Module 2 Assignment Questions Chapters 5-7
1. Most current studies aimed at understanding human memory are conducted within a framework known as information-processing theory. This approach makes use of modern computer science and related fields to provide models that help psychologists understand the processes involved in memory. The general principles of the information processing approach to memory include the notion that memory involves three distinct processes. The first process, encoding, is the process of transforming information into a form that can be stored in memory. The second process, storage, is the process of keeping or maintaining information in memory. The final process, retrieval, is the process of bringing to mind information that has been stored in the memory (p.168). Two influential theorists concerning the information-processing theory are Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin. They characterized memory as three different, interacting memory systems: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Sensory memory is the memory system that holds information from the senses for a period of time ranging from only a fraction of a second to about 2 seconds. Sensory memory can take in an enormous amount of information, but it can only hold on to it for a very brief period of time (p.169). Short-term memory is the component of the memory system that holds about seven (from five to nine) items for less than 30 seconds without rehearsal; also called the working memory. When short-term memory is filled to capacity, displacement can occur. In displacement, each new incoming item pushes out an existing item, which is then forgotten (p.170). Long-term memory (LTM) is the memory system with a virtually unlimited capacity that contains vast stores of a person's permanent or relatively permanent memories. There are no known limits to the storage capacity of this memory system, and long-term memories can persist for years, some of them for a lifetime. Information in long-term memory is usually stored in semantic form, although visual images, sounds, and odors can be stored there as well (p.174).
2. The analogy heuristic involves comparing a problem to others you have experienced in the past. The idea is that if a particular strategy worked with similar problems in the past, it will be effective for solving a new one. Another heuristic that is effective for solving some problems is working backward, sometimes called the backward search. This approach starts with the solution, a known condition, and works back through the problem. Once the backward search has revealed the steps to be taken and their order, the problem can be solved (p.207). Another popular heuristic strategy is means-end analysis, in which the current position is compared with a desired goal, and a series of steps are formulated and then taken to close the gap between the two. When you adopt a heuristic strategy, it may or may not lead to a correct solution. By contrast, the algorithm is a problem-solving strategy that always lead to a correct solution if it is applied appropriately (p.208).
3.Research suggests that there are both advantages and disadvantages to learning two languages early in life. One of the pluses is that, among preschool and school-age children, bilingualism, fluency in at least two languages, is associated with better executive control skills on language tasks. Executive control skills enable bilingual children to suppress impulsive responses to verbal tasks and, as a result, think more carefully about them. Thus, executive control skills are important in learning to read and write. On the downside, even in adulthood, bilingualism is sometimes associated with decreased efficiency in memory tasks involving words. However, bilinguals appear to develop compensatory strategies that allow them to make up these inefficiencies. Consequently, they often perform such tasks as accurately as monolinguals, though they may...
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