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PSY - The Information Processing Theory

PSY - The Information Processing Theory - The Information...

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The Information Processing Theory: the components, functions, and interrelationships The following describes the components of the information processing theory. The definition of the information theory components and their functions are addressed. A summary of the interrelationship among the components is given. The description on how a child processes information and how the process changes or develops as the child grows is also addressed. Finally, environment and heredity will be considered as factors that influence intelligence and information processing in humans. The Information Processing Theory The information processing theory is a group of theoretical frame works. These frame works address how human beings receive, think about, mentally modify, and remember information, and how such cognitive processes change or the course of development (McDevitt f& Ormrod, 2004). Information processing theorists use this theory to study and understand how humans process information, in the different stages of their lives. The Components and their Functions Input from the environment provides the raw material for cognitive processing (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004). People translate input from the environment into meaningful information through the senses. These senses include sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. First, people detect stimuli in the environment which is sensation. Second, comes interpreting those stimuli, which is perception (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004). In addition to a sensory register, human memory includes two other storage mechanisms which are the working memory and long-term memory (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004). Working memory is the component of the memory where people hold new information as they mentally process it. Working memory is also referred to as short-term memory, because the working memory only holds information from 20 to 30 seconds. Long-term memory allows people to store information from the many things they learn and experience over the years. Attention is essential to the learning process; most information processing theorists believe that attention plays a key role in the interpretation of information and its storage in memory (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2005). When an individual pays close attention he or she is able to remember and store information for later use.
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