Long-Term Memory: Encoding (Cognitive Psychology)

psychpost | 10/27/2011 12:43:00 AM
 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)

12 responses to "Long-Term Memory: Encoding (Cognitive Psychology)"

  1. As usual this is really interesting. I guess I should turn off that music when studying and actually do the homework for once.

  2. Really interesting stuff. It's pretty simple, but I bet most people (myself included) don't do it already!

  3. Very interesting stuff. I have to keep all of this in my head for my near future. Thanks for sharing buddy.

  4. I should maybe just stop smoking pot. that might help.


  5. Post something about how to expand your memory!

  6. I have found that smoking pot works well on "most" occasions. There are very few things I can't learn while i'm high

  7. This is pretty helpful information, thanks for sharing with us, have a good one!

  8. Good psychology blog!

  9. BEN_DROWNED | October 29, 2011 at 1:00 AM says:

    you shouldn't have done that

  10. great tips.. i often forget that i have to focus and rest while learning new work skills, thanks for the refreshment and.. wow is that a 40gb ide hard drive shot trough in the pic D:?

  11. its a maxtor label btw :D see i got good memory those hard drives are long ago not sold XD

  12. Nice blog! This info can very helpful if you actually use it

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