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  1. 7 A Topical Approach to LIFE-SPAN DEVELOPMENT Information Processing John W. Santrock

  2. The Information-Processing Approach What Is the Information-Processing Approach? • Analyzes the ways people process information about their world • Manipulate information • Monitor it • Create strategies to deal with it • Effectiveness involves attention, memory, thinking

  3. The Information-Processing Approach Computers and Human Information Processing Fig. 7.1

  4. The Information-Processing Approach Simplified Model of Information Processing Fig. 7.2

  5. Does Processing Speed Matter? • Linked with competence in thinking • For many everyday tasks, speed is unimportant • Efficient strategies can compensate for slower reaction times and speed • Processing linked to accumulated knowledge and abilities to perform

  6. What Is Attention? • Focusing of mental resources • Three ways attention can be allocated • Sustained attention • Selective attention • Divided attention

  7. Ability to maintain attention to selected stimulus over prolonged period; also called vigilance SustainedAttention Focusing on specific aspect of experience that is relevant while ignoring others SelectiveAttention Divided Attention Concentrating on more than one activity at a time Attention Types of Attention

  8. Memory What Is Memory? • Retention of information over time • Allows humans to span time in reflection over life’s activities • Memory has imperfections

  9. Memory Processes of Memory Fig. 7.5

  10. Memory Constructing Memories • Schema theory • Many reasons why memories are inaccurate • People construct and reconstruct memories; mold to fit information already existing in mind • Schemas: mental frameworks that organize concepts and information; affects encoding and retrieval

  11. Memory False Memories • New information such as questions or suggestions can alter memories • Concerns about • Implanting false memories in eyewitnesses • Accuracy of eyewitness testimonies at trials • Culture and gender linked to memory

  12. Memory Infancy • First Memories • Rovee-Collier infant memory experiments • Implicit memory: memory without conscious recollection; skills and routine done automatically • Explicit memory: conscious memory of facts and experiences; doesn’t appear until after 6 months

  13. Memory Infancy • Infantile Amnesia • Adults recall little or none of first three years • Also called childhood amnesia • Due to immaturity of prefrontal lobes in brain; play important role in memory of events

  14. Memory Childhood Memory • Considerable improvement after infancy • Short-term memory—memory span for up to 15 to 30 seconds without rehearsal • Working memory— kind of mental workbench for manipulating and assembling information • Make decisions, solve problems • Comprehend written and spoken language

  15. Memory Childhood Memory • Long-term memory — relatively permanent and unlimited type of memory • Children as eyewitnesses • Age differences in susceptibility • Individual differences in susceptibility • Interviewing techniques can cause distortions; determines if child’s testimony is accurate

  16. Memory Long-Term Memory Strategies • Activities to improveinformation processing • Rehearsal— repetition better for short-term • Organizing— making information relevant • Imagery — creating mental images • Elaboration— engaging in more extensive processing of information

  17. Memory Working Memory and Processing Speed • Working memory performance peaked at 45 years of age; declined at 57 years of age • Decline affected both new and old information • Working memory linked to • Reading and math achievement • Processing speed

  18. Memory Explicit and Implicit Memory • Part of long-term memory systems • Explicit memory: conscious or declarative memory • Episodic memory—retention of information about where and when of life’s happenings • Semantic memory—one’s knowledge about world including field of expertise • Implicit memory: routine skills and procedures

  19. Memory Source Memory • Ability to remember where something was learned • Contexts of • Physical setting • Emotional setting • Identity of speaker • Failures increase with age in adult years; relevancy of information affects ability

  20. Memory Prospective Memory • Remembering to do something in the future • Age-related declines depend on task • Time-based tasks decline more • Event-based tasks show less decline

  21. Memory Influences on the Memory of Older Adults • Physiological and psychological factors • Health • Beliefs, expectations, and feelings • Education, memory tasks, assessment • Training and mneumonics improve memory • Method of loci: storing mental images • Chunking: put into manageable units

  22. Thinking What Is Thinking? • Manipulating and transforming information in memory • Reason, reflect, evaluate ideas, solve problems, make decisions • Concepts — categories that group things • Perceptual categorization: as young as 7 mos. • Categorization increases in second year; infants differentiate more

  23. Thinking Critical Thinking • Grasping deeper meaning of ideas • Involves • Ask what, how, and why • Examine facts and determine evidence • Recognize one or more explanations exist • Compare various answers, select the best • Evaluate before accepting as truth • Speculate beyond what is known

  24. Thinking Critical Thinking • Few schools teach to students • Students recite, define, describe, state, list • Students not asked to analyze, create, rethink • Encourage by • Presenting controversial topics for discussion • Motivate students to delve deeper into issues • Teachers should refrain from giving own views

  25. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Aimed at identifying causal relationships • Children • emphasize causal mechanisms • more influenced by happenstance than by overall pattern • Cling to old theories regardless of evidence • Have difficulty designing experiments

  26. Thinking Scientific Thinking • Problem solving and children • Teach strategies and rules to solve problems • Teacher is model, motivate children • Use effective strategy instruction • Encourage alternative strategies and approaches • Analogical problem solving: • occurs as early as age 1

  27. Thinking Thinking in Adolescence • Critical Thinking • If fundamental skills not developed during childhood, critical-thinking skills unlikely to mature in adolescence • Decision Making • Older adolescents appear as more competent decision makers than younger adolescents • Ability does not guarantee every day usage

  28. Thinking Thinking in Adulthood • Practical problem solving, expertise improve • Expertise — extensive, highly organized knowledge and understanding of particular domain • Use It or Lose It— practice helps cognitive skills • Cognitive Training— can help some if skills are being lost • Cognitive improvement tied to physical fitness and vitality

  29. Metacognition What Is Metacognition? • Knowledge about when and where to use particular strategies • Metamemory—knowledge about memory • Theory of mind— curiosity or thoughts about how mental processes work • Changes as child ages

  30. 7 The End