Understanding and Remembering

Leslie R. Martin, Kelly B. Haskard-Zolnierek and M. Robin DiMatteo

in Health Behavior Change and Treatment Adherence

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195380408
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199864454 | DOI:
Understanding and Remembering

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This chapter begins with an overview of the encoding, storage, and retrieval of memories. Important to the encoding process are attention, focus, understanding, and the agility of the working memory. The role of emotion in memory storage is reviewed, with examples of how heightened emotion can enhance memory, or may interfere with it, if the emotion is too strong. Factors that bias our recall (such as cultural and other experiential elements, as well as the tendency toward self-enhancement), along with other characteristics (e.g., age, gender, lack of sleep) that are sometimes thought to be related to memory, are reviewed. Strategies for enhancing memory, including tailoring the information to the patient’s characteristics, considering health literacy, avoiding jargon and information overload, mnemonics and chunking, and multimedia memory aids, are given.

Keywords: memory; emotion; culture; self-enhancement bias; age; health literacy; jargon; mnemonic; tailored messages

Chapter.  10228 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Psychology

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