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Chapter 6

Cognitive Psychology - In and Out of the Laboratory: Chapter 6

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Psychology 2135A/B
Robert Brown

Chapter 6 - Memory Processes The Levels-of-Processing View - Melton (1963) argues only one kind of memory storage - levels-of-processing theory of memory: Craik and Lockhart (1972); memory depends not on a particular memory store but on the initial processing done to the information at time of acquisition - focuses on different kinds of cognitive processing that we perform when we encode, and later retrieve, information - retention and coding of information depend on the kind of perceptual analysis done at encoding - processing done at a superficial or shallow level does not lead to very good retention - deeper processing improves retention - improvement does not come from rehearsal and repetition but from greater depth of analysis - incidental learning: retention of information even when it is not required of, or even intended by, the processor - Craik and Tulving (1975); people remembered best for words processed semantically - Bower and Karlin (1974) found similar results with nonverbal stimuli; people who rated faces for honesty had better memory than those who rated faces for gender - Baddeley (1978) criticized that defining a level and what made for depth was hard - Craik and Tulving (1975) also found poorer recall for simple sentences than complex ones; processing semantically cannot account for the difference - extended idea, arguing elaboration of material could also aid recall - Stein and Bransford (1979); sentences that specified more precisely the relation of target word to context were found especially likely to increase probability of recalling target word - Craik and Lockhard (1972) viewed memory as a continuum of processes, from sensory analyses to semantic operations [new paradigm; accounts for dichotic listening tasks] - Baddeley (1978) criticized approach - wanted more precise and independent definition of depth of processing - showed that under certain conditions, recall was better for acoustic than semantic processing - showed how modal view of memory could explain the findings - this approach reinforced idea that the more connections an item has to other pieces of information (retrieval cues), the easier to remember The Reconstructive Nature of Memory - Frederick Bartlett (1932) believed that in the real world, as opposed to the lab, memory largely uses world knowledge and schemata - schemata: frameworks for organizing information - argued at retrieval time, this knowledge and organizational information is used to reconstruct the material - presented people with short stories and asked to recall the story over a period of time - showed that over time the recall becomes more distorted - argued for a constructive view of LTM; people unintentionally introduce distortions during recall to make material more rational and coherent from their own point of view, or schemata - schema is thought to be a large unit of organized information used for representing concepts, situations, events, and actions in memory (Rumelhart and Norman, 1988) - the original story often distorted in ways more consistent with one's cultural conventions - Bartlett saw memory as an active and often inaccurate process that encodes and retrieves information to make sense instead of a warehouse where material is stored unchanged Autobiographical Memory - autobiographical memory: memory for events and other information from one's own life - Marigold Linton (1975, 1982); tested own recall of her own life's memories - had to decide which event came first as well as date - relied on recognition instead of recall - results suggested that real-world memories are much more durable than those of most laboratory experiments - used problem-solving strategies to arrive at a date; looked for markers/clues that helped reconstruct the memory - problems: used herself as subject; recordings were for memorable things, and not just everything - Brewer (1988) had participants record memories every few hours and later tested their recall at different intervals - participants recognized more than 60% of events - memory better for actions than thoughts; better for memorable events than for events randomly prompted - events in a unique/infrequent location better remembered - rare actions were more likely to be recalled - memories from a mini-vacation (Thanksgiving) were especially remembered - concluded that the more distinct the mental representation of an event, the more likely it is to be recalled Flashbulb Memories - flashbulb memory: Brown and Kulick (1977); where people recall their personal circumstances at the time they heard of or witnessed an unexpected and very significant event - some argue that part of explanation involves physiological responses - e.g., amygdala becomes activated and cognitive effects result in storage of a great deal of information, even info indirectly related to main information - memory-enhancing effect of emotion (Cahill and McGaugh, 1995; Chistianson, 1992; Hamann, 2001) and autobiographical memory (Conway et al., 1994) shown - Neisser (1982) had another explanation: people are finding a way to link themselves to history - strong emotions prompt people to retell their own stories of where they were - over time, memories become distorted; elaborate and fill in gaps Eyewitness Memory - eyewitness memory: narrative memory of a personally witnessed event - Elizabeth Loftus (1979) argue testimony has disproportionate effect - confidence in eyewitness testimony may be too strong - evidence shows nothing more convincing than a life human, even when confident witness is inaccurate - Wells and Hasel (2007) showed creating composite facial images from memory is wrought with problems - ability to recognize past events can be biased by type of questions asked - Loftus (1975) showed that memories could be altered by presenting misleading questions - Lane, Mather, Villa, and Morita (2001) showed that people asked to focus on specific details of a video were more likely to confuse what they had actually seen with information given to them in post-event questions - Bransford and Franks (1971) showed that people could not distinguish between presented sentences and their own integration of the sentences The Recovered/False Memory Debate - recovered memories: autobiographical memories, usually traumatic, that are not accessible for some period of time but later become able to be retrieved - false memories: recollections of events that never in fact occurred - issue is whether one can recall information from several years to decades earlier - repressed memories: controversial explanation of amnesia for traumatic events - Loftus and Ketchan (1994) and Lindsay and Read (1994) showed advice in a book The Courage to Heal (Bass and Davis, 1988) not specific enough for a diagnosis - Loftus and Pickrell (1995; Loftus and Ketcham 1994; Loftus, 2000) showed that false memories can be implanted - false memories can be formed through suggestive questioning - possible that false memory becomes integrated with real experiences as well as inferences and other elaborations that go beyond direct experience - Hyman, Husband, and Billings (1995) able to induce false memories in 25% of people - Garry and Wade (2005) found narratives more effective in inducing false memories - Pezdek (1994) argued that just because false memories can be made, does not mean they are formed in this way - Cabeza, Rao, Wagner, Mayer, and Schacter (2001) showed fMRI scans that different parts of brain activate for true words compared to false words - left posterior parahippocampal region more activated for true than false and new terms Semantic Memory The Hierarchical Semantic Network Model - library analogy from information-processing paradigm - depending on how knowledge is organized determines retrieval - principle of cognitive economy: properties and facts are stored at the highest level possible - recover information through inferences - avoids storing redundant information everywhere - semantic network: collection of nodes associated with all the words and concepts one knows - Collins and Quillian (1969) tested idea that semantic memory is a network of connected ideas where each node is connected to related nodes by pointers - also tested cognitive economy principle - looked at reaction times for levels of processing - people took less time for sentences whose representations spanned two levels than three - model called hierarchical semantic network model of semantic memory - lexical decision tasks: presented with letter strings and asked to judge asap if strings form words - Meyer and Schvaneveldt (1971) elaborated semantic network proposal - used lexical decision tasks (two strings at a time though) - people responded faster if both words were semantically associated - one interpretation: spreading activation: excitation spreads along connections of nodes in a semantic network - reading first string primed words related to first word Connectionist Models - a concept is depicted as a specific set of units being activated instea
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