Saturday 11 March 2017

Processes in Long-Term Memory: Rehearsal, Elaboration, and Organization

The functioning of the information processing system (memory model) has a simple goal: to make sense of significant sensation and to organize and store for recall that which is potentially either important or/and interesting, or useful while ignoring or discarding more trivial matters.
Long-Term Memory: Rehearsal, Elaboration, and Organization
Long-Term Memory Process

To achieve this goal, the system uses a variety of processes. Much sensory data that is not attended to (not processed) does not go beyond immediate sensory memory. Paying attention is one of the important activities, or processes, of our information processing system. By this means, information is transferred from sensory to short-term storage.

There are three other basic processes that are involved in remembering. These are: rehearsal, elaboration, and organization.

What is “Rehearsal”?

Rehearsal is a memory process that involves repetition, important for maintaining information in short-term memory and transferring it to long-term memory.

Rehearsal involves repeating. The simplest rehearsal strategy is to state the material (such as, five, five, five, one, two, one, two) over and over again until it seems unlikely that it will escape from memory.

Rehearsal serves not only to maintain information in short-term memory but also to transfer material from short-term to long-term storage. Most children younger than age five do not rehearse spontaneously and cannot easily be taught to do so.

What is “Elaboration”?

Elaboration is a long-term memory process which involves changing or adding to material, or making associations to make remembering easier.

Elaboration is a cognitive process whereby material is extended or added to (elaborated) to make it more memorable.

One way of elaborating material is to associate mental images with items which are to be remembered.

Sometimes, elaboration involves forming associations between new material and material that is already well known.

What is “Organization”?

Organization is a memory strategy that involves grouping and relating material to maintain it in long-term memory.

Let us assume, for example. You need to memorize the following list: man, dog, green, cayenne, woman, cat, child, canary, and jalapeno. Some of you will immediately notice that the list can be easily organized into three groups of related items (pets, persons, and peppers) and will use this organization to help remember the items—which, again, are not something younger children will spontaneously do.

The organizational strategies, that are so important to long-term memory, can be either extremely complex or quite simple. What most of these have in common, however, is that they are based on our recognition of similarities and differences. Humans (perhaps other animals as well) seems to have a tendency to see similarities and differences (and other relations) and to generalize from them.

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