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PSYB57H3 (369)
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Chapter 5

PSYB57 – Chapter 5 Notes.docx
PSYB57 – Chapter 5 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Dwayne Pare

PSYB57 – Chapter 5 Notes  Before there can be a memory, some learning must occur; that is, new information must be acquired (acquisition)  Then, once information has been acquired, it must be held in memory until it is needed (storage)  Finally, we use the information that is in memory; we remember  Information is somehow found in the vast warehouse that is memory and brought into active use; this is called retrieval  For many years, theorizing in cognitive psychology was guided by a perspective known as information processing o The notion was that complex mental events such as learning, remembering, or deciding actually involve a large number of discrete steps o These steps occur one by one, each with its own characteristics and its own job to do, and with each providing as its “output” the input to the next step in the sequence  According to the modal model, our information processing involves different kinds of memory, two of which are short-term memory and long-term memory  Short-term memory holds on to information currently in use, much as your desk contains the papers or books with which you are currently working; information in short-term memory is instantly and easily available to you, but also limited in how much it can hold o Working memory (AKA; a term that emphasizes the function of this memory) o Short-lived memory demand: you need to hang on to the early parts of the input, or the early steps, while you’re working on what comes next; only then with the later steps finished, can you put all of the pieces together  Long-term memory (LTM): contains all of the information you remember: your memories of what you did yesterday, how you spent your childhood, a vast number of facts about various topics, the names and faces of a hundred acquaintances, and so on o At any point in time, much of the material in LTM lies dormant, and so the process of retrieving information from LTM, making the information available for use, often requires some hunting and can sometimes be effortful and slow  Free recall procedure: participants are free to report the words in any order they choose  Remembering the first few words on the list – primacy effect  Remembering the last few words on the list – recency effect  The proposal is that the list’s ending is still in working memory when the list ends, and working memory’s contents are easy to retrieve (this is the source of the recency effect)  Memory rehearsal – repeating word over and over again  Words later in the list literally are rehearsed fewer times than words early in the list – a fact we can confirm simply by asking participants to rehearse out loud  Early words didn’t have to share attention with other words, and so more time and more rehearsal were devoted to these early words than to any others  This means that the early words have a greater chance of being transferred into LM, and so a greater chance of being recalled after a delay – that’s what shows up in our data as the primacy effect  An activity interpolated between the list and recall essentially eliminate the recency effect, but it has no influence elsewhere in the list; in contrast, merely delaying the recall for a few seconds after the list’s end, with no interpolated activity, has no impact o In this case, participants can continue rehearsing the last few items during the delay and so can maintain them in working memory o With no new materials coming in, nothing pushes the recency items out of working memory, and so even with a delay, a normal recency effect is observed  Slower list presentation improves retention of all the pre-recency items, but does not improve the recency effect  When information is currently in use or likely to be needed soon, it is held in working memory  George Miller proposed that working memory holds 7 plus-or-minus 2 chunks o Working memory holds 7 plus-or-minus 2 packages, and what those packages contain is largely up to the individual person  Positive correlations between problem-solving and working-memory capacity (in children) obtained when the more active measure of working memory – reading span or operation span – is used  Visuospatial Buffer: used for storing visual material (working memory’s
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