Cognitive Psychology - Levels of Processing

HideShow resource information

The Levels of Processing model of memory was put forward by Craik and Lockhart in 1972. Instead of concentrating on the stores / structures involved, this theory focuses on the processes involved in memory. They proposed that memory is just a by-product of the depth of processing of information and there is no clear distinction between short term memory and long term memory.

Depth: The meaningfulness extracted from the stimulus rather than in terms of the number of analyses performed on it.

Shallow Processing

Takes two forms

  • Structural processing: When we encode only the physical qualities of something.
  • Phonemic processing: When sound is encoded.

Shallow processing only involves maintenance rehearsal (repetition to help us hold something in STM) and leads to fairly short-term retention of information. This is the only type of rehearsal to take place within the multi-store model.

Deep Processing

  • Semantic processing: Happens when we encode the meaning of a word and relate it to words with similar meaning.

Deep processing involves elaboration rehearsal which involves a more meaningful analysis of information and leads to better recall.

Research Study: Craik and Tulving (1975)

Aim: To investigate how deep and shallow processing affects recall.

Method: Participants were presented with 60 words about which they had to answer one of three questions - some questions required deep processing (semantic), others required shallow processing (structural or phonemic). Participants were then given a list of 180 words. They had to pick out the original 60.

Results: Participants recalled more words that were semantically processed.

Conclusion: Semantically processed words involve elaboration rehearsal and deep processing which results in more accurate recall. Phonemic and structural processed words involved shallow processing and less accurate recall.

Real Life Applications of the Levels of Processing Model

This model highlights the way…


No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Cognitive Psychology resources »