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A considerable amount of research has been carried out on the nature and structure of memory its functions and processes but recently psychologists such as Schank 1975 have started to conduct empirical studies on the organisation of memory This essay will examine one of the more recent developments in the organisation of memory the schema theory According to Gross 1999 the organisation of memory involves two main concepts These are the format in which information is arranged and how this information is arranged The earlier theories such as the matrix and hierarchical network models by Collins and Quillians 1969 1972 concerning the organisation of memory adopted a logical sequential approach to the organisation of memory Later on in the late 1970s psychologists such as Schank Abelson and Rumelhart realised that the organisation of memory is not as logical as the earlier models proposed The schema theories make an attempt at addressing the more complex aspects of the organisation of memory Semantic memory plays a fundamental role in the earlier theories but according to Baddley 1990 it became increasingly obvious during the 1970s that the SM must contain structures considerably larger than the simple concepts discussed in the network models by Collins and Loftus Bartlett 1932 used the term schema to refer to this larger unit of semantic memory According to Hayes 1999 a schema is a form of representation which we use to guide our actions Bartlett 1932 described a schema as an active organisation of past reactions or of past experiences which must always be supposed to be operating in any well-adapted organismic response Bartlett also realised that our memory is often disorganised vague and incomplete and that any theoretical model must attempt to explain such inaccuracies in our representation of information or knowledge Bartlett also recognised that memory is a reconstructive process in which information already stored affects the re membering of other events According to Cohen 1993 schema
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