Cognitive Psychology - Memory

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What is memory?

Memory is the term given to the structures and processes involved in the storage and subsequent retrieval of information. For psychologists, memory covers three important aspects of information processing:

1) Encoding and Memory

When information comes into our memory system (from sensory input), it needs to be changed into a different form so it can be stored. There are 3 main ways in which information can be encoded:

  • Visual (picture)
  • Acoustic (sound)
  • Semantic (meaning)

Evidence suggests that the principle coding system in STM (short-term memory) is acoustic coding. When a person is attempting to learn a list of letters / numbers, they may repeat them verbally (rehearsal). Rehearsal is a verbal process regardless of whether the list to be learned is presented acoustically or visually.

The principle encoding system in LTM appears to be


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