Psych 1000 – Chapter 10 Memory January 14, 2014
** missed slides57?
Reconnecting the past
Memory reflects: the capacity to retain and retrieve info
The changes in the structures that account for this capacity – reconstruction
Manufacture of memory
Many metaphors over time that don’t acknowledge the memory is selective
Barlett’s 1932 studies and reconstructive memory
Reconstruction often involves source misattribution: the inability to distinguish
an actual memory of an event from info you learned about the event.
The Fading flashbulbs unusual, shocking tragic events may hold a special place in
Flashbulb memories: characterized by surprise, illumination, and seemingly
Events deem frozen in time and detail
But even flashbulb memories have errors
Confusion of an event that happened to someone else with one that happened to
Belief that you remember something when it never actually happened
Conditions of confabulation
1) you have that, heard, or told others about the imagined event often
2) the image of the event contains lots of details that make it feel real
3) the event is easy to imagine
• Eyewitness testimony is credible and should be used.
• Eyewitness testimony is not credible and should not be used.
• Ronald Cotton – 280 wrongfully convicted, ¾ involve only eyewitness
identification. The brain only detects bits and pieces of events. It makes what we
have an incomplete stored info. Brain fills in the blanks without awareness
(reconstructive memory (happens everyday without us even recognizing). All our
memory is reconstructed memory.
Accuracy doesn’t measure how vivid they are or certain you are
ppl tend to have a difficult time remembering short term things if thinking about
an incident. Mind perceives something differently then how something actually is.
Children have a tougher time being credible eye witnesses
Memory and Suggestion Eyewitness testimony is important but not always reliable..
E.g., case of Thomas Sophonow (video dark at night car drive by)
Factors that influence eyewitness accuracy: Crossrace identification, the
wording of questions, leading questions, misinformation, and suggestive comments
Children’s Testimony – can children be accurate eyewitnesses?
• Yes, but influenced by same factors as adults, especially repeated and suggestive
questioning. – may lead them to say and come to recall events that never
• When asked if a visitor committed acts that had not occurred, both age and type of
questioning makes a big difference!
• When investigators used techniques taken from real childabuse investigations,
most children said yes. – Leading questions make them say yes
(Chart of ages answering leading questions)
In Pursuit of Memory
• Measuring how memory works generally evaluates two forms of memories:
o Explicit memory: conscious, intentional recollection of an event or of an
item of information.
o Implicit memory: unconscious retention in memory, as evidenced by the
effect of a previous experience or encountered information on current
thoughts or actions. (less active)
• Refers to conscious, intentional recollection.
• Assessed using recall and recognition tasks
o Recall: (more difficult) the ability to retrieve and reproduce from memory
previously encountered material (eg. State the different psychological
o Recognition: the ability to identify previously encountered material (eg.
• Common method is priming where a person is exposed to information and later
tested to see if this influences behavior or performance on another task.
• Also tested using relearning method: comparing time required to relearn
material with initial learning
Models of Memory
• Informationprocessing models
o Cognitive processes involve computer ideas of encoding, storing, and
o Information represented as concepts, propositions, images, or cognitive
o Includes the threebox model of memory • Parallel distributed processing
o Knowledge is represented as connections among thousands of interacting
processing units, distributed in a vast network operating in parallel
ThreeBox Model of Memory
• Three separate memory systems (know model**)
o Sensory, shortterm (STM), longterm (LTM) *CHART senseSTMLTM
Sensory Register (FINISH PART)
• A memory system that momentarily preserves extremely accurate images
• A limitedcapacity memory system involved in the retention of information for
• Used to hold information retrieved from LTM for temporary use (referred to as
o Working memory: STM + the mental processes the control retrieval of
info from LTM and interpret info appropriately for given tasks
• Capacity of STM limited, as reflected in Miller’s magic number 7 +/ 2 units
o Enhance capacity by chunking: creating meaningful units of information,
often composed of smaller units
E.g., CBC is one chunk of information