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Psych 1000 Human Memory and Information Processing

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Dr T Biggs

Human Memory and Information Processing Memory and Information Processing  Acquisition of Information  Serial Anticipation Learning  Paired Associate Learning  Mediating Strategies – meaningfulness, frequency, formation of images, schema, pronouncibility, rhyming etc.  Encoding specificity and distinctiveness  Transfer – positive, zero, negative  Verbal Learning and Associated Variables  Verbal Mediators – commonalities  Rehearsal – maintenance, elaborative  Natural Language mediators – stimulus equivalent, response equivalent  Retrieval  Forgetting  Measuring Retention – recall, recognition, relearning (savings)  Theories of Forgetting – decay, interference, repression  Types of Interference – proactive, retroactive  Ways to improve Retrieval – over learning, organization, chunking  Models of Memory and Info Processing  The theories and processes applies: an examination of the serial position curve Acquisition of Information  Materials and methods  The bulk of research on memory has employed verbal materials  They range from nonsense syllables to words to sentences to paragraphs  This range of materials allows for manipulation of the amount of meaning in a stimuli Herrmann Ebbinghaus  First published study of memory in 1885  Invented the nonsense syllable  Two major types – CVC & CCC  CVC – consonant-vowel-consonant  CCC- consonant CVC – consonant-vowel-consonant  CCC- consonant-consonant-consonant  Purpose was to attempt to eliminate the effects of prior knowledge on learning of materials  Procedure - Serial Anticipation Learning  Read a list of nonsense syllables to the beat of a metronome to insure each item received the same exposure for study  On all exposures following the initial exposure he attempted to form an association between the current stimuli and the next stimuli on the list Serial Anticipation Learning  Items are shown individually  All items on a list are shown once to constitute a single trial  On each subsequent trial the subject attempts to anticipate what the next item will be from viewing the current item (i.e. each item is thus both a stimulus and response)  Learning is declared complete when the subject is able to reach a specified Criterion (i.e. make 2 completely correct asses through the list)  Measurement  What is measured is the number of trials until criterion is reached  Also the number of errors per item is measured  The latter measure is taken to insure items are of approximately equal difficulty  Results  Items at the beginning and end of lists are more easily learned  Words are more easily learned with this method than either CVC and CCC stimuli  The method also provides for a measure of retention called Savings Paired Associate Learning  Main principle is to establish and association between two items  One item serves as the stimuli for the recall of the other item (i.e., an item is either a stimulus item or a response item never both as in serial anticipation learning)  The major employer of this technique, using words, has been Dr. Allan Paivia, at UWO currently holding the position of Professor Emeritus, and one of the top cognitive psychologists in the world  He and his associates utilize this procedure to examine the differences between concrete and abstract words  Procedure  For learning Pairs of items are presented for an equal amount of time per pair  Pairs consist of CC (concrete-concrete); CA (concrete-abstract); AC(abstract- concrete); AA (abstract-abstract)  An example of a Concrete item would be Chair  An example of an Abstract item would be Justice  During Retention testing the first item of each pair (the stimulus) is presented and subjects attempt to recall the second item (the response). For example: Pair Type Stimuli Response CC Chair Broom CA Door Justice AC Truth Dog AA Belief Honesty •Results  In order of recall accuracy Concrete items are recalled better than Abstract items  The ranking of all possible pairs is as follows: CC pairs; CA pairs; AC pairs; AA pairs  This indicates that Concrete items are better as Stimulus items than Abstract items  Paivio explained this as a consequence of representational differences for the two stimulus types  The theory is known as DUAL-CODING  This theory postulates two representational systems exist independently although they are referentially linked SAL & PA Review  SAL – Words learned easier & remembered better than Nonsense syllables (CVC & CCC)  Items at beginning & end of lists learned easier & remembered better than mid list  PA – Within words Concrete response items recalled better than Abstract & Concrete make better anchors  Although Ebbinghaus intended to eliminate the type of complications that words add to obtaining a pure measure of learning by using nonsense syllables later studies have shown that even nonsense syllables can contain meaning.  Thus the advantage for words is not because nonsense syllables have no meaning, as Ebbinghaus believed, but because words have more meaning Meaningfulness  Meaningfulness can be measured in several ways:  Procedure - Show item and ask for subjects to report any items that come to mind st  Measure – Speed of 1 Association (RT) -Percentage of subjects who offer an association -Mean number of associations offered  Meaningfulness ratings are good predictors of:  Rate of Learning (both SAL & PA)  Increase probability of recall in Free Recall  However Similarity of Meaning for items in a list or between S & R items in the PA task decrease performance Encoding Specificity & Distinctiveness  Importance of these factors was discovered and researched by Endel Tulving  Basic finding is that the more distinctive an encoding is the easier it will be to recall the encoded information.  Also the more the situation at test is similar to the situation of learning the better will be recall Other factors affecting Retention  Frequency of Occurrence  The more often an item is encountered the greater it is recalled and the faster it is recalled  Phonemic Effects  Pronouncibility is correlated .46 with ability to recall an item or provide a correct response in a PA task. Transfer  The investigation of Transfer is important to an understanding of how prior learning affects current learning  Three types of Transfer: o Positive Transfer – when earlier learning aids current or future learning o Zero Transfer – when earlier learning aids current or future learning o Negative Transfer – when prior learning inhibits current learning The Transfer Experiment: Procedure Important Generalizations of Transfer Recap  Learning Verbal material is easier if it is:  Meaningful  Distinct from other new material  Frequently presented  Concretized  Can be related to prior material  Testing situation is similar to Learning Processes in Information Processing  Rehearsal and Mediating processes  Rehearsal has Two major Types  Maintenance & Elaborative o Maintenance – consists largely of silent repetitive speech o Elaborative - will involve mediating procedures Rehearsal: Peter & Peterson (1959)  Classic Experiment  Subjects presented with list of Trigrams and at end of list a number with instructions to count backwards by three’s  Counting task
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