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information-processing approach  A perspective on Cognition and cognitive development in which the human mind is likened to a computer, processing information from the environment through perception and attention (input), encoding it in memory (storage and retrieval), and applying information to the solution of problems (software).
store model  A model of information processing in which information is depicted as moving through a series of processing units-sensory register, short-term memory, and long-term memory-in each of which it may be stored, either fleetingly or permanently.
sensory register  The mental processing unit that receives information from the environment and stores it fleetingly.
short-term memory  The mental processing unit in which information may be stored temporarily; the "work space" of the mind, where a decision must be made to discard information or to transfer it to permanent storage, in Long-term memory.
long-term memory  The encyclopedic mental processing unit in which information may be stored permanently and from which it may later be retrieved.
level of processing model  An information-processing model that proposes that the intensity of processing applied to information determines how long it will be retained.
encoding  The transformation of information from the environment into a lasting mental representation.
mental representation  Information stored in some form (e.g., verbal, pictorial) in the cognitive system after the person has encountered it in the environment.
strategies  Conscious cognitive or behavioral activities that are used to enhance mental performance.
automatization  The process of transforming conscious, controlled behaviors into unconscious and automatic ones.
generalization  The application of a strategy learned while solving a problem in one situation to a similar problem in a new situation.
neo-Piagetian theories  Theories of cognitive development that are grounded in Piagetian theory but reinterpret Piaget's concepts in an information-processing context.
executive control structure  According to Case, a mental blueprint or plan for solving a class of problems.
enrichment theory  The notion that the child acquires additional information about an object from each repeated experience with it, further modifying and enriching these data with information in existing schemata.
differentiation theory  The notion that the child learns to identify and discriminate the important features of objects and relationships from the rich source of information sensory input provides.
memory span  The amount of information one can hold in short-term memory.
prospective memory  Memory for information that one plans to use at a given future time.
rehearsal  A memory strategy in which one repeats a number of times, either mentally or orally, the information one wants to remember.
mediation deficiency  Inability to use strategies to store information in long-term memory.
production deficiency  Inability spontaneously to generate and use memory strategies that one knows.
utilization deficiency  inability to use a memory strategy that one knows.
sematic organization  Organizing information to be remembered by means of categorization and hierarchical relationships.
elaboration  A memory strategy in which one adds to information to make it more meaningful and thus easier to place in long-term memory.
world knowledge  What a child has learned from experience and knows about the world in general.
script  A mental representation of an event or situation of daily life, including the expected orde4 in which things happen and how one should behave in that event or situation.
mental map  A cognitive representation of the spatial layout of a physical or geographical place.
transitive inference  The mental arrangement of things along a quantitative dimension.
hierarchical categorization  The organization of concepts into levels of abstraction that range from the specific to the general.
metacognition  The individual's knowledge and control of cognitive activities.
reciprocal teaching  A method of instruction which a teacher and a small group of students take turns leading discussions of text passages and which makes use of four specific cognitive strategies: predicting, questioning, summarizing, and clarifying.

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