Knowledge Acquisition and Memory Development

Knowledge Acquisition and Memory Development

PSY 331: Psychology of Learning

Knowledge Acquisition and Memory Development


How exactly does our memory work? To answer this question one must understand the different types of memory and the developmental of each type and how each operate. Memories are stored in every individuals brain differently. Brain development begins in the fetal stage and continues after birth all the way until early adulthood. With this being said, even though the brain development stops at early adulthood, this does not mean that ones’ memory development stops; memory development continues way past early adulthood. Memory is the process of recalling and retaining things from past event. The memory process takes events or information and stores it in the brain for a later time in life. Memory is made up of three different types; sensory memory, short- term memory, and long-term memory. With ones’ sensory memory it’s information that is instantly processed and stored for about two seconds before it’s moved to the working memory. “Working memory is often referred to as short-term memory, although short-term memory is considered only one component of the larger mechanism of holding and manipulating information included in working memory” (Rosser-Majors, M. L. , 2017). Short-term memory usually lasts for around twenty seconds. Often, the memory isn’t very long infact, it’s usually just pieces of an experience or information that one has retained.. Long-term memory being the third and final type of memory is limitless. Long-term memories can be stored for an extended amount of time this is where all of ones’ general knowledge and experiences are stored. Everyone needs memory to learn, that is why every individual must learn how to retain information properly so that it can be stored in the desinated place.

Memory Development

When it comes to memory, memory development becomes evident in a person within their first three years of ones’ life. While learning is what you obtain from the information an individual is taught, memory is what is actually obtained from the information that was taught. With this being said memory development is referred as increase of information or knowledge over time. As a child grows into an adult, their memory increases and so does their working memory dimensions. There are various stages that are created when new information is gained. Jean Piaget mentions that these various stages that children gain information from are through the four stages of cognitive development. Children begin to learn through what is called the sensory stage. The sensory stage is where children use fine motor skills such as touching and feeling things around them to make sense of the world this stages commonly occurs within the first two years of a childs life. The next stage is called the preoperational stage which occurs between the ages of two and seven years old. The preoperational stage is where children learn how to put their new knowledge to use such as using pictures or words to refer to objects. The third stage is known as the concrete operational stage. This stage usually happens within the ages of seven to eleven years of age. Within this stage, a childs memory is usually more concrete, and their thinking becomes more consitant, can solve problems, and can come up with their own opinions of things. The final stage is known as the formal operational stage which happens from age twelve and older. During this stage, adoleceneces use their memories and ideas to make sense of their reasonings, and plan for the future and hypothetical situations. Rosser-Majors (2017) states that, “Information processing is a person’s ability to encounter new information, connect it to prior knowledge, instill this new knowledge in memory, and recall it when necessary.” (chapt. 2.2, para. 3). When one accomplishes each stage they develop a schema which allows them to obtain more material. According to Rosser-Majors (2017), schema development is crucial to cognition because it impacts effective and precise learning. Cognitive and schema development is a necessacity for memory growth.

Effective Processing

Effective processing is important because it moves information from the short-term memory to the long-term memory due to the stages where new material is processed. Being able to transfer this information is noteworthy because it upsurges the resistance to interfere with competing stimuli and disorderly factors. Our working memory better known as our short term memory stimulates ones’ focus or distractions to decipher our learning experiences, which turns into ones’ long- term memory. The information in the short-term memory can be held up to one minute and then can hold up to seven pieces of new information. Whereas, the information in long-term memory can be stored forever and can be retrieved whenever.Three strategies would be to repeat information in different ways to see what is the important concepts for longterm memory, longterm memory has an unlimited space for information to be stored forever, and the Baddeley models of the visual-spatial scratch pad, phonological loop, and the episodic buffer.

Attention and Perception

Attention and perception both play a significant role in a successful development of schema. With attention one must be able to identify the important information verses the information that isn’t as important so the individual has to focus on the concentration of a stimuli.When an individual is overloaded with to much information it is sometimes difficult to see the important information so that they can obtain accurate information. Whereas, perception one must focus on their surroundings and make sense of it. So the way an individual interprets information is important for their perception.

Types of Knowledge

There are three different types of memories that affect how we effectively process information. The first type of memories that affect how we process information is semantic memories. Semantic memories are gained from reliable sources such as academic journals and credible books. Semantic memories are founded by facts. The second type of memories that affect how we process information is episodic memories. Episodic memories are associated to an individuals personal experiences. Episodic memories also go hand and hand with the final type of memories that affect how we process information which is autobiographical memories. Austobiographical memories are associated with emotions, dates, and times an event occurs. Each type affects how we process information due to the fact that our experiences make us who we are as an individual.

False Memory Development

False memory development happens when an individual is deceived or misinterepts information. “False memories are well-established long-term memory phenomena. Recent reports of false recognition at short term suggest that working memory could also give rise to false memories, supporting the unitary view of memory”(Abadie & Camos,2019). A false memory can occur when someone tells a story that never occurred or states a false fact. No individual is immuned from false memories because every individual has short and long term memories which means that anyone could easily have a memory that they don’t remember correctly causing it to become a false memory.


Even though brain development starts at the fetal stage and continues to develop until early adulthood, our memory development continues to grow past early adulthood. Children watch their parents and older siblings do everything, and they remember a lot of what is done.This is why it is important to teach our children right from wrong, and not teach them negative behaviors. Our childrens upbringing is important for our future and their memories can live on with them forever and it could potentially choose a life path they have seen throughout their childhood.


Abadie, M., & Camos, V. (2019). False memory at short and long term. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General148(8), 1312–1334. (Supplemental)