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Lecture 5

PSY100H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Encoding Specificity Principle, Leading Question, Eyewitness Testimony

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Dan Dolderman

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PSY100 Lecture #5: Memory
Shiffrin & Atkinson Model of Memory (combo of diff. memory systems- how fast they operate)
Sensory input (world)  Sensory memory (unattended info is lost) (Attention) Short-term
memory/Working Memory Model (maintenance rehearsal) (unrehearsed info is lost)
(encoding)  Long-term memory (some info may be lost over time) (retrieval)
Implicit- how you feel about yourself, interpret things related to memory (how world has
programmed you to be the way you are)
Sensory memory- rapidly captures world preserved for very short amount of time (quickly lost if
not pay attention to)  encodes world around you- stick into neural net?  can act on world
What you pay attention to  remember (preserve info in memory system)
oMore deeply biologically embedded remember for longer time
STM: can do things, multitask, see facets, remember argument… (maintenance rehearsal loop)
oCan keep info there forever theoretically if keep rehearsing/repeating it (gone if don’t)
oWorks well if keep activated, but once you pay attention to other things slips away
Encode deeply enough so can retrieve later on  info biologically embedded
Encoding- must transfer info from STM to LTM (encoded deeply enough)
Who you are (identity) has a lot to do with what you remember (memory)
oExplicit identity = story you can tell about yourself; implicit = how you feel about
yourself, how you see the world (how world has programmed you) = memory
Memory can help you be happier, affect every part of your life, etc.
Sensory Memory
A memory system that momentarily preserves extremely accurate representations of sensory
info (takes in most of immediate world, very fast)
Info that is not quickly passed to STM is gone forever (must transfer)
Although, in a deeper sense, this is not true implicit, procedural learning (e.g. conditioning)
oDon’t need to pay attention for conditioning
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Ability to initially capture sensory info effortless, but ability to capture relevant info and hold in
mind- must work for it (mind must be on it or will be lost)
Sperling Memory Example
Grid with numbers- see less than 1 s  remember what you saw in one of columns/rows?
Have whole thing in memory but fades very quickly after a few seconds
Sensory Memory is Brief
Iconic memory was demonstrated in Sperling’s classic experiment (exposure= 1/20 of a
second!), and lasts about 1/3 second
Echoic memory (lasts about 2 seconds…. “sure I was listening; you said XXX”)
oCan only pick up last few seconds of what was said preserved accurately for a few sec.
Iconic and echoic memory systems help us to experience the world as a continuous stream
oBlend last moments together with next few moments
Attention and Memory
Attention moves info from sensory store to STM
Spotlight memory: fixing us biologically on certain pieces of info- highlights it (more biologically
salient) pay attention to it for longer (shifts info from one level of processing to another)
Short-term Memory
A limited capacity memory system involved in the retention of info for brief periods (20-30 s)
oKeep info active in neural network long enough to think through multiple things
Note: working memory models have elaborated upon this considerably diff. subsystems
3 main systems: phonological loop (auditory working memory system), visuospatial sketchpad,
central executive (multimodal sensory model thing not yet made)
Understanding the limitations of working/STM system and how to work within those
limitations makes you a better processer of info (encode more efficiently?)
7 +/- 2
STM is like a workbench with approximately 7 items on it- when a new item is put on the bench,
another one falls off (can handle 7 pieces of info ± 2 that can stick in STM system)
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Also updated by working memory model- diff. limitations for diff. subsystems
When process info, can only handle so much start losing pieces if force more
The capacity of STM is 7 ± 2 UNITS (piece of info) of meaningful patterns
oUnits of meaning (e.g. Z and ice cream cone both 1 unit each- whole thing)
oIf haven’t heard proverb, remember each word; if have, can conceptualize as whole
STM expandable considerably within narrow limitations
We overcome the limits of STM through chunking- storing info in patterns, or units of MEANING
First and last letters encoded better into memory- lose stuff in middle
My life’s greatest accomplishments generally involve chunks…
Remember chess board arrangement if expert- see meaningful pattern/chunk after 5 s exposure
 not better STM (not expanded), can see larger patterns (can’t remember if random pieces)
Recognize pattern reduce overload (need context vs. bottom-up processing)
Say aloud and interactive chunk digits of pi into rhythm (see patterns, not every single digit)
oCompress data so one single unit of memory can expand into more info
Transfer from STM to LTM
For info to be remembered, it needs to be transferred from STM/working memory to LTM
oNeeds to be more deeply encoded (many cues to trigger memory for info)
Learning how to get better at this will make you better student (e.g. testing- must access info
effectively) think examples and explanations for elaborate encoding
Encoding Strategies: More= Better (good retention)  understand in multi-facet way
oInterpret info into meaningful way (gestalt)  integrate/relate info – connect info
oRealize why bits of info makes sense (further connections)- takes longer but better
Impoverished encoding (rote memorization- poor retention) vs. elaborate encoding (good
retention)  can only memorize definitions, answer specific questions vs. wide variety
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