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PSYB57H3 (300)
Chapter 6

Chapter 6 notes

Course Code
Gabriela Ilie

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PSYB57- Chapter 6- Memory processes
The levels of processing view
The modal approach to memory is not universal; some psychologists believe that
there is only one kind of storage for memory but different kinds of info processing
take place within that store
In the levels of processing model, memory is thought to depend not on how long
material is stored or on the kind of storage in which the material is held but on the
initial encoding of the info to be remembered
This model doesnt believe in different memory stores (like STM and LTM) but
focuses on different kinds of cognitive processing that people perform when they
encode and later retrieve info
Retention and coding of info depend on the kind of perceptual analysis done on the
material at encoding
In this model, improvement in memory comes not from rehearsal and repetition but
from greater depth of analysis of the material
Incidental learning- the retention of info even when it is not required of or even
intended by the processer
In one of Craik and Tulvings experiments, 3 kinds of questions were used. One
asked whether the word was printed in capital letters (physical processing), the
second asked whether the word sounded like the target word (acoustic processing)
and the last asked if the word fit into a particular sentence (semantic processing).
The depth of processing needed is greatest for the 3rd kind of question and the least
for the 1st question
Participants remembered the words processed semantically best followed by words
processed acoustically. However another finding from this study showed that
participants spent more time answering questions about sentences than questions
about capital letters
Participants who were asked whether a word fit in a sentence showed poorer recall
for simple sentences than more complex ones
Craik and Tulving extended the levels of processing approach arguing that the
elaboration of material could also aid recall

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Sentences that specified more precisely the relation of the target word to the context
were found especially likely to increase the probability of recalling the target word
The levels of processing approach holds that material not analyzed for meaning
receives only shallow processing which results in poor retention
Baddeley criticized this theory by saying that without a more precise and
independent definition of depth of processing the usefulness of this theory is very
limited. He also showed that under some conditions greater recall of info processed
acoustically than semantically
The reconstructive nature of memory
Bartlett rejected the idea of studying memory in laboratory. He believed that in the
real world memory largely uses world knowledge and schemata- frameworks for
organizing info.
At retrieval time this knowledge and organizational info is used to reconstruct the
He used the method of serial reproduction which means that participants were asked
to recall the stories on more than one occasion. They were asked to recall the tales at
varying intervals. Bartlett wanted to know what info was remembered and what was
Bartlett used examples of recall as evidence to argue for a constructive view of LTM.
He believed that participants unintentionally distorted their stories during recall to
make the material more rational and coherent from their own P.O.V., or schemata
A schema is thought to be a large unit of organized info used for representing
concepts, situations, events and actions in memory
Bartlett rejected the idea of LTM as a warehouse where material is stored or
unchanged until retrieval. Rather, he saw memory as an active and often inaccurate
process that encodes and retrieves info so as to make sense
Autobiographical memory
Memory of events and other info from ones own personal past

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Marigold Linton studied her own recall of events from her own life
He results suggest that real world memories are much more durable than those of
most laboratory experiments
Brewer found that events that occurred in a unique or infrequent location were
better remembered than occurrences in frequented locations
Brewer concluded that the more distinct the mental representation of an event the
more likely it is to be recalled, which is a conclusion similar to that reached by
Flashbulb memories
People recall their personal circumstances (where they were, whom they were with,
etc) at the time they heard of or witnessed an unexpected and very significant event
Parts of the brain that are involved in emotional responses, such as the amygdala,
become activated and the cognitive effects of this activation result in the storage of a
great deal of info
Neisser offered a different explanation for the origin of flashbulb memories: he said
that people are finding a way to link themselves to history; strong emotions
produced by the event prompt people to retell their own stories of where they were
when they heard the news
Flashbulb memories then result from retellings of stories
People elaborate and fill gaps in their stores making them approximate a standard
copy format.
Eyewitness memory
A narrative memory of a personally witnessed event
Loftus stated that eyewitness testimony is likely to be believed by jurors especially
when it is offered with a high level of confidence even when the confident witness is
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