Is Memory A Constructive And Dynamic System

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Memory is a constructive and dynamic system rather than a passive mechanism for recording external information. Evaluate this claim, making reference to research findings.

In order to evaluate this claim it is necessary to look at some of the research that has been carried out on memory. Most of the relevant research findings support the theory that memory is indeed a constructive and dynamic system but how much of what we store in our memory is down to active and conscious energy and how much information is absorbed in a passive and automatic way. Brace and Roth (as cited in Brace and Roth, 2007, pg130) state that “memory is an active, selective and constructive process rather than a passive mechanism for recording external
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There are some criticisms of the diary experiment even though many psychologists have chosen diary studies. It is a difficult method to monitor. The process of selection is an important one. It could be said that the more memorable events would be the ones that get recorded. Also does the act of recording them make the event more memorable? Even though these questions lead us to question the reliability of the diary studies we can still conclude that due to the changes in memory, especially autographical memories, over time that memory is a constructive and dynamic system.

Another example of how memory processes are dynamic is the way that we can actively employ different techniques that can improve our memory and enable us to learn and retrain more information. The length of time information is stored in long term memory is primarily due to how is has been encoded. The research that Craik and Lockhart did on this notion led to a theory highlighting levels of processing. These results are particularly useful to students revising for exams as it suggests way to absorb the information at a deep level in order to retain in longer and in more detail. Craik and Tulving then went on to investigate these levels of processing using orienting tasks. These tasks show the effects of incidental learning as the participants are not told to actively learn the words in the