Chunking describes the process by which individual pieces of information are broken down and grouped together. The process is said to make the recall of information easier because it helps to bypass the inherent limitations of working memory. However, chunking also relies heavily upon long-term memory. Chunking is, therefore, related to another aspect of memoryContinue reading When is a chunk not a chunk?
What does binge-watching the latest Netflix addition have to do with teaching and learning? Over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a curious phenomenon. Initially, I put it down to the inevitable slow decline of my cognitive functions as I age, but being the curious kind of person I am (and not being entirelyContinue reading Netflix, binge-watching & the spacing effect
During the 1960s, Canadian psychologist Allan Paivio made an interesting yet seemingly simple observation; he discovered that people found it easier to remember concrete nouns that can be imagined compared to abstract nouns where images were harder to come by. For example, if I were to present to you a list containing only words likeContinue reading What is Dual-Coding?
Have you ever found yourself struggling to recollect a particular word or the name of a specific person? You know that you know it, but you can’t find the word, so to speak? The word is on the tip of your tongue. This tip of the tongue phenomenon is quite common. You might be attemptingContinue reading Using Cues to Enhance Recall
Memory is essential for learning. In fact, memory is essential for life. Without memory, we would exist in the perpetual present, a void where we are unable to recall a past and incapable of anticipating a future. We wouldn’t recognise our loved ones or be able to plan our futures. And we wouldn’t be ableContinue reading A Memory Primer
An oft-heard suggestion in teaching is that making information relevant to pupils results in better learning of the material. For example, in a lesson about the conditions in the trenches during the First World War, we might ask pupils to imagine what it would be like. Some teachers might even extend this and set aContinue reading Make It Personal: The Self-reference Effect
How does our brain go about making memories? And where are such memories kept for later retrieval?
(and the need for feedback) Guessing can be a useful strategy. Students might not think they know the answer to a question, but they quite often know what it is not, allowing them to reduce the pool of possible options. In the case of multiple choice questions, the sight of the correct answer can triggerContinue reading The problem with guessing
(But Not To Form New Memories). There remains clear evidence from multiple studies that high levels of anxiety can impair memory function. However, this impairment appears to only impact recall and has either neutral or beneficial impact on memory encoding (the process by which new information is stored). One reason why anxiety impairs the abilityContinue reading Why Anxiety Makes It Difficult to Recall Information
Human knowledge is about much more than single concepts or hierarchical structures. Our long-term memories are awash with all sorts of information, from memories related to our own lives to current affairs, theoretical concepts and partially understood ideas.