CMN 101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Procedural Knowledge, Long-Term Memory

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Published on 9 Nov 2016
Lecture 4 - 10/4 - Action Assembly Theory
- Action Assembly Theory (AAT) = the cognitive/mental structures and processes that
underlie the production of messages
- our long-term memory contains thousands of procedural records which link past
behaviors with their consequences
Four Observations that gave rise to the theory
1) Behavior is simultaneously repetitive and creative
2) People act on the basis of the meanings they assign to stimulus inputs
3) Sometimes our behaviors run off automatically, sometimes they are are highly
4) Behavior ultimately consists of efferent (outward/away) commands, yet our
phenomenal experience of our behavior consists of abstract (existing in thought/idea, but
not in physical/actual) action specifications
Procedural Records: The Building Blocks of Behavior
- constitute procedural knowledge = knowledge about how to do things
- procedural records = long term memory structures that record the relationships
between actions, outcomes, and situations and stored for future use (something
happening and stored from the past in our long term memory structure)
- records of the consequences that came from actions taken in specific situations
- if-then-when (ex: action-outcome-in situation)
- procedural records vary in terms of:
- abstractness
- strength = the more a procedural record has been exercised (like recently), the
stronger it gets (depends on how often and recently they’ve been used)
Activation Process
- activation = certain procedural records are activated when the current situation
matches the situation features stored in them, and when our current goals match the
outcome features stored in them
- the closer the match, the higher the activation level of the procedure record
- process that occurs below the level of consciousness; requires no cenral
processing capacity
- takes time
- assembly = the process of piecing together all the components that make up our
output representation
- usually the assembly process is smooth
- sometimes problems occur (Ex: being nervous/intimidated, not being able to
detect their needs/wants, or physiological problems too such as being sick/tired)
- most empirical tests based on the proposition that “assembly takes time”
- dependent variables: speech onset latency, hesitations during speaking
- nonfluency = any pause, repetition, filler word, or misstatement that interrupts
the flow of delivery
- length of silence before a speaker’s response to a question, fast-talking,
physical signs of lying/deception shows assembly difficulty
- ways of overcoming difficulties in assembly = 1) advance planning 2) unitized
- unitized assemblies = little bits & pieces of interactions packaged together for
a certain situation to be accessed more easier
Ex: car salesperson = pull out certain sales tactic for a certain customer
- the more frequently and recently procedural records are utilized, the more they
are easier to access
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