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Chapter 8

Chapter 8 Notes

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Simon Fraser University
PSYC 221
Richard Wright

Ch. 8 - Everyday Memory and Memory Errors Autobiographical memory (AM): memory for dated events in a person’s life. Autobiographical memory is usually considered to be a type of episodic memory  Recent memories can contain episodic memory, but most long ago memories contain only semantic memory Reminiscence bump: the empirical finding that people over 40 years old have enhanced memory for events from adolescence and early adulthood, compared to other periods of their lives 3 hypotheses for reminiscence bump:  Self-image hypothesis: memory is enhanced for events that occur as a person’s self-image or life identity is being formed  Cognitive hypothesis: periods of rapid change that are followed by stability cause stronger encoding of memories  Cultural life script hypothesis: the idea that events in a person’s life story become easier to recall when they fit the cultural life script for that person’s culture Flashbulb memory: a person’s memory for the circumstances surrounding hearing about shocking, highly charged events  Not the event itself, but thinks like how you heard about it, where you were, etc. Repeated recall: comparing later memories to memories recollected immediately after the event (checks accuracy of recall) -research shows that flashbulb memories are actually not like photographs, because although the person may report vivid recall, the recall is often inaccurate or lacking detail. -studies have shown that flashbulb memories are really no different than regular memories. What is different is that people think that their flashbulb memories are stronger and more accurate. Retrieval cues created by an individual for himself are more effective than those created by someone else  from ch. 7 Factors that can enhance flashbulb memories:  High levels of emotion at time of event (increased activitiy in amygdala)  Narrative rehearsal hypothesis: the idea that we remember some life events better if we rehearse them. (ex. after 9/11, seeing pictures, watching the news) Constructive nature of memory: the idea that what people report as memories are constructed based on what actually happened plus additional factors, such as expectations, other knowledge, and other life experiences. Repeated reproduction: a method of measuring memory in which a person reproduces a stimulus on repeated occasions so his memory is tested at longer and longer intervals after the original presentation of the material to be remembered. (participants are asked to recall a story/event on more than one occasion, further and further apart from hearing it/about it) Source monitoring: the process of determining the origins of our memories, knowledge, or beliefs. (ex. remembering what you heard about something from a particular person) Source monitoring error/ source misattributions: misidentifying the source of an error Cryptomnesia: unconscious plagiarism of the work of others. This has been associated with errors in source monitoring (ex. when George Harrison thought he was writing an original song but was sued because it was the same melody as another song) Pragmatic inference: inference that occurs when reading or hearing a statement leads a person to expect something that is not explicitly stated or necessarily implied by the statement (ex. “the snowman vanished when the temperature reach
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