3
$\begingroup$

I've been studying into the important of memory and learning. I think it's undeniable that part of learning is requiring the retrieval of information at the relevant times, but the counter argument I've heard is that understanding is more important, but I always pose the question "isn't understanding just a combination or applications of things you know? Since you know it that means you must have memorized it." To which people usually don't have a good counterargument or concede that it's plausible. I'd like to test my theory on the importance of memory in learning. I argue that all of learning is dependent upon memory in some form or another, therefore if someone wants to better their learning they need to better their ability to remember and retrieve relevant information in situations.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ What is the difference between memory and learning in the scenario you describe? By memory do you mean episodic memory of when a concept is experienced? $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Sep 11 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ Episodic I’d say is part of it but I don’t know if pure episodic memory is sufficient for say academia. There also requires an ability to combine memorized things to realize a new concept and add to memory. $\endgroup$ – Dylan Y Sep 11 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ Then can you explain what you mean by "memory" versus "learning"? In neuroscience the two are often grouped together into "learning and memory" because there isn't really much distinction. Maybe you are trying to contrast memorization in terms of a list of facts with learning concepts? In that case I would use the term "memorization" exclusively, not "memory." $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Sep 12 at 19:01
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I think that might be more accurate. $\endgroup$ – Dylan Y Sep 13 at 19:47
0
$\begingroup$

I argue that all of learning is dependent upon memory in some form or another, [...]

I can't think of any learning theory that would say otherwise. I think it's also fairly obvious that any information processing system such as the brain needs some abstract form of memory to function at all.

therefore if someone wants to better their learning they need to better their ability to remember and retrieve relevant information in situations.

I don't agree that this necessarily follows. Just because learning critically depends on at least one form of memory (e.g., working or episodic memory) this doesn't mean that memory has to be the bottleneck limiting learning performance. Also, 'remembering and retrieving relevant information' ignores that memory can also be implicit. For example, you can easily ride a bike but might find it hard to deliberately recall all movements involved.

$\endgroup$

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

  • $\begingroup$ But doesn’t one have to recall what it felt like to ride a bike in that case in order to do it properly? So it might not be an explicit step by step procedure they have to recall but they might have to recall the feeling of riding successfully, no? $\endgroup$ – Dylan Y Sep 13 at 19:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DylanY Following with my comments on the question, "what it felt like to ride a bike" is called episodic memory. How to ride a bike is a type of implicit memory called procedural memory. Procedural memory doesn't depend on episodic or declarative memory. Remembering that you know how to ride a bike may be a form of declarative/episodic memory, but actually knowing how is separate. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Sep 13 at 19:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.