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Craik & Lockhart (1972) Levels of Processing Theory

Craik & Lockhart (1972) Levels of Processing Theory

Introducing the Levels of Processing Theory

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 "processed" or "rehearsed" a piece of information.

An example of different levels of processing would be when trying to remember someone's name. Repeating the name Adam, for example, in one's mind would be an example of a shallow level of processing (maintenance rehearsal), while deeper, more effective Elaborative Rehearsal would be thinking how the name matches with the person.

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  1. Craik, F.I.M. and Lockhart, R.S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior. 11(6). 671-84.
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