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Chapter 4

Chapter 4

3 Pages

Course Code
Psychology 2010A/B
Terry Biggs

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Psych 2010A Chapter 4 - Short-Term Working Memory • Short-Term Memory (STM) is both limited in capacity and duration • information is lost within 20-30 seconds in the STM if it is not rehearsed • the STM is our working memory that maintains and manipulates information • this requires the storage of verbal and visual codes in the STM for it to be our working memory Forgetting • Rate of forgetting • info in the STM is lost quickly unless rehearsed • Decay vs. Inteference • interference theory: proposes that memory for other material or the performance of another task interferes with memory and causes forgetting. •if memory is disrupted by interference, then recall should be determined by the number of interfering items • decay theory: proposes that forgetting should still occur even though the subject is told not to do anything over the interval, as long as the subject does not rehearse the information •if memory decays over time, then the recall should be determined by the length of the retention interval •rate of presentation of material did not have any effect on the decay of memory • Waugh and Normanʼs findings say that interference, rather than decay, is the primary cause of forgetting •if information spontaneously decayed from memory, we would have no way of retrieving it. • Release from proactive interference • proactive interference: forgetting that occurs because of interference from material encountered before learning • retroactive interference: forgetting that occurs because of interference from material encountered after learning. • reduction from either one of these interferences is called release from proactive interference and recall of later items can be improved by making them distinctive from early items •also occurs when people are asked to remember more complex events Capacity • The Magic Number 7 • the STM can hold only about 7 items (ranging from 5-9 items) • memory span: the longest sequence that a person can recall • absolute judgment task: identifying stimuli that vary along a single, sensory continuum • items in the STM will be lost unless rehearsed and put into the LTM • STM and its capacity •7 (plus or minus 2) numbers •4-5 English words •9 binary digits • Chunks - a cluster of items that has been stores as a unit in LTM • Individual Differences in Chunking • depends on how effective people can group information into chunks •i.e. more skilled chess players were better in guessing the pieces because they were more effective in chunking Memory Codes • acoustic codes are dominant in the STM • semantic codes are dominant in the LTM • people also use visual codes in the STM • many different codes influence the STM and LTM • Acoustic Codes and Rehearsal • two separate verbal-processing rates influence a personʼs memory span: •the speed at which a person can pronounce the items on the li
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