Compare and contrast the different measures of memory and discuss the cues that affect memory retrieval.

As we have seen, memory is a very complex process that involves encoding, storage and retrieval. Failure of any one of these steps can result in information being lost. Fortunately, there are many different ways of enhancing the ability to remember. In this assignment you will be asked to research and report on one effective method. As you create your discussion post, consider the following:

What techniques can enhance memory retention and each stage of the process?
What is one specific method and how does it work?
By the end of this discussion, you will be able to:

Discuss ways we encode information and what we encode
Demonstrate the nature of storage
Compare and contrast the different measures of memory and discuss the cues that affect memory retrieval
Analyze the controversy concerning repressed and recovered memories of abuse
Apply the understanding of memory to promote effective study techniques
Complete the following:

Choose one step in the memory process, encoding, storage, or retrieval. Then choose one method or technique for improving the processing of information at that stage to make it more likely that the material will be available for retrieval. The method you choose should be something that you can apply in your everyday life. Using the textbook and at least one other source, describe the technique in as much detail as possible and explain why it works, using the appropriate vocabulary related to the principles involved. Then describe how you would apply this method for your own benefit. The additional source should be, in order of preference: Peer-reviewed (professional) journal articles, books on learning and memory, or websites dedicated to one of those topics.


Learning helps us adapt to our environment. Conditioning is a special type of learning that is based upon associations. In classical conditioning we learn to associate two stimuli or events. In operant conditioning we learn to associate a response and its consequence.

Ivan Pavlov explored classical conditioning, in which we learn to anticipate events, such as being fed or experiencing pain. In his famous studies, Pavlov presented a neutral stimulus just before an unconditioned stimulus, which normally triggered an unconditioned response. After several repetitions, the neutral stimulus alone began triggering a conditioned response resembling the unconditioned response.

B. F. Skinner demonstrated operant conditioning by showing that the actions of rats and pigeons could be shaped through reinforcement to display successively closer approximations of a desired behavior. Researchers have also studied the effects of positive and negative reinforcers, primary and conditioned reinforcers, and immediate and delayed reinforcers. Critics point to research on latent learning to support their claim that Skinner underestimated the importance of cognitive constraints. Although Skinner”s emphasis on external control also stimulated much debate regarding human freedom and the ethics of managing people, his operant principles are being applied in schools, sports, the workplace, and homes.

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