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Chapter 8

Psychology 1000 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Decay Theory, Blood Plasma, Prospective Memory

Course Code
PSYCH 1000

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Chapter 8
Chapter 8:
- Processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experiences and
Memory as Information Processing
- Encoding is getting information into the system by translating it into a neural
code that the brain can process
- Storage involves retaining information over time
- Once information is stored it must be filed away and saved
- Retrieval involves pulling information out of storage when in need
- We all occasionally forget and distort information and even at times
remember things that never happened
Three Component Model
- Three major components of memory: sensory, short term and long term
Sensory Memory
- Holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized
- Different subsystems “sensory registers” are the initial information
- Iconic store is our visual sensory register, but it’s very brief
- Auditory sensory register is called the echoic store and the echoic memory
lasts longer than the iconic
Short-Term/Working Memory
- Most information in sensory memory just fades away
- Short-term memory holds information that we are conscious of at any given
working memory
Memory Codes
- Information leaves sensory memory but must be represented by some type
of code if it’s going to be retained in short or long term memory
- Can take various forms
o Visual encoding (mental image)
o Phonological encoding (sound)
o Semantic encoding (meaning of stimulus)
o Motor coding (physical actions)
Capacity and Duration
- Limit on short term memory capacity concerns the number of meaningful
units that can be recalled
- Combining individual items into larger units of meaning is called chunking
- Rehearsing information can extend the time it stays in our short term
memory (maintenance rehearsal)
- Focusing on the meaning of information or relating it to other things we
already know (elaborative rehearsal)

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Chapter 8
Putting Short Term Memory to Work
- Items that remain on the short-term loading dock long enough eventually get
transferred into the long-term memory
- Maintain some of the information to the auditory working memory
- The spatial working memory allows us to temporarily store and manipulate
images and spatial information
- Episodic buffer is the temporary storage where information from long term
memory can be integrated and made available for conscious awareness
- Central executive directs the action
Long Term Memory
- Vast library of more durable stored memories
- Serial Position Effect
o U-Shaped pattern where words at the beginning and end of the list are
easiest for participants to recall
o Recall is influenced by word’s position in a series of items
o Primacy Effect (superior recall of early words)
Due to transfer of early words into long-term memory
o Recency Effect (superior recall of most recent words)
Due to short term memory
Encoding: Entering Information
Effortful and Automatic Processing
- Effortful processing is encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires
conscious attention
- Automatic processing is encoding that occurs without intentions and
requires minimal attention
Levels of Processing: When Deeper is Better
- Structural encoding is when you notice only the way the word looks
- Phonological encoding is when the word is sounded out and judged if it
rhymes with another word
- Semantic encoding is when you have to pay attention to the meaning
- Levels of processing is a concept that states that more deeply we process
information the better it will be remembered
- Semantic coding usually involves the deepest meaning of information
Exposure and Rehearsal
- Rehearsal goes beyond exposure because we have to think about the info
- Maintenance rehearsal involves simple repetition
o Most useful for keeping information active in short-term memory
- Elaborative rehearsal focuses on the meaning of information and involves
deeper processing than maintenance
o Should be more effective in transferring information into long-term

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Chapter 8
Organization and Imagery
- Organizing a set of stimuli is a good way to enhance memory
- Organization can enhance the meaningfulness of information and serve as a
cue that helps to trigger our memory for the information it represents
Hierarchies and Chunking
- Hierarchy takes advantage of the principle that memory is enhanced by
associations between concepts
- Logical hierarchy enhances our understanding of how diverse elements are
- Chunking refers to combining individual items into larger units of meaning
Mnemonic Devices
- Mnemonic device is any type of memory aid
o Hierarchy, chunking, acronyms
- Recognize information into more meaningful units and provide extra cues to
help retrieve information from long-term memory
Visual Imagery
- Dual coding theory (verbal and non-verbal codes) use both codes to enhance
o At least one code will be able to support recall
- Abstract concepts are easier to encode semantically than visually
- Method of loci
o Imagine a physical environment with a sequence of distinct
landmarks and associate each place/item in it with a concept
How Prior Knowledge Works
- Long term memory is densely populated with semantic codes that represent
the meaning of information
Schemas: Our Mental Organizers
- Schema is an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world
- We form schemas through experience
o Strongly influence the way we encode material in memory
- Create a perceptual set, which is a readiness to perceive information in a
certain way
Storage: Retaining Information
Memory as a Network
Associative Networks
- Massive network of associated ideas and concepts
- Spreading activation of related concepts throughout the network
- Priming refers to the activation of once concept by another
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