Psychology: Memory Study Guide

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Psychology: Memory Study Guide

Post  missxgabby on Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:14 pm

Credits to: Gabrielle Mullen

Atkinsons: Psychology Study Guide: Memory
Three Important Distinctions
1. Three Stages of Memory:
A. Encoding
B. Storage
C. Retrieval
2. Deals with different memories for storing information for short and long periods.
3. Different memories being used to store different kinds of information.

Three Stages of Memory
1. Encoding Stage: When environmental information is translated into and stores as a meaningful entity.
EX: Being introduced to someone and entering that person’s name into memory. You transformed a physical input
(sound waves) corresponding to her spoken name into the kind of code or representation that memory accepts, and
you “placed” that representation in memory. You likewise transformed another physical input, the pattern of light
corresponding to her face, into a memory for her face, and you connected the two representations.
2. Storage Stage: When stored information is maintained over time.
EX: You retained or stored the information responding to her name and her face during the time between the two
meetings.
3. Retrieval Stage: You attempt to pull from your memory information that you previously encoded and stored there.
EX: Based on the stored representation of her face, you recognized her in the afternoon as someone you had met in
the morning and, based on this recognition, you recovered her name from storage.
Positron emission tomography (PET) and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI): Measures of brain activity are recorded while participants are engaged in tasks.
- During encoding, most of the activated brain regions are in the left hemisphere, whereas during retrieval, most of
the activated brain areas are in the right hemisphere.

Three Memory Stores
Memory process differ between situations that require us to store material:
1. For less than a second.
- Atkinson-Shiffrin Theory: Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin. Information arriving from the environment is first placed into sensory store, which has three main characteristics:
1. Sensory contains all the information from the environment captured by the sense organs.
2. Sensory store is transient, meaning information from sensory store decays over a time period ranging a
few tenth of a second (visual sensory) to a few seconds (auditory sensory).
3. Small portion of information is sensory store that is attended to is transferred out of sensory store into the short-term store.
2. For a matter of seconds.
- Short-term Memory
1. Information in short-term store is information that you are conscious of.
2. Information is readily accessible (foundation for making decisions).
3. Will be forgotten over a period of approximately 20 seconds.
4. Can be prevented from decaying if rehearsed (repeating the same information over and over).
5. Can undergo other forms of processing, such as elaboration (when it is being transferred into long term memory).
3. For longer intervals ranging from minutes to years.
- Long-Term Memory: The large repository of information that we maintain of all information that is generally available to us.
1. Information enters it, via various kinds of elaborative processes, from short-term store.
2. Size of long-term store is unlimited.
3. Information is acquired from long-term store via the process of retrieval and placed back into the short-
term store, where it can be manipulated and used to carry out the task at hand.

Different Memories for Different Kinds of Information
We use a different long-term memory for storing facts (such as who the current president is) than we do for retaining skills (such as how to ride a bike).
1. Explicit Memory: One in which a person consciously recollects an event as occurring in a particular time and place.
2. Implicit Memory: Person unconsciously remembers information of various sorts.

Sensory Memory
Sensory Memory: The information initially acquired from the environment via the sense organs is placed into a short-lasting memory called sensory memory. Has a very large capacity but decays in a very short time. Information within sensory memory that is attended to is transferred to the next working memory, working memory.
Iconic Memory: Vision
Echoic Memory: Audition
- Visible persistence is information that maintains a persisting, conscious, visual representation over a period of several tenths of a second.
- A sensory response function is a concept that allows integration of sensory memory and visible persistence.

Working Memory
- Previously called short-term memory.
- Involves the three stages of encoding, storage, and retrieval.
1. Encoding: To encode information into working memory, we must attend to it. We are selective of what we direct our attention to. (EX: Buying groceries, but not knowing the checkout clerk’s eyes. Unable to answer not because of failure
of memory, but because you had not paid attention to the clerk’s eyes in the first place).
When information is encoded into memory, is it entered into a certain code or representation.
- Visual Code: Mental picture of the digits.
- Phonological Code: The sounds of the names of the digits.
- Semantic Code: Based on some meaningful association that the digits have.
Two Working Memory Systems
1. Phonological Buffer: Briefly stores information in an acoustic code. Verbal information, most of the brain activity was in the left hemisphere.
2. Visual-Spatial Sketchpad: Briefly stores information in a visual or spatial code. Store spatial information, most of the brain activity was in the right hemisphere.

2. Storage: Capacity is limited. (7 +/- 2) Magic Number 7.
Chunking: Long-term memory is where knowledge about words is stored. Recoding new material into larger, more meaningful units and storing those units in working memory. We can boost our working memory by regrouping sequences of letters and digits into units that can be found in long-term memory.
EX: (149-2177-620-02 -> 1492-1776-2002)
Forgetting: Occurs either because the items “decay” over time or because they are displaced by new items. Information in working memory may simply decay as time passes. A trace that fades within a matter of seconds.

3. Retrieval: The more items there are in working memory, the slower retrieval becomes. Working memory is active in consciousness. Access to this information is immediate.
- Sternerg Memory-Scanning Task: Told numbers, then must recall if that number was on the list previously given. Decision time increased directly with the length of the memory list, meaning that each additional item in a working memory adds a fixed amount of time to the retrieval process- 1/25 of a second.
-Retrieval requires a serial search of working memory- a search in which the items are examined one at a time.
- The more items are in working memory, the less activation there is for any one of them.

Working Memory and Thought
- Working memory plays an important role in thought.
- When consciously trying to solve a problem, we often use working memory to store parts of the problem as well as information accessed from long term memory that is relevant to the problem.
EX: You need working memory to store the given numbers (35 and Cool, the nature of the operation required (multiplication) and arithmetic facts such as 8x5 = 40 and 8x3 = 24.
- Not only use in doing numerical calculations but also in solving a wide range of complex problems.
- Crucial for language processes like following a conversation or reading a text. When reading for understanding, often we must consciously relate new sentences to some prior material in the text.
EX: People who have more working memory score higher than others on reading comprehension tests.

Transfer from Working Memory to Long Term Memory
- Working memory serves important functions:
1) Stores material that is needed for short period.
2) Serves as a workplace for mental computations.
3) Serves as a way station to long-term memory. Information may reside in working memory while it is being encoded or transferred into long term memory.
- One way to implement the transfer is rehearsal, the conscious repetition of information in working memory.
- Maintenance Rehearsal: Active efforts to hold information in working memory.
- Elaborative Rehearsal: Efforts to encode information in long-term memory.
- Free Recall Experiments: Participants see a list of 40 unrelated words that are presented one at a time, then they are asked to list the words in any order.
- When the first words were presented, they were entered into working memory and rehearsed. Because there was
little else n working memory, they were rehearsed often and therefore were likely to be transferred to long-term memory. As more items were presented, working memory quickly filled up and the opportunity to rehearse and
transfer and given item to long-term memory decreased.

Division of Brain Labor Between Working Memory and Long-term Memory
- Hippocampus: Critical for long-term memory, but not for working memory.
- Regions in the Frontal Cortex: Working memory
- Prefontal Lobes: Holds information for short term memory
- A phone number that is about to be dialed.
- Medial Temporal Lobe Amnesia: Profound difficult remembering material for long intervals, but rarely have any trouble remembering material for a few seconds. Severe impairment in long-term memory, but a normal working memory.
EX: Patient is unable to recognize his doctor when she walks in the room, even though he has seen him every day for years, yet will have no trouble repeating the physician’s name when she is reintroduced.

Long Term Memory
- Involved when information has to be trained for intervals as brief as a few minutes or as long as a lifetime.
- Autobiographical Memory: Intervals of years often involved the recall of personal experience.
1. Encoding
- For verbal material, the dominant long term memory representation is neither acoustic nor visual. Instead, it is based on the meanings of the items.
- EX: Several minutes after hearing a sentence, most of what you can recall or recognize is the sentence’s meaning.
- EX: When people report on complex social or political situations, they may misremember many of the specifics, yet
can accurately describe the basic situation.
- Can also code other aspects, for example, memorizing poems and reciting word for word.
- Phonological code
- Visual impressions, tastes, and smells.

Adding Meaningful Connections
- Often the items we need to remember are meaningful, but the connections between them are not. In such cases, memory can be improved by creating real or artificial links between the items.
- One of the best ways to add connections is to elaborate on the meaning.
- The more deeply one encodes the meaning, the better the resulting memory will be.
- EX: Studying a book- study the meaning more than the words.
- Because these connections can serve as retrieval links, the better we understand items, the more we remember.

2. Retrieval
- Forgetting results from loss of access to the information.
- Poor memory often reflects a retrieval failure rather than a storage failure.
- Trying to retrieve an item from long-term memory is like trying to find a book in a large library. Failure to find the book does not mean that it is not there. You may be looking in the wrong place, or the book may be simply misfiled.

Evidence for Retrieval Failures
- Tip of the Tongue: A particular word or name lies outside our ability to recall it.
- Recognition Test: Asked whether we have seen a particular item before.
EX: Multiple-choice exams.
- Recall Test: We have to produce the memorized items using minimal retrieval cues.
EX: Essay exams.

Interference: If we associate different items with the same cue, when we try to use that cue to retrieve one of the items (the target item), the other items may become active and interfere with our recovery of the target.
Retroactive Inteference: If your friend Dan moved and you finally learn his new phone number, you will find it difficult to retrieve the old number. Why? Because you are using the cue “Dan’s phone number” to retrieve the old number, but instead, this cue activates the new number, which interferes with recovery of the old one.
Proactive Interference: Suppose that your reserved space in a parking garage which you have used for a year, is
changed. At first, you may find it difficult to retrieve your new parking location from memory. Why? Because you are
trying to learn to associate your new location with the cue “my parking place,” but this cue retrieves the old location, which interferes with the learning of the new one.

Interactions Between Encoding and Retrieval
- Two other encoding factors also increase the chances of successful retrieval:
1. Organizing the information at the time of encoding.
- A list of names or words is far easier to recall when we encode the information into categories and then
retrieve it on a category-by-category basis.
2. Ensuring that the context in which information is encoded is similar to that in which it will be retrieved.
- It is easier to retrieve a particular fact or episode if you are in the same context in which you encoded it.
EX: Remember the names of your old classmates when you walk through the corridors again.
EX: Know more on a test when you’re in the class in which it was taught.
- Context is not always external, but it can also include what is happening inside us when we encode
information.
EX: Individuals who learned a list of words under the influence of marijuana will recall more of the
words when tested in the same drug-induced state.
- Memory does improve when our external state during retrieval matches our internal state during encoding.

Emotional Factors in Forgetting
- Emotion can influence long-term memory in five distinct ways:
1. Rehearsal
EX: You may forget where you saw this or that movie, but if a fire breaks out while you are in a theatre, that incident will dominate your thoughts for a while. You will describe the setting over and over to yourself, thereby rehearsing it and organization it, which betters long-term memory.
2. Flashbulb Memory: A vivid and relatively permanent record of the circumstances in which one learned of an emotionally charged, significant event. Memories include decaying and interference.
- Many people in their twenties remember exactly where they were when they learned of the Challenger disaster
and exactly who told them about it.
3. Retrieval Interference Via Anxiety
EX: Failure to deal with the first question produced anxiety. Anxiety is often accompanied by extraneous thoughts, such as “I’m going to flunk out.” These thoughts fill our consciousness and interfere with attempts to retrieve information that is relevant to the question, and this may be why memory fails.
4. Context Effects: Memory is best when the context at the time of retrieval matches that at the time of encoding.
5. Repression: Traumatic experiences are said to be repressed, or stored in the unconsciousness, and they can be retrieved only when some of the emotion associated with them is defused. Repression therefore represents the ultimate retrieval failure: Access to the target memories is actively blocked.

Implicit Memory
- Manifested in skills and shows up as improvement in the performance of some perceptual, motor, or cognitive task without conscious recollection of the experiences that led to them.
Memory in Amnesia
- Amensia: Partial loss of memory.
- Anterograde Amnesia: Profound inability to remember day-to-day events and hence to acquire new factual information.
- Retrograde Amnesia: Inability to remember events that occurred prior to the injury or disease.

Explicit Memory
- Episodic Memory: Memory of personal episodes.
EX: Memory of your high school graduation.
EX: Memory of what you ate for dinner last night.
- Semantic Memory: Refers to memory of facts and general truths.
EX: Knowing that bachelor means unmarried man.
- Encoded in relation to other knowledge rather than in relation to yourself, and there is no coding of time and place.

Skills and Priming
- Amnesiacs have no difficulty remembering and learning perceptual and motor skills.
Priming: In the experiment, the words presented in stage 1 facilitated or primed performance on the stem completion problems presented in stage 2.

Childhood Amnesia: Unable to recall events from their first 3 to 5 years of life.
- Adults structure their memories in terms of categories and schemas.
EX: “She’s that kind of person.” “It’s that kind of situation.”
- Young children encode their experiences without embellishing them or connecting them to related events. Once a child begins to form associations between events and to categorize those events, early experiences become lost.
- The hippocampus, which is known to be involved in consolidating memories, is not mature until roughly a year or two after birth.

Constructive Memory
- Creating, maintaining, and using information in long-term memory store.
- Memory is a constructive and reconstructive process.
- The memory for an event can and does depart systematically from the objective reality that gave rise to it, both at the time it is formed (via constructive processes) and then later over time (via reconstructive processes).
Constructive Processes at the Time of Memory Encoding
- Memory Encoding: Processes that occue when the long-term memory representation of some event is being established.
Encoding has two stages:
1) Initial Perception: Transfer of information into short-term store.
2) Whatever processes are entailed in the transfer of information from short-term store to long-term store.
- Construction of a false memory can occur at either or both of these stages.
Constructive Perception
- What is perceived does not necessarily correspond to what is objectively out in the world.
- What is perceived forms the basis for the initial memory; therefore, if what is originally perceived differs systematically from the objective world, the perceiver’s initial memory- and probably later memories as well- of what happened will be distorted.
Post Event Memory Construction
- Every time we revisit some memory in our minds, the memory changes in some fashion.
- We may strip away information that doesn’t seem to make sense in light of other facts we know or we’ve learned.
- Add new information that is suggested to us by others.
- Inferences can also be made based on schemas, mental representations of a class of people, objects, events, or situations.
- Social Stereotype: Concerns personality traits or physical attributes of a whole class of people.
- Externally provided suggestions.

Improving Memory
Chunking and Memory Span, Imagery and Encoding. (Improve the recall of unrelated items by adding meaningful connections between them at the time of encoding, for these connections will facilitate later retrieval. - Mental Images: Useful for connecting pairs of unrelated items. Elaborating and Encoding, Context and Retrieval, Organization,Practicing Retrieval

Summary Hierarchical Tree:
Memory
1. Working
1. Encoding
- Acoustic Code: Errors in the recall of consonants.
- Visual Code: Fades Quickly
2. Storage
- Limited Capacity (7+-2) Displacement and decay.
3. Retrieval: Search and activation models.
2. Long Term (Explicit)
1. Encoding
2. Retrieval
- Adding meaningful connections; elaboration of meaning
- Retrieval failures; interference; search and activation models
- Consolidation – Role of hippocampus
3. Storage


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