Chapter 7. Memory

Figure 7.1 We have many memorable events in our lives


Western psychologists have often conceptualized memory as a computer-like information processing system—information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. However, until recently there has been little attention to how environmental influences shape these processes. Although, there is still much to be learned, this chapter tries to integrate current knowledge about culture and memory with traditional Western memory models. In this chapter, we will explore the fundamental role that memory plays in human cognition. We will delve into different models of memory to provide a comprehensive understanding of how information is processed and retained, and we will look at how some of the ways that culture shapes our memory. We will discuss the fallibility of memory by exploring common memory errors and their implications in our daily lives. Furthermore, we will explore the intricate relationship between different parts of the brain and various aspects of memory, including amnesia. Lastly, we will equip you with memory-enhancing strategies and study techniques that you can apply to optimize your learning as a college student.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the importance of memory in human cognition.
  • Explain what happens in the three stages of memory: encoding, storage, and retrieval.
  • Differentiate between sensory memory, short-term memory/working memory, and long-term memory.
  • Discuss the role of rehearsal, deep processing and elaboration in memory storage.
  • Discuss the factors that influence the retrieval of information from long-term memory.
  • Describe the processes and types of explicit and implicit memory
  • Describe common memory errors and their implications in people’s lives
  • Describe how different parts of the brain play a role in different aspects of memory
  • Explain how cultural norms, values, and practices shape memory processes
  • Recognize and apply memory-enhancing strategies and study techniques

Materials in this chapter were edited by Jill Grose-Fifer (2023) and are based on original OER materials from the following sources:

Psychology 2e.

Introduction to Psychology. University of Minnesota.

Laney, C. & Loftus, E.F. (2023). Eyewitness testimony and memory biases. Noba Psychology.



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Introduction to Psychology (A critical approach) Copyright © 2021 by Jill Grose-Fifer; Rose M. Spielman; Kathryn Dumper; William Jenkins; Arlene Lacombe; Marilyn Lovett; and Marion Perlmutter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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