What We Encode 1


Topic: What We Encode

Posted by: Julie

Key Terms:

  • Visual Encoding: the encoding of picture images
  • Acoustic Encoding: the encoding of sound, espcially the sound of words
  • Semantic encoding: the encdoing of meaning, including the meaning of words.
  • Imagery: mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding
  • Mnemonics: memory aids, espcially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices
  • Chunking: organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often orrurs automatically

Summary: What we encode...

We process information in three key ways - by encoding its meaning, by visualizing it, and by mentally organizing it. We do these things automatically, but in each of these cases, there are effortful strategies for enhancing memory.

First of all, encoding meaning. When we hear or read about a situation, our minds construct a model of it. There are three kinds of encoding that will help with the memory of verbal information. Visual encoding, acoustic encoding, and semantic encoding. For example, Visual encoding, as the word suggests, is the encoding of the appearance of the letters, acoustic is the sound of the words, and semantic is the meaning of the word. In the long run, they say that semantic encoding produces better recognition of it then the acoustic or visual encodings.


What We Encode 1 - The Neuron

Encoding imagery...
As you may agree, we often have a hard time to memorize formulas, definitions, and dates, but we can easily picture where we were yesterday, who was with us, where we sat. Imagery is the heart of many memory aids. Because of the durability of our most vivd images, we often remember our experiences with mental snapshots of our best or worst moments. This phenomenon is called rosy retrospection: recalling the high points while forgetting the mundane moments. Mnemonic uses vivid imagery and organizational devices.

What We Encode 1 - The Neuron

Organizing information for encoding....
Chunking is when we organize information into meaningful units, such as letters, words, and phrases, we recall more easily, and it often occurs naturally. Some examples can be found on 352. Another skill is called hierarchies. People can organize information by making a specific chart in their head, or on their notes to help them remember better. For an example of the chart, have a look at 353.

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