Theories of Memory, how we remember, forgetting
and how to improve your memory:
Can chewing gum help to boost your memory? Memory and Chewing Gum ›
Conditioning in behavioral psychology is a theory that the reaction ("response") to an object or event ("stimulus") by a person or animal can be modified by 'learning', or conditioning. The most well-known form of this is Classical Conditioning (see below), and Skinner built on it to produce Operant...
Flashbulb memories explained. Includes characteristics of flashbulb memories, factors that affect them and an evaluation of Brown and Kulik's research into flashbulb memories.
Many people think that the human mind is too complex to explain, and memory is no exception. Even though vast amounts of research have been carried out into how we remember (and forget!) things, nobody knows for sure the model on which human memory is based.
There are, nonetheless, two main reasons for which psychologists think we 'forget'...
In 1956, Harvard University-based psychologist George A Miller published a paper in journal Psychology Review that would give a fascinating insight into human memory and have implications far beyond the field of psychological research and impact on our everyday lives in way many people don't realize.
Miller was troubled for several years by the...
several techniques that you can use to improve your memory. Try the following
exercise to see how well you normally remember things, then move onto
the next section to learn one of the skills of retention.
We will give you a list of twelve words to read through once, then click
back and see how...
You may take it for granted that the person whose memory you can trust the most is your own.
Yet, psychologists have found that our recollection of everyday events may not be as dependable as we would believe. Moreover, even once information has been committed to memory, it can be altered. Our recollection of memories can be manipulated and even entire...
Your own experience of revising for exams might tell you that sessions of uninterrupted concentration can help you to better remember key pieces of information. Indeed, many students will engage in periods of “cramming” - intensive revision just before a test - in the belief that essential subject facts and figures will be memorized ready for...
Do you experience trouble remembering birthdays, important events and other key details? Have you already forgotten what you ate for breakfast this morning? If so, practising drawing what you want to remember could help you to retain key information, according to a new study into how the mind processes new memories.
In a study published in the Quarterly...
How do our memories store information? Why is it that we can recall a memory at will from decades ago, and what purpose does forgetting information serve?
Memory has been the subject of investigation among many 20th Century psychologists and remains an active area of study for today’s cognitive scientists. Below we take a look at some of the most...
Schemas (or schemata) refer to a type of cognitive heuristic which facilitates our understanding of our environment. They are mental concepts which are used to recognize and develop an understanding of otherwise complex objects and ideas, from recognizing people, animals and objects in our immediate environment, to processing other types of information,...
Cognitive Load Theory (or CLT) is a theory which aims to understand how the cognitive load produced by learning tasks can impede students’ ability to process new information and to create long-term memories.
Cognitive load is typically increased when unnecessary demands are imposed on a learner, making the task of processing information overly...
Summary of results from the short-term memory test.
Has someone you know approached you in the street, and, try as you might, you just could not remember this person's name? Put Names and Faces together and don't forget names again with this associative memory technique.
Traditional theories of memory segmented human memory into different stores – for example, the multi-store model with sensory, short-term and long-term stores. Craik & Lockhart's Levels of Processing theory opposes this, suggesting that our ability to recall information is dependent not upon which store it is in, but to what extent we have...
Craik & Tulving wanted to test whether the level of processing affected how well we remember information. By "depth of processing", we mean, the way in which a person thinks about a piece of information, for example, a shallow level of processing of a word would be to skim over a sentence and to understand the sentence without dwelling on...
Issues affecting classical conditioning.
How food and exercise can affect your ability to remember and recall memories.
How hypnosis can help improve our memory.
Use this storytelling method for remembering lists of information using an imaginary journey.
Remember better using the sounds of words.
Using the pegword mnemonic method to remember phone numbers and other numeric sequences.
One popular theory of how we remember was proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968. It proposed that the human memory is divided into 3 main sections:
Information from our environment, such as visual images from the eyes and sound, smell, etc. enter the memory here. The information that enters here may only...
Read through the following, allowing yourself to form mental pictures as you go along. When you come to the end, turn away from the computer and write down the list of words in the correct order. You'll be surprised at how well you do.
I'm going to form a short story around the words that you're going to remember, and as you form the images...
A theory on how our memory 'works' to remember things in different ways.
Peterson and Peterson investigated one of the factors that causes our short-term memory to decay, i.e. why we forget information in our short-term memory. In 1959, they conducted an experiment that revealed how time between remembering something and having to recall it affected the life of a memory.
Peterson and Peterson showed...
Test your short-term memory with this online feature.
Why do we forget information? Find out in this fascinating article exploring the...
Craik & Tulving wanted to test whether the level of processing affected how well we...
What is conditioning? What Pavlov's dogs experiment teaches us about how we learn.
How research at two universities found memory recall can be improved by chewing gum.
Miller (1956): How many pieces of information can you remember? Miller's Magic...
Study by Peterson & Peterson (1959) of how quickly we forget memories.
Using the pegword mnemonic method to remember phone numbers and other numeric...
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