PSYC 2450 Chapter 9: Chapter 9

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Developmental Psychology Chapter 9 Notes
Multistore model: information processing model that depicts information as
flowing through three processing units (or stores): the sensory store, the short-
term store, (STS) and the long term store (LTS)
Understands how people think
People use a variety of cognitive operations or strategies to process information
through a limited-capacity system
Sensory store (or sensory register)
First information- processing store, in which stimuli are noticed and briefly
available for further processing
Systems log in unit
Simply holds raw sensory input as a kind of “afterimage” or echo of what
you have sensed
There are separate sensory registers for each sense modality and
presumably they can hold large quantities of information but only for very
brief periods of time
Soon to disappear without furthering processing
Short Term store (STS)
Second information-processing store, in which stimuli are retained for
several seconds and operated upon (also called working memory)
5-9 seconds
Example would be able to retain a phone number for a short period of time
o unless it is rehearsed or otherwise operated on it is soon lost
o primary or working memory because all the conscious intellectual
activity takes place here
2 functions:
o 1. To store information temporarily
o 2. You can do something with that
Long-term memory store (LTS)
Third information- processing store, in which information that has been
examine and interpreted is permanently stored for future use
Vast and relatively permanent storehouse of information that includes your
knowledge of the world, impressions of past experiences and events, and
the strategies that you use to process information and solve problems
Allows us to work with information
o People must decide what information to attend to and which if any
strategies to executer to move information through the system
o Information does not flow on its own through various stores or
processing units of the system; instead we actively channel the
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This is why most information processing models include
control process or executive functions- the processes
involved n planning and monitoring what you attend to and
what you do with this input
Sometimes refers to: executive control processing
as metacognition:
o Knowledge of ones cognitive abilities and
processes related to thinking
o Under voluntary control
The process in one which higher-level cognition emerges as a result of
self-organization in dynamic systems
o That is lower-level units (sensations, features of a stimulus) interact
and organize into higher order units (a perception, a concept)
The development of the Multistore Model
Aspects of children’s information processing that influence all types of
The capacity of short-term storage (hardware)
The speed of processing (hardware)
Children’s use of strategies (software)
Children’s understanding of what it means to think (metacognition or
executive functioning)
Knowledge base: what children know about the things they are thinking about
(related to the four points above and influencing nearly all forms of children’s
Attention- the process of selecting what stimuli children will bring into or
work on within the information processing system
Developmental differences in “hardware”: information processing capacity
It can sometimes be used to refer to the total amount of “space” available
to store information
How long information can be retained in a storage unit
Sometimes to how quickly information can be processed.
Processing capacity:
Fundamental predictor of performance in many cognitive tasks we preform
every day (page 135)
Development of the Short-term store
Memory span
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o The number of rapidly presented and unrelated items (digits) that
can be recalled In exact order
o Used as one indication of general intelligence
o People believe we overestimate the capacity of the short-term store
Why? Because people chunk or rehearse numbers
presented successively, much as we do when trying to
remember phone numbers
Assessed age differences in a span of apprehension
o Term used to refer to the number of items that people can keep in
mind at any one time or can attend to at once without operating
mentally on this information
o Span of apprehension, individual, and developmental differences in
memory span are influenced by children’s prior knowledge of the
material they are asked to remember.
How does being an “expert” in chess result in improved memory span?
Ease of item identification
o How quickly the child identifies items to be remembered
o Children who are experts in domain can rapidly process information
in that domain and thus have an advantage when it comes to
memory span
Their speed of item identification is an indication of their
domain-specific processing efficiency
Changes in Processing Speeds
General developmental changes in processing speed are similar across a
variety of different problems, ranging from simple tasks in which
participants must determine whether the objects in two pictures have the
same name (example: are they both pictures of bananas) to complex
mental arithmetic
Kail thinks that our past experiences can influence speed of processing
within a particular domain, but believes that maturationally based factors
are primarily responsible for broad range related differences in speed of
information processing
What maturational developments might underlie age-related changes in
processing speed?
Increased myelinization of neurons in the associative (“thinking”) areas of
the bran and the elimination of unnecessary (or excess) neural synapses
that could interfere with efficient information processing are two possible
Mylinization of the associative area is not complete until adolescence or
young adulthood.
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