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Memory: Information Processing Model Cheat Sheet by

memory     model     processing     stm     ltm


In cognitive psycho­logy, memory is normally divided into three functions for storage (Anderson, 2000):.
Sensory Memory: The sensory memory retains an exact copy of what is seen or heard (visual and auditory). It only lasts for a few seconds, while some theorize it last only 300 millis­econds. It has unlimited capacity.
Short-Term Memory (STM) - Selective attention determines what inform­ation moves from sensory memory to short-term memory. STM is most often stored as sounds, especially in recalling words, but may be stored as images. It works the same as a computer's RAM (Random Access Memory) in that it provides a working space for short comput­ations and then transfers it to other parts of the memory system. It isnormally about seven bits in length ( we normally remember seven items at once). STM is vulnerable to interr­uption or interf­erence.
Long-Term Memory (LTM) - This is relatively permanent storage. Inform­ation is stored on the basis of meaning and import­ance.

Short-Term Memory (STM)

A limited capacity of up to 7 pieces of indepe­ndent inform­ati­on.
The brief duration of these items last from 3 to 20 seconds.
Decay appears to be the primary mechanism of memory loss.
After entering sensory memory, a limited amount of inform­ation is transf­erred into short-term memory. Within STM, there are three basic operat­ions:
Iconic memory - The ability to hold visual images.
Acoustic memory - The ability to hold sounds. Acoustic memory can be held longer than iconic memory.
Working memory - An active process to keep it until it is put to use (think of a phone number you repeat to yourself until you can dial it).
Tran­sfe­rring inform­ation from STM to LTM involves the encoding or consol­idation of inform­ati­on. The longer a memory stays in STM, the more likely it is to be placed into LTM; but organizing complex inform­ation in STM before it is encoded into LTM, the meanin­gfu­lness or emotional content of an item may play a greater role in its retention into LTM. Instru­ctional designers must make learning relevant and meaningful for the learner to transfer of inform­ation to their long-term memory.
Chunking - Moving Groups of Items to LTM
Chunking allows the brain to group items together, improving ability to remember and learn. The use of "­chu­nki­ng" is a signif­icant aid for enhancing the STM transfer to LTM. STM's capacity is limited to about 7 items, regardless of comple­xity.

Inform­ation Processing Model

The progress of inform­ation through these storage systems is often referred to as the Inform­ation Processing Model (Marzano, 1998)

Long-Term Memory (LTM)

The knowledge stored in our LTM affects our percep­tions of the world, and influences what inform­ation in the enviro­nment we act on. LTM provides the framework to attach new knowledge. It contrasts with short-term and perceptual memory in that inform­ation can be stored for extended periods of time.

Schemas are mental models of the world. Inform­ation in LTM is stored in interr­elated networks of these schemas. These, in turn, form intricate knowledge struct­ures. Related schemas are linked together, and inform­ation that activates one schema also activates others that are closely linked. This is how we recall relevant knowledge when similar inform­ation is presented. These schemas guide us by focusing our attention to relevant inform­ation and allow us to disregard what is unimpo­rtant.

Since LTM storage is organized into schemas, instru­ctional designers should activate existing schemas before presenting new inform­ation. This can be done in a variety of ways, including graphic organi­zers, curios­ity­-ar­ousing questions, movies, etc.

LTM has a strong influence on perception through top-down proces­sing - our prior knowledge affects how we perceive sensory inform­ation. Our expect­ations regarding a particular sensory experience influence how we interpret it. This is how we develop bias. Most optical illusions take advantage of this fact.

An important factor for retention of learned inform­ation in LTM is rehear­sal.

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