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Chapter 7.3

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7.3: Irritant Diaper Dermatitis, Long-Term Memory, Leading Question

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Michael Inzlicht

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Psychology Module 7.3
In 1992 Saskatchewan town of Martinsville was rocked by sexual scandal. A complaint
about suspicious diaper rash from a parent of toddler attending local daycare led to
police investigation. A closer examination of the police investigation identified some
serious some serious problems. Expert witnesses noted that the questions used in the
interview were leading and suggestive. While certainty well meaning the investigators
who were not trained to interview child witnesses- forgot a critical piece of information.
Memories are not like photographs perfectly depicting an event from our past, instead
they are reconstructed each time, we retrieve them and can be altered by different
If you have a typical memory you will able to remember the basic plot for a very long
time. The plot may be referred to as the gist of the story and it impacts us much more
tha harater’ aes hih are ofte just details.
The gist of a story gies us the ig piture or a geeral struture for the eory;
details can be added around that structure. Gist is often influenced by schemas:
orgaized lusters of eories that ostitute oe’s koledge aout eets, ojets
and ideas. Whenever we encounter familiar events or objects, these schemas become
active and they affect what we expect, what we pay attention to and what we
remember. Because we use these patterns automatically it may be difficult to
understand what they are even those we may be using them all our life.
Although schemas are used to explain memory, they can be used to explain many other
phenomena as well, such as the way we perceive, remember and think about people
and situations.
Schema (What clothes are, what is detergent)
Once schema is activated you prepare to make sense of the story and could likely fill in
the gaps of your memory for the passage with stored knowledge from your schema in
long term memory.
Schema is involved in all three stages of memory. Guide what we attend during
encoding, organize stored memories and serve as cues when it comes to retrieve info.
Research indicates we remember events using constructive memory; a process by
which we first recall a generalized schema and then add in specific details.
To this end schema can affect our memory in two ways
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- 1) organization. When we encounter new situation some object and events will
undoubtedly fit our schema (expectation) better than others. When the new
information makes sense- that is when it fits our schema it is easier to recall
- 2) Distinctiveness. When we encounter new information some of it will not fit our
schemas. If the new information stands out as weird or unusual it will be easy to
recall. If it does not fit our schema but also not terribly interesting will be difficult to
Schemas are not limited to memories for other people, in fact we all have schemas
about ourselves. Psychology researchers became concerned with the way in which
these self-schemas may contribute to psychological problems. A person with clinical
depression- a condition that involves negative emotion lack energy and self doubt, is
likely to have very negative self schema.
Schemas are about the self are based on past experiences are used to organize the
encoding of self relevant information in a way that can influence our responses. But
self schemas may serve an additional role during development. Some evidence
suggest the ability to form schemas in particularly self schemas, play a critical role in
our ability to form memories about our lives.
The past we remember is influenced by our mental state and our view of ourselves in
the present.
This bias demonstrated in research at Concordia university and waterloo university.
About taking a class or not, the study course participants revised their memories of
their past ability in a way that allowed them to feel as though they benefited from the
course. This memory bias allowed the to feel as though they were improving over
time, a bias almost everyone has about themselves.
The results of such studies demonstrate that our memories are not stable but instead
change over time. Indeed, we have experienced false memory: remembering events
that did not occur, or incorrectly recalling details of an even. Does not indicate a
dysfunctional memory but rather reflect a normal memory processes.
Witnessing a crime, most of us feel quite confident in our ability to retrieve
information. However psychologists have shown a number of minor facts that can
draatially ifluee the details of our eories
Case study Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer showed undergraduate research
participants film clips of traffic accidents. Participants asked to write description of
what they had seen and asked specific questions about how fast the cars were going.
However exact wording of the question varied across experimental conditions. Words
sashed replaed ith ollided, uped otrated. “iple hages of oe
verb in sentence produced large difference in the estimated speed of vehicles. Altered
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