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1 Information Processing Theory

Information Processing Theory Candice McKinnie AED/ 202 February 26, 2012 Jessica Grimm

Once the information is received it subsequently translates that raw input into more meaningful information. 2004). many theorists believe that human memory includes a mechanism that allows people to remember raw sensory data for a very short time. longterm memory. taste. hearing.Sensory register is the component of memory that holds in coming information in an unanalyzed form for a very brief time (McDevitt. working memory. These components each function differently as to how information is processed and stored. Attention is essential to the learning process. Most information processing theorists believe that attention plays a key role in the interpretation of information and its . 2004). and probably less than a second for visual information). People receive input from the environment through the senses which is sight. It was once believed by many information processing theorists that human beings think in ways similar to how computers operate. and touch. Even the simplest interpretation of an environmental event takes time. and central executive are components of information processing theory. smell. (2 to 3 seconds for auditory information. Theorist stated that humans stored information in memory and then retrieved it from memory when they needed it at a later time. Sensory register. This process is sensation and perception. Sensation is the physiological detection of stimuli in the environment and perception is the cognitive interpretation of stimuli that the body has sensed.2 Information Processing Theory Information processing theory is defined as the theoretical perspective that focuses on the specific ways in which people mentally think about ³process´ the information they receive (McDevitt.

Attention is the primary process through which information moves from the sensory register into working memory. 2004).3 Information Processing Theory storage in memory. conscious thinking occurs. 2004). hence. In contrast to working memory. A variety of cognitive processes are involved in moving information from working memory to long-term memory. Working memory is where people try to solve a problem or make sense of what they are reading. Long-term memory is assumed to have an unlimited capacity: It can ³hold´ as much information as a person needs to save. occurs. Whereas attention is instrumental in moving information from the sensory register to working memory. or cognitive processing. people must retrieve it and examine it in working memory. especially if it is not used much after it is stored. long-term memory lasts indefinitely. more complex processes are needed if people are to remember information for longer . Many theorists argue that when people do not pay attention to something. but others believe that information may slowly fade away over time. Working memory is the component of memory where people hold new information as they mentally process it. Working memory also appears to have a limited capacity: It has only a small amount of ³space´ in which people can hold and think about events or ideas (McDevitt. other. Working memory is where most thinking. they essentially lose it from memory and so cannot possibly remember it later on (McDevitt. Some theorists propose that anything stored in long-term memory remains there for a lifetime. To think about information previously stored in long-term memory. Working memory is the component of the human information processing system where active. Working memory keeps information for only a very short time (perhaps 20 to 30 seconds unless the individual continues to think about and actively process it). it is sometimes called short-term memory.

but they have learned a great deal about two of its manifestations: metacognition and cognitive strategies (McDevitt. while others emerge within the first few weeks or months of life. Children process information different in each stage of life. The central executive is probably closely connected to working memory. newborns hear sounds almost as clearly as adults do. People control how they process information. Newborns can discriminate among different tastes. Central executive oversees the flow of information throughout the memory system and is critical for planning. and sound sequences. Long-term memory is the component that allows people to keep the many things they learn from their experiences over the years. Children¶s ability to learn about their environment. Some theorists suggest that repeating information over and over (rehearsing it) is sufficient for its long-term storage. 2004). Some sort of cognitive ³supervisor´ is almost certainly necessary to ensure that a person¶s learning and memory processes work effectively. including the objects they encounter and the people with whom they interact. smells.4 Information Processing Theory than a minute or so. and within the first week they seem to understand that objects maintain the . Information processing theorists have not yet pinned down its exact nature.regulation. in fact. 2004). and inhibition of unproductive thoughts and behavior. sounds. as well as such skills as how to ride a bike and how to use a microwave. Most sensory and perceptual development occurs in infancy. Others propose that people store information effectively only when they connect it to concepts and ideas that already exist in long-term memory (McDevitt. depends on their ability to perceive their environment. Newborns have some ability to determine the direction from which a sound is coming. including such knowledge as where cereal is stored in the kitchen and how much 1 and 1 equal. decision making and self.

visual focusing. retrieve information from long-term memory. until early adulthood (McDevitt. As a general rule. Many sensory and perceptual capabilities. Older children can make comparisons among similar stimuli. and the ability to locate the source of sounds. during the school years. 2004). As children grow older. and often changes qualitatively. Children execute many cognitive processes more quickly and efficiently as they get older. and thus the time required to execute many mental tasks continues to decrease. older children and adults learn new information and skills more easily than younger children. Implications of Information Processing Theory are: provide a variety of choices for infants and young children. remember that human beings can think about only a small amount of . however. Logical thinking improves. keep unnecessary distractions to a minimum. Children appear to have some capacity to learn and remember even before they are born. talk with children about their experiences. Processing speed continues to increase. and they have difficulty distinguishing between what must be true versus what might be true.5 Information Processing Theory same shape and size even when they are rotated or moved farther away and look different. and solve simple problems more quickly than younger children. 2004).The capacity to store information in long-term memory appears very early in life. color discrimination. such as visual acuity. Preschoolers and elementary school children do not always draw correct inferences. they become capable of thinking about a greater number of things at once and performing more complex cognitive tasks. continue to improve during the first few months or even the first year or two of life. A key reason for their facility is that they have more existing knowledge (including more schemas and scripts) that they can use to help them understand and organize what they encounter (McDevitt. given the evidence they have. over time.

Learning disability is significant deficit in one or more cognitive processes. things that come naturally are heredity and things that we learn comes from the environment. Some information is passed down from their parents while other information is picked up from their surroundings. and a strong need for a . attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. narrowly focused interests. In my opinion. There are at least three kinds of exceptionalities in information processing: learning disabilities. idiosyncratic manner. Information processing theory focuses on how children receive. But the information processing capabilities of some individuals are different enough that they require the use of specially adapted instructional practices and materials. to the point where special educational services are required. There are exceptionalities in information processing. little awareness of one¶s own and others¶ thoughts. mentally modify. think about. and on how these cognitive processes change over the course of development.6 Information Processing Theory information at any one time. I believe that the environment and heredity influences intelligence and information processing. relate new information to children¶s existing knowledge. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a disability (probably biological in origin) characterized by inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. All human beings learn and process information in a somewhat unique. repetitive behaviors. Autism is a disability (probably biological in origin) characterized by infrequent social interaction. Children began processing information while still in their mother¶s womb all the way up to adults. consider not only what children say when determining what they know or are ready to learn. and autism. and remember information. and give children ongoing practice in using basic information and skills. communication impairments.

.7 Information Processing Theory predictable environment. The information processing capabilities of some children are different enough that they require the use of specially adapted instructional practices and materials (McDevitt. 2004).

T. Child Development: Educating and Working with Children and Adolescents (2nd ed. (2004).M. :Prentice Hall.). .8 Information Processing Theory References McDevitt.