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Chapter 4

Chapter four textbook notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Daniela Palombo

PSY260 Ch. 4: Skill Memory 4.1 Behavioural Processes - Skill Memory: What a person knows how to do - Since memories for events and facts depend on skill memories, it may be fair to refer to declarative memories as non-skill memories Skill Memory Memory for events and facts - long lasting and improved by repeated - For facts: long lasting and improved by experiences repeated experiences - cant always be verbalizeddifficult to - can be acquired in a single exposure convey to other - contents consciously accessible - may be acquired and retrieved without conscious awareness (non-declarative) 1) Perceptual-motor skills : learned movement patterns guided by sensory inputs - Closed Skills: performing predefined movements. EX: Ballet dancers learn precisely choreographed dance sequences - In contrast to closed skills, Open Skills require participants to respond based on prediction about changing environments: Ex: Salsa dancing at a party, depends to some extent on the dancers predicting (or directing) their partners next move - Most perceptual motor skills contain aspects of both closed skills and open skills - In the lab researchers study simple skills such as pressing buttons because its easier to assess quantitatively whether someones tracking abilities are improving than to measure improvements in their dancing abilities 2) Cognitive Skills : requires the use of your brain to solve problems or apply strategies - Researchers experiments the skills participants can learn relatively quickly such as Tower of Hanoi (Figure 4.1) - Rene Descartes: the ability to reason distinguishes humans from animals - Many psychologists believe only humans reason www.notesolution.comPSY260 Ch. 4: Skill Memory - Animals use tools which involves both perceptual-motor and cognitive skills - By comparing different animals abilities to learn perceptual-motor and cognitive skills and exploring which neural systems they use when forming and retrieving memories of different skills, scientists are beginning to gain a clearer understanding of the brain systems underlying skill memories Expertise and Talent - People who masters a skill without effort are described as having a talent gift for that skill; Experts perform a skill better than most people - Practice makes perfect! - Study: Twins reared apart; Trained participants to perform the rotary pursuit task: (Figure 4.3) requires precise hand-eye coordination. Have to keep the end of a stylus (pointed stick) above a target drawn on the edge of a rotating disk. Get better with practice - Identical twins abilities to keep the stylus on target became more similar as training progressed whereas fraternal twins became dissimilar - Performance was more correlated when twins shared 100% of genes - An interpretation of this study: practice decreases effects of past experiences and increases the effects of genetic influences. Genes increased role in behavior makes identical genes have identical behavior - Researchers conduct studies of skill memories in game players (ex: athletes) because: 1) Skill outside the lab are good examples of real world memories, 2) Not difficult to find people with widely varying levels of experience, 3) games require a variety of perceptual- motor and cognitive skills Practice - Edward Thorndike- Experiment: repeatedly asked blindfolded participants to draw a line 3 inches long. One half were told when their line was within 18 of an inch of their target length, the other half go no feedback. Only participants who received feedback improved in accuracy as the experiment progressed - Feed back Knowledge of Results critical to the effectiveness of practice Acquiring Skills - Figure 4.4a shows that as participants practiced a reading task, the amount of time spent www.notesolution.com
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