PSYC 2650 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Hot Air Balloon, Autobiographical Memory, Long-Term Memory

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16 Nov 2017
Chapter 8: Remembering Complex Events
Memory Errors, Memory Gaps
Our memory is always readily available to us at all times (example: where were you five
minutes ago)
Sometimes though we draw a blank and we are unable to locate these little bits of
Memory Errors: Some Initial Examples
Sometimes people make mistakes about memories they think they saw (example: when
participants were asked if they saw the film about the Amsterdam plane crash many
answered yes even though there was no video footage from that event)
Memory Errors: A Hypothesis
Sometimes our memory becomes connected by similar events that may occur (example:
going to the beach resurfaces memories about another trip)
Our memories become a spider web within the mind, all connected to other bits of
information. These memories though are all open to each other, meaning their not stored
based on different episodes of memories
These connections (retrieval paths) we make while trying to retrieve our memories are
crucial. Your nodes are activated when you’re thinking about a trip and remember how it was
raining. Once that memory is identified it activates a series of other memories as well
Memory connections are usually a good thing but sometimes boundaries are crossed and
different memories are joined together to create a false memory. Also the more in depth one
memory becomes, the more information to keep track of resulting in a possibility for a larger
Understanding Both Helps and Hurts Memory
Connections both help and hurt us when it comes to memory
They help us retrieve useful information, however they also can hurt us by confusing our
memories with other ones
Intrusion errors: errors in which other knowledge intrudes into another remembered event
(example: page 268 the prologue versus the passage)
The DRM Procedure
Based on the experiment using word lists, it proves that connections both help and hurt
Participants are given a list of words (best, rest, awake, tired, dream etc.) and asked to repeat
the words. All of the words had to do with a similar theme which was sleep, however the
actual list did not contain that word. Since the word was a similar theme to the other ones,
our memory was confused and many people thought that word was on the list. (This test was
referred to as the DRM procedure
Schematic Knowledge
Schema: knowledge that you have because it’s a situation that is normal (example: you go to
a restaurant and you know you’ll be seated, someone brings you menus, you eat, pay and
Another example: why the kitchen has a stove in it and not a piano
Schema’s help you understand how certain things fit into a broader framework (why
someone keeps asking you if everything is okay when our for dinner). It also helps you to fill
in gaps regarding your memory and recall how your night may have unfolded
The Cost of Memory Errors
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