PSY 2012 General Psychology Chapter 7: Memory

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PSY 2012 General Psychology Chapter 7: Memory. Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D. Associate Professor The Department of Psychology The University of West Florida. 7 1 4 7 8 6 1 9 4 1 9 1. Write as many numbers as you can remember. What color was the list of numbers?. The Characteristics of Memory. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Samuel R. Mathews, Ph.D.Associate ProfessorThe Department of PsychologyThe University of West FloridaPSY 2012 General PsychologyChapter 7: Memory

  • 7 1 4 7 8 6 1 9 4 1 9 1

  • Write as many numbers as you can remember.What color was the list of numbers?

  • The Characteristics of MemoryInterpretive: our memory for information is frequently such that we relate new information with old so we interpret new information in light of what we already know

    Constructive: our memory fills in gaps in incoming information based on existing knowledge.

    Hence, our memory is not typically a reproduction of objective reality

  • MemoryInformation flow in memory:

    Encoding: the process through which information from the environment is transferred to memory; strategies at encoding impact retrieval

    Storage: the process of maintaining information in memory

    Retrieval: the process of making information stored in memory accessible for use

  • SensoryMemoryShort Term orWorking MemoryLong TermMemoryENVIRONMENTAtkinson-Shiffrin Model of MemoryShort durationLarge capacity(Sperlings work)Allows further processing

    Limited Capacity (7+/-2 ChunksMiller)Brief duration without rehearsalSusceptible to interferenceComputer MetaphorInput Devicese.g. KeyboardCentral Processing Unit Hard Drive orStorage MemoryLong DurationLarge CapacityForgetting and retrieval are problemsMeaningful representations

  • 1776 1984 1941

  • Write as many numbers as you can remember.What color were the numbers?

  • Next you will see a list of words. Identify which words begin with a vowel.


  • Write as many words from the entire list as you can remember.

  • In the next list remember the words that name vegetables.


  • Write the words you can remember from the entire list.

  • Working Memory(a.k.a. Short term memory)Strategies used in working memory determine the likelihood of retrieval from long term memoryMaintenance Rehearsal: Repeating information verbatimKeeps information in short term or working memoryTends to be in inaccessible in long term memory over time

  • Working Memory(a.k.a. Short term memory)Elaborative rehearsal: Expanding on or creating relations among pieces of information and existing knowledgeChunking information: breaking information into meaningful units (years instead of numbers)Creating connections with information already known (Patoimage of duck with pot on its head)Organizing into meaningful units under a superordinate heading (much like the perceptual rule of similaritythose items that tend to be from the same category tend to be grouped in memory)

  • Levels of Processing (Craik & Lockhart, 1972)Levels range between shallow and deep levels of processing (strategies in working memory):Shallow: maintenance rehearsal (repetition) or focusing on surface characteristics (does the word begin with a vowel).Deep: elaborative rehearsal (looking for meaningdoes the word name a vegetable)

  • Levels of Processing (Craik & Lockhart, 1972)Shallow processing requires less effort but results in lower levels of recall;Deep processing requires more effort but results in increased recall due to:Increased connections between the to-be-remembered information and existing information in memoryChunking into meaningful unitsIncreased processing in working memory

  • Implicit/Explicit MemoryImplicit Memory: memories that were acquired incidentally without conscious learning (e.g. stereotypes, typical habits);

    Explicit Memory: memories that were acquired through intentional efforts (e.g. words to a song, main ideas of a chapter)Typically requires mental effort and control

  • Executive Control in Working Memory: Monitoring and ControlMeta-memory: Knowing what you know and what you do not knowKnowing the limits to your own memoryMetacognition:Knowing how to studyKnowing how to solve a problemKnowing strategies to use and using themMonitoring your mental processes

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryDuration and capacity limits for information are large but based on:OrganizationRehearsalFrequency of access

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryOrganizationProcedural memories:Memories for how to accomplish some task (physical or mental)Declarative memories:Knowing whatEpisodic Memory: knowledge of personal experiences; typically perceived to be a personal narrativeSemantic Memory: knowledge of concepts and facts; usually language-based

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryOrganizationSchema Theory: memories are organized in networks of related ideas.Relations among ideas or concepts based on logical and emotional links (e.g. causal, temporal, superordinate/subordinate; positive or negative associations)The more relationships between any concept and other concepts the more likely the concept can be accessed.

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryThink of the word farm and list four terms that come to mind.Now, think about how those words are related to the term farm.Schema theory suggests this is likely the way semantic memories and very likely others are organized

  • MemoryAtkinsonShiffrinDepth ofProcessingWorkingSensoryMaintenanceLongTermElaborativeComponents of S/A Memory TheoryPasses info toImpacts storage And retrieval inType ofrehearsal strategy

    Type ofrehearsal strategyExtends duration ofinformation in Increases likelihoodof retrieval fromTheory ofTheory ofSample Concept Mapfor partial Memory Schema

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryRehearsal and Retrieval from LTMDepth of processing is related to ease of retrieval.

    What rehearsal strategy is most likely to lead to easier retrieval?

    What sort of strategy could you use to increase your memory for your lecture notes?

    How might you combine rehearsal and organization to help remember something?

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryFrequency of accessConcepts more frequently accessed are more easily remembered

    More frequent and varied access leads to greater number of association with the desired concept.

  • Long Term/Storage MemoryEncoding Specificity: The manner in which we rehearse material is related to the cues that will successfully help retrieve the material

    The more ways we encode the information the broader the set of cues we can use to access the information.

  • Memory FailuresTransienceforgetting declines rapidly over time for meaningless material and levels off at a low levelAbsentmindednessloss of a retrieval cue due to a shift in attention

  • Memory FailuresBlockinginterference by similar stimuliSomething you learned earlier impacts your ability to remember something learned more recently: Proactive interference

    Something you learned only recently impacts something your learned in the more distant past: Retroactive interference

  • Elecia recently moved to a new apartment. In her old apartment, the light switch was on the left side of the front door. In her new apartment it is on the right side. When she entered her new apartment she always reached to the left.Is this proactive or retroactive interference?Why?

  • Memory FailuresSerial Position Effect:Information from the beginning of a string of information and from the end of the string is remembered better than that in the middleBoth proactive and retroactive interference are operating.

  • MemoryHuman memory is interpretive and constructive;Our memory does play tricks on us;The use of strategies that elaborate information to be remembered is more effective than strategies that simply repeat the information.Even when we are sure of our memories, they can be affected by other factors.

  • Information remembered best:Object of focused attentionCaptures our interestEmotionally salientLinked with our existing knowledge or experiencesRehearsed using elaborative strategies

  • In your text, page 296 contains hints for study habits based on memory research


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