Craik and Lockhart (1972) levels of processing theory is a substitute to Atkinson and Shiffrin’s (1968) multistore model of memory that separates memory into separate stores, short-term memory and long-term memory. Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) believed that short-term memory does not have the capability to store information for a long duration. This means that there isn’t a very long period for recall from the short-term memory. However, when information needs to be recalled from the long-term memory it can be recalled indefinitely unless the brain undergoes serious trauma or damage (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968). An individual who had suffered brain damage because of a motorbike accident was the subject of a case study. The individual could not remember any recent memories as his short-term memory had been impaired, however, the individual was able to recall events that had occurred after his accident this means his long-term memory had not been affected (Shallice and Warrington, 1970) This shows that the possibility of separate long-term and short-term memory stores being a possibility.
However, it also shows that information can be taken to the long-term memory without having to go through any other memory stores beforehand. According to Craik and Lockhart (1972) knowledge happens through numerous different processes. The Levels of Processing model is used to demonstrate why individuals have a shallow trace of certain things and a deeper trace of others. (Craik and Lockhart, 1972)Craik and Lockhart’s level of processing proposes that memory happens through different processes.
Shallow processing is separated into phonological (sound) and structural (visual) encoding. However, the term deep processing means semantic encoding (the meaning of the word). (Patel, 2015).During an experiment, participants were given numerous tests and asked to complete each one. One of the tests was to find a word on a word list that rhymes with another word, or to find a word that has the same meaning as another word on the list. (Elias and Perfetti, 1973).
The rhyming test involved only audio coding, which meant that was shallow level of processing. The synonym task included semantic coding, and this was a deep level of processing. The participants were naive to the experiment and were unaware they would be asked to remember and recall the words however; the participants were able to recall some of the words when they were tested. This was called incidental learning. (Elias and Perfetti, 1973).
When the participants were tested they were able to recall a lot more words following the task containing synonyms than the rhyming task. This suggests that words that require deeper levels of processing lead to better recall ability. (Elias and Perfetti, 1973).