Essentials of Human Memory evolved from a belief that, although the amount we know about memory has increased enormously in recent years, it is still possible to explain it in a way that would be fully understood by the general reader. This book is based on an earlier book, Your Memory, which was intended for the general public, but began to be used as a basic memory text, thus encouraging the development of the present revised textbook version. Essentials of Human Memory combines coverage of the fundamental issues of human memory, based on laboratory research with abundant illustrations from studies in the real world and in the neuropsychological clinic, where dramatic memory deficits have continued to throw light on our understanding of normal memory. After a broad overview of approaches to the study of memory, short-term and working memory are discussed, followed by learning, the role of organizing in remembering and factors influencing forgetting, including emotional variables and claims for the role of repression in what has become known as the false memory syndrome.
The way in which knowledge of the world is stored is discussed next, followed by an account of the processes underlying retrieval, and their application to the practical issues of eyewitness testimony. The breakdown of memory in the amnesic syndrome is discussed next, followed by discussion of the way in which memory develops in children, and declines in the elderly. After a section concerned with mnemonic techniques and memory improvement, the book ends with an overview of recent developments in the field of human memory.
Alan Baddeley was Director MRC Applied Psychology Unit Cambridge from 1974 to1995 and is now Professor of Psychology at the University of York