The purpose of this post will be to describe 3 different aspects of encoding that will help you with improving your encoding efficiency. 

Encoding includes the various processes in which information is transformed into a memory representation which can then be stored. 

Encoding is an automatic process that occurs as a by-product of giving attention to and processing a stimulus. Although Encoding is automatic there are many factors that can influence Encoding efficiency.

One way to improve the encoding process is to use Focused Attention rather than divided attention. For example, if you are presented with information that you may need to recall at a later time it's best if you try to minimize distractions.

Generation Effect: You are more likely to remember information that you retrieve or generate than information the you passively receive and try to memorize. This idea is the basis of the phrase: "You learn best by doing." This is why teachers assign problems and homework, the information is more likely to be remembered.

Spacing Effect: Encoding is more likely to be effective if there are rest periods in between processing a stimulus. For example, it is much more effective to go through an entire stack of flash cards many times rather than focus on memorizing one at a time. The reason this works is because when a stimulus is presented multiple times, it allows us to process it in different ways.
I hope this post helps you guys get some insight on improving your encoding of memory. My next post will likely be on the topic of Working Memory. I'll be able to get that one out as soon as I get a break from University classes, work, and studying.

Information adapted from source: "Cognitive Psychology" Smith, Kosslyn 2007
PHOTO CREDIT:  Scragz (Flickr)
Long-Term Memory, It's Like our brain's hard drive.
Memory in important in Cognitive Psychology because it is the way we access our knowledge. Without memory we would not be able to learn from our experiences, we would have no idea of who we are, we would not be able to set goals, and we would not be able to acquire language skills.

Memory: The pool of stored information. Memory relies on many different processes to encode information, to consolidate information, and to retrieve information.

Encoding is the process that transforms information into a memory representation. Consolidation is the process in which memory representations are 'strengthened' and made relatively permanent. Retrieval is the process in which information is taken from Memory and is 'remembered'. 

The forms of Long-Term Memory

Declarative Memory (Explicit Memory): Form of Long-Term Memory that can consciously be recollected and 'declared' and described to other individuals. Declarative Memory includes: Episodic Memory, which is about events in our personal past and Semantic Memory, which is knowledge about things in the world and their meanings.

Nondeclarative Memory (Implicit Memory): Form of Long-Term Memory that is nonconscious and are expressed as a change in behavior without any conscious recollection. ____________________________________________________
I have not been able to make a post in the past couple weeks due to studying and exams at the University. I will make up for the lack of posts by doing a double post on Long-Term Memory.

Information adapted from source: "Cognitive Psychology" Smith, Kosslyn 2007

Knowledge (Cognitive Psychology)

psychpost | 10/09/2011 04:20:00 AM | 20 Comments
Knowledge affects our perception.
Knowledge: In Cognitive Psychology knowledge is commonly defined as information about the world that is stored in memory. Information can range from everyday experience to formal skills. Information in our knowledge is likely to be true, is coherent, and must have some justification.

Knowledge makes everyday life possible by: 

-Allowing most other mental processes to function competently. For example, knowledge allows us to focus our attention to objects or people that are important. 

-Allowing us to categorize things. Using these categories we are able to draw an inference about objects, namely that they have many similar features.

 -Allows us to perform appropriate actions. Knowledge allows us to perform actions that are not biological reflexes.

When studying Cognitive Psychology it is important to have an understanding of the basic cognitive functions. I will be writing posts outlining the most important aspects of each cognitive process.


Attention is among the most important of our cognitive functions. Although it is not as heavily researched as perception is, attention affects almost all of the other cognitive functions.

Attention can be defined as "selecting some information for further processing and inhibiting other information from receiving further processing."

Failures of Selection:  We can fail to attend to information when there is a lot of information present and you are simply not capable of noticing at all at once. Failure can also occur when information arrives rapidly. 

These two upcoming videos demonstrate a failure of selection known as Change Blindness, failure to detect changes in the physical aspects of a scene. Enjoy!