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Chapter 5

PSYC 221 Chapter 5: PSYC221 Chapter 5: Short term and working memory

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PSYC 221

Chapter 5 PSYC 221 Short Term and Working Memory -memory: process involved in retaining, retrieving and using info about stimuli, images, events, ideas and skills after the original info is no longer present -memory is active any time some past experience has an effect on the way you think or behave now or in the future -short term/working memory: info that lasts 10-15 seconds if we don’t repeat it over and over -short term sensory info involves the brief persistence of sth (ex: fireworks) -long term memory: stores memories for long periods of time → minutes to lifetime -long term memories of experiences from the past are episodic memories -long term memories involving muscle coordination are procedural memory -long term memories involving facts or names are semantic memories ● The Modal Model of Memory -proposed 3 types of memory: 1. Sensory Memory is an initial stage that holds incoming info for seconds or fractions of a second 2. Short term memory (STM): holds five to seven items for about 15-20 secs 3. Long term memory (LTM): can hold a large amt of info for years or decades -these are the structural features of the model -control processes Examples: 1. rehearsal: repeating a stimulus over and over 2. Strategies to make a stimulus more memorable (ex: mnemonics) 3. Strategies that help you focus on info that is impt or interesting -process of storing a memory into long term memory is called encoding -remembering the memory stored is called retrieval ● Sensory Memory -the retention for brief periods of time of the effects of sensory stimulation -persistence of vision: the continued perception of a visual stimulus even after it’s no longer present → noticeable for brief stimuli (like waving a sparkler in the air the lighted trail is a creation of your mind) -Sperling’s exp -iconic memory/visual icon: brief sensory memory for a stimuli -echoic memory: the persistence of sound which lasts for a few secs after presentation Ex: when someone says sth and you don’t understand so you say what, but then hear what they said originally in your mind ● Short term memory Chapter 5 PSYC 221 -system involving small amounts of info for a brief period of time -most lost, some stored in LTM 1. What is the duration of STM? -lasts 15-20 secs or less -used method of recall to determine this 2. What is the capacity of STM? HOW MANY ITEMS CAN BE HELD IN STM? -info is rapidly lost from STM -range from 4-9 items -digit span: the number of digits a person can remember -on average subjects can retain about 4 items in STM -chunking: Miller introduced it. Describes fact that small units (like words) can be combined into larger meaningful units like phrases, or sentences and paragraphs -chunk: collection of elements that are strongly associated with one another but weakly related to elements in other chunks -chunking in terms of meaning increases ability to hold info in STM - can recall 5-8 unrelated words but up to 20 related words HOW MUCH INFO CAN BE HELD IN SHORT TERM MEMORY? -greater the amt of info in the pic, fewer items that can be held in visual STM -decay: passage of time that results in the memory trace to vanish (ex: leaving too much time after asking ppl to memorize some words and asking them to recall, more time that elapses, less they will remember) -proactive interference: occurs when info learned before interferes with learning new info -retroactive interference: occurs when new learning interferes with remembering old learning -idea that STM is involved in dynamic processes like sending info to LTM lead to new name for short term process: working memory ● Working Memory: a limited capacity system for temporary storage and manipulation of info for complex tasks such as comprehension, learning and reasoning -short term memory is more concerned with storing info for a brief period of time whereas working memory is concerned with the manipulation of info that occurs during complex cognition Ex: active processes like understanding conversations -Rachel: Hi i’d like to order a broccoli and mushroom pizza -Reply: I’m sorry, but we’re out of
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