1 minute read


Semantic Memory

Semantic memory is all the easily articulated stored knowledge you have of the world in general that does not refer to specific events in your life. Examples of semantic memory involve factual knowledge such as knowing a car has four wheels, that a United States senator is elected to a term of four years, that Earth revolves around the Sun, or that giving a smile increases the odds of receiving a smile. Where procedural knowledge is knowing "how," semantic memory is knowing "that." Like procedural memory, semantic memory seems to last for a long time. It differs from procedural memory however, in that the knowledge can usually be articulated quite easily.

Exactly how the immense amount of information we acquire throughout life is stored or organized in semantic memory is still an active area of research. Most experts believe that, in general, information is stored in networks of related concepts. The more similar various concepts are, the more closely associated they will be in memory. Research in semantic memory does in fact indicate that it is organized such that when a certain idea is activated or brought to mind, related or similar items will be identified faster. For instance, if one is discussing roses, knowledge of other flowers and plants will be recalled faster and with more ease.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Mathematics to Methanal trimerMemory - History, Theories Of Basic Memory Processes, Models Of Memory Operation, Three Information Processing Systems - Divisions of long-yerm memory