According to information- processing theorists individuals' thinking is restricted by each individual's memory’s capacity, the efficiency of their thought processes, the number of relevant strategies at their disposal, and their current knowledge base. Cognitive development, therefore, stems strictly from progressively overcoming these limitations, enlarging one's memory capacity, gaining new knowledge and strategies, and elevating one's level of efficiency as far as basic though process. Like Piaget and many other cognitive development theorists, information- processing theorists view children as active and resourceful problem solvers responsible, in large part, for their own development as they continually push these above mentioned limits.

One of the bigger limits that theorists stress is memory. In understanding the evolution of our memory, information theorists first identify that each individual possesses three types of memory: working memory, long-term memory, and sensory memory, which differ in their situational use, the amount of storage capacity, and the length of time it is able to retain the information stored. Information- processing theorists emphasize that there are variations among individuals as far a memory due to each individual’s abilities, age, and knowledge of the subject. A big component of memory that information- processing theorists pay particular attention to is the process of encoding material in our memory, because errors in this process negatively affects our basic mental processes and hinders our cognitive development. Although much of the important information encoding is done automatically, not all is. Encoding is important to information- processing theorists because it encourages development in the way it leads children to carry out basic processes more frequently and increasingly more efficiently, enhancing memory and learning, which ultimately results in them overcoming their above mentioned innate limitations. According to information- processing theorists, processing speed also increases with biological maturation and experience helping us overcome those same limitations in memory; they mention that myelination and increased connectivity greatly contribute to this phenomenon. Mental strategies are also key in helping memory development and learning (strategies like rehearsal and selective attention) although information- processing theorists warn that due to our utilization deficiency acquiring new strategies may initially reduce performance.

Information-processing theorists also focus on planning (information-processing theorists suggest that children as young as one year old formulate plans for solving problems) and analogical thinking (crudely emerging in the first year as well) as they believe these greatly influence human's problem solving. They believe that as active problem solvers children possess a variety of strategies and that their use of these strategies increases or decreases according to their success rate use. They call their theory on this phenomenon the overlapping waves theory illustrated in the model below:


Other information- processing concepts one may want to familiarize oneself with are autobiographical memory and infantile amnesia found in this wiki's terms to know page.

*All information on this page was derived from source number 2 found on reference page.*

For additional information on information- processing concepts consider these sites: