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Lecture 9

Tuesday, Oct 9/2012 - Lecture 9

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

Tuesday, October 9 2012 PSYC 2650 Lecture 9 (Section 2 Lecture 1) Labs 4 & 5 Deadlines soon Topics in Memory • Long-term memory will be covered today • Covering history and introduction to long-term memory • Episodic memory – phrase coined because what distinguishes episodic memory from semantic memory is that these memories are related to episodes of events in your life ◦ About a particular thing that happened in a particular time and place ◦ Considered a unique form of memory by some • Semantic Memory – semantic is usually used by psychologists to refer to meaning ◦ In the context of selective attention, we talked about the presence of a filter ▪ If there had been some semantic processing we assume there is a late filter for attention ▪ You wouldn't be able to assess that your name had been said in the unattended to stream without some semantic processing occurring ◦ Memories that are context irrelevant, factual pieces of information that are detached from the episode in your life during which they were learned • Neuropsychology is used to study amnesia and what that tells us about how memory is organized ◦ Meaningful distinction between long-term and short-term memory ◦ Double dissociation technique used to determine the distinctiveness between systems for long-term memory and working memory • Everyday Memory ◦ One of the criticisms of cognitive psychology is the ecological validity ◦ Is what we study in the laboratory applicable in the real world? ◦ Studies of memory have extended real-world application • Encoding: How memories are entered into long term model ◦ ie. Modal model with rehearsal • Retrieval: Retrieving memories from long-term memory • How is memory stored in our minds? History • Herman Ebbinghaus ◦ “On Memory” 1885 ◦ Introspection was the primary method for studying the mind at this time, however Ebbinghaus did not use introspection ◦ His methods resembled more those of modern cognitive psychology ◦ Summarized his research on memory in a manuscript • No interesting research went on until about post world war II era except for a couple notable individuals • Bartlett also studied memory during the behaviourist era Ebbinghaus • B.E. (Before Ebbinghaus) – Studied memories by starting with formed ideas and look backward to find the source ◦ Begin with something we know such as who the president is ◦ Now we go backwards and in an introspective way we try to discover how you store things in memory • Very much ahead of his time • When the contemporary study of memory got off the ground, the University of Toronto was a significant center of study and made fundamental contributions to memory • Became the world's leading University on the study of cognition • In honour of Ebbinghaus's contributions to cognition, they named their weekly meeting concerning cognition Ebbignhaus's Emperium • Ebinghaus studied how memory developed by introducing individuals to material they had never encountered before ◦ Didn't study memory in a retrospective fashion like most psychologists of the time ◦ Similar to how behaviourists study learning with stimuli and responses ◦ Studied memory from the base up (starting from when individuals didn't know any of the material) ◦ Ebbinghaus was therefor able to bring numerous important variables under scientific control ▪ For example, how many times the individuals had been exposed to novel information Ebbinghaus and Experimental Control • You can exert control on the front end, the input and the output end • To-be-remembered Stimuli: ◦ What would make good stimuli? ◦ Chose stimuli that the subject had no prior experience with ◦ Stimuli also had to be meaningless (meaning it has no semantic associations) ◦ Tried to choose stimuli that didn't remind people of other experiences that were familiar to them • Came up with the idea of nonsense syllables to solve his dilemma (ie. Kag) ◦ Generally pronounceable ◦ In theory, does not remind us of anything ◦ Originally in German, since that was the language he spoke • Independent Variables: ◦ Retention interval: the time interval over which we have to retain information ▪ Studying for an exam, there are different approaches ▪ Memory fades with time ▪ Long retention intervals are bad for memory – we remember events and information that are more recent in our personal history ▪ Evidence suggests retention interval is not a linear function ◦ List Length: Normally you are given lists to remember and length refers to the number of items on the list ▪ The longer the list, the more likely you are to make mistakes of memory when attempting to recall the items on the list later ◦ Extended Practice (Overlearning): Continuing to practise after the memory is already felt to be as strongly held as possible ◦ Serial Order: ▪ Given a list, and we are required to remember the order in which the items are presented ▪ Most of the time, the order of the items presented is unimportant when we are asked to recall it ▪ Given that I presented the information to you in a specific order, is that order somehow still automatically encoded in your memory trace? ▪ If you have always been presented information in the same order, it may be part of your memory to expect those events to occur together • Dependent Variable ◦ Retention Savings: Example Ebbinghaus Experiment • Ebbinghaus used himself as a subject • Created experiments and then tested on himself • Studied list of nonsense syllables ◦ Measured how much time it took him to study the list and recite it perfectly from memory twice • Independent
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