LEARNING OBJECTIVES

• What are the primary aspects of the information­processing model?

• What are the areas where we observe differential age changes in attention and memory?

T

rey strolled into a Lamborghini dealership and convinced the salesperson to let him take a Coun – tach for a spin around the block. When he climbed behind the wheel of the most expensive sports car, his excitement almost got the better of him. But as he started it up and eased into first gear, he was filled with utter terror. He suddenly realized that he must pay complete attention to what he was doing. After all, he wouldn’t want to have an accident. Now he was faced with the need to filter out everything— people’s conversations, the radio, and the sound of the wind whipping through his hair.

How can Trey filter everything out? More impor­tantly, what abilities can he use to avoid an accident? If something happened on the road, how quickly could he respond? Would these abilities be any dif­ferent in a younger adult than in an older adult? And, by the way, did you know that a Lamborghini Countach is a sports car before you read this? If so,
how did you access this knowledge? If not, how did you incorporate this new knowledge?

How do we learn, remember, and think about things? Psychologists do not know for sure. About the best they can do is create models or analogues of how they believe our cognitive processes work. In this section, we will consider the most popular model: the information-processing model.