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PSYC 1030H (44)
Chapter 6

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Trent University
PSYC 1030H
Brenda Smith- Chant

Chapter 10: Memory - Memory refers to the capacity to retain and retrieve information, and also to the structures that account for this capacity - Memory is selective; a reconstructive process - In reconstructing their memories, people often draw on many sources - These vivid recollections of emotional events, flashbulb memories o Facts tend to get mixed up with fiction - Confabulations are likely under some circumstances: 1. You have thought, heard, or told others about the imagined event many times a. Imaginative inflation – your imagination inflates your beliefs that the event really occurred 2. The image of the event contains lots of details that make it feel real a. The longer you think about an event, the more details you’re likely to add 3. The event is easy to imagine - As a result, you may end up with a memory that feels emotionally real to you and yet it is completely false. - Some convictions based on eyewitness testimony turn out to be tragic mistakes - Memories are also influenced by the way in which questions are put to the eyewitness and by suggestive comments made during an interrogation or interview - Misleading information from other sources can also profoundly alter what witnesses report - Leading questions, suggestive comments, and misleading information affect people’s memories not only for event they witnessed but also for their own experiences - The term memory actually covers a complex collection of abilities and processes The Three-Box Model of Memory - Visual images remain in a visual subsystem for a maximum of half a second. Auditory images remain in an auditory subsystem for a slightly longer time, by most estimates, up to 2 seconds or so - It gives us a brief time to decide whether information is extraneous or important - Information that does not quickly go on to short-term memory vanishes forever - This material either transfers into long-term memory or decays and is lost forever - At any given moment, short-term memory can hold only so many items - Even chunking cannot keep short-term memory from eventually filling up. Info that is needed for longer periods must therefore be transferred to long-term memory. - Items that are particularly meaningful or that have an emotional impact may transfer quickly. Items that require more processing will be displaced with new information and will thus be lost, unless we do something to keep it in STM for a while - Working memory draws on processes that control attention and enable us to avoid dangerous distraction so that information will remain accessible and easily retrieved - It includes active “executive” processes that control the manipulation of information and interpret it appropriately depending on the task at hand - Information in memory about a particular concept is linked in some way to information about the concept’s semantic category - Culture affects the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information in long term memory - We organize long-term memory not only by semantic groupings but also in terms of the way words sound or look - Information in long term memory may also be organized by its familiarity, relevance, or association with other information Biology of Memory - Forming a memory involves chemical and structural changes at the level of synapses,
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