Rehearsal (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
Mental activities associated with committing information to memory.
Rehearsal is a term used by memory researchers to refer to mental techniques for helping us remember information. Its technical meaning is not very different from our everyday use of the term. Actors rehearse their lines so that they won't forget them. Similarly, if we want to retain information over time, there are strategies for enhancing future recall. There are two main types of rehearsal. The first is maintenance rehearsal, which involves continuously repeating the to-be-remembered material. This method is effective in maintaining information over the short term. We have all had the experience of looking up a phone number and subsequently forgetting it (or part of it) before we have dialed it. This illustrates the fact that new material will fade from memory relatively quickly unless we make a purposeful effort to remember it. One of the advantages of a touch tone telephone is that the number can be dialed more quickly compared to the old rotary dial phones, thereby reducing the length of time required to keep the number in memory. Maintenance rehearsal typically involves rote repetition, either out loud or covertly. It is effective for maintaining relatively small amounts in memory for brief periods, but is not likely to affect retention in the long term.
(The entire section is 452 words.)
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