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Chapter 7

Psychology 46-115 Chapter 7: 46-115 Notes on Memory

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Department
Psychology
Course Code
46-115
Professor
Ken Cramer

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Chapter 7: Memory (page284-323) • Case 1: A.J. suffers from hyperthymestic syndrome: memory’s too good • Case 2: Nadean suffers from dissociative identity disorder (DID or known as multiple personality disorder) • Memory  the retention of information over time. • Paradox of Memory  our memories are sometime surprisingly good in certain situation and poor in others • Infantile autism  ex. Kim Peek (Rain Man), extraordinary good with numbers • Remarkable memory capacities  AJ and Rajan from university of Tennessee (managed to memorize the number pi to 38811 digits. • Rajan  paradox of memory: remembers pi but forgets where the washroom is • Suggestive Memory Techniques  procedures that strongly encourage patients to recall any memories that may or may not have taken place • Memory Illusion  a false but subjectively compelling memory • Observer memory  a memory in which we see ourselves as an outside observer would • Field memory  seeing the world through your visual field (your eyes) 3 systems of memory: sensory, short-term, and long-term • Span  how MUCH information can each system hold • Duration  how LONG can each system hold information Sensory Memory • Raw materials of our experiences • Holds for just a few seconds or less before passing some of them on to short- term • Allows us to “fill in the blanks” in our perceptions and see the world as an unbroken stream of events • Iconic memory  visual sensory memory (ex. Seeing a lightning) • George Sperling  flash 12 letters, participants remember 4-5 letters, surprisingly each different letters. • We have all the access to all 12 letters in their memory; our iconic memories fade so quickly that our brain can’t access all the information before it disappears • Eidetic imagery = photographic memory = people can hold a visual image in their minds and describe it perfectly o especially common among individuals with developmental disabilities or elders • Echoic memory  sensory memory in hearing; lasts 5-10 seconds, also eidetic memories for hearing Short-term Memory • Where construction happens • Works actively, transform memories into more meaningful information before passing on some to long-term • Duration o Lloyd and Margaret Peterson (1959)  no longer than 20 seconds • Memory Loss (Decay vs. Interference) o Higher temperatures produce higher rates of memory decay, because higher temperatures are linked to higher levels of chemical breakdowns in brain o 1965, presented subjects with different lists of 16 digits, selected a target digit (appeared twice in the list) asked them to remember the number after the target digit.  Manipulated how rapidly they presented digits to subjects and where in the list the target appeared (early or late)  If decay were the principal culprit in forgetting, performance should be worse if the list were read slowly because more time past.  If interference, performance should be worse if digit appeared later in the list, regardless of speed.  Results showed interference is the prime culprit in forgetting o Two types of interference  Retroactive inhibition  occurs when new information hampers earlier learning (ex. You learn Spanish then Italian then you forget Spanish)  Proactive inhibition  occurs when earlier learning overlaps new learning (ex. You learn how to play tennis, but have trouble learning racquetball) • Capacity o Digit span for most adults is between 5-9 digits (avg: 7) o Magic Number  the span of short-term memory; 7 ± 2 pieces of information • Chunking (Multiplying the Magic Number) o Organizing information into meaningful groupings, allow us to extend the spam of short-term memory o Chess masters recalled 16 pieces of chess position whereas beginners recalled only 4 o However, both performed poorly when the chess positions aren’t realistic. • Rehearsal (keep information on stage) o Repeating information mentally or out loud (ex. Juggler keep bowling pins in the air by continuing catching them and toss them back into air.) o If we stop rehearsing and shift our attention elsewhere, we’ll quickly lose material o Two type of rehearsals  Maintenance rehearsal  repeating stimuli in their original form  Elaborative rehearsal  linking stimuli to each other in meaningful ways (more effective) • Depth of Processing o Levels-of-processing  the more deeply we transform information, the better we tend to remember it o 3 levels: visual, phonological (sound), and semantic (meaning) [most shallow  deepest] o ALL PEOPLE CREATE THEIR OWN MEANING OF LIFE  Visual = how they are all capitals  Phonological = how the words in the sentence sound  Semantic = emphasized the sentence’s meaning; elaborate on the sentence Long-term Memory • Our lasting store of information (includes facts, experiences, and skills we’ve acquired over our life scan • Characteristics and differences from short-term o Capacity: short-term (7); long-term (unknown) o Duration: short-term (20 seconds); long-term (year/decades) o Permastore  type of long-term memory that appears to be permanent o Long-term memory tends to be semantic, based on the meaning of the information we’ve received (ex. “poodle” as a “terrier”) o Short-term memory tends to be acoustic, based on the sound of the information we’ve received (ex. “noodle” as in “poodle”) • Primacy and Recency Effects o Ball shoe tree xylophone man bird hat house sky store o Primacy Effect  tendency to remember words early in the list (activates hippocampus) o Recency Effect  tendency to remember words late in the list (activates dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) o Von Restorff Effect  tendency to remember distinctive stimuli (anything that sticks out) o Serial position Curve  graphs that represent both primacy and recency effect • Types of long-term memory o Semantic memory  knowledge of facts about the world (left frontal cortex) o Episodic memory  our recollection of events in our lives (right frontal cortex) o Both require conscious effort and awareness o Explicit memory  recalling memories intentionally that we have conscious awareness o Implicit memory  recalling memories we don't remember or reflect on consciously (ex. How to unlock a door)  Subtypes: procedural memory and priming • Procedural memory  memory for motor skills and habits (ex. Ride a bicycles or open a soda; procedural = know how; semantic = know what) • Priming  our ability to identify a stimulus more easily or quickly when we’ve previously encountered similar stimuli (ex. K ___  QUEEN, KING) • Page 296 figure 7.10 Three Stages of Memory (Encoding, storage, and retrieval) • Encoding (no encode, no memory) o Librarian puts a label on a book o Process of putting information into our memory banks o Mnemonic  a learning aid, strategy, device that makes memories easier to recall  Can be apply them to anything/everything  Depend on having a store of knowledge to begin with  Pegword Method  rhyming  Method of Loci  locations (familiar and can imagine vividly)  Keyword Method  picture something with words in different languages • Storage o Librarian puts the book on the shelf o Store our experiences depends on our interpretations and expectations of these events  Schemas • An organized knowledge structure or mental model that we’ve stored in memory • Retrieval o Librarian can easily look it up and retrieve the book o Retrieval cues  hints that make our memory recalling easier o Measuring memory: recall, recognition, and relearning  Recall  generating previously remembered information (ex. Essays on tests)  Recognition  selecting previously remembered information from options (ex. MCs)  Relearning  how quickly we learn same information we’ve previously learned  Distributed vs. massed practice  studying small amount of information o
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