Psychology 3130A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 3,4: Change Blindness, Intentionality, Prototype Theory

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Chapter 3: Knowledge and Memory
In order to make predictions, refer to prior knowledge, and retrieve memories, a cognitive system needs to be able to
assess the relative degree of similarity between representations
Rely on memory to assess a situation, make judgements and make decisions
Rely on ST, working, to simultaneously consider contrasting alternatives
How does memory influence thinking
Availability herusistic proposed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky
o = people generally make judgements and decisions on basis of relevant memories that they retrieve
o search your memory and make decision on basis of available evidence
e.g. where it can lead you wrong is high profie NFL domestic abuse cases
actually lower than average rate of domestic violence, however because it receives such
attention people think it is a large issue in the NLF
Pinker argues least violent era of human history
o A lot does’t shae this though, eause of es oeage
o Also do’t hae epeience of other historical eras or if we do not as fresh memory
say availability heuristics and other phenomena indicate that higher order thinking abilities such as judgement, reasoning
and decision making are highly dependent on memory
How does memory function
we divide the core operations into three areas: encoding, storage and retrieval
= term often used to describe way in which info is put into memory
once object has been attended to, its valid candidate for encoding into memory
encoding process creates a mental representation based on the amount of effort and amount of detail hat was processed
via attention
Memory Storage
is a second function of memory
at the fundamental level, representations are stored as patterns of activation and connectivity among neurons
most of the general knowledge we have about the world and about objects and things in the world is stored and
manipulated conceptually
conceptual proximity suggests some degree of neural overlap
conceptually organized memory system allows you to predict that you would find other vegetables, squashes for sale at
same location (farmers market example)
may have a script or schema for how to behave and what to expect at a market
schema = mental representation that contains general information for how to think, behave and what to expect in a
common situation
Memory retrieval
istake i etieal does’t eessail ea that a eakdo i etieal poess atuall aused the eo
o could have been made during initial encoding phase, but error may only be apparent during failure to retrieve
could be failure to encode, not seeing proper cue
Varieties of memory
memory is not a single process
ST and LT Memory
memory is often divide in terms of duration
assume there are sensory and ST memory systems which can process informational actively for ST use
working memory is closely tied to active, conscious processing
ST is usually distinguished from LT by duration, but also in the way it functions
Most common theory of ST memory is working memory model of Alan Baddeley
o Assumes there is a system of neurological structures that work to process immediate sensory information
o Working memory systems acts as a buffer so that the information can be maintained, processed further or
o Auditory and verbal info is handled by system called the phonological loop
o visual and spatial info is handled by a system called the visuospatial sketchpad
o coordination is handled by a central executive
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allocates resources, switches between systems and coordinates between and among representations
within a system
phono loop is a phonological or acoustic store that is connected to inputs from the auditory cortex
memory trace in the phon loop will fade after about two seconds unless its maintained or revived via articulatory control
process known as subvocal rehearsal (inner voice)
most modes assume role for either central executive or executive functions
in standard version of working memory the central executive coordinates resources between the two subsystems
other modes place emphasis on the independent operation of the executive functions
executive functions are usually defined as domain-general characteristics such as task switching or inhibitory resources
a domain general process is one that is available for others acts of cognition and thinking, regardless of the modality or the
task switching = acts switching attention from one behaviour to another
inhibition is another domain general characteristics
o allows cognitive systems to ignore irrelevant perceptual features or irrelevant thoughts/emotions
executive functions seem to be one of the biggest distinctions between higher-order thought in young children and higher-
order thought in adults
because executive functions seem to play such a large role in higher-order thought, many researchers have proposed that
executive functions are the primary intellectual component of working memory
o under this proposal, efs serves as a domain general working memory and seem to be the primary determinant of
general intelligence
o lower level components (phon loop and viso sketchpad) may not be contributing to higher order thought to same
degree as efs
in these treatments, efs availability and capacity are core determinants of thinking and reasoning ability
Declarative and non-declarative memory
declarative memory usually thought to be the kind of memory that one can declare the existence of
o memory for ideas, facts, events, places, personal characteristics
semantic memory vs episodic
o semantic as memory for known facts and episodic as for events that are personally relevant and have some degree
of mental time travel
non-declarative memory includes memory for things that are difficult or impossible to declare the existence of such as
procedural memory and motor memory
Semantic memory: memory for facts
distinction between a specific event and general knowledge is one that was made most strongly by psychologist Endel
o distinguished between semantic memory, which is memory for facts and general knowledge, and episodic memory
which is memory for the past, memory with a personal connection and temporal dimension
semantic memory is usually thought to be organized conceptually
Collins and Quillian suggested hierarchical approach for semantic memory organization
o Insight was that some degree of hierarchical structure imposed on knowledge representation would result in an
o Knowledge is organized in this system as a hierarchy within a spreading activation system
o Individual nodes represent concepts and facts, and links bw these nodes represent relationships between concepts
o Attributes of the higher-order node are true of lower order nodes
o Subordinate facts nad concepts inherit properties of the superordinate nodes
Support for this model comes from the form of a sentence verification tasks
In the sentence verification task, subjects are given a statement and are asked to verify if the statement is true, and answer
yes or no; Dependent variable is reaction time; do birds sing vs do birds have skin
o Response takes longer; because canaries and singing is stored at the same node while canaries and skin, activation
needs to spread to superordinate info
Basic hierarchial odel does’t deal ill ith tpialit effets
o some concepts seem to bypass the hierarchy altogether Medin and Smith refer to these as nested concepts
Colin and Loftus suggested that information is represented in a spreading activation network
o Nodes of related concepts are linked by associations
o The strength of association is represented by the length
o Activation spreads through this network
John Andersons ACT-R model emphasizes associations between nodes and spreading of activation
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