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Chapter 7

CH.7 Memory and Cognition.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Dwayne Pare

CH.7 REMEMBERING COMPLEX EVENTS Memory Errors, Memory Gaps Memory Errors  Connections serve as retrieval path that guide you search through memory  As ur adding more and more links btwn the bits of this episode and that episode, ur gradually knitting these 2 episodes together. As a result, u may lose track of the boundary btwn episodes and ur likely to lose track of which bits of info were contained within which event. Thus you become vulnerable of wht we might think of transplant errors in which a bit of info encountered in one context is transplanted into another context Understanding both Helps and Hurts Memory  Memory connections both help and hurt recollection  Help connections serving as retrieval paths allows you to locate info in memory. It can hurtbecause they can make it difficult to see where the remembered episode stops and other, related knowledge begins. As a result, the connections encourage intrusion errors where other knowledge intrudes into the remembered event  Nancy example on slide The DRM (Deese, Roediger, and McDermott) Procedure  Shows list of words that are related. Because of the theme uniting the list, participants can rmr almost 90% of the words they encountered. However, they’re just as likely to recall the list’s theme word even though it was not presented. (Figure 7.2)  Errors happen even if participants told before experiment to put on their guard Schematic Knowledge  Know the setting details- schema  Schemata help in many ways as it tells you normal occurrences within the setting and understand how they fit into the broader framework. Schemata also help when time comes to recall how an event unfolded as there are gaps in recollection because there were things you didn`t notice in the first place or because you have gradually forgotten some aspects of an experience Evidence for Schematic Knowledge  Schematic knowledge can also hurt you, promoting errors in perception and memory  Frederick Bartlett- presented his British participants with a story taken from the folklore of Native Americans. When tested later, participants did reasonably well in recalling the gist of the story but they made many errors in recalling the particulars. The patter of errors were systematic: details omitted tended to be ones that made little sense to Bartlett`s participants. Likewise, aspects of the story that were unfamiliar were changed into aspects that were more familiar; steps of the story that seemed inexplicable were supplemented to make the story seem more logical. Overall, participants’ memory cleaned up the story they had read- making it more coherent (from their perspective), more sensible than it first seemed. The Cost of Memory Errors  Positive aspects- memory connections serve as retrieval paths, allowing you to locate you to locate information in storage. The connections also enrich you understanding, because they highlight how each of your memories is related to other things you know. Links to schematic knowledge also allow you to supplement your (often incomplete) recollection with th well-informed (and usually accurate) inference  Negative- The same memory connections can undermine memory accuracy. Connectiosn can lead you to remember things as more regular than they were, in some cases adding elements to a memory and in other cases subtracting elements so the memory ends up mkng more sense (fitting better with your schemata). Connections lead you to recall whole episodes (seeing a plan crash on TV) that nvr happened  It’s unsettling that memories you’re relying on may be wrong- misrepresenting how the past unfolded Planting False Memories  Loftus and Palmer showed participants series of slides of an automobile collision. Later, half the particpants were asked how fast cars going when they hit each other and others asked how fast were cars going when they smashed into each other (Difference is hit vs. smashed). A week later asked if they saw broken glass in slides; participants asked the hit qs tended to rmr correctly that there was no glass but smashed condition participants said there was broken glass. The change of just one word within the initial qs can have a large effect, in this case it more than doubles the likelihood of memory error  Imagination inflation- imagining can lead you to make errors Are there limits on the misinformation effect?  Misinformation effect where memories are influenced by misinformation they received after an episode was over. All sorts of memory errors can be planted in this way  College students were easily able to rmr genuine events (events actually reported by their parents). In an initial interview, more than 80% of these events were recalled but none of the students recalled the bogus events. However, repeated attempts at recall changed this pattern, and by a 3 interview, 25% of the participants were able to rmr the embarrassment of spilling he punch and may supplied details of this fictitious episode  Another study showed pictures to show evidence of bogus memory like hot air balloon ride or unaltered photo was enough to persuade participants tht experimenters really did have information abt the participants’ childhood. Thus, when experimenters reminded the participants of an episode of their childhood misbehaviour, the participants took this reminder seriously. Result: almost 80% of the participants were able to recall the episode, often, even though it nvr happened  False memories can persist and have lasting behavioral effects. Ex: study with participants eating less egg salad Avoiding Memory Errors Memory Confidence  Court room believe in confident recall as it is likely to be accurate recall but still it is a riddle to know if it is a correct or incorrect memory  Confidence in a memory often influenced by factors tht have no impacton memory accuracy. When these factors are present, therefore, confidence will change (sometimes upward, sometimes downward) with no change in the accuracy level and will undermine any correspondence between confidence and accuracy  Participants tried to identify a culprit from a police lineup and then indicated their level of confidence in their selection. Some participants were given no feedback abt their choice; others were given feedback after they’d made their selection but before they indicated their confidence. This feedback couldn’t possibly influence accuracy (b/c accuracy was already done) but dramatically increased confidence. (Figure 7.7) feedback did influence confidence and witnesses who had received the feedback expressed a much higher level of confidence in their choice than did witnesses who received no feedback The Remember/Know Distinction  False memories can be just as upsetting, emotional as memories for real events  “I rmr tht there were book because I recall thinking about how dusty they looked” – Remember judgement  “I know there were books, but I don’t rmr anything abt wht they looked like” –know judgement  Feelings of rmrng is more likely with correct memories than false memories. False memories often arrive with only a general sense of familiarity and no recollection of a particular episode so correct memories arrive in your thoughts with only a feeling of knowing and false memories arrive with a detailed sense of remembering. Distinction not reliable to distinguish correct emories from false ones  Response speed related to accurate memories recalled more rapidly than some errors Forgetting The Causes of Forgetting  Retention interval: amnt of time tht elapses btwn the initial learning and subsequent retrieval; as this is interval grows, you’re likely to forget more and more of the earlier event.  One possible explanation is decay. Memories may fade or erode because relevant brain cells die off. The connections among memories need to be constantly refreshed and so if they’re not refreshed the connections gradually weaken  A new learning interferes with older learning is referred to as interference theory and according to this view, the passage of time is correlated with forgetting but does not cause forgetting. Instead, passage of time simply creates the opportunity for new learning and it is the new learning that disrupts the older memories  3 hypothesis for forgetting blames retrieval failure: retrieval is more likely if your perspective at the time of retrieval matches that in place at the time of learning. The greater the retention interval, the greater the likelihood tht your perspective has changed, and therefore the greater the likelihood of retrieval failure. You’ll remember it after as it was not erased from decay or inference  Longer retention intervals lead to more forgetting.  All hypotheses are correct  Figure 7.8: it shows retention after various intervals since leanring. The data shown here are from classic work by Hermann Ebbinghaus and so pattern is referred to as Ebbinghaus forgetting curve. The actual speed of forgetting (how steep the drop off is) depends on hw well learned the material was at the start. Across most situations, though, pattern is the same, with the forgetting rapid a first but then slower. Mathematically, this pattern is best descried by an equation framed in terms of exponential decay  In some cases, retrieval failure is partial. Some are at the tip of your tongue an
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