We know that everything we learn contributes to our memory. However what many are unaware of is the different types of memory. For example, there are many types of long term memory including;
- Episodic – specific things – personal experience- where/when it happened
- Semantic – all world knowledge
- Procedural – knowing how to do something – riding a bike/driving a car
- Mix of all these e.g- a trip to the market
Also, automaticity is a very important aspect in increasing efficiency of processing information. Automaticity is achieved through practice and reduces the ST memory capacity. A classroom example includes, reading – children will often not be able to tell you what they’re reading (without automaticity).
Other factors that influence the development of knowledge include;
- Knowledge – increases as a function of age
- Strategies – rehearsal – repetition in various forms, organisation allows information to be stored more easily, elaboration – making links to aid memory
There are many different aspects to our minds and especially the way in which we memorise things.
Metamemory development refers to the monitoring, regulations and awareness of the memory’s contents. There are two parts – Awareness of how memory works (what’s easier/harder to recall) and memory monitoring (what strategies to use).
Metacognition – refers to the knowledge and understanding of our own thinking process. It is the knowledge of what one knows and how one learns. As children grow up they become more aware of their own abilities and are better able to assess when a strategy will be effective.
False memory – Refers to they way children, usually young, reconstruct a memory falsely due to not tracking information as they encode it.
Phineas Gage became a key interest of psychologists’ work after his personality changed after his brain’s left frontal lobe was mainly destroyed after and accident at work in which a large iron rod pierced completely through his head.
This started a worldwide focus into the theory of mind. The theory of mind refers to the ability to take perspectives of others and understand their mental state i.e – beliefs and desires.
The theory of mind develops across the world at roughly the same age regardless of cultural influences. However, children below 4 years old are unable to reflect on the mental state of themselves and others and their beliefs – This can be seen in the Deceptive box test. The development of the theory of mind can provide children with new realm of information on which they can draw from.
It has been discovered that children develop this theory between the ages of 3&5 then at the ages of between 6 and 8 children develop the send stage in which the theory of mind allows other skills to develop including the understanding of jokes, sarcasm or bullying.
At what age a child develops this theory of mind depends on various environmental factors including;
- The number of older siblings
- The likelihood children are exposed to adult and peer interactions and communication on a daily basis.
- Extended family
The failure to develop the theory of mind has been linked with the autistic spectrum disorder. The lack of theory of mind produces many impairments affecting many aspects of a child’s life including; social relationships, communications and a lack of imagination. However, autism is not a product of the failure to understand the mind.