chapter  10
21 Pages

Semantic Memory: Elaine Funnell

Standard definitions of semantic memory refer to factual knowledge shared by members of a community: the sort of information that would be found in an encyclopedia or dictionary. Encylopedias do not include personal experience and, in this respect, they observe the distinction, first drawn by Tulving (1972), between semantic knowledge for facts and episodic knowledge of personal events. As Tulving makes clear, this distinction is intended to be a useful guideline, and not necessarily to reflect differences in memory storage for the two types of knowledge. Nevertheless, the study of semantic memory has concentrated on encyclopedic knowledge, most commonly of single entities, such as objects. On the whole, theories of semantic memory and episodic memory have evolved separately.