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Long Term Memory.docx

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2650
Dan Meegan

Long Term Memory 10/6/2012 8:35:00 AM Long Term Memory  Episodic memory  what distinguishes from semantic memory, actual things that have happened to you (episode), increased level of detail  Difference between have you seen these words before? And recall the words from before or which words did you see before? (episodic memory) o Recognition vs. long term memory  Semantic memory  meaning, things that you are aware of their meaning o Who is the current president of the USA? Would be piece of knowledge you know about the world that is detached from episode in which you learned it  Neuropsychology  disorders of memory and what they tell us about how memory is organized, amnesia o Short term memory fine but hindered long term memory or vice versa? (double dissociation) o Is there a difference between episodic and semantic memory  Everyday memory  criticism of cognitive psychology: ecological validity o E.g. eye witness testimony  Encoding  transfer to LTM, rehearsal  Retrieval  getting from LTM  Storage  keeping in LTM History:  Herman Ebbinghaus o “On Memory” (1885)  book  Introspection is primary research method at the time  Did not use introspection, used methods similar to post WW2 era  Ahead of his time  Contemporary study of memory not until 60s and 70s (U of T) “the Ebbinghaus Empire” (shows importance of contribution)  Used himself as a test subject  Created experiment and then tested himself o Before Ebbinghaus: start with formed ideas and look backward to find source  Explore nature of memory for idea  Look backward through past of information to see if anything interesting about how you store information o Ebbinghaus studied how memory developed  Studied in forward fashion as opposed to backward fashion  Similar to behavioural scientific method  Take something that you have never been exposed to (don’t have any information about topic) and see how memory forms  Able to bring many variables under scientific control Ebbinghaus and Experimental Control:  Can observe and exert control on input and output  To-be-remembered stimuli o What would make good stimuli?  Something you have no prior experience with  Something that is meaningless (no semantic associations)  Not tainted by prior information, reduced pneumonic strategies o Nonsense Syllables  What Ebbinghaus came up with as best stimuli  c-v-c  Consisting of consonant, vowel and then consonant  Pronounable but doesn’t remind you of anything  Independent variables o Able to control independent variables would effect likelihood of remembering something o Retention interval  Time interval over which we have to keep something in memory  Long retention intervals are harder on memory  Way in which it effects performance is not straightforward (not linear function) o List length  How many items where you to remember  More you have to remember, the more likely it is that you will forget some of it o Extended practice (overlearning)  Does it benefit your performance?  Intuition  no  But it actually does! o Serial order  In theory, subjects treat items as individual entities  Is the order in which items are presented important?  Given that you presented info in certain order is that info encoded in that order?  E.g. listening to music in album in order artist intended it  Feeling of expectation of next song  Dependent variable o Retention savings  Retaining information (measure of time)  Normally  record accuracy of memory test Typical Ebbinghaus Example  Study list nonsense syllables  Measure study time for 2 perfect recitations o Measure how much time it took you to remember as opposed to accuracy o Only stop when we know you know it really well o Perfect recitation twice  Stop measuring study time  Independent variable: retention interval (RI) o (range 20 min to 31 days)  Relearn list after RI and re-measure study time for 2 perfect recitations o Study however long it takes to get back to the point you were at before when you could recite perfectly twice in a row o Study time at second occasion should be shorter than first occasion  Calculating Retention
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