PSY270H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Word Stem, September 11 Attacks, Secondary Source

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Published on 13 Mar 2019
PSY270 Lecture 6: Long-Term Memory in Practice
From Previous Lecture
How do I improve LTM?
Engage in deep processing (add meaning to meaningless lists)
Organize (e.g. categories or hierarchies; e.g. Bower, 1969)
Wanted to look at people’s abilities to memorize lists
Presented information in a hierarchy (visual hierarchy)
One group corresponded the lists to something
meaningful, semantically
Groceries, different categories of groceries (vegetables,
diary), in the vegetables category there were actually
different vegetables
Another group of participants visually saw the same type of
hierarchy but semantically had no meaning, the items were all
mixed up
By the fourth trial, participants who had a meaningful hierarchy
reported all the items, which was double the other condition
Make it personally relevant (Rogers et al., 1977)
We rehearse information more when thinking about ourselves and
how things affect us, information about ourselves tend to be
distinct to us
Self-reference effect
Generate the information yourself (Slameka & Graf, 1978)
If you put something in your own words, you are much more likely
to remember it
Two groups of participants
One group showed paired associates (king-crown) to
memorize list of words to be tested on later
Other group showed out word stems (king cr_ fill in the
Word stem was constrained enough that most
participants would write the target word
Participants who completed the word stem outperformed
participants who completed paired associates because
they went through the elaborative process of creating the
material themselves
Use imagery (Paivio’s dual-code theory)
If you create an image that is a very useful way of remembering
information later because most of the time we use a verbal code.
If you create an image then you also have a visual code so you're
twice as likely to retrieve it
Use interactive images (Bower & Winzenz, 1970)
Importance of practice for LTM
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Levels of processing and Encoding specificity help explain why distributed
practice leads to better memory than massed practice
In terms of levels of processing theory, if you take breaks you are
more likely to come at the material with fresh odds, you’ll find new
ways to encode that material, more likely to elaborate
More likely to engage in elaborate coding due to alternate strategy use
Increased number of cues available to use at recall
Autobiological Memories
Autobiological memory is memory about ourselves that consists of episodic and
semantic memories
Mainly episodic. However, there are facts that we have about ourselves
Researchers are concerned with quality not quantity
Want to know are they accurate and how much detail do they contain
Autobiological memory is particularly difficult to study because it’s hard to verify
Measure memory for public events
Confirm with family members
Use diary studies
1. Have someone record what they’re doing in the day
Difficulties lie in the fact that whatever events they choose
to write about may be more salient
2. Using a buzzer - the individual doesn’t decide what to write
down, there's a random buzz during the day where the individual
writes down what’s going on in their day
Infantile Amnesia
Adults can’t recall any memories before that age of 2
A 4 year old can recall plenty of things when they were 1 and 2, but once
they get older, they can’t remember those memories from when they were
1 and 2
Our earliest memories are usually disjointed memory fragments between
the ages of 2 and 4 → memories on the earlier end tend to be related to
major life events or transitions
Not that kids and infants can’t form memories, more that adults can’t
remember them
Infantile amnesia is difficult to investigate:
1. Early memories are difficult, if not impossible, to verify
2. Memories may be from a secondary source
3. Participants have difficulty dating the memory
Researchers typically ask participants to free-recall early events of
provide target events or probe words to cue early memories
Use probe words - “tell me a time in your childhood that you think
of when I say ___”
The view that neurological maturation causes infantile amnesia was a
leading theory that fell out of favor, and is now being renewed
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Originally proposed that development of hippocampus and frontal
lobes are required for autobiological memory
Memories are consolidated primarily in the hippocampus
and stored in the cortex but retrieval depends on prefrontal
But, early memories occur before the hippocampus and
prefrontal cortex fully mature
Prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop until adulthood, but
we still remember memories from our teenage years
Josselyn and Frankland propose that rapid hippocampal development
leads to forgetting of early memories (2012)
Do not need fully mature hippocampus, but what happens in
development is synaptic pruning and synaptic change
New synapses form so old memories become overridden with new
connections that form
Language development is a requirement for forming autobiographical
memories; before that memories are nonlinguistic without a narrative form
As adults we use linguistic story telling to encode memory,
children can’t access memories because they use a verbal code
(non-linguistic code), which is a different code than the one we
use in adulthood (linguistic code), can’t use one to access the
Women tend to have an earlier offset of infantile amnesia
than men
Girls tend to develop language skills earlier than
Those with stronger linguistic skills at age 3 have early
Individuals regardless of gender who have higher
language abilities at age 3 also show earlier
memories in adulthood
Children whose mothers use an elaborate reminiscence
style report earlier memories
In one group mothers ask a lot of questions and
recount the memories of that day, go through the
details over and over at the end of every day
(elaborative style)
Other mothers focus on what’s going on now, won’t
engage in reminiscence themselves, without focus
on elaborating on the past
Those mothers who engage in more elaborate
reminiscence (storytelling using lots of language)
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