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Chapter

Everyday Memory and Memory Errors

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSY270H1
Professor
Gillian Rowe
Semester
Winter

Description
Everyday Memory and Memory ErrorsProspective Memory What Im going to do LaterUsing this we remember to perform intended actions It requires two components remembering what you want to do and doing it at the right time Cues sometimes serve to remind us of events that dont occur on a regular basis and to complete themEinstein and McDanielStudied how cues familiarity would affect prospective memory It was found that unfamiliar cues resulted in better prospective memory Eventtime based taskevent based task is remembering to do something while a time based task is remembering to do something during a certain period of time The latter is more difficult because there is no cue to it Autobiographical Memory What Has Happened in My LifeAutobiographical memory is the recollection of events that belong to your past It requires mental time travel into a specific situation Autobiographical memory is therefore episodic However it can also be semantic for we know facts about our lives without necessarily having to mentally time travel back to a time we found out about them These sorts of memories can be experienced through a field perspective remembering an event as if you are seeing it or from an observers perspective remembering an event as observed from the outside Greenberg and Rubin 2003 found that participants who could not recognize objects also experienced loss of autobiographical memory Therefore our visual experience plays a role in our memory Cabeza 2004 measured brain activation caused by viewing certain types of photos One type of photos where the A photos which where taken by the participants themselves The second type of photos where the L photos which where taken by other participants All photos where of the same locations When the participants where shown several photos made up of A and L photos research found that brain areas associated with episodic memory lit up for both However the A photos also activated the hippocampus The hippocampus is essential for processing information about the self for memory about visual space and for the ability to mentally travel back in time This means that autobiographical memories activate more parts of the brain and produces richer memories This implies that people with memory problems should be shown things that they have autobiographical memories for or with The Multidimensional Nature of Autobiographical MemoryAutobiographical memory is multidimensional because it includes auditory visual emotional spatial etc memory It is not surprising then that people who have lost their ability to see or visualize objects lose portions of their autobiographical memories since the cues are no longer available in their brain to retrieve the memory Autobiographical memory also elicits more brain activity and more cuesretrieval from other memories experiences events or information When participants where shown A Photos photos they took themselves and Lphotos photos other people took it was proven that when shown Aphotos the brain was more activated presumably retrieving all the information associated with the memory of taking those photos This also proves that laboratory memory is nothing like autobiographical memory Memory over the Life SpanPersonal mile stones and periods of transitions are things that people tend to remember the most throughout their lives People in their 40s have a high memory for recent events and for events that have been experienced between adolescence and adulthood This is known as the reminiscence bump There are three theories that explain why this may be so 1lifenarrative hypothesis says that it is because this is when people usually assume their identities and when lots of firsts occur first time in college first love marriage etc 2Cognitive hypothesis says that we encode information better during periods of rapid change that are followed by stability There is evidence for this in individuals who have immigrated to different countries If they immigrated after young adulthood the reminiscence bump shifts 3Cultural life script hypothesis says that we remember things better when they are consistent with our cultures life script Apparently there is a different between our life script and a cultural script which is the events that commonly occur in a particular culture Thus it may be easier to remember certain events if they match our cultural life script These things may contribute to the reminiscence bump itself Flashbulb MemoriesThese are memories for highly shocking and emotionally charged events This is not about the event itself but about how the person hears about said event the circumstances surrounding hearing about the event Although it was at first to be believed that flashbulb memories where special that they didnt decay etc it is now known that flashbulb memories are prone to mistakes and decay just like every other memory The difference seems to be that people believe their flashbulb memories to be very intact and vivid often stating that they are very sure their memories are very correct Flashbulb memory is however better than everyday memory even if that everyday memory surrounds or happened on the day of the flashbulb memory People will be more likely to remember the events of their flashbulb memory like hearing about it seeing it
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