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ch 7 txt book note

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Dan Dolderman

Chapter 7 Memory - memory the capacity of the nervous system to acquire and retain usable skills and knowledge, allowing living organisms to benefit from experience - our memories are often incomplete, biased, and distorted - memory is a story that can be subtly altered though telling and retellings What are the basic stages of memory? - since late 1960s, most psychologists have viewed memory as a form of info processing in which memory processes occur in much the same way as they do in a computer - from an information processing perspective, the common way to describe memory is through a three stage memory system that involves sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory - modal memory model the three stage memory system that involves sensory memory, short term memory, and long term memory - modal refers to the models being common or standard - Atkinson and Schiffrin 1968 the modal model has dominated psychological thinking about memory, in spite of its being somewhat inaccurate and incomplete Sensory memory is brief - sensory info leaves a trace on the nervous system for a split second and then vanishes - sensory memory memory for sensory info that is stored briefly in its original sensory form - visual memory is also called iconic memory, whereas auditory sensory memory is also called echoic memory - iconic memory persisted for about 1/3 of a second, after which the sensory memory trace faded and was no loner accessible - iconic and echoic memory allow us to experience the world as a continuous stream rather than in discrete sensations, much the same way that a movie project plays a series of still pictures that follow each other closely enough to look like continuous action Short term memory is active - short term memory (STM) a limited capacity memory system that holds info in awareness for a brief period of time - many contemporary researchers use the term immediate memory to emphasize the idea that this temporary buffer consists of our fleeting thoughts, feelings, and impressions of the world - short term or immediate memory can hold info for no longer than about 20 seconds - it then disappears unless you actively prevent that from happening by thinking about the info or rehearsing it - memory span and chunking o short term memory is a limited resource that can hold only so much info o Miller STM is generally limited to about seven times, plus or minus two, which is commonly referred to as memory span o Memory span varies among individuals o Some tests of intelligence use memory span as a measure of IQ o Memory span is limited to at most seven items, and probably fewer, but the items can be letters, numbers, words, or even concepts o Meaningful units are easier to remember than nonsense units o Process of organizing info into meaningful units is known as chunking, as in breaking down the info into chunks o The more efficiently you chunk info, the more you can remember o The greater your expertise with the material, the more efficiently you can chunk info and therefore the more you can remember o Ability to chunk info efficiently relies on our long term memory system - Working memory o Initial conception of short term memory was that it was simply a buffer in which verbal info was rehearsed until it was stored or forgotten o STM is not a single storage system but rather an active processing unit that deals with multiple types of info, such as sounds, images, and ideas o Baddeley influential model of a three part active memory system that they called working memory o Working memory an active processing system that keeps different types of info available for current use o Three components of working memory central executive presides over the interactions between the subsystems and long term memory its the boss encodes info from sensory systems and then filters info that is sufficiently important to be store din long term memory retrieves info from long term memory as needed relies on 2 subcomponents that temporarily hold auditory or visual info the phonological loop encodes auditory info and is active whenever you read, speak, or repeat words to yourself fin order to remember them recall is poorer when many words on a list sound the same compared to when they sound dissimilar, even when the latter words are related to each other in meaning words are processed in working memory by how they sound rather than by what they mean the visuospatial sketchpad processes visual info distinction between phonological loop and visuospatial sketchpad has been demonstrated by studying patients with specific brain damage Long term memory is relatively permanent - long term memory (LTM) the relatively permanent storage of info - distinguishing long term memory from short term memory o long term memory is distinct from short term memory in 2 ways duration and capacity o controversy exists as to whether LTM represents a truly different type of memory storage from STM o serial position effect ability to recall items form a list depend son order of presentation, with items presented early or late in the list remembered better than those in the middle o primacy effect in a list, the better memory for items presented first o recency effect in a list, the better memory for words presented later in the list o the idea that primacy effects are due to LTM whereas recency effects are due to STM is supported by studies in which there is a delay between the presentation of the list and the recall task o such delays interfere with the recency effect, but not the primacy effect o recency effect even for info presented over days and weeks, which makes it unlikely that the material is being maintained in STM o recency effect on its own doesnt prove that STM and LTM are really different types of memory storage o best support for distinction between STM and LTM can be found at biological level of analysis in case studies o LTM can be dissociated from STM o Two memory systems are highly interdependent o To chunk info in STM, people need to form meaningful connections based on info stored in LTM - What gets into long term memory o Info enters permanent storage through rehearsal o Overlearning, in which you keep rehearsing material that you already known pretty well, leads to improved memory, especially over longer periods of time o Studying that is spread out over time, distributed practice, is better remembered tan material that is studied in a brief period of time, called massed practice or cramming o Only info that helps us adapt to environment is typically transferred from short term to long term memory o By storing info that is meaningful, organisms can benefit from experience o Evolutionary theory helps explain how we decide in advance what info will be useful o Memory that allows us to use info in a way that assists in reproduction and survival What are the different memory systems? - until last few decades, most cognitive psychologists thought long term memory was a relatively unitary system - memories were viewed as differing in terms of strength and accessibility, but generally they were considered to be of the same type - Tulving, Schacter, Squire memory is not just one monolithic entity, but are a process that involves a number of interacting systems - Although systems share a common function to retain and use info they encode and store different types of info in different ways - Some researchers have distinguished among memory systems based on how info is stored in memory, such as whether the storage occurs with or without deliberate effort - Method of storage often differs depending on the type of info being stored Explicit memory involves conscious effort - most basic distinction between memory systems is between those for which we consciously remember and use info and those for which memory occurs without conscious effort or intention - explicit memory the processes involved when people remember specific info - declarative memory the cognitive info retrieved form explicit memory; knowledge that can be declared - many use the terms interchangeably, but explicit memory refers to the process of memory whereas declarative memory refers to the content of memory- declarative memories can involve words or concepts, visual images, or both - 1972 Tulving introduced a further distinction in explicit memory between episodic and semantic memory - episodic memory memory for ones personal past
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