Learning Activity 1 (p. 237)

Learning Activity 6.8 (p. 255)

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Learning Activity 6.8 (p. 255)

1 Describe two key roles of rehearsal in memory.

Roles include:

• maintenance of information in STM

• transfer of information from STM to LTM

• to aid LTM storage and retrieval


a Define the terms maintenance rehearsal and elaborative rehearsal.

• Maintenance rehearsal: continual repetition of information (vocally or sub-vocally) to retain for as long as required.

• Elaborative rehearsal: the process of linking new information in a meaningful way with information already stored in memory or with other new information to aid in its storage and retrieval from LTM.

b Identify two important characteristics that distinguish these two forms of rehearsal.

Distinctions include:

• maintenance rehearsal involves simple repetition of information, whereas elaborative rehearsal is a more active and effortful process than maintenance rehearsal

• elaborative rehearsal involves focusing on the meaning of information, whereas maintenance rehearsal does not

• maintenance rehearsal does not assist encoding for LTM storage, whereas elaborative rehearsal does

• elaborative rehearsal is more effective for longer-lasting LTM storage a than maintenance rehearsal

• elaborative rehearsal is better assists LTM retrieval a than does maintenance rehearsal

3 Explain why elaborative rehearsal is more effective than maintenance rehearsal in enhancing retention of information in LTM.

Explanation should refer to

• Elaborative rehearsal helping to ensure that information is encoded well by linking new to-be-remembered information in a meaningful way with information that is already stored in LTM (to aid in its storage and retrieval from LTM).

Maintenance rehearsal, on the other hand, does not create the same depth of meaning or excellence in encoding.

4 Describe three different ways to elaborate information.

Ways include:

• creating more associations: the more associations made between to-be-remembered information and the information already in LTM, the more likely the information will be retained, e.g. see Figure 6.21

• ‘flesh out’ to-be-remembered information, e.g. identify finer details and ensure that these are meaningful by associating one or more of the key details with information already in LTM

• self-referencing: personalise the information by relating new information to personal experiences or situations in some way, e.g. remembering the location of the frontal lobe by linking it to the personal experience of a forehead bump.

5 Apply your understanding of maintenance and elaborative rehearsal to respond to the following question a teacher was asked by a student: ‘Is it best to read my notes over and over again, or is there something else I could do to study for the exam?’ Give two reasons for your answer.

• Reading notes is a good starting point and can guide you in revision. During reading, you can recognise which concepts are remembered quickly, and which concepts you draw a blank on, or cannot explain to yourself satisfactorily.

• It is not enough to just read over concepts, you need to be able to apply the things that you have learned. Try creating links to your own experiences, to what you already know and keep adding details and relationships to concepts so that you may better explain concepts to yourself/a friend/ parent/teacher/revision partner.

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