The surface effects of ZnO-based resistive random-access memory (ReRAM) were investigated using various electrodes. Pt electrodes were found to have better performance in terms of the device's switching functionality. A thermodynamic model of the oxygen chemisorption process was proposed to explain this electrode-dependent switching behavior. The temperature-dependent switching voltage demonstrates that the ReRAM devices fabricated with Pt electrodes have a lower activation energy for the chemisorption process, resulting in a better resistive switching performance. These findings provide an in-depth understanding of electrode-dependent switching behaviors and can serve as design guidelines for future ReRAM devices.