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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Notes

Course Code
Gillian Rowe

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Modal Model: (everything that follows is related to this model)Rehearsal:
Control process – active processes
that can be controlled by the person Encoding
Sensory MemoryShort-Term Memory
A temporary mental store that holds
incoming sensory information for
very brief periods of time
Iconic memory: visual sensory
Duration: ¼ 1 second
Persistence of vision: holds a
short impression of sensory
information even when the
sensory system does not send
any information anymore (i.e.
sparklers, movies PoV fills in
the darkness by retaining the
image of the previous frame)
Perceptual span: the limit in a
single glance, measured to be
between 4 and 5 items (aka span
of immediate apprehension)
Stores small amounts of information for a brief duration
Window on the present
Recall: memory performance can be measured as a percentage of the stimuli that are remembered;
participants’ responses can also be analyzed to determine if there is a pattern to the way items are
recalled. Also involved when a person recollects life events. Measuring recall contrasts with measuring
recognition (i.e. multiple choice questions).
Rehearsal: strategies used to make a stimulus more memorable; strategies of attention
Suffix effect: an extra speech stimulus presented at the end of the list (e.g.go) harms recall, even
though it is entirely predictable
The effective duration of STM, when rehearsal is prevented is about 15 20 seconds
Peterson & Peterson:
PURPOSE: determining the duration of STM
METHOD: recall; letters and words presented, then must count backwards by 3s for a certain period of
RESULTS: 3 seconds = 80% recall, 18 seconds = 7%
CONCLUSION: interpreted results as Decay theory of forgetting i.e. their memory trace decayed
Long-term Memory
Sensory Memory
Short-term memory
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Limited perception: no matter
how much information we are
shown, we appeared to perceive
only a limited portion of it
oPURPOSE: challenge idea of
limited perceptual span,
introduce idea of iconic
memory as a sensory store
oMETHOD: letters flashed
quickly onto screen;
participants asked to report
as many as possible.
Whole report method:
participants asked to report
as many as could be seen
Partial report: participants
heard tone that told them
which row of letters to report
reduce the problem of rapid
fading from sensory memory
Delayed partial report:
presentation of tone delayed
for a fraction of a second after
the letters were extinguished
oRESULTS: Whole report
average 4.5 out of 12 letters
Partial report average 3.3
out of 4 letters (82.5%)
Delayed partial: performance
decreases rapidly
oCONCLUSION: a short-lived
sensory memory registers all
or most of the information
that hits our visual receptors
but that this information
decays within less than a
capacity of sensory memory
because of the passage of tie after hearing the letters
SIGNIFICANCE: Decay theory disproven; proactive interference most like cause of decline in memory
as trials increase
Interference: (Keppel and Underwood)
Proactive: earlier info disrupts later information (old disrupts new); RELEASE possible if a new topic
is introduced (i.e. similar items = memory decline, new items = recovery)
Retroactive: later info disrupts earlier info (new disrupts old)
oPURPOSE: retrieval
oMETHOD: see a set of numbers; given probe digit; indicate if probe was in set, reaction time
measured (reflects time to scan memory)
Parallel search: scan everything at once
Serial self-terminating search: stop scanning when target found
Serial exhaustive search: scan everything sequentially and then decide if target present
oRESULTS/CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: data suggests serial exhaustive search
Very limited
According to the digit span, (# of digits a person can remember) the average capacity of STM is about 5
9 items
magic number seven, plus or minus two
Chunking: small units (like words) can be combined into larger meaningful units, like phrases, or even
larger units such as sentences, paragraphs, or stories
Chunk: a collection of elements that are strongly associated with one another but are weakly
associated with the other words
Chase and Simon:
METHOD: experts vs. non-experts in memorizing chess positions
RESULTS: (a) actual chess positions: masters significantly better (b) random: masters similar in
memorizing as noobs
CONCLUSION: chunking = increased retrieval
Modern Day Experimentation (Luck and Vogel):
METHOD: coloured squares (like the one I did), are they the same or different?
RESULTS: performance began to decrease once there were 4 squares in the display
CONCLUSION: 4 items can be stored in the STM
SIGNIFICANCE: more evidence agrees with findings
Ericsson and coworkers:
S.F. beats normal digit span of ~7 items by breaking sequence into chunks
No generalizability: performance ordinary if sequence cannot be related to existing knowledge
CONCLUSION: Encoding strategy better, not STM
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