The Levels of Processing Conceptualization of Human Memory: Some Empirical and Theoretical Issues,
NAVAL AEROSPACE MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB PENSACOLA FL
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The consideration of human memory phenomena is an important element in the formation of any valid model of human performance where information storage and retrieval demands on the part of the operator are known to be substantial. Various conceptualizations of memory have enjoyed empirical success over the years. Perhaps the most popular class of such conceptualizations is characterized as multi-store. The fundamental tenants of this approach are that a information is submitted to a short-term store where capacity is limited and forgetting is explained on the basis of spontaneous decay and long-term store where failure to remember is posited as an interference effect. Models based on these principles have prevailed primarily because of the heuristic value of the computer analogies which serve as their iconic bases. There are significant logical and empirial problems associated with these paramorphic models, however. A relatively recent tack has provided an alternative approach towards embracing a wide range of memory findings. The levels-of-processing LOP framework was introduced by Craik and Lockhart in 1972, and it has attracted a growing audience of skeptics and adherents over the past decade. The fundamental assumption of LOP is that it is the level--depth, and spread--breadth, of information processing which determines retrieval strength. This monograph examines the strengths and weaknesses of this fresh approach to memory phenomena. Keywords include LOP, Levels of Processing, Human Memory, Encoding, Learning.