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PSYCO258 (77)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 and 6.docx

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University of Alberta
Blaine Mullins

Chapter 5 – Memory Traces and Schemas What is Memory? Case Study: Picking Cotton - Woman picked the wrong guy as the one who raped her from a suspect lineup it was actually committed by a guy who looked similar and was in jail - Eyewitnesses are often mistaken - Memory isn’t like a video camera  it captures the gist and fills in missing info. using existing schemas - Memory: the ability to encode (get in), store (stay in), and retrieve information (get out – implicit or explicitly) » Has passive and active components » Involved in learning when you learn something, it is stored in your memory » Allows us to operate in the present (using memories of the past) » Allows us to plan for the future (what you’ve already done vs. what needs to be done) - Tests for memories: free recall, cued recall and recognition tests Schema-based Theories of Memory - Schemas are what we expect to find in the world and help us organize the info. we receive - Mystic writing pad model: tablets retains fragments of old messages even after they are erased (Freud) » Perception is transitory changes from one experience to the next (clear plastic overlay) » Memory is the after effect of perception (the outline left on the wax paper) » Over time, these fragments accumulate and overlap and become harder to read » As a result, we use inferences to make conclusions about what a memory means » Problem: schemas are usually very well organized and memories are unlikely to be made of fragments - Memory is like a camera exact recording in your mind - Reappearance hypothesis: memory can reappear over and over again (Neisser) » Memories are like re-experiencing the past (explains PTSD) » If we don’t have complete copies of memories, then we rely on fragments to recreate them - Memory trace: video recording that can be preserved forever and replayed over and over again memory is like a camera » Reappearance hypothesis: same memory can reappear, unchanged over and over again - Memory schema: relies on fragments to support new constructions Two Approaches to Memory Research - Lab-based approach: emphasizes controlled lab research and has internal validity » Ebbinghaus studied nonsense syllables (consonant-vowel-consonant) until he had the list memorized and then he determined how long it took him to relearn the list after certain time intervals » Forgetting curve: memory loss was greatest immediately after learning but then the rate of decline became more gradual and eventually plateaued » Jost’s law of forgetting: younger memory traces are forgotten before older ones  Over time, memories become more resistant to interference » Robit’s law of retrograde amnesia: older memories are less likely to be lost due to brain damage (ex. Alzheimer’s) » Law of progressions/pathologies: last memory to develop is the first one to decay (last in, first out) - Ecological approach: emphasizes real world functions and has external validity » Focus on everyday life and natural settings sacrifice environmental control » Ex. flashbulb memories » Children/clock checking children check the clock more often in the real world when they are baking than in a lab setting » Bahrick/school learning: studied how long information is retained after school is over  Asked subjects how many Spanish courses they took and how often they used Spanish outside of school  Tested them on reading comprehension tests  Determined that there is a sharp drop in knowledge in the first 6 years but in the next 25 years, there is a plateau and no loss of knowledge same graph for everyone regardless of how long they studied Spanish  Permastone: memories are stored here for a long period of time  Long term algebra knowledge was determined by subsequent exposure to it (reinforces and consolidates learning)  If info. is spread over longer periods of time, it is more likely to be remembered (ex. taking several courses over a long period of time) grades don’t matter Modal Model - History: » Memories were thought of as learned associations » Ebbinghaus forgetting curve studied long term memory » Thorndike and operate learning if we practice something, we remember it but if we stop using it, we forget » McGeoch  time doesn’t cause you to forget memories, events that occur during this time do » Computers » Peterson/Peterson: studied memory that wasn’t rehearsed decayed quickly (no plateau)  Contradicts Ebbinghaus’ curve because they studied short term memories » Kepel/Underwood: we forget things because of interference  Memory is higher for items at the beginning of the list - Modal model: characteristics of memory depend on the location/structure - Input Sensory Memory (last 18 sec) Short Term Memory Rehearsal Long Term Memory » Info. can be lost at any stage of the model » » Tip of the tongue phenomenon exists when you can’t get memory from long term to short term » Each stage corresponds to a different structure » We can control memory if we rehearse it, it will be stored in long term memory » We are not passive receivers what we do with memory determines how long we remember it Levels of Processing - Early models of memory focused on structure of cognition rather than processes (ex. Waugh/Norman) » Didn’t determine which info. will be remembered - Depth: the meaningfulness extracted from the stimulus » It is harder to remember unrelated items (ex. digits) - Levels of processing: continuum that ranges from shallow to deep levels » Shallow: easily forgotten  Structural processing: physical characteristics (ex. colour, all capital letters)  Phonemic: the sounds involved » Deep/semantic: understanding meaning or analyzing it in terms of relationships to oth
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