What is Information Processing Model of Memory?

Memory is the ability of brain to encode, store the information and retrieve the stored information when it is needed.


Information Processing Model of Memory

The most comprehensive and the most influential memory model. This approach focuses on the way information is handled, or processed, through three different systems of memory. It has three stages of memory in systems of the information processing model. The processes of encoding, storage, and retrieval are  part of this model. It focuses on the way information is processed through different stages of memory.


The first process in the memory system is to get sensory information (sight, sound, etc.) into a form that the brain can use.


The process in memory to hold on to the information for some period of time in a process called storage.


Retrieval is the process of memory that retrieves the information that was stored in the memory.


This model assumes that the length of time that a memory will be remembered depends on the stage of memory in which it is stored.

This model of memory is called the levels-of processing model.

For example, If the word BALL is flashed on a screen, for example, and people are asked to report whether the word was in capital letters or lowercase, the word itself does not have to be processed very much at all—only its visual characteristics need enter into conscious attention. But if those people were to be asked to use that word in a sentence, they would have to think about what a ball is and how it can be used. They would have to process its meaning, which requires more mental effort than processing just its “looks.”


To check the understanding of the topic, take this small test.
MCQs Memory- Information Processing Model


Ciccerelli S.K. Psychology (5th Ed). (2017). Pearson Education.

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