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PSY101: Unit III: Memory Handout

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In order to remember, it is necessary to organize, store, maintain, and retrieve information. In order to do so the following processes are used:

  • Encoding: arranging information into a form so that it can be stored.
  • Storing: maintaining information and knowledge for future use.
  • Retrievel: locating and recalling stored information for use.

Three component model of memory

The idea that memory consist of three stages:

  • Sensory Memory: where information is “picked up” when it is taken in by the various senses; lasting only a few seconds.
  • Short-term Memory: where information is forwarded for processing (i.e. scanning, rehearsal, encoding); limited storage capacity (hold 5-9 items).
  • Long-term Memory: where information is permanently stored for an undetermined period of time (i.e. a lifetime).

There are various processes used to facilitate information storage which include Mnemonic Devices, “Chunking” (short term), and “Clustering” (long term memory).

Three general types of memory

  1. Procedural Memory: learned associations, habits, patterns of behavior, routine ways of doing things, habitual response associations.
  2. Semantic Memory: language based information, factual data, and verbal knowledge.
  3. Episodic Memory: autobiographical record of memories derived from personal life experiences.

Levels of Information Processing

The various methods (levels) of processing cognitive information.

  1. Maintenance Rehearsal: rote repetition of information in order to retain for a short period of time.
  2. Elaborative Rehearsal: to form associations, classifications, and categories of information in order to make it meaningful (forming connections).
  3. Concept Formation and Utilization: to form “prototype”, group data together, and form hierarchies within categories (language based groupings of words and other units of information).

Cognitive Psychology: Cognitive Science

Cognition: The full range of “higher mental abilities” and activities used to represent and process information (knowledge) including perception, thinking, reasoning, memory, problem solving, and learning.

Cognitive Processes

The processes of learning, thinking and memory are very closely related.

  1. Learning: is the process by which most forms of knowledge are acquired;
  2. Thinking: is the mental manipulation of information and knowledge;
  3. Memory: is the storehouse where information is maintained.

    Information Processing: How information and knowledge are represented and processed (how data are mentally manipulated [i.e. how we think]).


Sensing: (Perception) à
Selecting: (Categorizing) à
Storing: (Memory)

Computational Metaphor: The use pf a “computer analogy” (i.e. computer model) to understand or explain mental functioning.

Symbols and Concepts

Symbols: are the basis for representational thought (symbols are mental constructions which we use to represent objects, events, or people); known as “symbolic thinking” the use of symbolic representation may include the use of words (language), the use of numbers (mathematical equations), or the use of symbols (chemical formulae) which the user mentally manipulates.

Concepts: are a group of objects, events, or things that have some essential similarity, which are grouped together (or organized) into categories. Within categories they can then be arranged into hierarchy (in some order, according to our familiarity with them).

Cognitive Economy: The abstraction information, objects, and events in order to minimize the time and effort necessary to process information and data.

Learning: A relatively permanent modification in functioning which occurs as a result of experience. The ability to bring past experiences into the present in useful forms.

Thinking: The construction, manipulation, and modification of facts, data and internal concepts and symbols.

Reasoning: The processes of arriving at conclusions by analyzing a set of facts.

  • Deductive Reasoning: arriving at conclusions drawn logically from two (2) or more statements of fact (going from the general to the specific);
  • Inductive Reasoning: arriving at unknown, new information by a reasoning process that leads to discoveries (from the specific to the general).

    Problem Solving: Arriving at solutions to questions or problems by means of one of the following methods:

  • Algorithms: a specific set of rules to questions or problems in a “step by step” manner.
  • Huristics: a flexible and inventive approach rather that a fixed set of “mechanical rules” (step by step).




Review of Rogerian Theory


A movement in philosophy and psychology that emphasizes that what is most important in not an object or event in itself, but how it is perceived and interpreted by a person.

Phenomenal Field

The sum total of the experiences that a person is capable of perceiving, and to which they are capable of responding (i.e. the person’s “effective environment”)

Actualizing Tendency

The force within the individual for growth and development that is innate within all people to maintain and enhance themselves and to grow as a person


A distinctly unpleasant feeling state, vague uneasiness or tension, as a result of a discrepancy between one’s cognitive self and experience.


Consciousness; that portion of one’s experience which he/she is aware of and is capable of expressing verbally (to self and others).


The totality of the individual, thoughts, feelings, and behavior.


The cognitive self is totality of a persons self awareness, self




Written by Joseph Eulo

May 28, 2008 at 8:40 am

Posted in PSY101 Handouts

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