Learning Activity 1 (p. 237)

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Chapter 6: Models for explaining human memory

Learning activity suggested answers

Learning Activity 6.1 (p. 237)

1 Can you think of any activity you do that does not depend on memory? If so, give an example.

Consider reflexes and involuntary physiological responses under the control of the autonomic nervous system.

2 Do you believe that you could you learn if you couldn’t remember? Could you remember if you couldn’t learn? Briefly explain each of your answers.

Generally learning cannot occur without memory and vice versa, i.e. learning requires retention of prior experience and memory requires stored information. Note that sensory memory may not require learning, e.g. if viewed as a memory type rather than a memory process or sub-system.

Discuss student answers to clarify the interrelatedness and interdependence of learning and memory.

3 Suggest an explanation of why we don’t remember everything that happens in our lives.


• the roles of attention and selective attention in filtering diverse array of incoming information

• the physiological or neurological limit that the storage capacity of long-term memory (LTM) may have

• case studies that provide evidence of difficulties in coping with everyday life or dysfunction, attributable to ‘remembering everything’

theories of forgetting, e.g. motivated forgetting, decay.

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