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Memory as functions of encoding and retrieval

The processes of encoding and retrieval are intimately related, however memory itself is not only composed of the two. Memory is actually reconstructive in nature, since it integrates many different sources of information in remembering something. At the stage of retrieval, the mind uses cues, active in short term memory, to probe for pieces of the specific memory/facts desired.

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There are different levels of processing, and the deeper processing that takes place (more elaborative), the higher quality of encoding occurs. Craik and Tulving (1975) supported this concept by testing participant's memory based on the level of processing that was implemented. They found that participants who had deeper levels of processing had significantly better performance on recall tasks later. Depth of processing is however, a circular definition, but on the other hand, research supports it's benefits. Deeper processing involves elaboration within the mind, including embellishing the data with additional information, extracting meaning and fully understanding it, and integrating prior knowledge with new information. These techniques combined provide additional retrieval cues within the mind, increasing chances that the information will be retrieved successfully later on.
In everyday use, people don't use their minds to ...

Solution Summary

Encoding and retrieval as they contribute to the function of memory are discussed, in addition to how memory works.