types of memory are used to store different types of information. Semantic is factual knowledge such as remembering capital cities. Episodic is personal past experiences, what a person had for breakfast for example and procedural memory is how to do something such as drive a car. Organising thinking using various methods can improve memory recall. This essay will consider three methods: mental images, concepts and schemas using a range of research studies including the work of Raugh and Atkinson (1975), Bousfield (1953) and Bransford and Johnson …show more content…
Schemas are used to remember and recall memories, for example, when someone thinks about a certain word, event or situation their individual schema automatically brings out the whole picture related to it. A Swiss psychologist called Jean Piaget studied children to see how they developed their thinking. He argued that they used and developed schemas that were gradually built up from their surrounding environments (Piaget, cited in Spoors et al. 2011) Everyone views their environments in different ways, so some people’s schemas could be similar or completely opposite depending on what they are thinking about at the time. An example of this could be the word ‘pilot’ when one person might associate the words Air Force and aircraft whereas another person may think of holidays or occupation. This is due to the different experiences, surroundings and upbringing of individuals which in turn maybe gives different personal schemas for that one word. The schema word triggers associated ideas from past experiences, events and situations allowing a person to build a picture in their head giving them the information they require. Bransford and Johnson (1972 cited in Spoors et al, 2011) carried out an experiment to show how the role of a schema takes part in the understanding and recall of thoughts. Participants were asked to read a passage with no title and their results showed the participants found it very difficult to understand and