Faculty Books and Book Chapters

Information Processing Theory (R.J. Lachman)

Information Processing Theory (R.J. Lachman)

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Essays in Developmental Psychology


Randall Summers, Charles Golden, Lisa Lashley, & Erica Ailes


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Information Processing Theory is a cognitive approach designed to understand human learning. Several perspectives of this theory emerged from the cognitive revolution in psychology beginning in the 1950s. The invention of the technological age of computers brought with it an innovative way of understanding how information is processed in humans. This lead researcher to draw analogies between the processing ability of humans and computers. The human-computer analogy developed from the foundation that as computers are able to process information so too can humans in a very similar method. Both encompasses ‘cognitive’ processes such as learning or obtaining information, solving problems, making decisions and recalling or retrieving information.


cognitive approach, computers, human-computer analogy, human learning, information processing theory

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This is one in a collection of essays as part of a project that began as an encyclopedia of developmental psychology coordinated by Dr. Randall Summers. However, for unforeseen reasons, the publisher was no longer in a position to publish the encyclopedia. This project was undertaken so that thousands of hours of work by psychologists would not go wasted. Enjoy these essays and feel free to cite them using the proper format.

Submit suggestions for corrections and topics to goldench@nova.edu.

Information Processing Theory (R.J. Lachman)