Human memory, Involuntary memory as a component (moment) of activity, Memory as a mnemonic (mnestic) action - General psychology

Human Memory

A person, as already mentioned, has different types of memory. Let's consider them in more detail.

Involuntary memory as a component (moment) of activity

Natural involuntary memory serves the person not only his natural behavior, but, as its subjective component (the moment of activity), and social activities. When solving various problems (research, cognitive, behavioral, adaptive, creative-constructive), involuntary memory offers for use already available in the past experience of the subject ways of solving them and selects for subsequent storage (short-term - for the period of solving the problem, or long-term - for the needs of the future ) anything that helps or hinders the successful solution of the problem, i.e. something that the subject is forced to navigate in order to succeed.

By the way, the intellectual development of the subject is that he learns to solve the problem with various changes in its conditions, represented by different landmarks. In his memory must be preserved: the purpose of the action, the methods of action and guidelines for the execution of the action. This is what becomes the object of involuntary attention, or rather. perception and thinking or consciousness as a whole, and therefore involuntary memorization is always closely related to involuntary attention - it is better to remember what was sent to the consciousness of the person (attention), which was the goal or orientation of the action. Pay attention, the selection of the necessary experience is the task of thinking. So remembering is the work of the whole psyche!

It was very clearly and convincingly shown in PI Zinchenko's classical studies, in which memory acted as a "moment" human actions.

The subjects (adults and children) were presented with 15 cards with the image of various objects and figures (different, for example, 7, 10, 19, etc.) in the upper right corner. In the first series, subjects were asked to arrange pictures in groups with a general content (for example, fruits or objects relevant in the kitchen), and in the second series they were asked to expand the cards according to increasing numbers.

Then, after each series of subjects, they were suddenly asked to recall what was on the cards.

Both adults and children after the first series called in 12-19 times more objects than figures (adults - 13.2 subjects and 0.7 figures, and children - 13 subjects and 1.5 figures on average). After the second series, the ratio of the reproduced figures and objects was the reverse - the figures were recalled 4-5 times more than the subjects (adults - 1.3 subjects and 10.2 figures, children - 2.5 and 9.9 respectively).

Note that the difference between numbers and objects has become smaller. We'll discuss this a little later.

In the first series, the success of the solution of the problem depended on the analysis of the content of images of different objects. This was the subject of orientation. Attention subjects (in this case - perception and thinking) was aimed at images of objects, the analysis of which depended on the success of the solution of the problem, and therefore they were remembered for the time of the solution of the problem and remained for a short time after the decision.

In the second series, the success of solving a problem was determined by analyzing the values ​​of numbers, and they were remembered better than objects.

In these experiments, the role of attention, involuntarily arising as a temporary research task in the examination of cards, is also indicative: what is depicted and why the numbers?

Children more often than adults respond to such a spontaneously arising problem, and therefore they more often than adults remember the outsider for the main task of the material: the figures in the first series and the images of objects in the second, although inferior to adults in terms of the number of recalled basic landmarks in each series. And more: pictures as the background of the task are remembered better than figures (when figures also act as background) and adults and children, for pictures often cause involuntary attention to themselves with automatic automatic updating of the research task.

Comparison of the results of involuntary memorization of the main and background landmarks by adults and children of different ages showed their significant difference with age (Figure 20.1).

The volume of memorization of basic and background objects (according to PI Zinchenko)

Fig. 20.1. The volume of memorization of basic and background objects (according to PI Zinchenko)

It is clear that the number of reproduced basic landmarks increases with age, and the number of backgrounds decreases, which means less distraction of adults to conditions that are not related to the problem being solved.

But at the same time, the distraction for images of objects in both adults and children is higher than the figures, which should be noted.

The role of the research task for the events with which a person meets in life was well shown in the study of AA Smirnov.

On the way to work, people remembered either what prevented them from reaching the institute faster, or what was unexpected, unusual or personally significant, i.e. something that involuntarily attracted the consciousness of a person. This main result of the dependence of involuntary memorization on the orientation on the factors of the success of the action is then repeated many times in the works of different authors. For example, in the work of ZM Istomina, the instruction for children of 3-7 years to memorize the figures ensured the growth of the number of reproduced figures with an age of 0.6 to 2.3 figures on average. The inclusion of children in the game, where it was required to remember the numbers for success in the game, increased the number of memorized figures to 1-3.8 with age (ie, almost twice).

The social life of a person does not simply use natural mental processes as subjective components (moments) of social activity, but transforms them, often elevating them to the position of independent actions with ultimate goals analogous to those usually achieved by natural mental functions (in this case, remembering events, skills, knowledge), creating on the basis of natural mental functions memory as a higher mental function.

Memory as a mnemonic (mnestic) action

Remembering a person from the moment of activity becomes an independent task for a number of professions (actors, teachers, students, singers, etc.). Hence the need to master the process of memorization, the formation of a special action to preserve information for its subsequent protocol reproduction (declarative memory).

Natural memory does not have such a problem. As it was already mentioned, it functions as a moment of activity, delivers past experience for the behavior of the current moment and saves a new useful experience from the current behavior for the future (if the action is carried out in the usual conditions, the old experience works automatically, involuntarily, and the new experience is not formed, and therefore to save in these conditions there is nothing).

The transformation of memorization and reproduction into an independent task presupposes the generation in man of a special action with external and internal links (in the subjective plan) links (operations) using external and internal properties (tools), i.e. action included in some important activity for him. The birth of such mnemic (mnemonic) actions allowed Vygotsky to talk about the release of memory beyond the brain, which can not be understood literally. We understand that memory as a psychic reality can not go beyond the brain, if only because it was not there, remembering that subjective experiences can not exist outside the brain. Therefore, Vygotsky's expression must be understood not literally, but as a characteristic of the fact that the memorization of some information by a person is now accomplished through an action in which the subject uses external means and operations (notches for memory, knots, drawings, deferred objects, and so on .). Out of the brain comes the process of preservation and reproduction (recorded and read!), And not natural memory as a psychic ability.

The success of a mnestic action, like any other human action, depends:

• from the motivation of the action, more precisely, from the meaning of the action included in some kind of activity;

• From the ability to arbitrarily retain consciousness on a solved mnestic task (since it is arbitrary in nature),

• from adequate orientation;

• from owning effective ways;

• from the means of action used;

• on the condition and characteristics of the subject, etc.

Arbitrary character of most of the social actions of a person causes the memory to take on one more function, unusual for the habitual understanding of memory as the preservation of traces of the past. It begins to connect the present not only with the past, but also with the future, preserving the person's intentions and plans. The intention for action must be preserved until it is completed, and all the information necessary to solve the current task must be preserved.

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