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Chapter 6

Psychology 2010A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Echoic Memory, Free Recall, Psych

Course Code
Terry Biggs

of 4
Andrea Loa
Psych 2010A
Chapter 6 - Memory Codes
memory code: a representation used to store an item in memory
format of information encoded into memory
different types: physical, phonemic, and semantic
auditory memory span: number of items recalled from STM following an auditory
presentation of items
a patient with an impaired auditory memory span will not be able to recall any of
these items
this same patient with the impairment to the auditory memory span, was able to
recall items from the STM if presented in a different way (i.e. visual way)
a word-nonword association was harder to recall than a word-word association
in the word-word association, individuals used semantic coding (meaning of the
words) to help them maintain it in the STM
judgement task/ orienting task: instructions to focus on a particular aspect of a
try to control the memory code formed by the individual by making the individual
make a decision about a particular aspect of the word, such as its pronunciation or
its meaning
levels of processing: a theory that proposes that ʻdeeperʼ (semantic) levels of
processing enhance memory
more elaborate levels of processing leads to better memory
more distinctive codes also lead to better memory
The Levels of Processing Theory
Emphasis on Coding Strategies
3 objectives:
examine the reasons for proposing multistore models
to question the adequacy of such models
and to propose an alternative framework in terms of levels of processing
the sensory store: provides a literal copy of the stimulus, but rapidly decays
this information can be prevented from decaying by attendance to it or verbal
retrieval is easy in the STM because only a few items have to be searched
LTM is largely semantic, organized according to meaning
capacity of the STM is longer than 5-9 items, it is evident that one can remember
up to 20 words in a sentence (maybe because it is put in chunks?)
STM is mainly comprised of phonemic codes and LTM is mainly comprised of
semantic codes.
theory doesnʼt explain the variety of decay rates - each memory code has its own
decay rate
preliminary processing: concerned with the analysis of physical features such as
lines, angles, brightness, pitch, and loudness
Implications for Verbal Rehearsal
does not automatically result in learning, depends on the level in which the material
is processed.
maintenance rehearsal - rehearsal that keeps information active in STM
the probability of recalling a word at the end of the experiment should be a
function of the length of time it was maintained in the STM
rehearsal does NOT automatically cause learning
Supporting Evidence of the Levels-of-Processing Theory
The Hyde-Jenkins Experiment
used an incidental learning task: a task that requires people to make judgements
about stimuli without knowing that they will be tested later on.
3 groups: one group was to rate whether the word was pleasant or unpleasant, the
second group was to rate whether the word had the letter ʻeʼ in it, and the third
group had to estimate the number of letters in each word.
used three different orienting tasks to create different levels of processing
semantic processing should result in better recall of words, so the group who
rated the pleasantness of the word will have better recall than the group who
judged the spelling of the words
incidental learning is just as effective as intentional learning when student
considered the meaning of the words
clustering: percentage of occassions in which a word is followed by its primary
associate during the free recall of words.
Structural, Phonemic, and Semantic Processing
structural coding: a memory code hat emphasizes the physical structure of the
phonemic coding: a memory code that emphasizes the pronunciation of the
semantic coding: a memory code based on the meaning of the stimulus
it takes about twice as long to code a structural code than a semantic code
Criticisms and Modifications of the Theory
differences in the rate of forgetting were caused by differences in levels of
processing, without measuring the levels of processing
memory codes differ in effectiveness depending on their elaborateness and
Elaboration of Memory Codes
codes store additional associations that help them remember the items
how can you tell between two semantic codes that one is more effective than the
the semantic code that is richer and more elaborate in context is the more
effective one.
the word elaboration must be consistent with the meaning of the sentence,
otherwise it is ineffective
noncued recall vs. cued recall
noncued recall - recall that occurs without hints or cues provided by the
cued recall - recalls that occurs with hints or cues, such as providing the
questions asked during the judgement phase of a task.
imprecise vs precise elaboration
imprecise elaboration - provision or generation of additional material
unrelated to remembered material
precise elaboration - provision or generation of additional material closely
related to remembered material
self-generation - generation of items by participants in an experiment, rather
than the provision of these items by the experimenter
Distinctiveness of Memory Codes
distinctive item - one that stands out from other items that could interfere with our
primary distinctiveness - distinctiveness is defined relative to the immediate context
secondary distinctiveness - defined relative to information in our LTM rather than to
information in the immediate context
orthographically distinctive - if it has an unusual shape, as determined by the
sequencing of short and tall letters in the word.
emotional distinctiveness - motivated by the finding that events that produce strong
emotional responses and are sometimes remembered well.
flashbulb memories - a memory of an important event that caused an emotional
the part of the brain called the amygdala is responsible for the strong sense of
recollection of emotional events
processing distinctiveness - creation of a memory code that makes that memory
distinct from other memories
i.e. people remember faces better in caricature form (exaggerated features)
than the original faces (whether they are famous people or not)
semantic codes are much better remembered than phonemic codes because they
are more distinct from each other
Encoding Specificity and Retrieval
The Encoding Specificity Principle
words that resulted in positive responses, because they either formed a rhyme or
fit in the context of a sentence, were recalled more often than words that resulted
in negative responses
encoding specificity principle - a theory that states that the effectiveness of a
retrieval cue depends on how well it related to the initial encoding of an item
mood dependent memory - we are better able to recall information if our mood
during the retrieval matches our mood during learning
Interaction between Encoding and Retrieval Operations
reproducing the exact context is the best cue
providing a different context is the worst cue
when a semantic cue was emphasized, it was more effective than a phonemic cue
if a phonemic cue was emphasize, it is more effective than a semantic cue