Memory Essay

582 words - 2 pages

Memory is defined as "the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information." Our memory can be compared to a computer's information processing system. To remember an event we need to get information into our brain which is encoding, store the information and then be able to retrieve it. The three-stage processing model of Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin suggests that we record information that we want to remember first as a fleeting sensory memory and then it is processed into a short term memory bin where we encode it ( pay attention to encode important or novel stimuli) for long-term memory and later retrieval. The premise for the three step process is that we are unable to focus on too much information at one time and instead we direct our attention on certain incoming stimuli, whether it is a novel or important stimuli. These incoming stimuli, along with images we retrieve from our long-term memory are displayed on our mental screen as conscious short-term memories. With the newer concept of working memory, we do not just display information on-screen but we actively associate new and old information and solve problems.

Effortful Processing can be defined as "encoding that requires attention and conscious effort." When a classroom teacher tries to remember the names of the students in her class, this type of novel information can be heightened through rehearsal or conscious repetition. The amount remembered depends on the time-spent learning. Even after we learn material/names, additional rehearsal increases retention. For novel verbal information, practice- effortful processing- does indeed improve our memory. We also retain information better when our rehearsal is distributed over a period of time, known as "spacing effect." People who...

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