Chapter 7 Psychology Textbook Summary
• Encoding – involves forming a memory code. For example, when you form a
memory code for a word, you might emphasize how it looks, how it sounds, or
what it means.
• Storage – involves maintaining encoded information in memory over time
• Retrieval – involves recovering information from memory stores
Encoding: Getting information into Memory
• Next in line effect – forgetting peoples names, because you are too caught up in
rehearsing what you are going to say
The Role of Attention
• Attention – involves focusing awareness on a narrowed range of stimuli or events
• Attention is often likened to a filter that screens out most potential stimuli while
allowing a select few to pass through into conscious awareness.
• The key issue in this debate is whether stimuli are screened out early, during
sensory input or late after the brain has processed the meaning or significance of
Levels of Processing
• According to some theorists, differences in how people attend to information are
the main factors influencing how much they remember.
• Levels-of-processing theory proposes that deeper levels of processing result in
longer-lasting memory codes.
• Elaboration is linking a stimulus to other information at the time of encoding
• For example, you read that phobias are often caused by classical conditioning and
you apply this idea to your own fears of spiders. In doing so you engage in
• Often consists of thinking of example that illustrate an idea
• Imagery – the creation of visual images to represent the words to be remembered
• According to paivo, imagery facilitates memory because it provides a second kind
of memory code, and two codes are better than one
• Dualcoding theory holds that memory is enhanced by forming semantic and
visual codes, since either can lead to recall.
Self- Referent Encoding
• Involves deciding how or whether information is personally relevant
• To induce self-referent encoding, subjects were asked to decide whether
adjectives flashed on a screen applied to them personally. • The value of self-referent encoding demonstrates once again that encoding plays a
critical role in memory
Review of Key Points:
• According to levels-of-processing theory, the kinds of memory codes people
create depend on which aspects of a stimulus are emphasized.
• Structural, phonemic and semantic encoding emphasize the structure, sound and
meaning of words, respectively
• Deeper processing results in better recall of information
• Structural, phonemic and semantic encoding represent progressively deeper levels
• Elaboration enriches encoding by linking a stimulus to other information such as
examples of an idea
• The creation of visual images to represent words can enrich encoding
• Visual imagery may help by creating two memory codes rather than just one.
• Encoding that emphasizes personal self-reference may be especially useful in
Storage: Maintaining Information in Memory
- the sensory memory preserves information in its original sensory form for a brief
time, usually only a fraction of a second
- it allows the sensation of a visual pattern, sound or touch to linger for brief
moment after the sensory stimulation is over
- it preserves the sensory image long enough for you to perceive a continuous circle
rather than separate points of light.
- Experiment: George Sperling; his subjects saw three rows of letters flashed on a
screen for 1/20 of a second. A tone following the exposure signalled which row of
letters the subject should report to experimenter. Subjects were fairly accurate
when the signal occurred…however they’re accuracy steadily declined as the
delay of the tone increased to 1 second. Because the memory trace in the visual
sensory store decays in about ¼ second
Short Term Memory
- is a limited capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for up to
about 20 seconds.
- Rehearsal is the process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about the
- In using maintenance rehearsal you are simply maintaining the information in
consciousness, while in more elaborative processing, you are increasing the
probability that you will retain the information in the future.
Durability of Storage
- theorists originally believed that the loss of memory was due purely to time-
related decay of memory traces, but follow-up research showed that interference
from competing material also contributes Capacity of Storage
- George Miller noticed that people could recall only about seven items in tasks that
required them to remember unfamiliar material.
- The common thread in these tasks was that they required the use of STM.
- The limited capacity of STM constrains people’s ability to perform tasks in which
they need to mentally juggle various pieces of information
- You can increase the capacity of your short-term memory by combining stimuli
into larger, possibely higher-order units called chunks
- Chucks is a group of familiar stimuli stored as a single unit
Short-Term Memory as “Working Memory”
- working memory includes four components: a phonological rehearsal loop, a
visuospatial sketchpad, an executive control system and an episodic buffer.
- Short term memory is not limited to phonemic encoding as originally thought and
that decay is not the only process responsible for the loss of information from
Long Term Memory
- the long term memory is an unlimited capacity store that can hold information
over lengthily periods of time
- LTM can store information indefinitely.
- Flashbulb memories which are unusually vivid and detailed recollections of
- For instance, many people remember exactly where they were, what they were
doing and how they felt during the death of John F. Kennedy or Princess Diana.
Are Short-term memory and Long-term memory really separate?
- the view of short-termed memory and long-termed memory as independent
systems was originally based on the belief that they were depended on different
types of encoding and were subject to different mechanisms of forgetting .
- STM was based on phonemic encoding (sound)
- LTM was thought to be largely semantic (meaning)
- Information loss from STM was believed to be mostly due to time-related decay
whereas interference was viewed as the principal mechanism of LTM forgetting
Knowledge … In Memory
Clustering and Conceptual Hierarchies
- clustering is the tendency to remember similar or related items in group
- a conceptual hierarchy is a multilevel classification system based on common
properties among items.
- is an organized cluster of knowledge about a particular object or even abstracted
from previous experience with the object or event
- examples is university students have schemas for what professor’s offices are like.
- Results were the subjects recalling desks, chairs… etc
- We have schemas about specific people, types of people and social events. - Relational schema are particularly important because they may be related to a
variety of disorders.
- consists of nodes representing concepts, joined together by pathways that link
- They have proven useful in explaining why thinking about one can make a close
related word ( butter and bread)
- According to Collins and Loftus when people think a word, their thoughts
naturally go to related words.
- These theorists call this process spreading activation within a semantic network.
- They assume that activation spreads out along the pathways of the semantic
network surrounding the word.
Connectionist or parallel distributed processing models assume that cognitive processes
depend on patterns of activation in highly interconnected computational networks that
resemble neural networks.
- the sensory store preserves information in its original form, probably for only a
fraction of a second
- long term memory is an unlimited capacity store that may hold information
- information in long-term memory can be organized in simple clusters or
multilevel classification systems called conceptual hierarchies
- research suggests that activation spreads along the paths of semantic networks to
activate closely associated words
- parallel distributed processing models of memory assert that specific memories
correspond to particular patterns of activation in connectionist networks.
Retrieval: Getting information out of memory
Using cues to aid retrieval
- the tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is the temporary inability to remember
something you know accompanied by a feeling that it’s out of reach
- it is a common experience triggered by a name that one cant quite recall
- retrieval cues – stimuli that help gain access to memories
Reinstating the context of an event
- Encoding specificity principale suggested that your memory for information
would be better when the conditions during encoding and retrieval were similar.
- Context cues often facilitate the retrieval of information
- Most people have experienced the effects of context cue on many occasion
- For instance, when people return after a number of years to a place where they
used to live, they typically are flooded with long-forgotten memories
Reconstructing Memories and the Misinformation Effect
- The misinformation effect occurs when participants’ recall of an event they
witnessed is altered by introducing misleading post-event information. - Studies of misinformation effect include three stages
- 1 stage – subjects view an event
- 2 stage – they are exposed to information about this event, some of which are
- 3 event – their recall of the original event is tested to see if the post-event
misinformation altered their memory of the original event.
Source Monitoring and Reality Monitoring
- source monitoring is the process of making attribution about the origins
- it contributes to many of the mistakes people make in reconstructing their
- when people pull up specific memory records, they have to make decisions at the
time of retrieval about where the memories came from
- a source-monitoring error occurs when a memory derived from one source is
misattributed to another source
- source-monitoring errors appear to be commonplace and may shed light on many
interesting memory phenomena
- most theories have a hard time explaining how people can have memories of
events that they never actually saw or experienced, but this pardox doesn’t seem
all that perplexing when it is explained as a source-monitoring error
- reality monitoring refers to the process of deciding whether memories are based
on external sources or internal sources
- Memories are not exact r