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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 PS102.docx

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Carolyn Ensley

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PS102 Chapter 7 – Human Memory Week 3 Encoding: Getting Information into Memory -Sometimes the information just doesn’t seem important, so you devote very little or no attention to it -Active encoding is a crucial process in memory The Role of Attention -You need to pay attention to information if you intend to remember it -Attention involves focusing awareness on a narrowed range of stimuli or events -Selective attention is critical to everyday functioning -Attention is often likened to a filter that screens out most potential stimuli while allowing a select few to pass through conscious awareness -Ex. At a party and you’re only paying attention to the conversation you’re having – not the others around you, you’ve zoned those out, but if you hear someone calling your name, you will automatically hear it -It is clear that people have difficultly if they attempt to focus their attention on two or more inputs simultaneously -When participants are forced to divide their attention between memory encoding and some other task, large reductions in memory performance are seen -Divided attention can have a negative impact on the performance of quite a variety of tasks, especially when the tasks are complex or unfamiliar -The human brain can effectively handle only one attention-consuming task at a time -When people multitask, they are switching their attention back and forth among tasks, rather than processing them simultaneously -While much of the information we want to remember is encoded as a result of effortful processing, some types of information may be acquired more automatically -In the first type of processing, you are picking up information because you are intentionally attempting to do so, such as when you are listening to your prof -Other information, such as the frequency of word use is picked up without intending to do so -The ability to answer questions based on each type of processing has been found to be a function of several factors, including circadian patterns and age Levels of Processing -Attention is critical to the encoding of memories – not all attention is created equal -You can attend to things in different ways, focusing on different aspects of the stimulus input -How people attend to information are the main factors influencing how much they remember -In dealing with verbal information, people engage in three progressively deeper levels of processing: structural, phonemic, and semantic encoding -Structural encoding is relatively shallow processing that emphasizes the physical structure of the stimulus -Phonemic encoding emphasizes what a word sounds like -Semantic encoding emphasizes the meaning of verbal input; it involves thinking about the objects and actions the words represents -Levels-of-processing theory proposes that deeper levels of processing result in longer-lasting memory codes Enriching Encoding -There are other dimensions to encoding, dimensions that can enrich the encoding process and thereby PS102 Chapter 7 – Human Memory Week 3 improve memory: elaboration, visual imagery, and self-referent coding Elaboration -Elaboration is linking a stimulus to other information at the time of encoding -The additional associations created by elaboration usually help people to remember information Visual Imagery -The creation of visual images to represent the words to be remembered -The impact of imagery is quite evident -Imagery facilitates memory because it provides a second king of memory code, and two codes are better than one -Dual-coding theory holds that memory is enhanced by forming semantic and visual codes, since either can lead to recall -The use of mental imagery can enhance memory in many situations Self-Referent Encoding -Making material personally meaningful can enrich encoding -Self-referent encoding involves deciding how or whether information is personally relevant -Appears to enhance recall by promoting additional elaboration and better organization of information Storage: Maintaining Information in Memory Sensory Memory -The sensory memory preserves information in its original sensory form for a brief time, usually only a fraction of a second -Sensory memory allows the sensation of a visual pattern, sound, or touch to linger for a brief moment after the sensory stimulation is over -Ex. Visual afterimage when you wave a sparkler in a circle – it looks like a complete circle Short-term Memory -Short-term memory (STM) is a limited-capacity store that can maintain unrehearsed information for up to about 20 seconds -Rehearsal – the process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about the information -In using maintenance rehearsal you are simply maintaining the information in consciousness, while in more elaborative processing you are increasing the probability that you will retain the information in the future -Rehearsal keeps recycling the information through your short-term memory Durability of Storage -Without rehearsal, information in short-term memory is lost in less than 20 seconds Capacity of Storage -Short-term memory is also limited in the number of items it can hold -People could recall only about seven items in tasks that required them to remember unfamiliar items -The limited capacity of STM constrains people’s ability to perform tasks in which they need to mentally juggle various pieces of information PS102 Chapter 7 – Human Memory Week 3 -It has been known that you can increase capacity of your STM by combining stimuli into larger, possibly higher-order units, called chunks -A chunk is a group of familiar stimuli stored as a single unit -Depends on how you chunk it – in a meaningful vs. non-meaningful way Short-Term Memory as “Working Memory” -Short-term memory is not limited to phonemic encoding as originally thought and decay is not the only process responsible for the loss of information from STM -Working memory is a limited capacity storage system that temporarily maintains and stores information by providing an interface between perception, memory, and action -Consists of four components: phonological loop – at work when you use recitation to temporarily remember something, visuospatial sketchpad – permits people to temporarily hold and manipulate visual images, central executive system – controls the deployment of attention, switching the focus of attention, and dividing attention as needed, episodic buffer- a temporary, limited-capacity store that allows the various components of working memory to integrate information and that serves as an interface between working and long-term memory -Working memory capacity (WMC) refers to one’s ability to hold and manipulate information in conscious attention -WMC is a stable trait that appears to be influenced to a considerable degree by heredity -Variations in WMC also appear to influence musical ability, as reading music while playing an instrument taxes working memory capacity Long-Term Memory -Long-term memory (LTM) is an unlimited capacity store that can hold information over lengthy periods of time -LTM can store information indefinitely -Stored there permanently -Forgetting occurs only because people sometimes cannot retrieve needed information from LTM -Flashbulb memories are unusually vivid and detailed recollections of momentous events -Flashbulb memories represent an instance of permanent storage -Although flashbulb memories tend to be strong, vivid, and detailed, studies suggest that they are neither as accurate nor as special as once believed How is Knowledge Represented and Organized in Memory? -Our mental representations probably take a variety of forms, depending on the nature of the material that needs to be tucked away in memory Clustering and Conceptual Hierarchies -Clustering – the tendency to remember similar or related items in groups -Conceptual hierarchy – a multilevel classification system based on common properties among items Schemas -A schema is an organized cluster of knowledge about a particular object or event abstracted from previous experience with the object or event -People are more likely to remember things that are consistent with their schemes than things that are not PS102 Chapter 7 – Human Memory Week 3 -People sometimes exhibit better recall of things that violate their schema-based expectations -Not only do we have schemas about physical settings, but we also have schemas about specific people, types of people and social events Semantic Networks -A semantic network consists of nodes representing concepts, joined together by pathways that link related concepts -Semantic networks have proven useful in explaining why thinking about one work can make a closely related word easier to remember Connectionist Networks and Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) Models -Connectionist models of memory take their inspiration from how neural networks appear to handle information -The human brain appears to depend extensively on parallel distributed processing – simultaneous processing of the same information that is spread across networks of neurons -Connectionist or parallel distributed processing (PDP) models assume that cognitive processes depend on patterns of activation in highly interconnected computational networks that resemble neural networks -A PDP system consists of a large network of interconnected computing units, or nodes, that operate much like neurons -Like an individual neuron, a specific node’s level of activation reflects the weighted balance of excitatory and inhibitory inputs from many other units -PDP models asset that specific memories correspond to particular patterns of activation in these networks Retrieval: Getting Information Out of Memory Using Cues to Aid Retrieval -The tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon is the temporary inability to remember something you know, accompanied by a feeling that it’s just out of reach -Most people experience this once a week -Memories can often be jogged with retrieval cues- stimuli that help gain access to memories Reinstating the Context of an Event -Your memory for information would be better when the conditions during encoding and retrieval were similar -Context cues often facilitate the retrieval of information -The technique of reinstating the context of an event has been used effectively in legal investigates to enhance eyewitness recall -If you encoded information while intoxicated, your recall should be facilitated by attempting o retrieve the information while in a similar state Reconstructing Memories and the Misinformation Effect -To some extent, our memories are sketchy reconstructions of the past that may be distorted and may include details that did not actually occur -Subjects tend to leave out the boring details PS102 Chapter 7 – Human Memory Week 3 -The memory for events was more like a reconstruction -Part o what people recall about an event is the details of that particular event and part is a reconstruction o the event based on their schemas -The misinformation
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