Levels of Processing Theory

And Other Related Approaches To

Understanding Memory


Where Atkinson and Shiffrin Left Us Off:

The Argument Against Multi-store Models

Levels of Processing As An Alternative To The Multi-Store Models

The Theory:

How Could This Theory Be Used To Explain Previous Findings?

Experimental Evidence For The Levels of Processing Approach

--Subjects were presented with a group of words in an auditory presentation

--They had a list of questions in front of them

--As each word was read, they answered the corresponding question

--Some questions emphasized the meaning of the word. Thus the orienting task for these words was a semantic orienting task. (SPEECH: Is it a form of communication?)

--Some questions emphasized the sound of the word. Thus the orienting task for these words was a phonemic orienting task (SPEECH: Does it rhyme with "each"?)

--Subjects were able to recognize 59% of the words that had been phonemically processed and 81% of the words that had been semantically processed.

Trouble in Paradise: Complaints Against Levels of Processing

Getting DEEPER into Depth of Processing

Remember that its important to think about memory as being a case where people are presented with certain cues (reminders) that help recover the memory.


Other Related Ideas Known to Influence Memory

Encoding Specificity

Encoding Variability

Distribution of Practice