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Lecture

Psych 207 Memory Processes

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 207
Professor
Jennifer Stolz
Semester
Fall

Description
Memory Processes LTM: Encoding—Levels of Processing  Levels of processing theory focuses how the different kinds of cognitive processing that people perform when they encode, and later retrieve information  Maintenance Rehearsal—very poor for remembering things for a long period o Keeping code active to maintain it, not enhance it o Repetition o Maintain or hold information without transferring it into deeper code  Elaborative Rehearsal o Elaborate on meaning—trying to think of way to link the code together, expanding the information from what you have learned before; better chance to retrieve it more o Transfers information on a deeper code o Provides richer multimodal codes o Makes memory more unique and thus easier to retrieve, eg. form an image about the code Long Term Memory: Encoding—Levels of Processing (Craik and Tulving, 1975)  “We soon forget what we have not deeply thought about”  Told Ps that they were interested about the decisions Ps made about these words eg. does word fit in the given sentence  After studying bunch of words, they gave Ps a surprise memory test  3 types of questions were used: 1)asked whether word was printed in capital letters, 2)if target word rhymed with another word, or 3)if the word fit into the sentence  Multiple levels of processing: o Shallow level of processing—physical processing eg. only look at type face in this case, capital case o Acoustic processing—to figure out what the sentence sounds like, not necessary to know what it means o Deeper level—must know meaning of sentence and word given, you need to retrieve and evaluate the word’s meaning  Y axis—how long Ps took to answer questions. Memory is better for sentence decision items than rhyme decision items than case decision items (in recognition). This result gave an alternative explanation because Ps, had a longer time to study the items in the sentence case, they have better memory of these. However, an experiment was conducted to show that this was not true. They made the shallow processing difficult to do and found that memory will be better even if you spend half the time elaborating instead of just saying it.  Recognition memory test—given correct answer among a list of distractors (words they haven’t studied)  Found that Ps who were asked to determine if words fit into sentences showed poorer recall for simple sentences than they did for complex sentences because the elaboration of the material aided in recall. The more precise the relation of the target word to context were found to likely increase the recall of words  Biggest Criticism: Level of processing cannot be falsified LTM: Encoding—The Generation Effect (Slamecka & Graf, 1978)  Took Ps were put in the read condition (read passively) where they were to put to read a list of pair words. The letters denote the relationship of the pairs. A—association, C—category , R— Rhyme  In the Generate condition—they are to generate an item given the rule that they have to follow eg. association, category, rhyme, etc.  At the end of the study phase, give them a surprise memory test—told them to recall the words that they passively read or generated  Memory in the Generate condition is better than memory in the reading condition  Memory is poorest when the association is rhyming because it does not have a deep meaning compared to other associations that Ps have to study  Study Tip: Generating your own words to explain what you have learned in the lecture—do not just read through material. On MC tests—generate own answer than look at the choices Story: The War of Ghosts  Bartlett rejected the lab studies of memory—believed that LTM was an inaccurate way to retrieve memories because it just retrieves and encodes so that it makes sense. He believed in the real word, memory uses world knowledge and schemata—frameworks for organizing information. At retrieval time, this knowledge of information is used to reconstruct the material  Looked for main ideas and order of events when recalling story  Found that as time increased, people misinterpreted the story in a way that was consistent with their culture and experiences  Ps unintentionally introduced distortions during recall to make the material more rational and coherent from their point of view  Schemata is the framework for organizing memory Autobiographical Memory  Memories from our personal past  Linton conducted an experiment based on her own autobiographical memories similar to what Ebbinghausian did—found that real world memories are much more durable than those in lab experiments. Found that she had the tendency to ‘zero in’ on the date and time by finding and using different ‘markers’—thus we do not remember what we’re doing, instead we are reconstructing it  Brewer conducted an experiment—had Ps to wear beepers, each time beeper goes off the Ps had to record information about an event when the beeper went off. This experiment had advantages because the experimenter was separated from the Ps.  Then tested Ps recall of events they wrote on the card 3 times: at the conclusion of the acquisition period, 21 months later and then 41 months later  Memory was better when event occurred in a unique location, rare actions, specific time period (thanksgiving weekend vs normal weekday) Flashbulb Memories  When people can recall their exact personal circumstance when heard an unexpected event  We recall these memories so easily because when we hear such news, the amygdala becomes activated and the cognitive effects of this activation result in the storage of large amounts of information  However, flashbulb memories can get distorted over time, the same phenomenon that happened with the ‘War of the Ghosts’ story—people want to fill in gaps to make the story sound like a story  Attempt to link itself with history? The Reconstructive Nature of Memory–Eye Witness Testimony (Elizabeth Loftus and Palmer, 1974)  Eye Witness Testimony is likely believed by jurors especially when it’s said in high confidence  Participants viewed a series of slides—A red Datsun came to either a stop (half of the participants) or a yield sign (other half) before becoming involved in an accident with a pedestrian. o Then asked participants “ Did another car pass the red Datsun while it stopped at the stop sign” and to the other group “Did another car pass the red Datsun while it was stopped at the yield sign” o After they were given an unrelated task, they were presented a recognition test of several slides showing whether Datsun stopped at the stop sign or at the yield sign—Ps decide which slide they’ve seen—inconsistency in the questioning had a lower accuracy rate  Subjects were shown short films and witnessed whether a car crashing into another car or into another object  Every Ps watched the same film  Followed the film, researcher asked about how fast were the cars going when they ______ each other? The blank is filled in with different verbs like smashed, collided, bumped hit, and contacted.  Ps were asked to estimate the speed of the cars. There was huge effect depending on the verb used like smashed vs hit  Ps were asked to hold the information for the same amount of time (retention time) but the only thing that is changed is the verb  This is important because when authorities ask what speed is going—people are likely to report the same results as experiment  More neutral language will help to avoid contamination of memory  USA uses Cognitive interview—someone who interviews ppl with neutral language….specially trained  Brought the Ps back to the lab a week later and asked “was there broken glass?” even though the movie showed that there was no broken glass. In the control case, Ps were never asked the speed of the car, only asked about broken glass after seeing movie.  The more you retrieve the memory and talk about it, memory will change and possibly be contaminated by other memories that people have The Reconstructive Nature of Memory—Can memories be created?  Recovered memory—memories of personal, usually traumatic experiences that cannot be recalled for a period of time but later become able to retrieve  False Memories—things that never happened  NOTE: Difference between eyewitness testimony and false memory. Eyewitness testimony, is typically focused on recall for information acquired within the past days, weeks or months. In false or recovered memories, the issue is whether one can recall information from several years to several decades earlier.  Loftfus and Pickerel o Interviewed relatives of the participants and from the interview, generated 3 true events that happened to the research participants when they were young o Created a false event that the participant was lost at the shopping mall. ¼ events were false, other ones were actual events o Participant’s length of recall (# of words) was higher for true than false memories and they repeated the clarity of their memories lower for false than true  Thus, false memory is formed through suggestive questioning. Suggestion can become linked to other knowledge about being lost because your brain activates images of malls and of being lost  Grains of experienced events are integrated with inferences and other elaborations that go beyond direct experience  Narratives were more effective than photographs to create false memories  Pezek argued just bec
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