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PSYC 2650 Chapter Notes -Memory Rehearsal, Free Recall, Working Memory


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC 2650
Professor
Dan Meegan

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Working Memory 9/21/2012 8:01:00 AM
Working Memory
Stages of Memory: acquisition (learning new thing), storage (held in
memory) and retrieval (search processes)
Short Term memory: mental “desk space” (RAM), immediately available,
limited capacity
Long Term memory: “reference library” (hard drive)
Modal Model:
information processing view of memory
each sequence does its own job
output of previous step is input for next step
theory focuses on process through which information is detected,
reorganized and entered into memory
working memory emphasizes function of memory
o limited capacity of short term memory
o need to hold on to early parts of input in order to put
meaning for example
o mental “desk space”
Role of STM in LTM Formation
Rehearse contents of STM
More rehearsal increases chances of transfer to LTM
If item left STM before transfer to LTM, it would be lost

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STM can’t hold items for very long time because new items
competing for limited capacity
Critics of Modal Model
Questioned STM / LTM distinction
o Is STM distinct from LTM?
Primacy Effect: subjects are likely to remember the first
few words on the list
Recency Effect: subjects are likely to remember the last
few words on the list
Lab #3: Serial Position Effect
Free recall: can recall the words in any order
Serial Position Curve (SPC)

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So is STM distinct from LTM?
Yes
o Recency effect: more recent items are still in STM
Were not bumped out by new material
o Primacy effect: first few items underwent most memory
rehearsal (thus transferred to LTM)
Words later in the list receive less attention and
memory rehearsal
o STM = recency portion of SPC
o LTM = pre-recency portion of SPC
Variables that only affect LTM should only affect pre-
recency
Independent variable: rate of list presentation
o LTM: affected by presentation rate because more time to
rehearse each item
The slower you present the words, the more time words
have the be rehearsed therefore more are transferred
into LTM
Slower list presentation should have no influence on
working memory performance (no effect on recency
effect)
o STM and working memory: not affected by presentation rate
because it is limited in capacity not by rate of intake
Limited to 6-7 words before having to choose which
words to rehearse
Manipulation of working memory should only effect
recall of recent material
Allow participants to recall what they remember
immediately after list ends
Ask participants to count backwards from 201 by
3’s for 30 seconds before recalling
Hypothesize this will bump out the last few words
that were stored in working memory
Should have no impact on recall of first few
words
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