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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

Roshan Singh 120607 Mr. Joordens PSYA01H3 Chapter 8 Notes Memory The cognitive processes of encoding, storing, and retrieving information. Encoding The process by which sensory information is converted into a form that can be used by the brains memory system. Storage The process of maintaining information in memory. Retrieval The active processes of locating and using stored information. Psychologists are referring to 2 approaches when trying to understand memory: Literal and Metaphorical Literal being the physical effects on the brain when the organism learns something which usually concerns physiological psychologists and neuroscientists. Metaphorical being the conceptuality of information processing models of memory which usually concern cognitive psychologists. Memory is useful in the time lapse between learning and responding to what has been learnt. Psychologists find it useful to consider 3 forms in our memory: Sensory memory Short-term memory Long-term memory Sensory memory Memory in which representations of the physical features of a stimulus are stored for very brief durations (a second or less). It is difficult to distinguish from the act of perception. The function of the sensory memory appears to be to hold information long enough for it to become part of the next form of memory i.e. short-term memory Short-term memory An immediate memory for stimuli that have just been perceived. It is limited in terms of both capacity (7 plus or minus 2 chunks of information) and duration (less than 20 seconds). Long-term memory Memory in which information is represented on a permanent or near-permanent basis. Presumably, long-term memory occurs because of physical changes that take place in the brain. This flow chart of information from the sensory input to the long-term memory is coined as the modal model of memory. However, some cognitive psychologists argue that no real distinction exists between short-term and long-term memory; instead they are different phases of a continuous process. Although we have a sensory memory for each sense modality, research has focused on 2 important forms: Iconic (visual) www.notesolution.comRoshan Singh 120607 Mr. Joordens PSYA01H3 Chapter 8 Notes Echoic (auditory) Iconic memory A form of sensory memory that holds a brief visual image of a scene that has just been perceived; also known as visible persistence. Sperling (1960) tested using letters and tones through a tachistoscope. He discovered that the participants had all the 9 letters stored in their iconic memory but as the delay occurred between the letters and sound, only 4 or 5 letters were able to reach the short-term memory. Echoic memory A form of sensory memory for sounds that have just been perceived. It holds a representation of the initial sounds until the entire word has been heard. Evidence from partial-report procedures suggests that echoic memory lasts less than 4 seconds. Information can enter short-term memory in 2 ways: Sensory memory Long-term memory. It is not directly recalled; information is first moved to short-term memory and then recalled. Working memory Memory for new information and information retrieved from long-term memory; used in this text as another name for short-term memory. Free-recall task is recalling all the words that come to your mind after the experimenter has read from a list and writing them down. Primacy effect The tendency to remember initial information. In the memorization of a list of words, the primacy effect is evidenced by better recall of the words early in the list. Recency effect The tendency to recall later information. In the memorization of a list of words, the recency effect is evidenced by better recall of the last words in the list. The primacy effect appears to be due to the fact that words earlier in a list have the opportunity to be rehearsed more than words in the other parts of the list. The rehearsal permits them to be stored in long- term memory. The recency effect occurs due to the fact that the words are in your short-term memory and therefore you end up remembering the words from your long-term memory and the few words in your short-term memory. (Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968) Memory follows predictable patterns and is dependent on the contributions of rehearsal and short-term memory. We cannot observe their behaviours directly, but we can observe their consequences. Lloyd and Margaret Peterson (1959) performed an experiment where they made participants rehearse JRG at first, then they disallowed rehearsing and after showing JRG they immediately made them count backwards by 3 of a 3 digit number and asked them to recall the 3 consonants. The result showed that
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