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The Levels of Processing Model

The Levels of Processing Model

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Published by Wuzna Haroon

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Published by: Wuzna Haroon on Jan 01, 2012
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THE LEVELS –OF-PROCESSING APPROACH
The level of processing approach was proposed by
Craik 
and
Lockhart
in 1
972
. Their paper has been one of the most influential in the area of human memory.
Description of the Level-of-Processing Approach
The level-of-processing approach proposes that meaningful information processing leads to permanent retention. This theory is also called the
depth of processing approach
.
Different levels
Craik and Lockhart proposed that people can analyze stimuli at a number of different levels.
Shallow levels.
Deep levels.
Shallow levels:
The shallow levels involve analysis in terms of physical or sensory characteristics, suchas brightness or pitch. If the stimulus is analyzed at a very shallow level, then thatmemory trace will be fragile may be and may be quickly forgotten. 
Deep levels: 
The deep levels involve analysis in terms of meaning through related associations,images and past experiences related to the stimulus. If the stimulus is analyzed at a verydeep level, then the memory trace will be durable and it will be remembered. 
The process of cycling information
Craik and Lockhart discussed rehearsal, the process of cycling information through memory.They proposed two kinds of rehearsal.
Maintenance rehearsal.
Elaborative rehearsal. 
Maintenance rehearsal: 
Maintenance rehearsal merely repeats the kind of analysis that has already been carriedout. If you are using shallow maintenance rehearsal, then increasing rehearsal time willnot influence later recall.
Elaborative rehearsal:
 
 
Elaborative rehearsal involves a deeper, more meaningful analysis of the stimulus. If youare using deep elaborative rehearsal, then an increase in rehearsal time will be helpful.During that time, you can dig out all kinds of extra images, association, and memories toenrich the stimulus and later recall will be more accurate. 
Research on Level-of-Processing Approach
The major hypothesis emerging from Craik and Lockhart’s paper was that deeper level of  processing should produce better recall. Parkin (1984) discovered that people who madesemantic judgments about a word’s category or its synonym performed much better on a surpriserecall test than did people who made non semantic judgments’ (for example, about the number of vowels contained in a word or whether it had been printed only in capital letters). Reviews of dozens of studies concluded that deeper processing generally produces higher recall scores thanshallow processing.
Depth of Processing and Face Recognition
Craik and Lockhart (1972) proposed that strength of memory depends on how deeplyinformation is processed, not on how long it is processed.
 
Memory for words not improved bymerely repeating them for a longer period of time. A large number of studies support the depth of  processing conclusion. Research has that shallow processing of faces-like shallow processing of words-leads to poor recall. For instance, research participants recognize greater number of  photos of faces if they make judgments about whether a person is honest, rather than gender of the person or the width of the person’s nose. Deeper processing leads to encoding a greater number of features and therefore superior recall.
The Compatibility between Encoding and Retrieval
Craik and Lockhart’s original description of level-of-processing theory emphasized encoding or how items are placed into memory. It did not mention the details about retrieval or how items arerecovered from the memory. Later Craik and another colleague proposed that retrieval conditionsshould duplicate encoding condition in order for deep processing to be highly effective.
Explanations for the Effectiveness of Deep Processing
Craik and Lockhart (1986) believe that deep levels of processing encourage recall because of twofactors
Distinctiveness.
Elaboration.
Distinctiveness
Distinctiveness means that a stimulus is different from all other memory traces.
 
Elaboration
The second factor that operates with deep levels of processing is elaboration, whichinvolves rich processing in terms of meaning.
In Depth: The Self-Reference Effect
The self-reference effect points out that people recall more information when they try to relatethat information to themselves.
Research
In the classic demonstration of self-reference effect, Rogers, Kuiper, and Kicker (1977) asked participants to process lists of words according to the kind of instructions usually studied inlevel-of-processing research that is, in terms of their physical characteristics, their acoustic(sound) characteristics, or their semantic (meaning) characteristics. However, other words wereto be processed in terms of self-reference:- People were asked to decide whether a particular word could be applied to them.
Results
The results showed that the self-reference task produced the best recall. Apparently, when wethink about word in connection with ourselves, we develop a particularly memorable coding for that word.
Example
For example, suppose that you are trying to decide whether the word generous applies to youyourself. You might, remember how you loaned your notes to a friend who, had missed class,and you shared a box of candy with the other people in the lounge-yes, generous does apply.The mental processes involved in the self-reference task seem to increase the chances that anitem will be recalled. The self-reference effect has been demonstrated repeatedly, for examplewith instructions to create mental imagery and creativity.
Applications of the Self-Reference Effect
One important application of the self-reference effect is obvious: when you want toremember material, try to relate it to your own experience or to your friends.
Research:
Reeder and his colleagues demonstrated that this technique works for prose passages, as well as isolated words.
The self-reference effect can also be applied to advertising.

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