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Chapter 8

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Psychology 1000

Chapter 8: Memory 1. In what ways is memory like an information-processing system? - Memory: processes that allow us to record and later retrieve experience and information - mind is a processing system that encodes, stores, and retrieves information - Encoding: getting information into the system by translating it into a neural code that your brain processes - Storage: involves retaining information over time - Retrieval: the process of accessing information in long term memory o However, we routinely forget and distort information; we may also remember events that never occurred 2. What is sensory memory? How did Sperling assess the duration of iconic memory? - Memory has three major components; they are sensory memory, short term (working) memory, and long term memory - Sensory memory: holds incoming sensory information just long enough for it to be recognized; composed of sensory registers which are the initial information processors o Iconic store: visual sensory register (lasts about fraction of a second) o Echoic memory: auditory sensory register (lasts about two seconds) - Echoic memory lasts longer than iconic memory - Sperling conducted an experiment which involved showing participants a series of letters for a very brief moment; they could only remember 4 to 5 letters 3. Describe the limitations of short-term memory, and how they can be overcome. - Since our attention abilities are limited, most information in sensory memory simply fades away; however, through selective attention, some information enter short term memory - Short term (working) memory: holds information that we are conscious of at any given time; it consciously processes, codes, and works on information o Mental representations are required to retain information in short term and long term memory (they can be visual, phonological, semantic, or motor) - Short term memory, however, can only hold a limited amount of information at a time - The limit of short term memory capacity concerns the number of meaningful units that can be recalled - Chunking: combining individual items into larger units of meaning; can aid recall - Short term memory is also limited in duration (without rehearsal, information lasts about 20 seconds) - Maintenance rehearsal: simple repetition of information - Elaborative rehearsal: focusing on the meaning of information or relating it to other things we already know (more effective in transferring information into long term memory) 4. Why do researchers refer to short term memory as working memory? - Original view of memory was too passive and sequential (cognitive scientists viewed short term memory as a loading platform or holding station for information along the route from sensory to long term memory) - Working memory is essentially a mental workspace that actively and simultaneously processes different types of information and supports other cognitive functions, such as problem solving and planning - Think of it as a busy librarian who is energetically categorizing, cataloging, and cross referencing new material 5. Identify three components of working memory - Auditory working memory: when you repeat a phone number, name, or new vocabulary - Visual-spatial working memory: temporarily store and manipulate images and spatial information as when forming maps of the route to some destination - Central executive: directs the action (decides how much attention to allocate to mental imagery and auditory rehearsal, calls up information from long term memory and integrates the input); prefrontal cortex is involved in such actions 6. What is the serial position effect? Under what conditions do primacy and recency effects occur? - Serial position effect: recall is influenced by a word’s position in a series of items - Long term memory: vast library of more durable stored memories; long term storage capacity essentially is unlimited (unlike short term memory) - Primacy effect: reflecting the superior recall of early words; the first few words enter short term memory, we can quickly rehearse them and transfer them into a long term memory - Recency effect: superior recall of most recent words; the last few words have the benefit of not being bumped out of short term memory by any new information o Thus, recency effect can be wiped out by eliminating the last words from the short term memory (first words cannot be wiped out due to long term memory) 7. Provide some examples of effortful and automatic processing in your own life - The more effectively we encode material into long term memory, the greater the likelihood of retrieving it - Effortful processing: encoding that is initiated intentionally and requires conscious attention o Making lists, rehearsing, and taking class notes - Automatic processing: encoding that occurs without intention and requires minimal attention; reading (so automated that we have difficulty switching to a more effortful style) 8. Explain the concept of depth of processing - According to the levels of processing by Fergus Craik, the more deeply we process information, the better it will be remembered - POTATO (is the word in capital letters?) - Horse (does the word rhyme with course?) - TABLE (does the word fit in the sentence, the man peeled the…?) - First question requires structural encoding (how the word looks) - Second question requires phonological encoding (sounding out the word) - Last question requires semantic encoding (what the word means) - In this case semantic encoding requires the deepest processing (thus, one remembers the word better) o Retention is both a function of how deeply an item is processed and at what level of processing it is tested 9. How effectively do maintenance and elaborative rehearsal process information into long term memory? - Even thousands of shallow exposures to a stimulus do not guarantee long term retention - Rehearsal goes beyond mere exposure because we are thinking about the information o Maintenance rehearsal is simple repetition; it is inefficient at bringing about long term transfer o Elaborative rehearsal focuses on meaning of information; it is more effective in transferring information into long term memory  Duplex model of memory: divides memory into short term and long term where rehearsal is the process to transfer information from short term to long term memory 10. Why do hierarchies, chunking, mnemonic devices, and imagery enhance memory? - Imposing organization on a set of stimuli is an excellent way to enhance memory - Hierarchies: takes advantage of the principle that memory is enhanced by associations between concepts - Over learning: the better something is learned the less susceptible it is to interfere - Chunking: combining individual items into a larger unit of meaning - Mnemonic devices: any type of memory aid; hierarchies and chunking represent two types of mnemonic devices; acronyms are also a popular mnemonic device o Natural language mediator: generating a word which has some relationship with each of the words in a pair  Stimulus equivalent: both democratic and birthday elicit ‘party’  Response equivalent: mediator elicits both stimulus and response terms (record might elicit store and time) o Another form of mediation relevant when stimuli consist of CCCs or CVCs is transformational mediation  In this process, subjects transform nonsense syllable into a real word (PYN to PIN)  Recall is a function of the number of transformations - Visual imagery: construct and scan a series of mental images in your working memory, based on information that you draw out of long term memory o Abstract concepts are easier to encode semantically than visually - Dual coding theory: encoding information using both verbal and nonverbal codes enhances memory, because the odds improve that at least one of the codes will be available later to support recall - Method of loci: well known imagery technique; to remember a list of items or concepts, take an imaginary stroll through this environment and form an image linking each place with an item or concept 11. What is schema? Explain how schemas influence encoding - Schema: a mental framework; an organized pattern of thought about some aspect of the world, such as a class of people, events, situations, or objects - We form schemas through experience and they can strongly influence the way we encode material in memory; schemas create a perceptual set, which is a readiness to perceive (to organize and interpret) information in a certain way 12. In what sense are schemas and expert knowledge related? - Expert knowledge: can be viewed as a process of developing schemas; musician being able to read notes and play (whereas amateurs cannot read notes) - Your own expert schemas strongly influence what you encode and remember (chess experiment) 13. Explain the concepts of associative networks and priming - Associative network: a massive network of associated ideas and concepts - Priming: activation of one concept (or one unit of information) by another - Associative network model states that when people think about a concept, there is a spreading activation of related concepts throughout the network - This model suggests that mnemonic devices help stimulate our memory because they are presented in an associative network 14. How do neural network models differ from associative network models? - Neural network model: has nodes that are linked to one another, but these nodes are physical in nature and do not contain units of information; instead, each node is more like a small information processing unit o each concept is represented by a particular pattern or set of nodes that becomes activated simultaneously; for example, node 4,9, and 42 may activate concept ‘red,’ whereas node 4, 75, and 690 may activate another concept o Also known as parallel distributed processing models 15. Use the concepts of declarative versus procedural memory, and explicit versus implicit memory, to explain the pattern of H.M.’s amnesia - Declarative memory: involves factual knowledge; has two subcategories o Episodic memory: store of factual knowledge concerning personal experience o Semantic memory: general factual knowledge about the world and language, including memory for words and concepts - Procedural memory: reflected in skills and actions (non-declarative) o Classical conditioning is an example of procedural memory - Explicit memory: involves conscious or intentional memory retrieval (remembering that there is test next week) o Recognition: requires us to decide whether a stimulus is familiar o Recall: involves spontaneous memory retrieval o Cued recall: hints are given to stimulate memory (essay, short answer, and fill in the blanks involve recall or cued recall) - Implicit memory: occurs when memory influences our behavior without conscious awareness (riding a bicycle) - Priming task: information is still in the memory even though you may be unable to consciously recall original words 16. Why does having multiple, self-generated retrieval cues enhance recall? - Retrieval cue: any stimulus, whether internal or external, that stimulates the activation of information stored in long-term memory - Having multiple, self generated retrieval cues was the most effective approach to maximizing recall - Generating our own associations involves deeper, more elaborative rehearsal than does being presented with associations generated by someone else o As well, distinctive stimuli are better remembered than non-distinctive ones - Meaningfulness ratings are good predictors of rate of learning and probability of recall in free recall o However, similarity of meaning for items in a list or between S-R items in pairing associations task decrease performance - Importance of encoding specificity and distinctiveness was discovered by Endel Tulving o More distinctive the stimuli, easier
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