Distinctions in Long Term Memory Tulving (1972)

When Long Term Memory was included in Atkinson and Shiffrin's (1968) Multi Store Model of Memory, it was presented as a single, unified store. That is to say, theoretically there was one Long Term Memory that dealt with all memories in the same way.

Researchers quickly questioned this assumption, in light of anecdotal evidence, such as why can you remember how to cycle a bike after years of no practice but forget the right word to use in the middle of a conversation - surely these two pieces of information are not dealt with equally?

Endel Tulving proposed one of the earliest, and notably influential, distinctions in Long Term Memory. His theory divided Long Term Memory into three separate processes:

1. Procedural - responsible for knowing how to do things.
2. Semantic - understanding the outside world and meanings.
3. Episodic - our personal memories of events.

To learn more about Long Term Memory, read our Free Online Psychology Textbook article here.

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