Levels of processing

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  • Levels of Processing Theory of Memory (Craik + Lockhart)
    • Types of rehearsal
      • Maintenance rehearsal
        • we rehearse information in order to retain it for a short period of time. unlikely to result in strong memory
      • Elaborative rehearsal
        • we consider the information on a deeper level, often by giving it meaning. likely to result in a strong memory
    • Information processing
      • we have a central processor that handles all kinds of information and determines how it is processed
      • if the information is distinctive, relevant or requires time or effort to process its likely to be processed at a deeper level
      • if information is processed on a deep level it is more likely to be retained in the memory system
    • Evaluation: strengths
      • Hyde and Jenkins: study concluded that processing the meaning of words increased memorability
      • wide applications; can be used to help aid revision and learning
      • accounts for the diversity of memories stored. LOP explains the difference in memory durability by referring to depth of processing
    • Evaluation: weaknesses
      • many variables to determine whether a durable memory is achieved; its difficult to establish what is meant by "depth of processing"
      • Morris et al: study concluded that phonetic processing resulted in better recall than semantic processing
      • can only explain recall in explicit memory, not implicit memory
      • criticised for being too descriptive, rather than explaining how memory works, and that referring to depth is circular logic
      • doesn't account for all learning. giving meaning is not the only way we can make a durable memory trace


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