PSYB57H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Charades

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17 Mar 2012

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Chapter 7 - Remembering Complex Events
Memory Errors, Memory Gaps
- Some observations testify the efficiency of human memory what if you draw a blank sometimes?
- How about if you recall an episode, but it turns out wrong?
- Let’s consider all cases, including the how and how often, errors arise
Memory Errors: Some Initial Examples
- 1992: El cargo plane lost power in 2 of its engines in Amsterdam pilot returned place to airport but couldn’t
make it plane crashed into apartment
10 months later, researchers question 193 Dutch people about crash, asking them “Did you see TV film the moment
the plane hit the building?” >1/2 did see film, even though there was not film. No camera had recorded the crash or
film shown on TV
In follow-up, investigators surveyed 93 people about crash asked whether they saw TV film and asked more
detailed questions about what they saw in the film 2/3 remembered film and gave details
Errors may emerge b/c participants were trying to remember something that took place 1 year ago
Memory Errors: A Hypothesis
- Memory errors can happen in many different way start from arising during initial exposure to
continuing through the moment of recall
- Errors involve same simple mechanism memory connection linking knowledge to other bits like
spider web
- Same connections can create problem - as you ad link, you gradually link 2 episodes together and lose
track which bits of info were contained w/I which episode = “transplant” errors
Understanding Both Helps and Hurts Memory
- Memory connections help b/c they help connections and make it easier to locate info
- Memory connections hurt b/ they make it difficult to see where remember episode stop and others
- Intrusion errors- Errors where other knowledge intrude into remember event
i.e. Role of understanding itself - study w/ Owens, Bower, Black
Read passage
Participants given recall test,
were asked to remember the
sentences as they could
Participants who saw prologue
made x4 as many intrusion
The DRM Procedure
- Similar effect can be
demonstrated w/ word lists,
provided the lists are arranged
so they make appropriate
contact w/ prior knowledge
i.e. participant presented with “bed, rest, awake, tired, dream, wake, snooze, blanket, doze, slumber, snore,”
participants asked to recall words (associated w/ sleep but not included in list contestant make association with
it) likely to hear “sleep”
- Dese-Rodiger-McDermott/DRM Procedure: Errors are observed even if participants are put on their
guard. Mechanisms leading to memory errors are automatic
Schematic Knowledge
- Intrusion errors come from words/idea associated w/ material being learned
- Intrusion errors can also come from background knowledge we bring in most situation helps us explore, think
about and interpret MISSING 205
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Evidence for Schematic Knowledge
- Schematic knowledge helps us guide understanding and allow us to reconstruct things we can’t remember
- Schematic knowledge hurts us Promote errors in perception and memory
- Types of errors will be predictable
i.e. visiting dentist’s office w/ no magazine – you won’t notice this detail or forget about it, then recall this trip
odds are you rely on schematic knowledge and ”remember” there were magazines – your recollection seems more
- Tendency to “regularize” past seen in lab – Frederick Bartlett taking stories form Native American, participants
remembered gist of story but made man errors in recalling particulars
Planting False Memories
- Memory connections help us in retrieval and link related ideas in
- Memory connections can undermine memory accuracy
- 1 line of research explore sequence of events that can rise in crime
scene when witnesses are questioned about what they see
- Loftus and Palmer show participant series of slides of car crash
½ participants ask “How fast were cars going when they hit each
other” or “How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each
1st group-hit estimated 34, 2nd group=smashed guessed 41
1 weeks later, participants asked in perfectly neutral way whether they saw any broken glass
1st group tended to say no glass; 2nd group likely to remember glass
Are There Limits on Misinformation Effect?
- Misinformation Effect: B/c participant’s memory is being influence by misinformation they received after
an episode was over
- 1 study: College students were told that investigators were trying to learn how different people remember the
same experience
Students given list of events that were reported by parents students as to recall events as they could to compare
with parents’
Some were parents while others were fake
College students easily able to remember actual events
In 1st interview no one recalled bogus events
By 3rd interview 25% of participants remember embarrassment of spilling punch (i.e. fake episode)
- Evidence suggests that children are more vulnerable than adults to memory “planting” – Mr. Science
- Easier to plant plausible memories than implausible ones
- Basic point: False memories can easily be planted through variety of procedures
Avoiding Memory Errors
- How worried should we be about errors?
- Can we say more about when the errors will occur?
- Is there a way to detect the errors when they do occur?
Accurate Memories
- Overall evidence suggest that we can trust our memories in our daily lives our recollection is complete,
detailed, long-lasting and correct
- Studies w/ interviewing witnesses at crime, reclining events from very early in childhood
The Importance of Retention Interval
- What shapes accurate memory from memory errors?
- Retention Interval The amount of time b/w initial learning and subsequent retrieval passage of time
indicates how much you’ll gradually forget and make up to “plug” the gaps
- As time goes by, you’ll have more difficulty in source monitoring the source of various ideas associated / an
even in your thoughts
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