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Lecture 17

PSYC 2265 Lecture Notes - Lecture 17: Forgetting Curve, Working Memory, Johan WagenaarPremium

6 pages25 viewsWinter 2017

Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2265
Professor
Dave Cann
Lecture
17

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PSYC 2265 Lecture 17 Autobiographical Memory: Forgetting and Emotions
The Reminiscence Bump
People recall a disproportionately greater number of memories for events that occur
between ages 10 to 30
o There's a bump for things people prefer, and events they think are important or
historically significant
o A marked preference for songs that were popular when they were between 10
and 30
o Books that are memorable tend to be read between 10 and 40
o Similar effects are found for memorable movies
o Bump also for semantic memories learned in adulthood
Things we learn in early adulthood are remembered best
Memory mechanisms favour the retrieval of events from early adulthood due to their
importance and distinctiveness
o These events are thought of (rehearsed) often due to their importance and are
not subject to much interference because of their distinctiveness
Cognitive abilities and brain function are at their peak during this time period (better
recall)
Notion of identity formation
o Adolescence to early adulthood is the critical period for forming an identity
(events occurring in this time range will be defining of the life story)
Forgetting
A standard forgetting curve for the period immediate preceding recall
o Recent events are remembered best
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Memory drops from nearly 75% correct to less than 33% correct over a 4 year period
(Wagenaar, 1986)
o Like the classic forgetting curve (Ebbinghaus)
Common cause of forgetting in AM is lack of rehearsal (without rehearsal, memory
suffers)
Interference potential is great with AM
o Many events occur over the last month; retrieval is more difficult since no
memory is likely to stand out as being distinct
Many daily events are routine
o Events tend to blend together (transition from AM to autobiographical fact)
Retrieval Cues for AM
Out of the "W" questions (what, when, where, who), what is the most helpful, while when
is the least helpful
This is consistent with Brewer (1988) who used a diary study
o Locations (where) and time (when) were poor cues but actions (what) were good
cues
o Indicates that repetition of events leads to poor AM
o Replicates Linton (1975) which shows a transition from AM to autobiographical
fact
Constructivist Model of AM
Proposes that AM is reconstructed from an autobiographical knowledge base (not from
whole episodes)
Levels of knowledge in AM
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