Psychology: Memory

How Things Get Remembered
Long-Term Memory System
Memory Organization
Encoding and LTM
Remembering and Forgetting
Searching for Memory


Encoding and Long-Term Memory:

The way people rehearse (repeating the information again and again) and mentally represent information influence its retention in long-term memory. In general, the more thoughts you give to something, the better chance you will remember it.

"The degree to which information is elaborated, reflected upon, or processed in a meaningful way during memory storage is referred to as the level or depth of processing." There are three stages in the processing: structural level (a shallow processing with emphasis on simple characteristics of the stimulus), phonemic level (emphasis on simple characteristics of the language used to describe it), and semantic level (a deeper processing emphasis on the meaning of the stimulus).

The more ways information is represented in memory (i.e., verbal and visual) the easier to remember the information. With multiple representations and representational modes, it is possible to access the information using several entry points in networks of association. The multiple representations provide multiple paths for accessing a piece of information. Elaborate encoding strengthen paths or connections among nodes in networks.

Source(s): Drew Westen, Psychology: mind, brain, & culture (NY 1996)


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