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Chapter 7.3

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7.3: Teddy Bear, Frontal Lobe, Memory Consolidation

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Dan Dolderman

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7.3 Constructing and Reconstructing Memories
How Memories are Organized and Constructed:
The Schema
- Schemas: organized clusters of memories that make up one’s knowledge of events, objects, and ideas
o Schemas become active when we encounter something familiar- influences our expectations,
attention, and memory
o Laundry paragraph- laundry schema- we pull up all relevant information
Sort new information into our existing knowledge of how to do laundry (fit knowledge
into our schema)
- Constructive memory: first recall a generalized schema, then add in specific details
o Organization: when new information can fit into our existing schema- easier to recall
o Distinctiveness: new information that doesn’t fit into existing schema- stands out as weird,
unusual easier to recall
- Schemas exist & likely help w/ memory consolidation
o Encoding & retrieving information related with schema greater activity in networks of medial
temporal lobes (where hippocampus is) & frontal lobes
o Modifying existing schemas- changes gene expression in frontal lobe rewriting your brain!!
- Self-schemas: schemas about the self based on past experiences
o Influences future responses, and plays a critical role in ability to form memories about our lives
Memory Reconstruction
- Memories of our past are influenced by our motivation to view ourselves in particular ways
- Useless study course experiment- participants who underwent the course (which taught them absolutely
nothing) rated their old study skills lower than they had rated their study skills before taking the course
o Participants revised memories of past abilities- make them feel like they had benefitted from the
course- supports the bias that we are improving over time
- False memory: remembering events that didn’t occur & incorrectly recalling details of an event
Eyewitness Testimony
- Car-crash scenario: changing 1 verb (contacted vs. smashed) changed speed estimates dramatically
o Smash: inserted broken glass into accident reports (reported a more violent scene)
- Misinformation effect:Information we hear about can get encoded into memory of the event
o Ex/ Report: Donald trump grabs pussy, we insert into our memory that he has smacked my bum
or done some inappropriate things to me when we had met
o Ex/ Leading question: was there a stop sign in the video? People respond yes- they encode the
stop sign into their memory of the event
o Children- particularly susceptible
Ex/ watching actor-janitor clean toys
Asked in accusatory tone, reported janitor was being rough & was mean
Asked in innocent tone (implying janitor cleaning the dolls)- treated toys nicely
Asked in neutral tone (implying nothing)- children’s report very accurate
Ex/ Clumsy friend Sam Stone
Told stories about Sam Stone & how clumsy he was
Children spent time with Sam Stone, who didn’t show a single clumsy act
Show children ripped book, torn teddy bear- children claimed it was Sam Stone
who ruined them, and some claimed to have witnessed him do it!
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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