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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Discuss the three basic functions of memory
  • Describe the three stages of memory storage
  • Describe and distinguish between procedural and declarative memory and semantic and episodic memory

Memory is an information processing system; therefore, we often compare it to a computer. Memory is the set of processes used to encode, store, and retrieve information over different periods of time ( [link] ).

A diagram shows three boxes, placed in a row from left to right, respectively titled “Encoding,” “Storage,” and “Retrieval.” One right-facing arrow connects “Encoding” to “Storage” and another connects “Storage” to “Retrieval.”
Encoding involves the input of information into the memory system. Storage is the retention of the encoded information. Retrieval, or getting the information out of memory and back into awareness, is the third function.

Encoding

We get information into our brains through a process called encoding    , which is the input of information into the memory system. Once we receive sensory information from the environment, our brains label or code it. We organize the information with other similar information and connect new concepts to existing concepts. Encoding information occurs through automatic processing and effortful processing.

If someone asks you what you ate for lunch today, more than likely you could recall this information quite easily. This is known as automatic processing    , or the encoding of details like time, space, frequency, and the meaning of words. Automatic processing is usually done without any conscious awareness. Recalling the last time you studied for a test is another example of automatic processing. But what about the actual test material you studied? It probably required a lot of work and attention on your part in order to encode that information. This is known as effortful processing    ( [link] ).

A photograph shows a person driving a car.
When you first learn new skills such as driving a car, you have to put forth effort and attention to encode information about how to start a car, how to brake, how to handle a turn, and so on. Once you know how to drive, you can encode additional information about this skill automatically. (credit: Robert Couse-Baker)

What are the most effective ways to ensure that important memories are well encoded? Even a simple sentence is easier to recall when it is meaningful (Anderson, 1984). Read the following sentences (Bransford&McCarrell, 1974), then look away and count backwards from 30 by threes to zero, and then try to write down the sentences (no peeking back at this page!).

  1. The notes were sour because the seams split.
  2. The voyage wasn't delayed because the bottle shattered.
  3. The haystack was important because the cloth ripped.

How well did you do? By themselves, the statements that you wrote down were most likely confusing and difficult for you to recall. Now, try writing them again, using the following prompts: bagpipe, ship christening, and parachutist. Next count backwards from 40 by fours, then check yourself to see how well you recalled the sentences this time. You can see that the sentences are now much more memorable because each of the sentences was placed in context. Material is far better encoded when you make it meaningful.

Questions & Answers

what is true experiment and quasi experiment
Agunwiche Reply
In a true experiment, participants are randomly assigned to either the treatment or the control group, in a quasi-experiment they are not assigned randomly in.
Lyric
if I'm thinking about it the way you're asking. I haven't been on here in awhile lol
Lyric
what is general intelligence?
kiya Reply
there is no exact definition for intelligence. but some argues that it's organization of mental ability and how we use this ability in any particular situation..
gokul
what is application of humanistic theory of classroom
Afreen Reply
The humanistic learning theory developed further and harnesses the idea that if students are upset, sad, or distressed, they're less likely to be able to focus on learning. This encourages teachers to create a classroom
Dhwani
state the brief history of psychology
James
The history of psychology as a scholarly study of the mind and behavior dates back to the Ancient Greeks. ... Psychology as a self-conscious field of experimental study began in 1879, in Leipzig Germany, when Wilhelm Wundt founded the first laboratory dedicated exclusively to psychological research
Dhwani
can anyone explain sleep and it's stages?
Shachi Reply
yes
Dhwani
please let me know
Shachi
sleep works in three hour stages. falling asleep rem, waking back up. do you have a spicific question?
Nathaniel
When thinking about getting the sleep you need, it’s normal to focus on how many hours of sleep you get. While sleep duration is undoubtedly important, it’s not the only part of the equation. It’s also critical to think about sleep quality and whether the time spent sleeping is actually restorative
Dhwani
sleep studies have proven that how you aproach your sleep sycle is important. people will constantly concern thwmselves with how much sleep instead of the quality of sleep they are getting. it is better to get 3 houts of sleepless rest then it is to get 6 of strained sleep
Nathaniel
I mean stages of sleep
Shachi
and it's explaination
Shachi
thanks all😊
Shachi
How brain power can be used to control physical things?
Ali Reply
can anyone explain sleep and it's stages?
Shachi
what is the role of psychology in the development of therapies for disorders of a circadian rhythm?
wazir Reply
what is the role of psychology in the development of therapies for disorders of circadian rhythm?
wazir
To study Abnormal Psychology means, to study mainly the nature of
Baddo Reply
abnormal psychology? can you explain please?
la
abnormal, this branch of psychology typically deals with behavior in a clinical context.
pakki
yo
Baddo
To study Abnormal Psychology means, to study mainly the nature of 1). Conscious Mind 2). Unconscious Mind 3). Subconscious Mind 4). Normal Mind
pakki
yo
Kylee
abnormal psychology- is the scientific study of Psychological disorders and their treatments
utkarsh
Utkarsh Verma can you help me pass out my exams? tomorrom
Baddo
10 - 11 MCQ test can you all or some help? the only subject I'm weak in is psychology
Baddo
which branch of psychology is the test on?
pakki
How Abnormal Behavior is Defined While it may seem that the definition of “abnormal” indicates a behavior that is considered outside of the human norm, it is actually a much slipperier slope. Therefore, abnormal psychology takes on the task of scientifically studying and classifying human behaviors
Anye
Yo
Monica
What is the role of psychology in the development of therapies for circadian rhythm disorders?
wazir
please I wish to find out how difficult/easy it is, for someone with a bachelor degree in philosophy to continue with masters and doctoral in psychology, specifically, I-O psychology.
Anye
do the individuals know that they are being researched on? and why does anyone speak up regarding the matter? is it "don't ask, don't tell" policy?
Stepphun Reply
examine any 5 perceptual principals of organization
kundai Reply
closure, pragnanz, proximity, continuity, similarity, inclusiveness
Shachi
Is it possible for a child to be schizophrenic?
Esther Reply
yes. early onset of schizophrenia starts at 13 to 18. very rare but possible.
Kristel
Good question
Mulder
It's uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia.
pakki
what is the role of psychology in the development of therapies for circadian rhythm disorders?
wazir
is there a difference between age and romantic attachment style?
Alysha Reply
I don't think so. Well, not always. Certain things should be timeless.
Know
I'm 48 & he's 26 ...so we shall see?
Tanya
in my opinion if you both are comfortable with each other then definitely age is nothing but a number but then also there will be little difference in the cognition due to age
utkarsh
yes Utkarsh.I agree with you.We call it as generation gap. But there can be exceptions also...
Shailaja
yes generation gap can affect the relationship but this totally depends on the couple that how they settle up with each other
utkarsh
that is true, balance is needed. I spent a long time with an older man and I was more his child than his partner. power struggles are hard in relationships with generational gaps
Ashley
I think all it all depends on your comfort or braveness and attitude toward life, then age is just numbers.
Sujeet
new perspective n ones mindset towards life plays an important role... if the change is for gud.. go-ahead
Smitha
Yes romantic attachment styles change with age if that's what you are asking. here is where you can read more about it ***google.com/amp/s/qz.com/1206940/attachment-style-changes-with-age/amp/
krish
can empirical research be performed on people being diagnosed or people who have borderline personality disorder?
Stepphun Reply
yes it can
Angela
***pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3711874/
Angela
thank you for the feedback
Stepphun
👍
Angela
yes?
Stepphun
discuss the three models of positional coding in working memory citing examples.Please help me with points to this question
jane Reply
can you clear me up a doubt that for to become a psychriatist what process are needed
Mimi Reply
What are the vocational choices for women in pakistan also discuss its aims and objectives.
Malik Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Psychology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 03, 2015 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11629/1.5
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