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Chapter 5

PSY213 Chapter 5.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Giampaolo Moraglia

PSY213 –Chapter5 Notes Memory Studying Memory Systems  Scientists now see memory, not as a single capacity but as a complex, dynamic system of processes and “storehouses”  Two perspectives of studying human memory systems: o Information-processing research explores mental operations involved in remembering: the software of memory  Using computer science concepts: encoding, storage, search, and retrieval o Biological research maps physical structures, biochemical mechanisms, and “wiring” of brain + nervous system: the hardware of memory  Begun to pinpoint physical locations of where various memory functions and connections take place through animal studies, observations of people with brain damage and recording brain activity Information-Processing Approach: Software of Memory  Goal is to discover what people do with information from the time they perceive it until they use it o Focuses on individual differences in intelligent behaviour o Suited for describing changes that take place over the lifespan  Assumptions of this approach: o Human beings actively seek useful information about their world o Human beings can handle only a limited amount of information at a given time; information not currently being used must be stored in memory o Information that comes in through the sense is transformed by a series of mental processes into a form suitable for storage and later recall  Most information-processing studies are cross-sectional, and their findings may reflect cohort differences rather that age-related changes Processes: Encoding, Storage, and Retrieval  memory as a three-step filing system: encoding, storage, and retrieval  Encoding attaches a “code” or “label” to the information to prepare it for storage, easier to find when needed.  Store the material  retrieve the information when we need it  precise mechanisms involved in encoding, storage
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