Encoding – Intro to Psychology
The connection between encoding and remembering at its core is levles of processing. For this concept, psychologist say the more deeply we encode information the better we are able to recall it. Now, what do we mean by deeply? Psychologist have been able to identify three different levels of processing. Before I get started in describing this, I want you to remember these three words, tablet, bell, amethyst. Okay, let’s get started. The first is structural, the second is phoentic, and the third is semantic. So for the level of processing structural would be shallow. Then we’d go down to semantic, which would be deep. And remember, the more deeply encoded the information, the better we recall it. So, let’s look at probability of recall. The shallow level of processing would give us a low probability of recalling the information. And a deep level of processing would give us a high probability of recall. Let’s say for example I wanted you to remember the word Amethyst. At the structural level, I may ask you to describe whether the word has capital letters or lowercase letters. At the phonetic level, I may ask you to think of words that rhyme with amethyst. And finally, at the semantic level I may ask you to describe what an amethyst is. It’s purple, it’s in fact a stone, and it’s even the birthstone for the month of February. Here, a psychologist would say, if you’re able to engage in all three levels of processing, semantic, phonetic, and structural, we would have a better ability to recall the information at a later time.