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Educational Learning Theories: Chapter 12 Introduction

Chapter 12 Introduction

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Information Processing Theory is concerned with how people view their environment, how they put that information into memory, and how they retrieve that information later on. The Information Processing Theory approach is based on the idea that humans process information they receive instead of simply responding to external stimuli. According to the Information Processing Theory model, the mind is often compared to a computer. The computer, like mind, analyzes information and determines how the information will be stored. There are three components of the Information Processing Theory: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. Sensory memory is all of the things that you experience through your five senses-hearing, vision, taste, smell, and touch. The capacity of sensory memory is about four items and the duration is limited to .5 to 3 seconds.  Short-term memory, also called working memory, is the temporary storage, lasts about 15-30 seconds, holds about 7 items of information, and includes the thinking part of applying what come out of the sensory memory. Long-term memory is memory that can be accessed at a later time, is long lasting, and can hold infinite information. The Information Processing Theory addresses how people respond to the information they receive through their senses and how they further process those information with steps of attention, forgetting, and retention. Unlike other cognitive developmental theories, the information processing theory includes a continuous pattern of development instead of development in stages.