Cognitive psychology has long been an integral part of psychology. It has a direct impact on how educator’s look to improve the teaching and learning process. (Huitt 2006) Much research is done on how we process information. There have been numerous models created to help illustrate this process. Metacognition is also important to educators in it allows a learner to judge how well they are learning a particular subject.
There are many ways that we process information. Theorists have developed models of information processing. These models are a cornerstone for education. They provide teachers with understanding of how their students retain the subject matter they are being taught. Metacognition is also important in the learning process. This process is important to a student’s learning process and teacher should help facilitate its use.
Information processing is the most common theory of memory. Some of the first theorists developed their theories based on computers. Now cognitive psychologists use the computer as a metaphor for the human mental activity. The basic model of information processing includes sensory memory, working memory, and long-term memory. (Woolfolk 2007) Below is a stage model of information processing developed by Atkinson and Shiffrin. (Huitt 2003)
Sensory memory uses stimuli (i.e. sights, sounds, smells, etc.) from the environment around us and transforms it into information to help us make sense of them. The duration of sensory memory is very short usually only lasting a few seconds, but the capacity during that time is very large and more information is taken in than can be processed. Sensory memory uses perception to interpret stimuli. Gestalt theorists believe that people take their perceptions and organize them into patterns or relationships. Since we would be overwhelmed if we had to process every stimulus we use attention to select stimuli and limit we will choose to process. Working memory...