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Chapter 8

PSY BEH 11B Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Encoding Specificity Principle

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Kier Groulx

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PsyBeh 11B Week 3
Reading 5 (Gleitman Ch. 8, 313-317)
Memories provide no benefit if we can’t retrieve them when needed
Retrieval step of locating and activating info in memory
Retrieval failures forgetting; info is in memory but you fail to locate it
Partial Retrieval
Retrieval failure
o Tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) effect - sometimes we remember part of info but can’t
recall the rest
Often can remember roughly what the word sounds like
May recall what letter it begins with, or how many syllables it has, but not
the word itself
So in this state, you cannot recall the target, but it IS in your memory
They then recognize the word when its offered to them
o Effective Retrieval Cues
Adequate retrieval cue triggers memories
After retrieval failure, can recall once given adequate retrieval cue
Why do some retrieval cues allow us to locate seemingly long-lost
Depends on whether the cue re-creates the context in which the
original learning occurred
Memory connections
Earlier suggested that memory is process of creating connections
to link material to other things you already know
These connections serve as retrieval paths
Effective retrieval cues
Takes advantage of an already established connection in memory
A return to physical circumstances of learning does improve
o But only because this return helps re-create the mental
context of learning this mental context is what matters
Context reinstatement re-creating the state of mind you were in during
o Encoding Specificity
Connection serve as retrieval paths
What’s placed in memory isn’t some neutral transcription of event, but a
record of the event as understood from a particular perspective or
perceived within a particular context
This pattern is known as encoding specificity
o The idea that what is recorded isn’t a copy of the original,
but encoded from the original; also very specific
o Affects HOW the past is remembered
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