© 2013 – Psychology Press
310 pages | 63 B/W Illus.
This volume describes how well we maintain the knowledge we acquire throughout life. Research traditionally focuses on memory for events that are retained over short time periods that can be accommodated in experiments. This book, by contrast, uniquely describes the evolution of methods suitable for investigating memory of complex knowledge acquired over several years and retained during the entire life-span. The methods substitute statistical for experimental controls, and the investigations involve several hundred participants whose memory is tested up to 50 years after they acquired the knowledge in question.
The book covers educational content, such as mathematics and foreign languages; knowledge acquired incidentally, such as the streets and buildings of the cities in which we live; and knowledge acquired through the media. Previously unpublished research on age-related access to knowledge is included.
The analyses are based on the accessibility/availability ratio, a metric presented for the first time. This metric allows comparisons of the portion of available knowledge that can be recalled as a function of age, education and other individual differences, and as a function of the domain of knowledge in question. The ratio can be used to evaluate methods of instruction and methods of studying. It can also be used to evaluate memory development and to diagnose memory pathology.
The volume will be of interest to researchers in human memory, developmental psychologists, gerontologists in academic and applied settings, and educators.
"This excellent book sets out the studies of real-world knowledge that Harry Bahrick and his collaborators have carried out over the past 35 years. The work is virtually unique in combining naturalistic observation with rigorous experimental methods, and the result is a fascinating collection of findings and ideas on how we learn, remember, and misremember information that we once knew well. It is essential reading for all students of learning and memory." -Fergus I.M. Craik, Ph.D., Rotman Research Institute, Toronto
"Harry Bahrick has played a unique and important role in the study of forgetting. For over 40 years he has systematically explored the long term retention of knowledge from a wide range of domains over the life span. His work is practically important because such retention is of central importance to the whole purpose of education, and of great theoretical significance because it tests the generality of the much more constrained methods that necessarily dominate research in this area. In bringing together this important body of work, I confidently predict that this will become a classic of the memory literature." - Alan Baddeley, Ph.D., The University of York, UK
1. A Historical Perspective. 2. The Ohio Wesleyan Memory Research Program. 3. Acquisition and Maintenance of Knowledge. 4. Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Investigations of Overlearning. 5. Fluctuations of Access to Marginal Knowledge. 6. Initial Investigations of Age-related Access to Knowledge. 7. Larger Scale Investigations of Age-Related Access to Naturalistically Acquired Knowledge. 8. Distortions of Knowledge. 9. Summing Up.
Essays in Cognitive Psychology is designed to meet the need for rapid publication of brief volumes in cognitive psychology.
Primary topics include perception, movement and action, attention, memory, mental representation, language and problem solving.
Furthermore, the series seeks to define cognitive psychology in its broadest sense, encompassing all topics either informed by, or informing, the study of mental processes. As such, it covers a wide range of subjects including computational approaches to cognition, cognitive neuroscience, social cognition, and cognitive development, as well as areas more traditionally defined as cognitive psychology.
Each volume in the series makes a conceptual contribution to the topic by reviewing and synthesizing the existing research literature, by advancing theory in the area, or by some combination of these missions.
The principal aim is that authors provide an overview of their own highly successful research program in an area.
Volumes also include an assessment of current knowledge and identification of possible future trends in research.
Each book is a self-contained unit supplying the advanced reader with a well-structured review of the work described and evaluated.