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Chapter 5

Cognitive Psychology - In and Out of the Laboratory: Chapter 5

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Psychology 2135A/B
Robert Brown

Chapter 5 - Memory Structures - encoding: acquiring information; translated into a form that other cognitive processes can use - storage: encoded information held in storage for later retrieval - retrieval: calling to mind of previously stored information - forgetting: cannot retrieve information - memory enters into almost every cognitive activity - Baddeley (1990): case of Clive Wearing; musician and broadcaster; could not remember things for more than a few minutes; thought to recover consciousness Types of Memory - Neath and Surprenant (2003): said Plato compared memory to aviary and wax tablet - memory compared to cave, empty cabinet, body in need of exercise, telephone (1950), computer - theoretical approach is studying memory according to length of time information is stored - modal model of memory: emphasizes existence of different memory stores (Atkinson and Shiffrin; Waugh and Norman) - sensory memory: store incoming sensory information for very brief amounts of time - short-term memory (STM): attended information held for 20 or 30 seconds - long-term memory (LTM): information stored for longer periods of time Sensory Memory - close to what is called perception - possible separate sensory memories for each sensory modality - icon: visual sensory memory; echo: auditory sensory memory The Icon - George Sperling showed displays of 12 letters and asked people to recall as many as possible; increasing display time from 50ms to 500ms did not improve performance - problem is not perpetual; 500ms enough time to see all letters (Klatzky, 1980) - Sperling (1960) showed that visual store could hold about 9 items if asked to recall immediately after display; 1 second delay dropped to 4 items - icon: Neisser (1967); sensory memory for visual stimuli - masking: Averbach and Coriell (1961) showed icon could be erased by other stimuli presented immediately after icon - colour or brightness of letters can be used to cue partial reports - information available in icon is only visual; not auditory or related to type of stimulus The Echo - echo: Neisser (1967); sensory memory for auditory stimuli - Moray, Bates, and Barnett (1965) showed echo stores information only briefly; people can report more information when cued which channel to report - Crowder (1976) suggested echoic memory has larger capacity than iconic - Watkins and Watkins (1980) showed echoes could last as long as 20 seconds - Crowder (1972) showed suffix effect; when auditory list presented, auditory recall cue such as spoken word or specific item hinders recall of last few items - recall cue called suffix; functions as a mask; if it is simply a beep or tone, usually no effect; more similarity between suffix and items on list, greater the suffix effect - Neath and Surprenant (2003) showed saying "have a nice day" disrupts recall of phone number due to suffix effect - sensory memories are modality specific; visual sensory memory contains only visual information - memory capacities appear relatively larger for visual than auditory, but auditory seems to be able to store information for a longer time - information stored is relatively unprocessed; only physical aspects than meaning - Baddeley (1990) said sensory memory guarantees minimum of time during which information presented to us is available for processing Short-Term Memory - Ben Murdock (1962) showed typical results for a word recall for a serial position - serial position effect: items at beginning or end of list are more easily recalled - primacy effect: improved recall of words at beginning of list - recency effect: improved recall of words at end of list - rehearsal: mnemonic strategy of repeating information to facilitate retention - Murdock (1962) said if list read rapidly to prevent rehearsal time, primacy effect gone but recency effect stays intact - recency effect thought to result from either sensory memory or short-term memory - often report last few words first and quickly - Postman and Phillips (1965) showed if participant performs unrelated counting task after list but before report, recency effect gone but primacy effect stays - since primacy and recency effects can be independently affected suggests two kinds of memory - attended information from sensory memory to STM and to be held for longer than a minute or two, pass to LTM - STM lasts only a short while STM - Capacity - George Miller (1956) showed STM holds a maximum number of 7 +/- 2 independent units (depends on individual, material, and other situational factors) - capacity: sum total of cognitive resources available at any given time - chunking: formation of individual units of information into larger units - overcome STM capacity by chunking (called recoding by Miller) STM - Coding - coding: way which information is mentally represented; form it is held - R. Conrad (1964) showed people formed mental representations of letters that involved acoustic properties even though the letters were presented visually - Baddeley (1966a, 1966b) confirmed Conrad even when stimuli were words - researches regard acoustic code as dominant code used in STM (Neath and Surprenant, 2003) STM - Retention Duration and Forgetting - John Brown (1958) and Peterson and Peterson (1959) showed if not rehearsed, information lost from STM as little as 20 seconds - retention duration: amount of time a memory trace remains available for retrieval - memory trace: encoded mental representation of stored information - decay: process of forgetting in which material thought to break apart - Brown-Peterson task showed people three letters, and made them count backwards from a number to prevent rehearsal - interference: process of forgetting where material is thought to be buried by other information but still exists somewhere in a memory store; competes with decay theory - Keppel and Underwood (1962) showed forgetting in Brown-Peterson task does not happen until after a few trials; suggested over time, proactive interference builds up; first trial stimulus enough to disrupt subsequent memory for other stimulus in other trials - proactive interference: earlier learned material disrupts learning of subsequent material - Wickens, Born, and Allen (1963) showed if STM suffers from proactive interference, it can suffer from release from proactive interference; greater similarity in stimuli causes greater interference so difference in stimuli would not cause interference - on some trials used all letters, some trials used all numbers; when stimuli switched, performance just as good as first trial when stimuli switched - Baddeley (1990) argues little amount of decay and interference occur in STM - Altmann and Gray (2002) propose decay necessary to avoid catastrophic proactive interference; allows update of information in memory STM - Retrieval of Information - parallel search: search for information were several stores of information are simultaneously examined - serial search: search for information where several stores of information are sequentially examined - self-terminating search: stop searching when match is found - exhaustive search: continue searching even after match is found - Saul Sternberg (1966) had people encode letters in STM and to decide if a letter was in that set; argued for serial, exhaustive search since search process may be so rapid and have such momentum it is hard to stop once it starts - Hunt (1978) showed people of all sorts had results consistent with serial, exhaustive search but search rates can change with the group Working Memory - Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968) distinguished between information being stored (memory), and structure that did the storing (stores i.e. STS, LTS) - information in STS somehow activates relevant information from LTS and relays some of that information into STS - STS is location of various control processes that govern flow of information like rehearsal, coding, integration, and decision making - equated with consciousness - Baddeley and Hitch (1974) had people hold 1-6 digits in STM while performing reasoning tasks; 6 digits stored slightly decreased time but were able to reason just as well - if the sentence to reason was negative and passive, performance was hurt more - working memory: limited-capacity workspace that can be divided between storage and control processing - Baddeley and Hitch showed working memory, but Atkinson and Shiffrin's model say it is impossible - Baddeley (1981, 1986, 1990) conceived of WM as consisting of three components - central executive: directs flow of information, choosing which information to operate on, when and how; limited resources and capacity; attentional system than memory store, parcels out resources for tasks; coordinate information coming from current environment with retrieval of information about past; allows selection of options or formation of strategies; conscious awareness - phonological loop: carry out subvocal rehearsal to maintain v
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