Essay on Justify Why People See More Than They Can Remember in Cognitive Psychology

Published: 2021/12/02
Number of words: 1004

Seeing is the act of observing physical conditions and components of the environment. The human eyes aid in observing anything in the environments. In Psychology, there are number of experiments done to demonstrate that see more than we remember and the eye is one of the sensory organs of the human body, where stimuli in a form of images, physical qualities of objects in the environment and other visual elements are received to be processed by the brain after the basic neurons of the human body transmit them to the brain. Each and every day, there are several things we see but do not remember afterwards.

Remembering visualized information is the act of recovering all seen information of the environment, in the form of images, objects and other iconic elements from the brain of an individual in a meaningful way. The brain of a person is made to assign at least half of its capacity into processing visual information that an individual receives daily. With this, one has the tendency of recalling all relevant information, visually received from the environment depending on the conditions on which it was received.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

Neisser and Becklen (1975) did an experiment called ‘inattentional blindness’, where people watched two videos of sporting activities of varied contents on a separate screen demonstrating the effect of attention, interest and seeing on processing events viewed. From the experiment, people seeing the actions performed on the field could not recall certain events while others could remember those events, depending on what the person was attentive to in the video.

Also, the level of processing effect by Craik and Lockhart (1972) experimented on the extent at which information could be remembered in an unstructured situation. The high level of processing in an in-depth manner results in longer storage of such information in ones memory while information not processed intensely may highly result in decaying. The participants in this experiment where given some items to see and study, those that elaborated on the items, repeatedly studied and accurately explain the items on several occasions could remember the items easily for a very long time while those that just focused on the words, shape and sound had the some of the information decayed after sometime.

Visual aid diagrams is one way people see and visualize information to be processed by the brain but the tendency of remembering these visual aided diagrams accurately after some time is about 60% and low especially when it is not rehearsed but when it is rehearsed properly, it enhances understanding of texts or reading information in a more enhanced diagrammatic way for easy remembrance. The ability of an individual to remember visual diagrams depends on how the object is rehearsed, identified and memorized. 100% of the information can be remembered if rehearsals and understanding of the information has been acquired according to the experiment done by (Craik and Lockhart, 1972).

More so, with the experiment of Neisser and Becklen (1975), people see with no concentration and focus to understand what is being watched often, thereby causing difficulties in recalling these items. The memory of human beings is so powerful and requires attention to the item or information seen in the environment in order to easily recall this information. Although one may view something during the day, without understanding and associating with the object seen, the brain hardly recalls or retrieves the information afterwards. The rate at which people proportion time to understand each object or information seen around in very low, hence, there is poor remembrance of these information.

Moreover, (Duncan and Humphreys 1989) proposed attention on memory by using the similarity theory that explains how human attention given to various objects one comes across and how the mind’s attention aids in preserving the similarities between the images or visual objects seen. People who do not pay attention, to get the qualities of an image and how they differ from other images hardly remember these images or objects in question, later on.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

Also, association with objects or information seen is very crucial in remembering these objects or information afterwards. Most people do not associate with seen objects especially referring to the experiment conducted by (Craik and Lockhart, 1972) where unassociated information is decayed easily and making remembering difficult after some time, since they are not made to be part of the individual’s focus. Everything seen by each and everyone in the environment has to be associated with by the observer in other to perceive the object or information seen. This requires ones time and attention but in moving about in an environment, one may not have the time to associate with these images or object, which causes more to be seen than remembered every day.

Last but not least, the experiment conducted by Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) called the Modal model or the Multi Store Model of the Memory is structured and has three storage areas known as the Sensory register, Short-Term Memory and the Long-Term Memory. When one sees anything from the environment and does not perform certain activities like rehearsing, chunking, visualizing or associating with the seen object or element in the environment, the sensory register although receives immediately after seeing, within a few moments, the item or image seen is forgotten and difficult to remember. In normal circumstance, seeing everything does not mean all will be processed into the brain, we mostly pay attention the only the relevant information seen while the rest get decayed and forgotten.


Atkinson, R. C., & Shiffrin, R. M. (1968). Chapter: Human memory: A proposed system and its control processes

Craik, F. I., & Lockhart, R. S. (1972). Levels of processing: A framework for memory research. Journal of Verbal Learning & Verbal Behavior

Duncan, J., & Humphreys, G. W. (1989). Attention, Perception and Action: Visual search and stimulus similarity. Psychological review

Neisser, U., & Becklen, R. (1975). Selective looking: Attending to visually specified events.

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055