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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

learning is facilitated by
Quitta Reply
What
Angel
What is Repression?
Sharmin Reply
Repression, In psychoanalytic theory, the exclusion of distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings from the conscious mind. Often involving sexual or aggressive urges or painful childhood memories, these unwanted mental contents are pushed into the unconscious mind.
Forqan
in psychoanalytic terms a basic defense mechanism that shuts out anxiety arousing thoghts feelings and memories from one consciousness
Berrel
Repression is holding something painful inside because you're afraid to let it out for fear of what trouble it might csuse
Connie
It helps students to understand the behavior of people they encounter.
Anjonette Reply
what are the types of learning?
Ogbeyemi Reply
auditory, visual, kinesthetic, reading/writing
frederick
thanks @Frederick. But I still want to understand something. Classical conditioning, Operants conditioning and Observational learning are not types of learning?
Ogbeyemi
I believe there are several types of learning besides just the four I mentioned.
frederick
so, I can also say those I mentioned are part of learning?
Ogbeyemi
i would say so
frederick
Operant conditioning is a type of associative learning process through which the strength of a behavior is modified by reinforcement or punishment.
Forqan
what is psychology
Mukoone Reply
in simple explanation, it is the study and understanding of the human behavior
Edmar
the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
naina
the scientific study of human mind and behaviour
NishaOfficial
but I thought psychology is not limited to humans. I think it is the scientific study of behavior and mental process of organisms
Ogbeyemi
processes*
Ogbeyemi
what happened to my reply?
Trish
the study of human behavior, the reasons for the behavior, and ways to change the undesirable behaviors into desirable behaviors
RD
psychology is the study of the soul or mind of man through scientific studies relating to environmental factors and human behaviours.
Audley
not only man but animals as well
Audley
psychology is the study of the mind and behaviors*
Emely
the definition you gave Audley is incorrect
Emely
Hey Audley, also humans are animals, so the correct way to say it is.. Not only man but other animals as well. 👍🏽
Emely
Audley, you are both correct in the definition of psychology. Yours was textually from the book, while the other was simple and to the heart of it where a novice would understand.
Bosie
Emely, you stated that man is a animal as well. Explain?
Bosie
_____are the memory images that are related to particular place ,date and time .
Raghav Reply
what is psychology
Ayado Reply
can join your discussions
Ayado
he or she can
Edward
I have been wondering of minor Autism I have estrange daughter that has I have been divorced and things like the ex wife sister told bad things about Me, Which I was not there to defend my self was said. one part) the other is the ex wife mom took care of her and never gave her kind of up bringing
Edward
Much and now she is 28 has a pension cause of her Autism she has everyone like her 2brothers her mom and her father had said to go on andfor-get the past she had not wanting to only seen her once I tried to make contact online she does not my contact from G circle
Edward
too bad
Ibrahim
God bless you Edward 🙏 I pray that God heals you and your family he will make things right
Joseph
Ibrahim it's too bad you couldn't take the time to give encouragement to your brother with a few more positive words at the end were all brothers and sisters in Christ 🙏
Joseph
hey
happiness
what is rootology
Glory Reply
Rootology is a blend of 13 concentrated herbal extracts that support against sneezing, congestion, sinus pressure, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, and headache.
Labdhee
a child playing with the friend without complaining is called
Valerie Reply
free child
Nisha
psycosocial development
Anita
playful & sporty child
Jaga
The scope of Experimental Psychology is widening with the invention of new tools and instruments for experiments.
Den Reply
like what kind?
MissRoyal
hello, what kind of people talk throught here
Marcela Reply
the kind looking for answers
Juan
?
John
thought is autonomous. it is up to us compartmentalizing these random various thoughts that we too often incorrectly give them the title of (ideas)
John
what is the scope of experimental psychology?
Fareha
who is pavlo
ROGATH Reply
he believed in classic conditioning
just
he created classical conditioning
naina
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning.
lavanya
he developed the theory is classical conditioning on a dog
NishaOfficial
Hello... Gyatri, angel and thinker.. I am MJ.
Mujtaba Reply
hi
naina
Hello
Jeanica
How are you...?
Mujtaba
Fine
Jeanica
Where are you from?
Jeanica
hi everyone 😊
Luis
I'm not trying to be a killjoy but I don't think this is a conversation thread for meeting new people.
Aspen
there are plenty of apps for that
Aspen
hai
kumpulan
@Aspen German well you're right there are other apps that offers ways into meeting new people. however I don't see anything wrong in here? just saying hi and hello.
Luis
but if they turn it into something like a "dating app" then for me that's another story. just saying. 😊.
Luis
hello Everyone
artgalang
Hello Luis, this app is for friends to everyone. 😊🙏
Jeanica
Anyone having problem can leave
Mujtaba
Hi
Red
Hi
Esther
Hello
Jeanica
hello^^
Girlie
is this a Psychology Course GC?
artgalang
Hi I'm from Philippines 🇵🇭
Esther
hellow
Erick
Can anyone.... What is basic criteria for abnormalities...?
Mujtaba
Is here any psychologist or psychiatrist.
Mujtaba
hi Jeanica yes I know that 😊
Luis
hello
Fermin
yes psychologist I am
kirti
me too
artgalang
Can you please explain me Diathesis stress model and its application
Mujtaba
And how can it applied..
Mujtaba
What is randomization
Joseph Reply
definition of stimulus
Thomas Reply
an idea, object or effect via the help of a mediational process which elicits a response
Wayne

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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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