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Lecture 5

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University of Toronto St. George
Cognitive Science
John Vervaeke

Lecture 5 Bad things about prototype theory - Conceptual confirmation and conceptual combination - typicality gradients not stable - no map of the conceptual structure of the theory and typicality not predicted from constituents - Failure to provide good decision theory - we don’t know how prototypes are generated. Spatial metaphor for memory – functions to increase capacity for our memory of things, is that memory is searched sequentially, through a space in which objects have a stable spatial relation, and that those objects are stable. You can use method of loci to increase memory capacity. Lots of support that memory functions like the spatial metaphor but there is proof it does not 1)We rapidly know when we don’t know something , very hard to explain through spatial metaphor 2)Things don’t seem to have a stable difference between locations, red and shoe not close but red and blue are and blue and shoe are 3) problem is that memory doesn’t seem to involve stable objects, memory reconstructed, does not store all the info it encounters, stores relevant instructions. Memory is integrative, reconstructive to make you smart, allow you to adjust. All of these things enhance memory to make you intelligent but makes you less accurate. Memory is already behaving in a more sophisticated fashion not like it was proposed as simple. One feature of the reconstructive process is that it adjusts itself to the context of retrieval, memory works more on what is relevant to you and what is relevant to the context, memory will adjust accordingly. Experiment to show this Memory reconstructive or reproductive? Loftus and Zannil 1975, showed how inaccurate memory is , wanted to show ppl how much memory is influenced by context. Showed subjects a car accident question 1) did you see the broken headlight? 2) Did you see a broken headlight ? Subjects asked form 1 were more likely to report seeing the headlight than form 2 , regardless of weather there was a broken headlight. Ppl pick up on this information, think it’s relevant and alter their memory. What is predictive of what participants say, is which article was used in the question. Putnon 1979 follow up experiment. You can improve people’s memory by hypnosis. Repeated the experiment but now accident involving a car and bicycle, same thing using the two types of questions, either the article “a” is used or the article “the” is used. Difference is hypnotize some subjects and don’t hypnotize others. Replicated loft’s result, more ppl said yes once again to statement 1, hypnosis increased that error, more pliable to the context. Hypnosis increases the ease at which memory will adjust itself to the context at hand. This became a political football – Loftus was challenging the claim that people can reduce these repressed memories from childhood, ppl were reporting that they were uncovering repressed memories in therapy. Somebody is asking you questions in therapy and they are very suggestive. Many convictions occurring and she was arguing that this kind of evidence is not very reliable. So she was hit to fight against that, since ppl did not like that. Important feature and issue that is facing memory. We have lots of information out there. You have lots of information in your head. Problem you can only hold about 4 chucks of information. Bottleneck problem for memory, your working memory can only hold 4 chunks but you want to get out a lot of LTM. You have to do important selection; don’t want all your memory active at the same time. Working memory is a higher order relevance filter, zero in on what is most relevant. Memory to deal with this bottleneck its going to try to grab the gist, cant remember all the info presented. A chunk is a gestalt an integrative whole. Functions as a unit/ item. I can get 3 items from 8 words. What we see is memory is facing similar issues to categorization trying to select relevant information and integrate that information together in a powerful way. We should predict that LTM is largely not going to pay attention to the surface form of information but trying to get at the meaning. Lots of evidence to support this notion for memory doing this process (chunking, gisting, meaning, integration) all trying to point to the fact that memory is trying to zero in on the surface features. Surface for vs integration form ? Experiment conducted by Sachs 1967, have ps read a passage and sentence, then ask the subject did you read the sentence A. if the test sentence comes right after the sentence in the text, ppl are accurate. If the test sentence came a couple of minutes after the target sentence subjects were not very accurate about the structure of the sentence. When you switch from the active to the passive ppl cant tell. Coz ppl care more about the meaning. If there is a change in meaning however they can tell. People cannot tell the change in surface form. If what memory is doing is picking up on the meaning to deal with the bottleneck it might be that our confidence in what we are remembering not be as accurate as we might think. Many ppl are confident about remembering something. Memory is organized for meaning not accuracy, does confidence track accuracy or meaningfulness? How did they test that ? Bransford and Franks 1971 – reproduce Saks experiment, going to give ppl sentences and give them new versions of the sentences. all that is changed is the surface form not the meaning in the new sentence. Old version boy hit the dog , new version dog hit by the boy. 4 sentences that form a set. 1) the rock hit the hut 2) the tiny hut was by the river 3) The rock hit the tiny hut by the river. 4)The rock rolled down the mountain and hit the tiny hut by the river. All single sentence, numbered according to the number of propositions each sentence contains. Sentence – any string of words that is considered meaningfully complete, proposition is a claim that can be evaluated for true or false. Sentence 1 has 1 proposition , making 1 claim, where as the second sentence has 2 claims, the hut is tiny and it was by the river. 3 sentence has 3 claims and 4th has 4 claims. On way to measure how meaningful a sentence is, is by counting how many propositions it contains. As you go from 1-4 you get more and more propositions. Subjects heard all of these statements but never ever heard new version of sentence 4 but heard the new version of 1,2,3. Had ppl graph their confidence, how confident are you that you saw it before? 5 being very confident and -5 being not as accurate. Graph shows that people could not determine changes of surface form, can’t remember surface forms. Replicates Sachs since 2 graphs are overlapping a graph for new and old. The important finding is that people are most confident that they have heard the new version of 4 and could not distinguish between old and new form. Even though at no time were they given that info. What happened is that memory is creating an integration of information. That is what is most highly remembered. Confidence is tracking how meaningfully integrated the information is. Bring all the average faces together, and people will find it attractive not average. Coz more familiar = more attractive. The other thing is that people find these faces easier to process coz information is so integrated. Memory seems to be really active behind the scene even when our conscious is not doing anything. Things are happening in the there. We tend to think that memory is a container and what is it does is hold information, that is a passive storage. But instead we see that memory is an active integrative processes. Challenged a bunch of ideas, sequential spatial, reproductive vs. reconstructive, surface form vs. integration of info, now we can challenge the idea that memory is passive storage. Active or passive storage? Craik and Lockhart levels of processing 3 statements a) is table in capital letters? b ) does market rhyme w
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