The Three Parts of the Information-processing Model of Memory Are

Chapter 9. Remembering and Judging

9.1 Memories as Types and Stages

Learning Objectives

  1. Compare and contrast explicit and implicit memory, identifying the features that define each.
  2. Explain the function and elapsing of eidetic and echoic memories.
  3. Summarize the capacities of brusk-term memory and explain how working retention is used to procedure information in it.

Every bit yous can see in Table, “Memory Conceptualized in Terms of Types, Stages, and Processes,” psychologists conceptualize memory in terms of
types, in terms of
stages, and in terms of
processes. In this department we will consider the two
types of memory
explicit retention
implicit memory, then the three major
retention stages:
short-term, and
(Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). Then, in the side by side section, nosotros will consider the nature of long-term retentiveness, with a particular emphasis on the cognitive techniques we can use to improve our memories. Our give-and-take will focus on the 3 processes that are central to
long-term retentiveness:
storage, and

Table 9.1 Retention Conceptualized in Terms of Types, Stages, and Processes.
As types
  • Explicit memory
  • Implicit retentivity
As stages
  • Sensory memory
  • Short-term memory
  • Long-term memory
As processes
  • Encoding
  • Storage
  • Retrieval

Explicit Retentivity

When we assess memory past asking a person to consciously remember things, we are measuring
explicit retentiveness.
Explicit retentivity refers to
knowledge or experiences that can exist consciously remembered. As you tin come across in Figure 9.2, “Types of Memory,” there are 2 types of explicit memory:
Episodic retention

refers to
the firsthand experiences that we have had
(e.thou., recollections of our high school graduation day or of the fantastic dinner nosotros had in New York concluding yr).
Semantic retention
refers to
our cognition of facts and concepts most the world
(e.1000., that the absolute value of −90 is greater than the accented value of 9 and that ane definition of the word “bear upon” is “the experience of feeling or emotion”).

Effigy 9.2 Types of Memory.

Explicit memory is assessed using measures in which the individual being tested must consciously attempt to remember the information. A
call up retentiveness
test is
a measure of explicit retentivity that involves bringing from retentivity information that has previously been remembered. We rely on our recall retentiveness when nosotros take an essay examination, because the exam requires u.s. to generate previously remembered information. A multiple-choice test is an example of a
recognition memory test,
a measure of explicit retention that involves determining whether data has been seen or learned before.

Your own experiences taking tests will probably lead you to agree with the scientific research finding that recall is more difficult than recognition. Recall, such every bit required on essay tests, involves 2 steps: beginning generating an answer and so determining whether it seems to exist the correct one. Recognition, as on multiple-selection exam, just involves determining which detail from a list seems most correct (Haist, Shimamura, & Squire, 1992). Although they involve different processes, recall and recognition memory measures tend to be correlated. Students who practise amend on a multiple-pick examination will also, generally, do better on an essay exam (Bridgeman & Morgan, 1996).

A third way of measuring memory is known equally
(Nelson, 1985). Measures of
(or savings)
assess how much more rapidly information is processed or learned when it is studied once more after information technology has already been learned merely and then forgotten. If you have taken some French courses in the past, for instance, you lot might have forgotten most of the vocabulary you learned. Merely if you were to work on your French again, you lot’d larn the vocabulary much faster the 2nd time effectually. Relearning can be a more than sensitive measure of memory than either recall or recognition because information technology allows assessing memory in terms of “how much” or “how fast” rather than just “correct” versus “wrong” responses. Relearning also allows us to measure memory for procedures like driving a machine or playing a pianoforte piece, besides equally memory for facts and figures.

Implicit Memory

While explicit retentiveness consists of the things that we tin consciously study that we know, implicit memory refers to noesis that we cannot consciously access. Yet, implicit retentiveness is yet exceedingly important to usa because it has a straight effect on our behaviour.
Implicit retentivity
refers to
the influence of feel on behaviour, even if the individual is not aware of those influences. As you can encounter in Effigy ix.ii, “Types of Retentiveness,” in that location are iii general types of implicit memory: procedural memory, classical conditioning furnishings, and priming.

Procedural memory
refers to
our often unexplainable noesis of how to do things. When we walk from one place to some other, speak to some other person in English, dial a jail cell phone, or play a video game, we are using procedural memory. Procedural retentiveness allows the states to perform complex tasks, even though we may not be able to explain to others how we do them. At that place is no manner to tell someone how to ride a bike; a person has to learn by doing it. The thought of implicit memory helps explain how infants are able to larn. The power to crawl, walk, and talk are procedures, and these skills are hands and efficiently adult while we are children despite the fact that as adults nosotros have no conscious retention of having learned them.

A second type of implicit memory is
classical conditioning effects, in which
we larn, often without endeavour or awareness, to associate neutral stimuli (such equally a sound or a light) with another stimulus (such equally nutrient), which creates a naturally occurring response, such as enjoyment or salivation. The memory for the association is demonstrated when the conditioned stimulus (the sound) begins to create the aforementioned response as the unconditioned stimulus (the food) did before the learning.

The final type of implicit retentivity is known as
priming, or
changes in behaviour as a result of experiences that accept happened frequently or recently. Priming refers both to the activation of knowledge (due east.g., we can prime number the concept of kindness past presenting people with words related to kindness) and to the influence of that activation on behaviour (people who are primed with the concept of kindness may human action more than kindly).

I measure of the influence of priming on implicit retentiveness is the
word fragment test, in which a person is asked to make full in missing letters to make words. You tin try this yourself: First, try to consummate the following give-and-take fragments, but work on each one for only three or four seconds. Do whatsoever words pop into mind rapidly?

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_ i b _ a _ y

_ h _ s _ _ i _ n

_ o _ k

_ h _ i s _

Now read the following sentence carefully:

“He got his materials from the shelves, checked them out, and then left the building.”

Then try again to make words out of the discussion fragments.

I remember you might observe that information technology is easier to complete fragments 1 and 3 as “library” and “volume,” respectively, after y’all read the sentence than information technology was before you lot read it. Withal, reading the sentence didn’t actually help you lot to complete fragments 2 and iv every bit “physician” and “chaise.” This deviation in implicit retention probably occurred because as you read the sentence, the concept of “library” (and perhaps “book”) was primed, even though they were never mentioned explicitly. Once a concept is primed information technology influences our behaviours, for example, on word fragment tests.

Our everyday behaviours are influenced by priming in a wide variety of situations. Seeing an advertisement for cigarettes may make us start smoking, seeing the flag of our home country may arouse our patriotism, and seeing a student from a rival schoolhouse may agitate our competitive spirit. And these influences on our behaviours may occur without our being aware of them.

Enquiry Focus: Priming Outside Awareness Influences Behaviour

I of the most important characteristics of implicit memories is that they are oftentimes formed and used
automatically, without much try or awareness on our role. In i demonstration of the automaticity and influence of priming effects, John Bargh and his colleagues (Bargh, Chen, & Burrows, 1996) conducted a report in which they showed undergraduate students lists of five scrambled words, each of which they were to make into a sentence. Furthermore, for one-half of the research participants, the words were related to stereotypes of the elderly. These participants saw words such as the following:

in Victoria retired live people

bingo human the forgetful plays

The other half of the research participants also made sentences, only from words that had nix to exercise with elderly stereotypes. The purpose of this task was to prime stereotypes of elderly people in memory for some of the participants simply not for others.

The experimenters and so assessed whether the priming of elderly stereotypes would accept any effect on the students’ behaviour — and indeed it did. When the enquiry participant had gathered all of his or her belongings, thinking that the experiment was over, the experimenter thanked him or her for participating and gave directions to the closest elevator. Then, without the participants knowing it, the experimenters recorded the corporeality of time that the participant spent walking from the doorway of the experimental room toward the elevator. As you can run into in Figure 9.three, “Research Results.” participants who had made sentences using words related to elderly stereotypes took on the behaviours of the elderly — they walked significantly more slowly as they left the experimental room.

The control group had a walking speed of 8.2 and the elderly group had a walking speed of 7.2.
Effigy ix.3 Enquiry Results. Bargh, Chen, and Burrows found that priming words associated with the elderly made people walk more than slowly (1996).

To decide if these priming effects occurred out of the sensation of the participants, Bargh and his colleagues asked still some other group of students to complete the priming task so to indicate whether they thought the words they had used to make the sentences had any relationship to each other, or could perhaps have influenced their behaviour in any way. These students had no awareness of the possibility that the words might take been related to the elderly or could have influenced their behaviour.

Stages of Memory: Sensory, Brusk-Term, and Long-Term Retentivity

Another way of agreement retentiveness is to call back nearly information technology in terms of stages that depict the length of fourth dimension that information remains available to u.s.. According to this approach (encounter Effigy 9.4, “Memory Elapsing”), data begins in
sensory memory, moves to
short-term memory, and eventually moves to
long-term memory. Only not all information makes it through all three stages; well-nigh of it is forgotten. Whether the data moves from shorter-duration memory into longer-duration retention or whether it is lost from retention entirely depends on how the information is attended to and candy.

Figure 9.four Retention Duration. Memory can characterized in terms of stages — the length of fourth dimension that information remains available to us.

Sensory Retentivity

Sensory memory refers to
the brief storage of sensory information. Sensory memory is a retentiveness buffer that lasts simply very briefly and then, unless it is attended to and passed on for more processing, is forgotten. The purpose of sensory retentiveness is to requite the brain some time to procedure the incoming sensations, and to allow united states of america to come across the globe as an unbroken stream of events rather than as individual pieces.

Visual sensory memory
is known every bit
iconic memory. Iconic retentivity was first studied by the psychologist George Sperling (1960). In his research, Sperling showed participants a display of letters in rows, like to that shown in Figure ix.5, “Measuring Iconic Retention.” Still, the display lasted simply about 50 milliseconds (1/xx of a second). Then, Sperling gave his participants a recall examination in which they were asked to name all the letters that they could think. On average, the participants could think merely most one-quarter of the messages that they had seen.

12 random upper case letters in three rows.
Effigy nine.5 Measuring Iconic Memory. Sperling showed his participants displays such as this one for only i/20th of a second. He plant that when he cued the participants to report one of the 3 rows of messages, they could practise it, even if the cue was given shortly subsequently the brandish had been removed. The research demonstrated the existence of iconic retentiveness.

Sperling reasoned that the participants had seen all the letters but could call up them but very briefly, making it impossible for them to report them all. To test this idea, in his side by side experiment, he start showed the same letters, but then after the display had been removed, he signaled to the participants to report the messages from either the first, 2nd, or third row. In this condition, the participants now reported almost all the letters in that row. This finding confirmed Sperling’s hunch: participants had access to all of the letters in their iconic memories, and if the job was short enough, they were able to report on the part of the brandish he asked them to. The “brusque enough” is the length of iconic memory, which turns out to exist about 250 milliseconds (¼ of a second).

Auditory sensory memory
is known as
echoic retention. In dissimilarity to iconic memories, which decay very speedily, echoic memories can final as long as four seconds (Cowan, Lichty, & Grove, 1990). This is convenient as it allows you lot — amid other things — to recall the words that you lot said at the starting time of a long judgement when you get to the finish of it, and to take notes on your psychology professor’s most recent argument even afterward he or she has finished proverb it.

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In some people iconic retentiveness seems to last longer, a phenomenon known as
eidetic imagery
photographic retentiveness) in which
people can written report details of an image over long periods of time. These people, who oft suffer from psychological disorders such every bit autism, merits that they can “meet” an epitome long later it has been presented, and can often report accurately on that image. There is also some evidence for eidetic memories in hearing; some people study that their echoic memories persist for unusually long periods of time. The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart may take possessed eidetic memory for music, because even when he was very immature and had not yet had a corking deal of musical training, he could listen to long compositions and so play them back nearly perfectly (Solomon, 1995).

Short-Term Retention

Most of the data that gets into sensory retentivity is forgotten, but information that we turn our attending to, with the goal of remembering it, may pass into
curt-term retentivity.
Brusque-term memory (STM) is
the place where small amounts of information can exist temporarily kept for more than than a few seconds but usually for less than one minute
(Baddeley, Vallar, & Shallice, 1990). Information in short-term memory is not stored permanently but rather becomes available for us to process, and
the processes that we employ to brand sense of, modify, interpret, and store information in STM
are known as
working memory.

Although information technology is called retentiveness, working retentivity is not a store of retentivity similar STM merely rather a fix of memory procedures or operations. Imagine, for example, that you lot are asked to participate in a chore such as this one, which is a measure of working memory (Unsworth & Engle, 2007). Each of the following questions appears individually on a figurer screen and so disappears after y’all reply the question:

Is 10 × ii − 5 = xv? (Respond Yep OR NO) Then remember “Due south”
Is 12 ÷ six − two = ane? (Answer Yeah OR NO) Then remember “R”
Is ten × 2 = 5? (Answer YES OR NO) Then remember “P”
Is eight ÷ ii − 1 = i? (Reply Yes OR NO) Then retrieve “T”
Is 6 × two − one = 8? (Respond YES OR NO) Then remember “U”
Is ii × 3 − three = 0? (Respond YES OR NO) Then remember “Q”

To successfully accomplish the task, yous take to answer each of the math problems correctly and at the same time remember the letter that follows the task. Then, after the vi questions, you must list the letters that appeared in each of the trials in the right order (in this case Southward, R, P, T, U, Q).

To attain this difficult job you need to utilise a multifariousness of skills. You clearly demand to use STM, every bit you lot must keep the letters in storage until you are asked to list them. But you likewise demand a manner to brand the best use of your available attention and processing. For instance, yous might decide to apply a strategy of repeat the letters twice, and so quickly solve the next problem, and and so echo the letters twice again including the new ane. Keeping this strategy (or others like it) going is the role of working retention’s
key executivethe part of working memory that directs attending and processing. The central executive volition make utilize of whatever strategies seem to be best for the given task. For case, the primal executive will direct the rehearsal process, and at the aforementioned time direct the visual cortex to form an image of the list of letters in memory. You can see that although STM is involved, the processes that we use to operate on the material in memory are as well disquisitional.

Short-term retention is express in both the length and the amount of information it tin hold. Peterson and Peterson (1959) found that when people were asked to remember a list of iii-letter strings and so were immediately asked to perform a distracting task (counting astern by threes), the material was quickly forgotten (meet Figure 9.6, “STM Decay”), such that by xviii seconds it was virtually gone.

Figure 9.6 STM Decay. Researchers found that information that was not apposite decayed quickly from memory.

One way to prevent the disuse of data from short-term memory is to use working memory to rehearse information technology.
Maintenance rehearsal is
the process of repeating information mentally or out loud with the goal of keeping information technology in retention. We engage in maintenance rehearsal to keep something that we desire to remember (e.chiliad., a person’s name, email address, or telephone number) in mind long enough to write it down, use it, or potentially transfer it to long-term memory.

If we continue to rehearse information, it will stay in STM until we stop rehearsing it, but at that place is also a capacity limit to STM. Try reading each of the following rows of numbers, ane row at a fourth dimension, at a rate of nearly one number each second. Then when yous have finished each row, close your eyes and write down equally many of the numbers as you can remember.









If you lot are like the average person, you volition take found that on this test of working retention, known every bit a
digit bridge examination, you lot did pretty well upwardly to about the fourth line, and so you started having problem. I bet you missed some of the numbers in the last three rows, and did pretty poorly on the last ane.

The digit bridge of almost adults is betwixt five and nine digits, with an average of about seven. The cognitive psychologist George Miller (1956) referred to “seven plus or minus two” pieces of information every bit the magic number in short-term memory. But if we tin simply agree a maximum of about ix digits in curt-term memory, and then how tin can nosotros recollect larger amounts of data than this? For example, how can we ever remember a ten-digit phone number long enough to punch information technology?

Ane way we are able to expand our ability to recollect things in STM is past using a memory technique chosen
Chunking is
the process of organizing information into smaller groupings (chunks), thereby increasing the number of items that can be held in STM. For example, effort to remember this string of 12 letters:

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Yous probably won’t do that well because the number of messages is more than than the magic number of seven.

Now effort again with this one:


Would it assistance yous if I pointed out that the material in this cord could be chunked into iv sets of iii letters each? I call up information technology would, considering then rather than remembering 12 messages, you would only have to think the names of four telly stations. In this example, chunking changes the number of items you take to recollect from 12 to only 4.

Experts rely on chunking to help them procedure complex information. Herbert Simon and William Chase (1973) showed chess masters and chess novices various positions of pieces on a chessboard for a few seconds each. The experts did a lot better than the novices in remembering the positions because they were able to see the “big picture.” They didn’t accept to recollect the position of each of the pieces individually, but chunked the pieces into several larger layouts. But when the researchers showed both groups random chess positions — positions that would be very unlikely to occur in real games — both groups did equally poorly, because in this situation the experts lost their ability to organize the layouts (meet Figure 9.7, “Possible and Impossible Chess Positions”). The aforementioned occurs for basketball. Basketball players recollect actual basketball game positions much better than do nonplayers, only only when the positions make sense in terms of what is happening on the court, or what is probable to happen in the virtually future, and thus can be chunked into bigger units (Didierjean & Marmèche, 2005).

Effigy 9.7 Possible and Impossible Chess Positions. Experience matters: Experienced chess players are able to recall the positions of the game on the right much amend than are those who are chess novices. Only the experts practise no amend than the novices in remembering the positions on the left, which cannot occur in a real game.

If information makes information technology past short term-memory information technology may enter
long-term memory (LTM),
retentiveness storage that can concur information for days, months, and years. The capacity of long-term memory is big, and there is no known limit to what we tin think (Wang, Liu, & Wang, 2003). Although we may forget at least some data after we learn information technology, other things will stay with the states forever. In the adjacent department we will discuss the principles of long-term memory.

Key Takeaways

  • Memory refers to the ability to store and call up information over fourth dimension.
  • For some things our memory is very good, but our active cognitive processing of information ensures that memory is never an exact replica of what nosotros accept experienced.
  • Explicit memory refers to experiences that can exist intentionally and consciously remembered, and it is measured using recollect, recognition, and relearning. Explicit memory includes episodic and semantic memories.
  • Measures of relearning (as well known as “savings”) assess how much more chop-chop information is learned when it is studied once again afterward it has already been learned just and then forgotten.
  • Implicit retentivity refers to the influence of experience on behaviour, even if the individual is not aware of those influences. The three types of implicit memory are procedural memory, classical conditioning, and priming.
  • Information processing begins in sensory memory, moves to short-term memory, and eventually moves to long-term memory.
  • Maintenance rehearsal and chunking are used to keep information in curt-term retentivity.
  • The capacity of long-term memory is large, and there is no known limit to what nosotros can think.

Exercises and Critical Thinking

  1. List some situations in which sensory memory is useful for y’all. What do you call back your experience of the stimuli would be like if you lot had no sensory memory?
  2. Depict a state of affairs in which you need to use working memory to perform a chore or solve a problem. How do your working retentiveness skills help you lot?


Atkinson, R. C., & Shiffrin, R. Yard. (1968). Human memory: A proposed arrangement and its control processes. In One thousand. Spence (Ed.),The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 2). Oxford, England: Academic Press.

Baddeley, A. D., Vallar, Yard., & Shallice, T. (1990). The development of the concept of working memory: Implications and contributions of neuropsychology. In Thou. Vallar & T. Shallice (Eds.),Neuropsychological impairments of short-term retentiveness (pp. 54–73). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Bargh, J. A., Chen, M., & Burrows, L. (1996). Automaticity of social beliefs: Straight furnishings of trait construct and stereotype activation on action.Periodical of Personality & Social Psychology, 71, 230–244.

Bridgeman, B., & Morgan, R. (1996). Success in higher for students with discrepancies between performance on multiple-choice and essay tests.Periodical of Educational Psychology, 88(ii), 333–340.

Cowan, N., Lichty, Due west., & Grove, T. R. (1990). Backdrop of retention for unattended spoken syllables.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Knowledge, 16(2), 258–268.

Didierjean, A., & Marmèche, E. (2005). Anticipatory representation of visual basketball scenes by novice and expert players.Visual Noesis, 12(2), 265–283.

Haist, F., Shimamura, A. P., & Squire, L. R. (1992). On the relationship betwixt remember and recognition retentiveness.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18(4), 691–702.

Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information.Psychological Review, 63(2), 81–97.

Nelson, T. O. (1985). Ebbinghaus’s contribution to the measurement of retention: Savings during relearning.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, xi(3), 472–478.

Peterson, 50., & Peterson, M. J. (1959). Short-term retention of individual verbal items.Journal of Experimental Psychology, 58(3), 193–198.

Simon, H. A., & Chase, West. Grand. (1973). Skill in chess.American Scientist, 61(4), 394–403.

Solomon, M. (1995).Mozart: A life. New York, NY: Harper Perennial.

Sperling, G. (1960). The information available in brief visual presentation.Psychological Monographs, 74(11), 1–29.

Unsworth, Northward., & Engle, R. Due west. (2007). On the division of short-term and working memory: An test of simple and complex span and their relation to higher order abilities.Psychological Message, 133(6), 1038–1066.

Wang, Y., Liu, D., & Wang, Y. (2003). Discovering the chapters of human retentiveness.Brain & Mind, 4(2), 189–198.

Image Attributions

Figure 9.4:
Adapted from Atkinson & Shiffrin (1968).

Figure 9.5:
Adapted from Sperling (1960).

Figure 9.6:
Adjusted from Peterson & Peterson (1959).

The Three Parts of the Information-processing Model of Memory Are


Originally posted 2022-08-06 14:36:12.

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