We never encoded it! • Failed to pay attention to it … “went in one ear and out the other!”
Retrieval Failure • The memory was encoded and stored, but sometimes you just cannot access the memory.
Types of Retrieval Failure Proactive Interference • The disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information. If you call your new girlfriend your old girlfriend’s name.
Types of Retrieval Failure Retroactive Interference • The disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information. When you finally remember this years locker combination, you forget last years.
Motivated Forgetting • We sometimes revise our own histories. Honey, I did stick to my diet today!!!!!!
Motivated Forgetting Why does it exist? One explanation is REPRESSION: • in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings and memories from consciousness.
p.294-301 BR: Consider this quote by William James: “Forgetting is as important as recollecting … if we remembered everything, we would be as ill off as if we remembered nothing,” 1) What does this quote mean? 2) Make a list of the functions of forgetting.
Memory Construction • Memory retrieval is part construction and sometimes involves “source amnesia.” People form and feel certain of false memories. • Misinformation effect: incorporating misleading information into one’s memory of an event • Lost in the mall study
Source amnesia • Attributing to the wrong source an event that we experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined. • A friend told you about his bike trip to Wisconsin. A year later, you recall details about the trip, however, you are not sure about how you learned about the details. You may falsely conclude that you have traveled to Wisconsin. You may reason that you recall things so clearly, you must have been there yourself. The source of the information - your friend - is forgotten, and the second-hand information is integrated in your memory. • Or maybe your friend told you that apples are bad for you because they are high in fat. You may later recall the fact, and wonder how you learned about it. You conclude that you learned it from TV or the news paper article. You may avoid eating apples believing that they are high in fat. (In reality, apples contain no fat). You give the knowledge more weight if you believe you learned about it from credible media instead of an unreliable friend.
Factors Affecting the Accuracy of Eyewitnesses: • Forewarn possibility of memory bias • Passage of time leads to increase in misremembering information • Age of the witness matters – more fantasy prone as a young child • Confidence in memory is not a sign of accuracy
Most of our memory problems arise from memory’s “seven sins” – which are really by-products of otherwise adaptive features of human memory Why Does Memory Sometimes Fail Us?
Memory’s “Seven Sins” Transience Absent-Mindedness Blocking Misattribution Suggestibility Bias Persistence
Transience • General deterioration of a specific memory over time. • Much more can be remembered of recent events than those further in one's past.
Persistence • Memory problem in which unwanted memories cannot be put out of mind
Suggestibility • Process of memory distortion as a result of deliberate or inadvertent suggestion • Misinformation effect –The distortion of memory by suggestion or misinformation
Absent-mindedness • This form of memory breakdown involves problems at the point where attention and memory interface.
Bias • The sin of bias is similar to the sin of suggestibility in that one's current feelings and worldview distort remembrance of past events.