Learning Objectives

• What is the general

orientation of the informationprocessing model to cognition? • What are the specific components of the model and how does information “flow” through the system?

Information Processing Approach
• Reflects the “Cognitive

Revolution” – Used computer as model

• Hardware is the computer

• In humans it is the brain • Software programs; e.g.,
word processing

• In humans: How information
is registered, interpreted, stored, retrieved and analyzed

Memory Systems
• •
Sensory Register: fleeting – With attention, encoding occurs Storage – Short-term memory limited to 7 items – Working memory: active STM – Long-term memory relatively permanent Retrieval – Recognition; recall; cued recall – EX: multiple choice, fill in the blank, hints…

A model of Information Processing

Implicit and Explicit Memory

• Implicit Memory-not

conscious, absorbed – Unintentional, automatic – Information from everyday experiences – Does not change over lifespan

• Explicit Memory-consciously
put into memory – Deliberate, effortful – Increases from infancy to adulthood

Problem Solving

• Using the information processing system to
reach a goal (solve a problem)

• Executive Control Processes
– Selection from storage – Planning, monitoring, interpreting, etc. – Parallel processing of planning, monitoring, interpreting, selecting, decoding…

• Rather than sequential tasks

Problem Solving 2

• Possible difficulties for young children
– Not paying attention to relevant aspects – Unable to hold info in working memory – Lack strategies for:

•Transfer from STM to LTM •Retrieval from LTM
– Not enough knowledge to understand

Problem Solving!

Learning Objectives

• How do researchers

assess infant memory? • What information can infants typically remember? • What are the limitations of infants’ memory?

The Infant

Imitation – Of facial expressions by 6 weeks – Deferred imitation by 6 months-imitate after seeing (recall of image?) Habituation present at birth Operant Conditioning – Stimulus/behavior remembered then repeated?

• •

Learning Objectives

• What are the four

major hypotheses about why memory improves with age? • Is there evidence to support each hypothesis?

Four Hypotheses

• Dramatic improvements in learning, memory
and problem solving

• Four major hypotheses as to why
1) Changes in basic capacities?

•Not storage or senses •Changes in speed allow parallel
processing space

•Automaticity frees working memory

Four Hypotheses (continued)
2) Do memory strategies change? – Rehearsal by age 7 – Organization by age 10 – Elaboration later – Retrieval strategies improve

•External cues needed when younger

Four Hypotheses (continued)
3) Changes in knowledge about memory?

• Metamemory: Knowledge of memory-more
conscious of useful processes – Present in young children – Awareness of memory processes is beneficial even to young children – Gets better with age – Experience is important

Four Hypotheses (Continued)
4) Changes in world knowledge? – Yes. Knowledge base clearly affects learning and memory-more access to relevant information – Domain familiarity and expertise-better retrieval

•E.g., Chi (1978) study of Chess

Learning Objectives

• When do autobiographical memories

begin and what possible explanations can account for childhood amnesia (lack of early childhood memories). • How do scripts influence memory? • How do problem solving capacities change during childhood? • What explanation does Siegler propose for changes in problem solving?

Autobiographical Memories

Infantile Amnesia before age 2–3 – Lack of language – For verbatim memories? – Fuzzy trace theory-that verbatim memories and “gist of” memories are stored as separate memories Scripts: Typical sequence of actions – Affect memory, cued recall? Eyewitness Memory – Improves with age; younger suggestible – Accuracy better with open questions

• •

Changes in Problem Solving
• • • •
Improves with age in childhood New cognitive structures (Piaget) Rule Assessment (Siegler)“Overlapping Waves Theory” of memory patterns Deficiencies of Memory Mastery (childhood): – Mediation-can’t find or use them even if taught – Production-use but not produce strategies – Utilization-can produce but not really use a strategy Use of multiple strategies produces best strategy (most adaptive strategy) More efficient strategies-Natural Selection-Most adaptive strategy survives

• •

Learning Objectives

• What developments

occur in the information processing abilities of adolescents?


• New strategies emerge

• Better use of strategies • Basic capacities increase
(e.g., speed)

• Knowledge base increases • Metacognition improvesconscious awareness of thought processes-for one thing, less emotion based behavior

• In what ways do memory and cognition change during

Learning Objectives

adulthood? • What are the strengths and weaknesses of older adults’ abilities? • What factors help explain the declines in abilities during older adulthood? • What can be done to minimize losses with age? • How are problem-solving skills affected by aging?

Adulthood—Developing Expertise
• Domain specific knowledge • Strategy Use
– More organized – More elaborative techniques – Also domain specific base increases-does adding strategies increase efficiency of all strategies?

• Automaticity of more

• Autobiographical: Memory
from age 15-25 is higher than from other points in life…why?

Memory and Aging in Our Culture

• Older adults learn more

• Remember less learned
information – Declines by age 70 – Timed tasks, unfamiliar tasks – Recall versus Recognition – Explicit memory tasks more trouble – Cognitively demanding tasks

Explaining Declines

• Negative beliefs affect memory skills-ex.

• Strategy use not spontaneous • Attention becomes more effortful

• Processing speed decreases • Sensory, health, and lifestyle changes • Cohort differences (age and IQ) • Declines NOT universal • “Use it or lose it” of processing

Declines in memory skills in old age are not universal. In deaf culture and in Chinese culture, elderly people are not stereotyped as forgetful or senile. Perhaps as a result, Chinese elders perform almost as well as young Chinese adults on memory tasks, whereas in the United States, elders, especially in the hearing population, perform poorly.

Problem Solving

• Unfamiliar tasks more difficult • Meaninglessness a problem • Contextual view
– Evaluate nature of the task

•Is speed required? •Unfamiliar, unexercised skills
– Consider individual differences

• Everyday functioning maintained