Theories Of Memory - Levels Of Processing

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Levels Of Processing theory was proposed by Craik & Lockhart in 1972 as an alternative to the Multi-Store Model as they felt the rehearsal loop was not a sufficient way of describing how information is passed from the STM to the LTM.

It mainly revolves around the idea that the more deeply something is processed, the strong the LTM is formed.

There are four main ways to process information on different levels:

Depth of Analysis

This works on the idea that there are three ways of storing LTM:

Structurally (what it looks like)

Phonetic (what it sounds like)

Semantic (what it means).

The deeper you analyse the information, the stronger the LTM, e.g. remembering someone’s username, using ‘MilesPerHour’ as an example: Structurally: It is made up of three words, each starting with a capital letter. It is spelt ‘M-i-l-e-s-P-e-r-H-o-u-r’. Phonetically: Miles Per Hour, every time it is spelt/read, I remember how the words sound. Semantically: MilesPerHour, their name is Miles, which is an amusing joke to me. It is also a reference to one of my favourite films called ‘Perfect Stranger’.


If you elaborate highly, it will produce a stronger LTM, e.g.: remembering someone’s name is Patrick, if I was to elaborate I would think of Patrick Jane (a character from ‘The Mentalist’) and Patrick Stump (a musician), both of which would remind me of my sister as we watch The Mentalist together and she loves Patrick Stump, this is now going to be easy to remember as all these thoughts, along with the positive emotions that go with them are now related to Patrick.


Organisation creates a stronger LTM, and the more something is organised, the stronger the trace. Category titles often work as triggers, e.g. if I was trying to remember that I wanted a Mexican Redleg as a pet, I could organise this by saying it’s an insect, specifically an arachnid, more specifically a spider, a tarantula, a ground dwelling tarantula. This theory is



Really well explained, very good for reminding me what I forgot. Kind of the point, really :]

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