Human memory is not like information stored in a tape recorder or compact disc.” Critically evaluate the statement. 10 Marks. (CSE2018)

Model answer outline
The approach:
* A short note should be dealt with holistically. Students often get trapped in the details of fewer points. Moreover, focus on the major difference. You can’t count all the difference in about 150 words which is the maximum word limit for a 10 Marks answer. Lastly , don’t just try to prove in a question asking for critical answering.
The answer:
Compact disc and tape recorder record information by using mechanism( mechanical, megnatic & more) that is different From the mechanism ( neurological, cognitive & more) of human memory system.
1) human encoding, storage & retrieval are constructive by nature. During encoding, information is often categorised (Collins), stored information undergoes structural & semantic changes e.g. asymmetrical & illogical information become symmetrical and logical ( Loftus, Bartlett..) and retrieval process is also constructed( false positives, confabulations etc)
Such things do not occur with tape and CD.
2) Presence of Meta-memory system( memory of memory) in the human being. This aids in memory monitoring and retrieval.
3) Role of emotions & motivation : mood congruence effects in human memory.( Baddeley). Memory of unfinished task is better(Zeigarnik’s effect). Moreover, repression ( emotional unconscious suppression) is also a cause of forgetting in human.

Likewise, there is host of differences between the memory system of mechine and human. The two systems, however, according to Atkinson & Shiffrin who proposed information processing model of memory, share a lot of similarly as well. Cues based remembering and retrieval/forgetting are major similarities.
# please elaborate adequately.

– Arun Kumar
Faculty of Psychology
Beautiful Mind-IAS

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