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PSYB57 Chapter 6.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Dwayne Pare

MEMORY ERRORS, MEMORY GAPS MEMORY ERRORS: SOME INITIAL EXAMPLES  Ex. El Cargo plane crash in Amsterdam and Film study  Ex. Room study/book shelve o In which students were brought into room and asked right after about room o Memory dependant on expectations o Couldn’t recall that there were no books in the room MEMORY ERRORS: A HYPOTHESIS  Connections are like retrieval paths  “Transplant errors”: bit of information encountered in one context is transplanted into another context Understanding Both Helps and Hurts Memory  Memory connections both help and hurt memory o Helps through acting as retrieval paths o Hurts when it is difficult to see where the remembered episode stops and other related knowledge begins o Intrusion errors: when errors in which other knowledge intrudes into the remembered event  Ex. Reading passage about Nancy and Professor study o Participants in theme condition remembered better o Again evidence for meaningful context o Also shows intrusion errors for participants in the theme context in which they assumed Nancy got pregnant by prof. but this was not said in the text DRM Procedure  List of words associated to sleep was presented in a study o Participants remembered most words since there was meaningful context however also remembered the theme word: sleep which was not present in list  DRM procedure: yields a large number of memory errors by participants, even after being warned for these errors o Errors are thought to be automatic and hard to prevent Schematic Knowledge  Schemata: summarize the broad pattern of what’s normal in a situation o Ex. Kitchen schema will tell you that there will be a stove in the kitchen Evidence for Schematic Knowledge  Reliance on schemata might make what happened or the world seem more typical, normal than it was producing errors The Cost of Memory Errors  Eye witness errors cost for ¾ of these false convictions, more than all other causes combined Planting False Memories  Car hit vs. smash study o Participants in smash condition, reported higher speed o A week later, when asked if there was broken glass which was not present: smash condition falsely identified broken glass as being there o One word can actually make a difference!  “Imagination inflation”: when participants aren’t only told to hear but also to imagine how an event unfolded o Ex. Participants were told to imagine possible childhood events (ex. Getting in trouble for calling 911) o Results: they actually thought the event had occurred Are There Limits on the Misinformation Effect?  Real life event vs bogus event study o In which participants were told parents had reported these events o In first trial: they reported only the real events and not bogus o By third trial, 25% reported bogus event ( ex. Spillin juice on brides parents)  “The balloon ride that never was” study  “Photographs can encourage memory” study  Children are more vulnerable to these kinds of memory planting than adults  Examples o Eating habits and falling ill after eating egg salad o Abuse reported by children when nothing had occurred o People confessing/remembering committing crimes they didn’t do AVOIDING MEMORY ERRORS Memory Confidence  Little relationship between memory confidence and memory accuracy  Witness identification with or without feedback study The “Remember/Know” Distinction  False memories can be just as upsetting as memories for real events o Therefore we can’t use degree of emotion to identify accurate memories  Feeling of “remembering” is more likely associated with correct memories than false ones  False memories often arrive with only a general sense of familiarity and recollection of the episode  However there are exceptions! o Fully correct memories which arrive with feeling of knowing and false memories with a sense of detailed remembering o This is why remembering vs. knowing can’t act as good means of identifying accurate memories from false FORGETTING The Causes of Forgetting  Failure in acquisition o Ex. Forgetting a name of someone who just introduced their selves to you.  Retention interval: refer to amount of time that elapses between the initial learning and the subsequent retrieval o As this interval grows, you’re likely to forget more and more of the earlier event o Decay: with the passage of time, memories may fade or erode.  this may be due to death of relevant brain cells  Interference theory: is when new learning interferes with older learning o Passage of time is correlated with forgetting but does not cause forgetting o Passage of time just allows more new learning to occur which will disrupt older memories  Retrieval failure: memory is in long term memory but when you try to locate it, you are not able to immediately due to changes in perspective (context reinstatement) o Retrieval failure is usually complete in which you can’t remember anything o Retrieval failure could be partial at times resulting in remembering some aspects of the desired content Ex. TOT phenomenon- “tip of tongue” in which you feel you know the word and remember how it sounds or the f
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