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Unformatted text preview: udent learning about the planets of solar
system learns that Venus is closer to the sun than the Earth and then remembering how it
feels warmer closer to an electric heater than far away, thinks that it is probably hotter on
Venus. Figure 3.5 (Figure 3.5 appears at the end of the chapter) provides a model of the
propositions that result form the student’s elaboration. Notice that by elaborating on the
new information, the student adding to the meaning of the presented information and
actually increased the information stored in his or her memory.
Second, new information may be made more meaningful by placing that
information within a category or sequence of related ideas. This process is called
organization, and is similar to elaboration in that the process results in the creation of
new connections or associations in long-term memory. For example, learners find it
easier to remember a list of objects if the list was grouped into a finite number of
categories. The information in each category is linked by shared attributes or
relationships. To continue the previous example, the student, might create a category for
inner planets (i.e. those that are small and rocky, such as Mercury, Venus and Earth and
Mars). Figure 3.6 (Figure 3.6 appears at the end of the chapter) provides a model of the
propositions that result from this student’s organization.
The retrieval of declarative knowledge from long-term memory to working
memory occurs through the process of the spread of activation (Anderson, 1983). Manuscript 9/28/03 34 Declarative knowledge that is active in working memory cues, or activates associated
units of declarative knowledge in long-term memory. As the activation spreads, new
chunks of declarative knowledge becomes active in working memory and the activation
spreads to a new set of chunks as the process continues. The process of retrieval is
determined by the associations among the chunks of knowledge in long-term memory.
An important implication of this explanation of retrieval is that the likelihood of recalling
a specific chunk of declarative knowledge is related to the number of associations with
other chunks. In other words, the more associations that lead to a chunk of declarative
knowledge the more likely it is to be recalled. Note that both elaboration and organization
result in the creation of more associations in the declarative memory network, and so
assist later retrieval because the information can be recalled by using these connections.
This description of encoding and retrieval explains the effectiveness of many
learning strategies. For example, creating an acronym is often used to enhance the
recollection of facts. The names of the Great Lakes can be recalled with the acronym
HOMES (Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). The word homes is not present in
the names of the Great Lakes, but it provides an additional retrieval cue by connecting the
first letters of the names of the Great Lakes to a familiar word. Additional examples of
elaboration are provided in Table 3.2 (Table 3.2 appears at the end of the ch...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08