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What is Information Processing Theory?

The title refers to a theory comingfrom a branch of psychology called cognitive development. It dealswith the phenomenon of getting information, processing it andreacting to it, regarding our brain functions during this process.Basically, this theory is all about learning. We all learn bylistening or perceiving information in different ways. Subsequently,we react to this information and process it in a specific way,learning it, and, thereby, responding to it. By learning more abouthow we actually learn, this theory can help us in helping others,like children with learning difficulties.

Interestingly, our brains functionsimilarly to computers, which are actually not so strange since weinvented them. Namely, upon receiving a piece of information, weanalyze it before storing it. Thus, the information needs to passcertain tests, benchmarks of sorts, before being deemed as plausibleand stored. This, however, takes place enormously fast, too quick forus to even be aware of it. Again, if we compare ourselves tocomputers, we would come to a conclusion that our sensory organs andour pieces of hardware, receive various information, while ourbrain is the software, analyzing, storing and using useful data.Therefore, if we tweak our “software” we can achieve betterresults in data storage, improving the overall performance of our“operating system”.

Structure of the Information ProcessingTheory

There are several models theinformation processing theory consists of. First of all, there is thestore model, which collects information, analyzes it, and decideswhether it should be processed in any of the following models, beingrecorded either temporarily or permanently, depending on the value ofthe data received.

We can store data in our short-termmemory model, if the information is not needed for any futureoccasions, but, rather, just for the specific time being. After weuse the needed information, it gets deleted or, simply, forgotten.

Our long term memory model is reservedfor information which is kept permanently due to its possibleimportance in future situations when it can be accessed and used.

All in all, the information processingtheory considers any act of reading, searching, saving or retrievingmemory a process of thinking. Once we encounter a problem, we readour previously stored knowledge, which consists of countless numberof information, and try to find possible solutions in our memory.Once we deal with a specific problem, we modify our memory, addingthe solution to it, making us learn more and being able to solvesimilar problems easier every following time. Thus, each time welearn, we actually modify what we already know, alter our previouslystored information, thereby becoming more capable of dealing withfuture problems. However, this is just a small part of the actualdepth of this theory. Nevertheless, if you were interested, you maymodify your memory by searching additional information about it.

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