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How effective is the levels of processing model as an explanation of memory?

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Psychology Essay. How effective is the levels of processing model as an explanation of memory? Craik and Lockhart believe that the memory is one single unit and cannot be broken down into short-term memory and long-term memory. The idea is that our ability to remember depends on how deeply we process and encode information. We process information in three different depths, from shallow to very deep. The shallowest level of processing involves the structural pattern of a word or number (what the word or number looks like). As we recognise a continual pattern of what the word sounds like, we process it more deeply. It is only when we can give meaning to the word that we will be at the deepest level of processing. This kind of processing leaves the most lasting memory trace. ...read more.


This theory has lead to hundreds of experiments, much of which support the theory that semantic research is the best way to process information into memory. The model also has practical applications that work such as suggesting ways to improve our memory. However, there are more criticisms and limitations than support for this model of memory. Words that require deeper processing also require more effort to process. It could be the processing that increases remembering abilities. Deeper processing also takes much more time and it could be the amount of time that passes which increases recall and not rehearsal. The model doesn't explain why deeper processing helps improve memory; it just states that it does. Eysenck argues against the material that is used to test the shallow processing. He believes it is not distinctive and that is why it is not remembered as well. ...read more.


Shallice and Warrington used a case of a motorcycle accident victim to question Atkinson and Shiffrin's multi store model. The victim's short-term memory was affected and he could only remember two new things at a time, but yet they still managed to enter his long-term memory. Baddeley and Hitch suggested the working memory model where information had several different ways of being encoded into long-term memory. This model is more stable than the multi store and levels of processing model. The only problem with this model is it only offers views on the short-term memory store and offers no insight into long-term memory. Yet it does have practical applications, in particular helping us to understand how children learn to read and write. I don't believe the levels of processing memory model is as effective as Baddeley and Hitch's working memory model, yet it does offer some information on how we can improve our memory. ...read more.

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