PSY 368 Human Memory Memory Experts and Ways to improve your memory
Cases of superior memory Flashbulb memories Eidetic imagery Memory Experts Ways to improve you memory Distributed practice Testing effects Mnemonic techniques Brief outline for today
Flashbulb memories Very vivid memories Surprising and consequential events emotionally charged Difficult to study Neisser and Harsch (1992) study Challenger explosion in 1986 - asked people day later about where they were, etc. After 3 years they were asked to recall details Reported vivid memories, and were very confident However, they were inaccurate at remembering these things No evidence they are different from normal memories Subject to reconstructive processes (including distortions) Superior Memory
Eidetic imagery = Photographic memory Strict criteria for classification Example test procedure (e.g., Haber & Haber 1964) Present an image for 30 sec Remove the image Ask a variety of questions about details of the image Answers typically in the present tense (as if the picture is present) Eyes move to locations where the details had been in picture Frequency of occurrence Mostly in preadolescent children (estimated 8% of kids) Rare in adults - not well-studied Superior Memory
Eidetic imagery = Photographic memory Not like a photograph, rather it is a strong, vivid image Eidetic images have more detail than normal images and last longer than iconic memory. But they do fade away (between a few seconds and a few minutes), they are not long lasting (so dont seem to be encoded with high detail in LTM) Requires time to encode (not like the split second camera snapshot) Affected by the subjective state of the individual and may include distortions, additions, and/or omissions Superior Memory
Luria (1968), The Mind of a Mnemonist S (Solomon Shereshevsky, Russian journalist & mnemonist) Average IQ Memory feats Could recall speeches verbatim Memorize complex mathematical equations and matrices Memorize text and poems, even in foreign language Digits (100+) Nonsense syllables Foreign-language poetry Complex figures Diagnosed as having severe Synesthesia Memory Experts
Luria (1968), The Mind of a Mnemonist Synesthesia is a condition where sensations usually experienced in a single modality are experienced in two modalities. Some examples of synesthesia are receiving an auditory signal or sensation in a visual modality. Synesthesia is rule governed, not random. For example, there is a positive relationship between increasing the pitch of a sound and increased brightness. For S, musical tones were colors, touch were tastes Thinking about numbers: take the number 1. This is a proud, well-built man; 2 is a high-spirited woman; 3 a gloomy person; 6 a man with a swollen foot; 7 a man with a moustache; 8 a very stout womana sack within a sack. As for the number 87, what I see is a fat woman and a man twirling his moustache Memory Experts
They had a university student (SF) practice the digit span task for 1 hour per day for 2 years Over this time, his span increased from about 7 items to 80 items Encoding and retrieval principles in action: He increased his span to 18 items by relating numbers to known running times (e.g. 3594 = Bannisters time for the mile) He further increased his span by organizing those chunks into a hierarchical structure Speed-up principle in action: He became much faster at chunking and organizing the numbers with extensive practice However, his newfound ability did NOT generalize to other memory tasks He maintained average letter and word spans Ericsson and Chase (1982)
Memory Experts Thompson et al. (1991) Rajan Mahadevan: Previously held the world record for memorizing the most digits of pi (30,000 ) (note: new record Akira Haraguchi 83,431 digits) Found that he had an unusual digit span: 59 visually presented digits 63 for heard digits He chunked digits into strings of 1015 digits, not the typical 34 This initially suggested a natural enhancement of his basic memory capacity However, arguing against a natural superiority, he has an average: Symbol span Ability to remember the position and orientation of various objects Memory for word lists and stories It turns out that he uses various associations and patterns to group digits.
Memory Experts National Memory Championship Memoriad http://usamemorychampionship.com/ http://www.worldmemorychampionships.com/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vsYCSmBcM0&feature=related Journalist covering the memory championships one year (2005), the next competing in the competition (2006) Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (2012) Sampling of events (from US & international) Names and faces (164, 15 mins) Speed numbers (500, 5 mins) Speed cards (1 deck, 21.2 sec) Poetry Random words (300, 15 mins) Max deck cards (28 decks, 1hr) Random digits (2080, 1 hr) Historical dates (132, 5 mins) (Records)Records
Okay, recall the shopping list from yesterday. Run through the route from here to the bookstore in Bone. List Can you be a Memory Expert? Milk Cereal Hot dogs Pickles Mustard Orange juice Sponges Toilet paper Light bulbs Cookies
Can you be a Memory Expert? What can you do to improve your memory? Distributed practice Testing effects Effective studying tips Mnemonics Lots of books out there.
Can you be a Memory Expert? What can you do to improve your memory? Distributed practice Testing effects Effective studying tips Mnemonics The granddaddy of them all: Rhetorica ad Herennium Written between 86 and 82 B.C. Describes the memory techniques attributed to Simonides of Ceos (5 th century B.C. poet) the basic techniques that underlie almost all modern mnemonic techniques
Memory Myths Memory is like a muscle, exercise it and it gets generally better/stronger You can practice mnemonic techniques, but they still require effortful use and are specific to what you apply them to Only 10% of our brain power is used. No agreed upon operational definition of brain power No evidence that there are parts of the brain just sitting around unused, waiting to be tapped Becoming more balanced in using right and left side of brain will tap into unused potential. Left-language/Right-spatial (for most people) Can improve memory with presentation during sleep. Sleep studies - placebo effect - subjects thought they had an effect of what they were told they were studying, but no objective effect existed
Distributed Practice Distributed practice is better than massed practice Lorge (1930) Mirror tracing task 20 trials of learning Massed 1 min between trials 1 day between trials Spacing between the learning sessions led to better performance
Distributed Practice Distributed practice is better than massed practice It is better to space out learning trials sparsely (thinly) across a period of time than to mass them together into a single learning block. This leads to faster improvement rates and more lasting retention. As distributed practice takes longer in absolute terms (i.e. less actual training, but more days), it is not always practical or convenient. Individuals using distributed practice often paradoxically feel as though theyre being less efficient. The benefit is not related to fatigue with denser learning.
Distributed Practice Distributed practice is better than massed practice Landauer & Bjork (1978) Is it better to repeatedly study and test items on a list (e.g. word pairs) in close succession or spread apart? There are competing factors Spaced presentation (i.e. study) enhances memory for a variety of materials Based on this alone, study and test should be separated as much as possible, but Successfully testing yourself strengthens memories more than passively studying items The sooner an item is tested after initial presentation, the more likely it will be recalled and strengthened Spacing EffectGeneration Effect Proposed Solution: The Expanding Retrieval Method
Distributed Practice Distributed practice is better than massed practice Landauer & Bjork (1978) The Expanding Retrieval Method A flexible strategy, in which: A new item is initially tested after a short delay to ensure that it is recallable. As the item becomes better learned, the practicetest interval is gradually extended. Each item should be tested at the longest interval at which it can be reliably recalled. Recall failure indicates that it should be presented after a shorter delay. Successful recall indicates that the delay should be increased. Optimum is about 10-20% of study time before testing. For testing after 10 days, spacing between presentations should be 1-2 days. In general, longer inter-trial delays are better than short ones.
Testing Effects Testing Effect : The finding that long-term retention is best when the information is repeatedly tested during learning Task : Students were asked to memorize a prose passage through either Repeated Study (SSSS): Passage was read four times without a test Single Test (SSST): Passage was read three times, followed be a recall test Repeated Test (STTT): Passage was read once, followed by three recall tests 19 Karpicke and Roediger (2006) Results : Repeated study is most effective at the short retention interval At learning, this group expected the best long-term memory Considered the least effortful/demanding condition Repeated testing is most effective at the long retention interval i.e. the testing effect
Testing Effects 20 Storage Strength : Relative permanence of a memory trace Retrieval Strength : The accessibility of a given memory trace Easy retrieval does not increase storage strength Difficult retrieval increases storage strength and leads to long- term memory performance Working hard to give yourself recall tests during studying is highly beneficial to long-term retention Bjork and Bjork (1992)
Testing Effects 21 Task : Learn LugandaEnglish translations Some participants got corrective feedback on incorrect test trials during study Others did not receive feedback Tested 1 week later on the vocabulary Results : Recall for the words they had gotten wrong a week before was about five times better if they had received immediate feedback. Conclusion : Testing yourself with feedback is best for long-term retention Tip: Use flashcards; dont just re-read your notes! Pashler et al. (2005)
Effective Studying Finding optimal spacing Pashler et al., (2007) The optimal spacing depends on the length of the delay between learning and testing The optimum interval between learning episodes should be 1020% of the test delay First day of class Midterm Four months (28 days), Optimum spacing is 10-20%, so.1 x 28 = 2.8 and.2 x 28 = 5.6 so optimal study time of each piece of information is every 2.8 to 5.6 days. This includes review of previous material not just new presentations. Chap 1 Chap 2, Review Chap 1 Chap 3, Review Chap 1-2 Chap 4 Review Chap 2-3 Chap 5, Review Chap 2-4 Chap 6, Review Ch 1, 3-5 Chap 7, Review Ch 2, 4-6 Chap 8, Review all chapters In general, longer inter-trial delays are preferable to shorter ones Receiving corrective feedback after test trials is important, though it can occur after a short delay without consequence
Effective Studying Learning StyleEmphasisPredicts SurfaceRote learning of ideas and facts Little focus on content Little motivation to study Similar to shallow level of processing Poor examination performance DeepLearning to understand Relating ideas to evidence and integrating information High motivation to understand Similar to deep level of processing Good examination performance StrategicSeeking the study techniques to get the best grades Motivated to be efficient Great examination performance Biggs (1987) Study Process Questionnaire The questionnaire assesses students dominant approach to learning
24 Morriss (1979) SQ3R Approach: Effective reading for studying StageGoals SSurveyFiguring out how the reading is organized Read the summary or scan the piece QQuestionThinking of relevant questions to which each section should answer Do this for chunks of text of 3000 words or less R1ReadReading through each chunk in order to: Answer the questions formulated above Integrate information to pre-existing knowledge R2ReciteTrying to remember the key ideas of each chunk If forgotten, repeat the Read stage R3ReviewRemembering the key ideas from the chapter and combining the chunks after finishing the entire piece Return to Read stage, if necessary Effective Studying
Benefits of the SQ3R approach: Avoids the students illusion The false confidence students get as they skim through a chapter, finding that the material seems familiar (i.e. theyd be able to recognize it) However, the actual test is likely to be: More anxiety-provoking Asking them to recall (rather than recognize) the information 25 Morriss (1979) SQ3R Approach: Effective reading for studying
Mnemonic Devices Methods for improving memory Here are a few of the different methods of mnemonic devices: Acronyms and acrostics Rhymes Imagery Method of Loci Number-letter system Peg-word system
Mnemonic Devices Acronyms (Word to retrieve information.) HOMES for the Great Lakes H uron, O ntario, M ichigan, E rie, S uperior NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration Roy G. Biv Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet (colors of visible spectrum)
Mnemonic Devices Acrostics (Sentence to retrieve letters.) Every good boy deserves fudge. Musical notes on treble clef staff (E, G, B, D, and F) My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles The colors of the rainbow, in order: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet.
Mnemonic Devices A rhyme is a saying that has similar distinctive sounds at the end of each line. Makes things easier to remember because it can be stored with acoustic encoding. Example: The ABCs song In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the Ocean Blue. 30 Days has September, April, June, and November. All the rest have 31, except February. "i" before "e," except after "c," or in sounding like "ay" as in "neighbor" or "weigh."
Mnemonic Devices Many Mnemonics incorporate Imagery Last lecture we discussed many examples of situations memory ef...