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information-processing theory

an approach to the study of mental structures and processes that uses the computer as a model for human thinking


the process of transforming information into a form that can be stored into memory


the process of keeping and maintaining information in memory


a psychological change in the brain that allows encoded information to be stored in memory


the process of bringing to mind information that has been stored in memory

sensory memory

the memory system that holds information from the senses for a (short) period of time ranging from a fraction of a second up to 2 seconds

short-term memory

the memory system that codes information according to sound and holds about 7 (5 to 9) items for less then 30 seconds without rehearsal ; also called working memory


the event that occurs when STM is filled to capacity and each new incoming item pushes out the existing item, which is then forgetten ( overflowed study desk)


a memory strategy that involves grouping or organizing bits of information into larger units which are easier to remember.


the act of purposely repeating information to maintain it in STM

working memory

the memory subsystem we use when trying to understand information,remember it, use to solve a problem, or communicate with someone

maintenance rehearsal

repeating information in short term memory until it is no longer needed; may eventually lead to storage of information on LTM

elaborative rehearsal

a memory strategy that involves relating new information to something that is already known

long-term memory

the memory system that is virtually unlimited in capacity that contains vast stores of a person's permanent or relatively permanent memories

declarative (explicit) memories

the subsystem within LTM that stores facts,information and personal life events that can be brought to mind verbally or in the form of images and than declared or stated

episodic memory

the type of declarative memory that records events as the have been subjectively experienced

semantic memory

the type of declarative memory that stores general knowledge, objective facts and information

non-declarative (implicit) memory

the subsystem within LTM that stores motor skills, habits and simple classically conditioned responses


a phenomenon by which an earlier encounter with a stimulus( such as a word or a picture) increases the speed and accuracy of naming that stimulus or a later stimulus in a later time


a memory task in which a person must produce required information by searching memory

retrieval cues

any stimulus or bit of information that aids in retrieving particular information from LTM


a memory task in which a person must simply recognize (identify) material as familiar or as having been encountered before

relearning method

a measure of memory in which retention is expressed as the percentage of time saved when material is relearned compared with the time required to learn the material originally

savings scores

the percentage of time saved when relearning material compared with the amount of time required for the original learning

serial position effect

the finding that for information learned in a sequence, recall is better for the beginning and ending items than for the middle items in the sequence

primacy effect

the tendency to recall the first items in a sequence more readily then the middle items

recency effect

the tendency to recall the last items in a sequence more readily than the middle items

state-dependent memory effect/ learning theory

the tendency to recall information better if one is the same pharmacological or psychological state as when the information was encoded


an account of an event has been pieced together from a few highlights, using information that may or may not be accurate


integrated frameworks of knowledge and assumptions a person has about people,objects ,and events which affect how the person encodes and recalls information

flashbulb memory

an extremely vivid memory of the conditions surrounding one's first hearing the news of a surprising,shocking or highly emotional event (ex. Ilva)

eidetic imagery ( photographic memory)

the ability to retain the image of a visual stimulus for several minutes after it has been removed from view and to use this retained image to answer questions about the visual stimulus

infantile amnesia

the relative inability of older children and adults to recall events from the first few years of life

anterograde amnesia

the inability to form LTM of events occurring after a brain injury or surgery. Although memories formed before trauma are usually intact and STM is unaffected

long-term potentiation (LTP)

an increase in the efficiency of neural transmission at the synapses that last for hours or longer

nonsense syllable

a consonant-vowel-consonant combination that does not spell a word and is used in memory research

encoding failure

a cause of forgetting that occurs when information was never put into LTM

decay theory

oldest theory of forgetting, which holds that memories,if not used, fade with time and ultimately disappear altogether


a cause of forgetting that occurs because information or associations stored before or after a given memory hinder the ability to remember it

consolidation failure

any disruption in the consolidation process that prevents LTM from forming- caused from anything that caused a person to lose consciousness such as head trauma, grand mal epileptic seizure or an electroconvulsive shock


a loss of memory for experiences that occurred shortly before a loss of consciousness

motivated forgetting

forgetting through suppression or repression in order to protect oneself from material that is painful,frightening,or otherwise unpleasant


completely removing unpleasant memories from one's consciousness so that one is not aware that a painful event occurred


a partial or complete loss of memory due to loss of consciousness ,brain damage, or some psychological cause

prospective forgetting

not remembering to carry out some intended action

retrieval failure ( tip of the tongue phenomenon)

not remember something one is certain of knowing


practicing or studying material beyond the point where it can be repeated without error

massed practice

learning in one long practice session without resting periods

spaced practice

learning in short practice sessions with rest periods in between


a person makes a conscious attempt to put a painful,disturbing,anxiety-or guilt provoking memory out of mind,but the person is still aware that the painful event occurred


the inability to recall something that you could recall previously

proactive interference

occurs in when information or experiences already stored in long-term memory hinder the ability to remember newer information

retroactive interference

happens when new learning interferes with the ability to remember previously learned information

iconic (visual) memory

seeing an item for less than a second ( blink of an eye)

echoic ( auditory) memory

about two seconds, what someone has spoken briefly echoes back into your head

Miller Magic 7+-2

associated with short term memory and the capacity of number we can hold in our head until the are forgotten

serial recall

information that must be recalled in a specific order ( ABC's or Do Re MI')

free recall

remembering items in any order

Atkinson-Shriffin Model

Sensory Memory, Short-term Memory , and Long-term Memory

Craik- Lockhart Model

this model proposed that maintenance rehearsal involves "shallow" processing and and elaborative rehearsal involves "deep" processing


device that can greatly improve your capacity to recall

Lev Vygotsky 's Scaffolding

you're building information on what you already know

Socratic method

you start off from what the learner already know and you go on from there ( make associations)

object permanence Jean Piaget

the knowledge that things exist outside our immediate perception


you are more likely to remember happy events when happy and sad events when sad


too much or too little ______ reduces recall ability

shallow processing

encoding based on superficial features of information such as the sound of word

deep processing

encoding based on the meaning of information

Wilder Penfield

stated that experiences leave a permanent record in our brains

environmental context

one is able to recall better when in a similar surrounding, but recognition is not affect

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