In our last presentation, we identified two types of memory used to store information: procedural and declarative. Within declarative memory we categorized episodic and semantic as two types of memory storage in long-term memory. We think that semantic memory is where occupational information is stored while episodic memory is where information about the self is stored. In this presentation, we want to focus on semantic memory.
Information stored in semantic memory consists of facts, concepts, and relationships among concepts that are verifiable in external reality. For example, we can verify the qualifications and occupational responsibilities of a surgeon. The information in semantic memory is typically structured in a pyramidal fashion. Within this hierarchy, the information is related to more sophisticated concepts (sometimes referred to as superordinate concepts) such as lawyers being one of a number of legal professions; and to lower concepts (sometimes known as subordinate concepts) such as lawyers are people who represent others in courts. Storing information in this manner helps individuals to access their information about occupations and the world of work easily. For example, if the only information a person knows about an occupation is that it is performed outdoors, this information is not very effective in thinking about how the occupation differs from other occupations. However, knowing that part of the occupational role is performed outdoors while the other parts are performed in different contexts is more effective in differentiating occupations.
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA