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PSYC 221 Ch8 Everyday Memory & Memory Errors.pdf

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 221
Professor
Kevin G Munhall
Semester
Fall

Description
PSYC  221  –  Everyday  Memory  &  Memory  Errors   Chapter  8   Everyday  Memory  &  Memory  Errors     Autobiographical  memory  (AM):  memory  for  personal  experiences.  These  memories  contain  a   combination  of  episodic  and  semantic  memories.         For  example:  recall  a  birthday  party.  This  activates  the  episodic  memory  but  also  semantic   memories  of  where  the  party  was,  where  your  family  was  living  at  the  time,  and  general  schemas   as  to  what  happens  at  birthday  parties.       The  ratio  of  episodic  to  semantic  components  of  an  autobiographical  memory  changes  with  time.   When  it  is  still  fresh  in  memory  episodic  components  are  present  but  as  time  goes  on  it  can  leave   only  semantic  memories.           Autobiographical  memories  activate  more  areas  of  the  brain  that  other  stimulus.  Recall  the   example  from  class  in  which  there  was  greater  activation  to  photos  the  participant  had  taken  as   opposed  to  a  photo  of  the  same  place  not  taken  by  the  participant.  The  MTL,  amygdala,  and   hippocampus  are  important.       What  memories  are  most  likely  to  be  remembered?   • Milestones   • Emotional  memories  (positive  or  negative)   • Events  that  become  an  important  part  of  your  life  –  such  as  the  first  date  with  your   husband   • Transition  points   • Age     Reminiscence  bump:  people  have  better  memory  for  events  that   took  place  during  adolescence  (between  ages  10-­‐30).       Self-­‐image  hypothesis  (of  the  reminiscence  bump):  idea  that   memory  is  enhanced  for  events  that  occur  as  person’s  self-­‐image   or  identity  is  being  formed.  Recall  the  examples  of  how  people   describe  themselves  (“I  am  a  mother”;  “I  am  a  psychologist”)  had   events  tied  to  these  identities  occurring  during  the  reminiscence   bump.       Cognitive  hypothesis  (of  the  reminiscence  bump):  rapid  change   followed  by  stability  causes  better  encoding  of  memories.  This  is   supported  by  the  fact  that  immigrants  who  come  to  America  in  their  mid-­‐30s  reminiscence  bump   that  corresponds  with  this  timing.       Cultural  life  script  hypothesis  (of  the  reminiscence  bump):  most  life  events  that  you  come  to   expect  will  occur  (such  as  falling  in  love,  going  to  college,  getting  married,  having  children)  all   occur  during  the  reminiscence  bump.  See  next  for  a  better  description  of  a  cultural  script.       1   PSYC  221  –  Everyday  Memory  &  Memory  Errors   Cultural  script:  culturally  expected  events  that  occur  at  a  particular  time  in  the  life  span.       We  have  better  memory  for  emotionally  charged  events.  These  events  increase  activity  in  the   amygdala.       Flashbulb  memory:  vivid  memory  surrounding  a  shocking  event.  It  is  important  to  note  that  this   refers  to  a  memory  of  what  the  individual  was  doing  at  the  time  of  the  event  (where  they  were,   who  they  were  with  when  the  heard  the  news)  and  not  details  of  the  event  itself.       Repeated  recall:  comparing  later  memories  to  memories  created  right  after  an  event.  This  is  used   to  determine  the  accuracy  of  memories  and  how  memories  change  with  time.     1. Person  is  asked  to  report  their  memory  immediately  after  an  event.  This  is  used  as  a   baseline.     2. The  person  is  asked  to  recount  their  memory  of  the  event  days,  weeks,  months,  or  years   later.  This  repeated  recall  determines  how  their  memory  has  changed  over  time.       Repeated  reproduction:  asking  someone  to  recall  the  details  of  a  stimulus  such  as  a  story.     Using  the  repeated  recall  method  it  becomes  clear  that  people  may  believe  that  their  memory  for  a   shocking  event  (a  flashbulb  memory)  is  especially  vivid,  but  these  memories  do  fade  with  time.   One  trend  was  that,  after  the  Challenger  exploded,  21%  of  people  said  they  heard  the  news  on  TV;   but  3  years  later  45%  of  the  participants  said  that  they  heard  the  news  on  TV.  Influenced  by:   • Repetition  –  TV  stories  can  be  played  over  and  over  and  are  a  memorable  source  of  news   • Saliency  –  people  were  able  to  see  the  crash,  which  is  more  traumatic  than  the  news   • General  knowledge  –  where  you  heard  the  news  may  become  replaced  by  where  you  heard   the  whole  story,  which  is  typically  from  the  news     One  clever  experiment  created  a  baseline  about  a  flashbulb  memory  (immediately  after  9/11)  and   asked  the  participant  about  an  everyday  event  that  happened  leading  up  to  the  event.  The  longer   time  went  by,  the  more  inaccurate  the  person’s  memory  was  for  both  the  flashbulb  and  everyday   memories.  This  shows  that  when  it  comes  to  accuracy,  flashbulb  memories  are  no  more  special   than  everyday  memories.  But,  there  is  one  difference:  people  perceived  greater  accuracy  about  the   flashbulb  memory  (they  felt  the  memory  was  vivid  and  accurate)  but  did  not  believe  the  same   thing  for  the  everyday  memory.       We  do  recall  some  things  when  it  comes  to  flashbulb  memories,  and  there  are  several  reasons:   • Greater  activation  of  the  amygdala   • Rehearsal  (see  next)     Narrative  rehearsal  hypothesis:  we  remember  some  events  better  because  we  rehearse  them.   This  is  one  explanation  for  why  flashbulb  memories  occur.       Constructive  nature  of  memory:  memories  can  be  constructed  by  the  person  based  on  what   actually  happened,  as  well  as  the  person’s  knowledge,  experiences,  and  expectations.       Constructive  processes  can  lead  to  memory  errors.   2   PSYC  221  –  Everyday  Memory  &  Memory  Errors     Recall  Bartlett’s  War  of  the  Ghosts  –  people  got  foggy  on  the  details  and  inserted  their  own  details   based  on  what  was  culturally  relevant  to  them.       Source  monitoring:  determining  the  origin  of  a  memory.       Recall  George  Harrison’s  My  Sweet  Lord  took  the  riff  from  another  song,  but  over  time  he  forgot   the  source  but  remembered  the  tune.       When  someone  is  incorrect  in  remembering  the  origin  of  a  memory  they  are  said  to  have  made  a   source  monitoring  error,  which  is  also  called  a  source  misattribution.       Cryptomnesia:  a  source  monitoring  error  that  causes  plagiarism  of  another  person’s  ideas  or   work.  The  George  Harrison  case  is  a  perfect  example.       Becoming  famous  overnight  was  the  title  of  a  research  study  that  looked  at  source  monitoring   errors.     1. Participants  were  shown  a  list  of  made-­‐up  nonfamous  names,  such  as  Sebastian  Weissdorf.   2. The  participants  were  told  that  these  names  were  of  nonfamous  people.   3. The  participants  took  the  immediate  test  in  which  they  were  shown  old  nonfamous   names,  new  nonfamous  names,  and  some  famous  names.  They  were  asked  to  indicate   which  names  were  famous.  There  were  little  or  no  mistakes  in  identifying  nonfamous   names  as  famous.     4. The  participants  took  a  delayed  test  24  hours  later.  They  made  several  errors  in   identifying  nonfamous  names  from  the  original  list  as  famous.   • What  are  the  implications?  The  participants  were  aware  that  they  had  seen  the  names   before.  In  the  immediate  test  they  knew  they  had  seen  the  names  on  the  nonfamous  list,  so   they  made  no  mistakes.  The  next  day  however  they  recognized  the  names  but  did  not  recall   the  source  and  therefore  thought  that  since  the  name  was  familiar  it  was  famous.       The  phenomenon  seen  in  the  “becoming  famous  overnight”  experiment  has  also  been  used  to   create  false  memories.  Individuals  were  told  about  an  event  when  they  were  a  child  that  did  not   actually  happen.  At  first,  the  participant  did  not  recall  any  of  the  false  memory  the  experimenter   was  feeding  them.  Two  days  later,  when  asked  about  the  event,  the  participants  would  recall  the   events  and  relate  to  the  experimenter  what  had  happened  during  the  events.  Why  did  the  false   memory  take  hold?  Since  they  had  been  exposed  to  the  false  memory  and  were  later  asked  abou
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