EDPE 300 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Long-Term Memory, Descriptive Knowledge, Procedural Knowledge

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Basic Assumptions of Cognitive Psychology
cognitive psychology: a theoretical perspective that focuses on the mental processes underlying
human learning and behaviour
cognitive processes influence the nature of what is learned
o learning = internal, mental phenomenon
o how people think about & interpret experiences affects what they learn
o information processing theory: a theoretical perspective that focuses on the specific
ways in which individuals mentally think about 7 process the information they receive
students are selective about what they process and learn
o focus on what is important, ignore the rest
meaning is constructed by the learner, rather than being derived directly from the environment
o construction: a mental process in which a learner takes many separate pieces of
information and uses them to build an overall understanding or interpretation of an
o constructivism: a theoretical perspective that proposes that learners construct a body
of knowledge from their experiences knowledge that may or may not be an accurate
representation of external reality
prior knowledge and beliefs play a major role in the meanings that people construct
students are actively involved in their own learning
Basic Terminology in Cognitive Psychology
memory: a learner’s ability to save something (mentally) that they have previously learned, or
the mental location where such information is saved
storage: the process of putting new information into memory
encoding: changing the format of new information as it is being sorted in memory
retrieval: the process of finding information previously stored in memory
A Model of Human Memory
3 components: sensory register, working (short-term) memory & long term memory
sensory register working memory long term memory working memory
A Nature of the Sensory Register
sensory register: a component of memory that holds incoming information in an analyzed form
for a very brief period of time
everything you are able to see, hear, sense stored here (large capacity)
Moving Information to Working Memory: The Role of Attention
attention: the focusing of mental processes on particular environmental stimuli
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what you pay attention to goes into working memory, what you don’t disappears from memory
attention has limited capacity (cocktail party phenomenon)
very small amount of information moves from sensory register to the working memory
attention in the classroom
o attention = behaviour & mental process
o ask questions that test students’ understanding of ideas
o ask students to put new information to use
o encourage older students to take notes
reconstruction: creating notes from classes or other events in own words
without consulting original notes & then revising them or comparing them with
others’ notes for an enhanced learning experience
o have students make up questions about class content/readings (learning cell)
The Nature of Working (Short-Term) Memory
working memory: a component of memory that holds and processes a limited amount of
information; duration of information stored is probably about 5-20 seconds
also where thinking & cognitive processes occur
does the most work on the memory system
2 characteristics worth noting: short duration & limited capacity
The Nature of Long-Term Memory
long-term memory: the component of memory that holds knowledge and skills for a relatively
long period of time
3 characteristics worth noting: long duration, unlimited capacity, rich network of
long duration
o some believe information may weaken & disappear if not used regularly
o others believe once in long term memory it stays there permanently but may be difficult
to retrieve
unlimited capacity
o the more information stored in long term memory the easier it is to learn new things
o information stored is organized & interconnected
o quality of concept links: in a concept map, pairs of concepts can be more or less
strongly linked & the description of the link can be more or less complete & detailed
Critiquing the Three-Component Model
are there 3 separate components to memory?
are the component as distinctly different from one another as described?
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