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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Textbook

Course Code
Gabriela Ilie

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Memory Processes
Chapter 6
The Levels-of-Processing View
Dependent on the initial encoding of information to be remembered
Focuses on the different kinds of cognitive processing that people perform when they encode,
and later retrieve information
Retention and coding of information depends on the kind of perceptual analysis done on the
material at encoding
oSuperficial level poor retention
oDeeper level (meaningful/semantic) improved retention
Improvement in memory comes from greater depth of analysis of the material
Participants are presented a series of questions about particular words and must answer the
questions as quickly as possible
oThey are then given a surprise memory test
oAny learning that occurs in the situation is called incidental learning
o“Is the word written in capital letters? physical processing
o“Does this word rhyme with another word? acoustic processing
o Would this word fit into this sentence? semantic processing
Words processed semantically are remembered the best ^
The time it takes to answer a question also affects how well you remember the word (the more
time better retention)
Depth of processing = degree of semantic processing
Also works with nonverbal stimuli
oRating faces for honesty vs naming a persons gender
Elaboration of material can also aid recall

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Memory Processes
Chapter 6
oSentences that specify a more precise relation between the target word to the context
Better recall
In some cases, there is greater recall of information processed acoustically than semantically
The Reconstructive Nature of Memory
In the real world, memory largely uses world knowledge and schemata (frameworks)
Bartlett at retrieval time this knowledge and organizational information is used to reconstruct
the material
oPerson is asked to read a story
oAsked to recall anything they remember from the story 15 mins after reading, 2 weeks
after reading, etc
oOvertime a persons recall becomes more distorted
People unintentionally introduce distortions during recall to make material more rational and
more coherent from their own point of view memory is stored unchanged until retrieval
Schema - large unit of organized information used for representing concepts, situations,
events, and actions in memory
Misrecall is often more consistent with peoples cultural conventions
o“foggy and calm” dark and stormy”
Distorted recalls of the story are a result of the participants schemata for stories and cultural
expectations of how the story should go
Autobiographical Memory
Linton spent 6 years studying and recalling events in her own life
oRecorded what happened on a particular date, and the date
oNot very good because Linton had chosen the most memorable event of her day
Real-world memories are more durable than those of laboratory experiments
Brewer participants wore beepers that would set off at a random time

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Memory Processes
Chapter 6
oWhen the beeper went off, they had to record what event was happening at that
oOverall retention was good (60%)
Events that occurred in a unique or infrequent location were better remembered
The more distinct the mental representation of an event, the more likely it is to be recalled
Flashbulb Memories
Brown and Kulick
9/11 you remember what happened to the Twin Towers, and what you were doing at that time
(5th grade, eating lunch)
We remember what happened so vividly partly because of our physiological response when we
hear big news
oAmygdala becomes activated store a great deal of information even if information is
unrelated to the event
Emotion is memory enhancing
Neisser people want to link themselves to history
oThey end up retelling their own versions of what actually happened
Eye Witness Memory
Our ability to recognize past scenes or events can be biased by the type of questions asked
after viewing
Peoples memories can be altered by presenting misleading questions memory malleability
Brandsford + Frank information is not stored, but rather, abstracted and reorganized
oIncorrect information may become integrated with the original memory to produce a
distorted memory
The Recovered/False Memory Debate
Do victims of sexual abuse actually repress memories and later recover them?
“If you feel that something happened, it probably happened
Participants are given 3 true events about their lives and 1 false event
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