Levels of Processing Theory
Depth of Analysis
Craik and Lockhart believed that depth is a critical concept for
levels of processing theory.
* The depth of processing of a stimulus has a substantial effect on
its memorability, i.e. how well it is remembered.
* Deeper levels of analysis produce more elaborate, longer lasting
and stronger memory traces than do shallow levels of analysis.
Craik (1973) defined depth as "the meaningfulness extracted from the
stimulus rather than in terms of the number of analyses performed upon
it". Rehearsal or repetition is not a form of deep processing because
it only involves a repeated "number of analyses", and not and
extraction of meaningfulness.
Craik and Tulving used semantic processing to represent deep
processing and the physical analysis to represent shallower
processing. As the theory would predict, participants remembered those
words that were deeply processed better than those processed
shallowly. The findings of Hyde and Jenkins (1973) also support this
Craik and Tulving's study also looked at how the elaboration of
processing can lead to a greater recall. In a further experiment, the
participants were presented on each trial with a word and a sentence
containing a blank. They were then asked to decide whether the word
fitted into the uncompleted question. Recall was twice as high for
words accompanying complex sentences, suggesting that elaboration
benefits long term memory. There is a difference between elaboration
as in the complexity of the sentence, and the time spent on the task,
as in the phonemic processing. Depth of processing involves
Organization is another form of deep processing. Research has shown
that organization creates a lasting memory like semantic processing.
It is implicit rather than explicit memory and no conscious processing
needs to take place. Mandler (1967) conducted and experiment in which
he gave participants a pack of 52 picture cards, each of which had a
word printed on it. Participants were then asked to sort the cards
into piles, using anything from two to seven categories, and could go
by any system the wished. They were then asked to carry on with the
sorting until they came to two identical sorts. If anyone was still
trying to do this after 1 Â¼ hours then they were excluded from the
experiment. He found out that most of the participants took six sorts
to gain 95% consistency. At this point, they were given an unexpected
free recall test. Recall was poorest for those who had decided to use
only two categories, and the best from those who choose to use seven
categories. Mandler concluded that "memory and organization are not
only correlated but organization is a necessary condition for...