THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MEMORY by Alan D. Baddeley

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF MEMORY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Memory is one of the most elusive and fascinating subjects in psychology; the ways in which information, experience, and skills are acquired, processed, stored, retrieved, and lost are still ill understood, despite recent advances in neurophysiology. Dr. Baddeley, a leading British psychologist, has written a comprehensive yet admittedly personal critical survey of the major research and theories on memory. It is drawn from the diverse fields of animal and human neurobiology, medical pathology, computer simulation, experimental laboratory psychology, and human testing, and it goes back to the two fathers of memory research: Ebbinghaus, who simplified the problem for laboratory investigation, and Bartlett, who stressed the complexity of memory and the importance of the subject's active search for meaning. It adds up to a lucidly-organized parade of intriguing questions: Does memory storage involve protein or RNA synthesis, synaptic changes, general brain arousal, or all of these? Do we lose information in the memory store, or from it? Is there a distinction between short-term and long-term memory, as there seems to be, and how do they interact? How and why do we forget? How are the various sensory and motor memories integrated? What is the role of meaning in memory? Baddeley goes into the many proposed answers and their supporting experiments in detail; his graceful style; lively metaphors, and personal examples do much to lighten what would otherwise be heavy going for the lay reader--who must still bring both background and patience, along with curiosity, to the reading. An excellent survey-textbook.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 1976
Publisher: Basic Books