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Psychology Notes chapter 8.docx

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Steve Joordens

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Psychology Notes Chapter 8 November 24/2010
- Memory is the cognitive process of encoding, storing and retrieving information
- Encoding refers to the active process of putting stimulus information into a form that can be
used by our memory systems
- Storage refers to the process of maintaining information in memory
- Retrieval refers to the active process of locating and using information stored in memory
- A lapse of time may occur between the act of learning and a change in behaviour caused by
learning. Ex. You see a new restaurant, you go the restaurant after a few days
- The usefulness of memory manifests itself in behaviour
- Three forms of memory sensory, short-term and long-term
- Sensory memory is the memory in which representations of the physical features of a stimulus
are stored for a brief period of time for a second or less
o Contains all the information that has been perceived
o A sight that we have just seen or an echo of sound that we have just heard
o Holds information long enough to become short-term memory
- Short term memory is an immediate memory for stimuli that has just been perceived
o Has a limit to the number of items it can store and for how long
o Information soon leaves this type of memory unless it can be converted to long term
- Long term memory memory in which information is represented on a permanent or near
permanent basis
o Has no know limits and is relatively durable
o It does not need to be continualy rehearsed, we can stop thinking about it and recall it
at a late date
Sensory Memory
- We are not always aware of sensory memory
- We become aware it only when information is presented briefly and so we can perceive it and
its after effects
- Ex. When we see lightning of a thunderstorm, we see things before we recognize them
Iconic (Visual) Memory
- Is a form of sensory memory that briefly holds a visual representation of a scene that has just
been perceived
- Is sometimes called “visible persistence” (close ties to perception)
- Ex. Flashing a set of 9 letters on a screen for 50 milliseconds
o Usually people can only recall 4 or five
o The image of the letter faded to fast for them to identify all of them
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