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PSYCH257 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Fair Coin, Image Scanner, Expected Utility Hypothesis

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Allison Kelly
Study Guide

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Visual Memory and Spatial Cognition
Visual images: mental pictures we form in our mind
Study of visual imagery has a controversial history within psychology
o visual images are problematic as object of scientific inquiry
o visual images unlike behaviours, cannot be seen, counted or controlled by other people
and can only y be reported by the person who asserts she is experiencing them
o However, it is difficult to describe how people preform certain cognitive task without
talking about visual images
Imagery is very related to memory in many ways. In essence it is another form of coding that is
available to use in LTM-in addition to semantic coding, phonological coding we also store a
VISUAL based code that we can retrieve.
Cognitive psychologists try and answer WHAT IT IS that think that we are generating. Is it
soethig that is useful to use? Ca e use iage to ase uestios that e do’t
necessarily have the answer to?
Underlying Theoretical Debate
Although there is agreement among cognitive psychologists that most people can form an image
in your mind, there is disagreement on whether if it is a useful code that we can GAIN NEW
information from. Can we manipulate it? Can we form an image of our bedroom and manipulate
the space in it to determine how much space is taken up by our bed? - or is it a weird after
affect or epiphenomenon?
Mnemonics and Memory Codes
Mnemonics are techniques used to help remember and recall information- often use the
construction of mental images
o Chunking is technically a mnemonic device
Method of Loci
Became known a long time ago- Simonides attended a banquet and left it to take care of
business and the roof collapsed- the ee ushed so adl it as’t possile to idetif ho
the individuals were. However, Simonides was able to associate different people with different
locations in the banquet hall.
Using LOCATIONS to help you remember something
Ex. Using landmarks you pass on the way from your house to the gym then dividing the material
you want to remember, mentally picturing the different pieces at different landmarks
How to remember things that you need to buy to make spaghetti for dinner
o Come up with things you want to have for dinner-spaghetti, sauce, parmesan cheese,
some bread, salad
o Take a pre learned strongly associated set of location that you know very well-for
example your walk home
o Form an image of spaghetti noodles (first object) leaning against a door of a building
(first locus), then imagine spaghetti sauce (2nd objects) dripping out of a tree (2nd locus)
o Whe it’s tie to go u ou food, imagine yourself walking home and you will see the
landmarks and you will see the items on your list -
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Having images that interact with each other or having unique images can help your memory
more (spaghetti dripping from a tree is a unique interacting image)
Interacting Images study in 1894 indicated that recall of concrete nouns on a list is improved
when participants were told to form images of words in comparison when they were not giving
o If participants were given pairs of words such has goat-pipe, participants who formed
images of goat smoking a pipe recalled almost twice as many pair associates as control
participants who were not instructed to use imagery
o Improved especially when the images INTERACT a goat smoking a pipe rather than a
goat simply next to a pipe
Pegword method
Memorize ordered pre-associated word pairs - and make associations with the memory items
on your list and the word pairs.
o oe is a u, to is a shoe, thee is a tee, fou is a doo… et. – participants picture
first item on list to be remembered interacting with a bun, second item on list to be
remembered with a shoe and the third with a tree
Structure of method and loci was the geographic path, but structure of the Pegword Method
comes from the numbers. Always do it in that ordered numbers
However, you must invest some time to learn these ordered pairings.
Both the Pegword Method and Method of Locci can experience proactive interference if you
start associating multiple items with cues also this is best for rote memorization rather than
comprehension questions
Not all mnemonic techniques have to do with imagery
One can recode the material to be recalled- adding extra words or sentences to go between
your memory and the material-
o HOMES- fo geat lakes o ee good o deseed fudge fo otes o lies
o Technique, although popular, has mixed results
o Mediators: internal codes that connect items to be remembered and your later overt
Both the word HOMES and the images in the other mnemonic techniques act
as mediators
Why do so many mnemonic techniques use visual imagery?
Dual Coding Hypothesis
Dual Coding Hypothesis: (Allan Pavio) the reason why images can improve memory is because
our LTM contains 2 distinct coding systems for representing information to be stored.
o Verbal: contains info about an items abstract linguistic meaning
o Imagery: mental pictures that represented what the item looks like
o When we remember items they can be coded by either verbal labels or visual images or
o Pictures and words of concrete objects- are coded by both verbal labels and images but
abstract words (such as peace) are only coded by verbal labels
Experiment: participants asked to learn one of 4 lists of noun pairs for later recall not given
instructions on how to remember it
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o CC word pairs- each item in the pair was made of a CONCRETE item that you can
physical image ex. Book/table
o CA word pairs- first item in pair was concrete, second item was abstract ex.
Chair/justice- you can readily form an image of chair. What does justice look like?
o AC pairs: reverse of previous. One abstract one concrete but the order is different than
the 2nd. Ex. Freedom/dress
o AA pairs- both abstract ex. Beauty/truth
Results: CC = 71.3%; CA = 62.5%; AC = 46.0%; AA = 37.8
Explanation: participants spontaneously formed visual images and this is easiest to do with
concrete nouns - images have more elaborate internal codes
o Paio’s Eplaatio fo ig diffeee etee CA/AC pais, despite eah haig oe
concrete and one abstract word- first noun in pair is acting like an anchor or conceptual
peg. If you are able to form an image of first word you are able to form an association
between the abstract word and that image. However, if the first word is abstract you
stuggle to fo a iage ad do’t have a way to connect the concrete word to it. The
order of the presentation of concrete word and abstract word matters a lot.
Conclusion: when items are coded by both images and verbal labels the chances of retrieving
them is better. If the learner forgets verbal label they can still access visual label. Items coded
only by verbal labels are disadvantaged
Relational-Organizational Hypothesis
(Bower) Imagery improves memory not because images are richer than verbal labels but
because imagery produces more associations between the items to be recalled
When someone forms an image joining 2 words or between an object and location They are
creating LINKS between the info to be remembered and other pieces of information
o the more links a piece of information in memory has to OTHER pieces of information-the
greater the chance of recall F
Experiment: participants doing a pair association learning task divided into 3 groups and given
different instructions to remember pair associated words
o 1st: rote repetition (rehearse out loud)
o 2nd: construct images that did not interact-
o 3rd construct an interactive scene of the 2 words in a pair
Results: rote memorization recalled 30% of the pair associates, those who used non interactive
imagery- 27% and those who formed interacting images- 53%
if imagery led to more elaborated coding of the pair associates like the dual coding hypothesis
predicts- 2 conditions that involved images should have performed similarly
Conclusion: It is the WAY imagery is used that helps memory. Interacting images create more
links between target information and other information making the target info easier to retrieve
Empirical investigations of Memory
Experiment: (Lee Brooks) did study providing some evidence that images use distinct processes
from verbal materials - 2 conditions
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