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Psych 1000 - Chapter 8 Notes.docx

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Western University
Psychology 1000
Terry Biggs

Chapter 8 – Human Memory and Information Processing Acquisition of Information - Materials and methods (how the information is collected) - 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 - Memory – the processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experiences and information - Encoding – getting information into the system by translating it into a neural code that your brain processes - Storage – involves retaining information over time - Retrieval – pull information out of storage when we want to use it - Three-component model o Sensory Memory – holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized. It is composed of different subsystems called sensory registers (initial information processors). The visual sensory register is called the iconic store, and auditory is echoic store. Echoic memory lasts longer than iconic o Short-term (working) memory – through selective attention, a portion of the information in sensory memory enters the short-term memory, which holds the information that we are conscious of at any given time  Memory codes - the representation of information using some type of code to be retained in short/long-term memory o Long-term memory – where memories are stored durably - Encoding o Effortful processing – encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires conscious attention o Automatic processing – encoding that occurs without intention and requires minimal attention o Structural encoding – superficial, only noticing how things look o Phonological encoding – sounding out the word to see if it rhymes o Semantic encoding – paying attention to the meaning of the word o Levels of processing – the more deeply we process information the better it will be remembered - Methods to organize material o Mnemonic Devices – any type of memory aid, they reorganize information into more meaningful units and provide extra cues to help you retrieve information from long-term memory o Hierarchy – creating associations between concepts which enhances our understanding of how the elements are related o Chunking – combining individual items into a larger unit of meaning - The themes we extract from events and store in memory are often organized around schemas, which are a mental framework, an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world, such as a class of people, events, situations, or objects o How we perceive a stimulus shapes the way we mentally represent it in memory o Schemas create a perceptual set, which is a readiness to perceive, organize, and interpret information in a certain way - Herrmann Ebbinghaus o First published study of Memory in 1885 o Invented the nonsense syllable o Two major types of nonsense syllable  CVC – consonant –vowel – consonant  CCC – consonant – consonant – consonant o Purpose was to attempt to eliminate the effects of prior knowledge on learning of materials (some people may hold a unique attachment to some word presented and so by using the nonsense syllable there is no connection and the recollection is purely due to memory from the experiment) o Procedure – Serial Anticipation Learning o Read a list of nonsense syllables to the beat of a metronome to insure each item received the same exposure for study o 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 o Items are shown individually o All items on a list are shown once to constitute a single trial o 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 both a stimulus and response) o Learning is declared complete when the subject is able to reach a specified criterion (eg. Make 3 completely correct passes through the list) o Measurement – what is measure is the number of trials until Criterion is reached  Also the number of errors per item is measured  The latter measure is take to insure items are of approximately equal difficulty o Results  Items at the beginning and end of lists are more easily learned  Words are more easily learned with this method than either CVC or CCC stimuli  The method also provides for a measure of retention called savings - Paired Association Learning o Main principle to establish an association between two items o 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 and never both as in serial anticipation learning) o The major employer of this technique, using words, has been Dr. Allan Paivio, at UWO, currently holding the Professor Emeritus position, and is one of the top cognitive psychologists in the world o He and his associates utilized this procedure to examine the differences between concrete (ex. Chair) and abstract (ex. Honesty) words o 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) o During retention, testing the first item of each pair (the stimulus) is presented and subjects attempt to recall the second item (the response) o Results  In order of recall accuracy, concrete items are recalled better than abstract pairs  The ranking of all possible pairs was  CC pairs  CA pairs  AC pairs  AA pairs  This indicates that concrete items are better stimulus items than abstract items o Paivio explained this as a consequence of representational differences for the two stimulus types o This theory is known as dual coding where information is stored in long-term memory in two forms: verbal codes and non-verbal codes o This theory postulates two representational systems exist independently although they are referentially linked (you’re more likely to think of a word in the same category rather than in a linked category) (ex. if you’re thinking of animals and you think of a cow you’ll more likely think of another farm animal then a dog which is in the pet category although it is also an animal) - Review o Serial Anticipation Learning (SAL) - words learned easier and remembered better than nonsense syllables (CVC and CCC) o Items at beginning and end of list are learned and easier remembered better than mid list o Paired Association Learning (PAL) – within words concrete response items recalled better than abstract and concrete make better anchors o Although Ebbinghaus intended to eliminate the type of complications that words add to obtaining a pure measure of learning by suing nonsense syllables later studies have shown that even nonsense syllables contain meaning o 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: o Procedure – show item and ask for subjects to report any items that come to mind o Measure  Speed of 1 Association (Reaction time) (the more meaning the quicker the association)  Percentage of subjects who offer an association  Mean number of associations offered - Meaningfulness ratings are good predictors of o Rate of Learning (both SAL and PA) o Increase probability in Free Recall o However similarity of meaning for items in a list between stimulus and response items in the PA task decrease performance - Encoding Specificity and Distinctiveness o Importance of these factors was discovered and researched by Endel Tulving o Basic finding is that the more distinctive an encoding is the easier it will be to recall the encoded information o Also the more the situation at test is similar to the situation of learning the better will be the recall - Other Factors affecting Retention o Frequency of Occurrence o The more of an item is an encountered the greater it is recalled and the faster it is recalled o Phonemic Effects (ex. making up rhymes to help memorize) o Pronouncibility is correlated 0.46 with ability to recall an item or provide a correct response in a PA task - Transfer o The investigation of transfer is important to understanding how prior learning affects current learning o Three types of transfer  Positive transfer – when earlier learning aids current or future learning  Zero transfer – when prior learning has no effect on current learning  Negative transfer – when prior learning inhibits current learning o Important Generalizations of Transfer  Positive transfer occurs when one learns to make identical responses to new stimuli  Negative transfer occurs when one learns to make new (dissimilar) responses to similar or identical stimuli  The degree of transfer, be it positive or negative, depends on stimulus similarity; as stimulus similarity increase, so does the degree of transfer  The direction of the transfer, whether it is positive or negative, depends of response similarity Recap - Learning verbal material is easier if it is: o Meaningful o Distinct from other new material o Frequently presented o Concretized o Can be related to prior material o Testing situation is similar to learning - Storage o Associative network - one theory that proposes that memory can be represented as a massive network of associated ideas and concepts  Priming – the activation of one concept/unit of information by another o Neural networks – a different theory that proposes that each concept is represented by a particular pattern or set of nodes that become activated simultaneously  Also called parallel distributed processing models (PDP) - Types of Long-Term Memory o Declarative memory – involves factual knowledge and includes two subcategories  Episodic memory – our store of factual knowledge concerning personal experiences  Semantic memory – general factual knowledge about the world and language, including memory for words of concepts o Procedural memory – reflected in skills and actions o Explicit memory – involves conscious or intentional memory retrieval, as when you consciously recognize or recall something  Recognition – deciding whether a stimulus is familiar (target stimuli is given)  Recall – spontaneous memory retrieval (you must retrieve the target stimuli on your own o Implicit memory – when memory influences our behavior without conscious awareness Processes in Information Processing - Rehearsal and Mediating Processes - Rehearsal has 2 major types o Maintenance – consists largely of silent repetitive speech o Elaborative – will involve mediating procedures, involves the meaning of information and relating it to what we already know - Rehearsal (Peterson and Peterson (1959)) o Classic Experiment o Subjects presented with list of trigrams and at end of list a number with instructions to count backwards by three’s o Count
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