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PSYC 2650 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Central Tendency, Classical Conditioning, Space Shuttle Challenger

Course Code
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan
Study Guide

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Cognitive Second Midterm Review 11/4/2012 1:34:00 PM
Long Term Memory
- Herman Ebbinghausstarted with formed ideas and looked backward to
find sources, studied how memory developed and was able to bring many
variables under scientific control
- Experimental control: the stimuli that is to be remembered has no
semantic associations and participants have no experience with them
(nonsense syllables like c-v-c)independent, manipulated variables
include a retention interval, list length, extended practice (overlearning)
and serial order and the dependent, observed variable is retention
- An example of this experiment is to: study the list of nonsense syllables
and measure study time for 2 perfect recitations (independent variable is
the retention interval, ranging from 20 mins to 31 days), then relearn the
list after RI and re-measure study time for 2 recitations
- To calculate the retention savings: study time before RI MINUS study
time after RI DIVIDED BY study time before RI
- A retention interval of 20 mins: study time before RI=1000 seconds,
study time after RI=400 seconds:-- savings=(1000-400)/1000=60%
- The forgetting function of Ebbinghausthe retention of nonsense
syllables is measured by savings in relearning, retention decreases as the
retention interval (time between initial learning and the retention time)
increases, but the rate of forgetting slows down
- Extended practice (overlearning): after learning the list until 2 perfect
recitals, one rehearsed list 30 more timesusing a 24hr RI, savings in
relearning this overlearned list was 64%, compared to 34% for normal
- Serial order: strength of the association between adjacent items on the
list and direction of associations (forward and backward)
- Forward and backward associations: 1. MEV, 2. GORforward: would
presenting MEV evoke GOR? Backward: would presenting GOR evoke
- If one learns 3 lists of 8 stimuli, and then relearned each list under
different conditions (same order, reversed order and random order), if
forward association exists, then savings on relearning the same list would
be greater than savings for the random list and if backword associations

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exist than relearning reversed lists would be greater savnigs than random
- Same savings: 33%, reversed savings: 12%, random savings: 0%
- Strengths of ebbinghaus‟ approach are the meticulous selection of stimuli,
defining relevant independent variables and innovative dependent
measure to measure strength of memory traces
- Problems of his approach are that some nonsense syllables may have
meaning (dux=ducks) and that he only used himself as a subject which
raises concerns such as representativeness, expertise and bias
- For long term memory: encoding involves the extended practice and list
length, storage involves forward and backward associations and retrieval
involves retention intervals
Episodic Memory
- Elaboration and intention affect whether something becomes stored in
long term memory
- Elaboration involves quality (not just quantity) of practice for memory
encoding and also embellishing a to-be-remembered item with additional
- For example, remember simple sentences like “the doctor hated the
lawyer”: there are two study conditions—elaborative (generate an
elaboration of the story) and control (just read and study sentence) and
then complete the sentence (*memory test*)
- Results: elaborative involves 72% recall and control involves 57% recall
therefore elaboration might lead to recall of the word when word could
otherwise not be recalled
- Meaningful elaboration involves deep processing of the to-be-
remembered information which leads to better memory than shallows
- For example: read pairs of associated wordstwo types of association are
semantic and rhymessemantic association results in 81% of recall and
rhymes represent 70$ recall
- Self reference: kind, rigid, brave, selfish (deep recalldoes this word
describe you?)results in much higher recall
- Intention and intuition: for example, subjects saw list of 24 words at 3
words per second: two task conditions involve deep (rate pleasantness of
word) and shallow (is there and e or g)two learning conditions involve

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intentional (knowing your going to receive a memory test) and incidental
(not sure if you will receive a memory test)
- Results: incidental learning condition resulted in 68% of recall for
pleasantness and 39% for checking letters and intentional learning
condition involved 69% for pleasantness and 43% for checking letters
- Therefore, intention does not matter but depth of processing did
- Although intention can have a positive effect on memory, the effects are
often indirectionwhen there is intention there is often elaboration
- Memories forgotten but not lost: subjects studied 20 number-noun pairs
to some criterion and two weeks later were memory testedthey were
able to recall 75% of items and the remaining 25% were used again in
another study test and 78% of those were recalled
- Recall involves subjects being asked to generate previously-studied items
and recognition askes whether a test item was a previously studied
itemrecall is harder than recognition but recognition is not always easier
- Long term memory: retrievalwhat are the factors that contribute to
failures to retrieve information stored in LTM? Encoding-retrieval
correspondence and interference
- Encoding-retrieval correspondence is the successful retrieval of
information in LTM that might be contingent upon a correspondence
between encoding and retrieval conditions
- Encoding-specificity principle is the probability of recalling an item at test
depending on the similarity of its encoding at test to its original encoding
at study: phase 1 is to learn pairs of words for a memory test for the
second word (train-black remember black) and phase 2 is generate four
free associates to the words (given white and generate snow, black, wool,
pure) phase 3 is recognition: which of the 4 free associates was a to-be-
remembered word from phase 1? 54% get it correct and phase 3 is cued-
recall: train-______? 61% get it correct
- Similarity of encoding and retrieval conditions: dissimilar in phase 1 and
phase 3 therefore poor recognition and similar in phase 1 and phase 4
therefore good recall
- In study and test conditions, memory is better when test conditions
match study conditions
- Encoding specificity: encodingpaired associates are strong when they
involve similar ideas and weak when random pairings
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