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Chapter 7

PSY100H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Ram Parity, With Confidence, Shape-Memory Alloy


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY100H1
Professor
Pare, Dwayne
Chapter
7

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PSYB57 Chapter 7: Remembering Complex Events
Memory Errors, Memory Gaps
Memory Errors: Some Initial Examples
Prior knowledge and specific experience leads to accurate memory
Sometimes peoples’ recall is often in line with their expectations and not with reality
o Participants were asked to sit in an office for several seconds and then asked what items
an office contains. Prior knowledge tells us that offices contain a desk and chair.
Participants answered this however, there were no books in shelves like they normally
are in offices. Even though there were no books in the office, participants were biased
by their expectations and claimed to have remembered seeing books
Memory Errors: A Hypothesis
Within the network of interconnected nodes, there are no boundaries keeping memories of one
episode separate from another episode
The density of connections holds together the various elements of episodes
As you add more and more links between episodes, you gradually knit episodes together and as
a result you may lose the boundaries between the episodes and lose track of which bits of info
are from what episode
o You become vulnerable to transplant errors
As memory for an episode becomes more and more interwoven it becomes difficult to keep
track of which elements are actually true and which are associated with the episode in your
thoughts
o This can also cause transplant errors
Understanding both Helps and Hurts Memory
Memory connections help and hurt recollection
o Help: they serve as retrieval paths
o Hurt: make it difficult to see where episode stops and other knowledge begins
Connections encourage intrusion errors = errors in which other knowledge intrudes into the
remembered event
A study shows that reading the prologue provides a meaningful context for the remainder of the
story and helps to understand it as well and understanding in turn promotes recall
Reading the prologue also led participants to include many things in their recall that weren’t in
the original story; they made 4X more intrusion errors as the participants that hadn’t read the
prologue
The DRM Procedure
Because of a certain theme uniting the list, participants can remember almost 90% of the words
they encountered but they are just as likely to recall the list’s theme words even though it was
not presented
This paradigm is called the DRM procedure in which participants make a large number of
memory errors even after being warned about the procedure
The mechanisms leading to these memory errors are automatic and not mechanism that people
can somehow inhibit

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Schematic Knowledge
Schemata summarize the broad pattern of what is normal in a situation
Schemata help when the time comes to recall how an event unfolded. This is because there are
often gaps in you recollection
You will supplement what you actually remember with a plausible reconstruction based on your
schematic knowledge and in most cases this after-the-fact reconstruction will be correct, since
schemata do describe what happens most of the time
Evidence for Schematic Knowledge
Schematic knowledge can hurt you by promoting errors in perception and memory
Any reliance on schematic knowledge will be shaped by this info about what is normal
If there are things you don’t notice while viewing a situation or event, your schemata will lead
you to fill these gaps with knowledge about what is normally in place in that setting
A reliance on schemata will inevitably make the world seem more normal than it really is and
will make the past seem more regular that it actually was
We have a tendency to regularize the past
In the experiment done by Brewer and Treyens about the books in the office, a schematic error
was produced when the participants “remembered” to have seen books in the office when
there really weren’t any and they were just biased by their schematic knowledge
The Cost of Memory Errors
Memory errors in eyewitness testimonies can potentially send an incorrect person to jail and
allow a guilty person to go free
Eyewitness errors account for 3/4s of false convictions
Planting False Memories
Witnesses asked how fast cars were going when they “hit” each other reported on average a
speed of 34 mph. other witnesses, asked how fast the cars were going when they “smashed”
into each other, gave estimates 20% higher.
When all the participants were later asked whether they had seen broken glass in the scene,
participants who has been asked the “smashed” question were more likely to say “yes” although
there was no broken glass
Substantial number of participants end up incorporating false suggestions into their memory for
the original event
It is easier to plant plausible memories rather than implausible ones
False memories are more easily planted if the research participants don’t just hear about the
false event but are urged to imagine how the event unfolded (imagination inflation)
Are There Limits on the Misinformation Effect?
Misinformation effect = participants’ memories are being influenced by misinformation they
received after an episode was over
In a study, participants were shown faked photos created from a real childhood photo and many
participants were led to a vivid detailed recollection of the happenings in the faked photo even
though it never occurred
Children are more vulnerable than adults to memory planting
We can remember entire events that never took place and even emotional episodes that never
happened. You can remember your own transgressions even when they never occurred
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