MEMORY Chapter 9
Memory Memory *persistence of learning over time via the storage and retrieval of information Flashbulb Memory *a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event *where were you when Kennedy died? *where were you when 9-11 happened? • Storage • the retention of encoded information over time • Retrieval • process of getting information out of memory
Memory TYPES OF MEMORY Sensory Memory • the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system Short Term Memory • activated memory that holds a few items briefly • look up a phone number, then quickly dial before the information is forgotten Long Term Memory • the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system Working Memory *focuses more on the processing of briefly stored information *another term for Short Term Memory
Attention to important or novel information Sensory input Encoding External events Sensory memory Short-term memory Long-term memory Encoding Retrieving Encoding • the processing of information into the memory system
Encoding Automatic Processing • unconscious encoding of incidental information • space • time • frequency • well-learned information • word meanings • we can learn automatic processing • reading backwards • Effortful Processing • requires attention and conscious effort • Rehearsal • conscious repetition of information • to maintain it in consciousness • to encode it for storage
100% 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Percentage of list retained after relearning Retention drops, then levels off 1 3 5 9½ 14½ 25 35½ 49½ Time spent learning list Encoding Hermann Ebbinghausused nonsense syllables • TUV ZOF GEK WAV • the more times practiced on Day 1, the fewer repetitions to relearn on Day 2 Spacing Effect • distributed practice yields better long term retention than massed practice
Time in minutes taken to relearn list on day 2 20 15 10 5 0 8 16 24 32 42 53 64 Number of repetitions of list on day 1 Encoding
90 Percentage of words recalled 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Position of word in list Encoding-Serial Position Effect Serial Position Effect--tendency to recall best the last items in a list Immediate recall--last items best Later recall--only first items recalled well
What Do We Encode? Semantic Encoding • encoding of meaning • including meaning of words Acoustic Encoding • encoding of sound • especially sound of words Visual Encoding • encoding of picture images
Encoding Imagery • mental pictures • a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding Mnemonics • memory aids • especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices • Chunking • organizing items into familiar, manageable units • like horizontal organization- 1776149218121941 • often occurs automatically • use of acronyms • HOMES- Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior • ARITHMETIC- ARat In Tom’s House Might Eat Tom’s Ice Cream
Encoding (automatic or effortful) Meaning (semantic Encoding) Imagery (visual Encoding) Organization Chunks Hierarchies Encoding Hierarchies complex information broken down into broad concepts and further subdivided into categories and subcategories
Storage- Retaining Information Sensory Memory • the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system Iconic Memory • a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli • a photographic or picture image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second • Registration of exact representation of a scene Echoic Memory • momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli
Percentage who recalled consonants 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 3 6 9 12 15 18 Time in seconds between presentation of contestants and recall request (no rehearsal allowed) Storage-Short Term Memory Short Term Memory • limited in duration and capacity • “magical” number 7+/-2
Storage--Long Term Memory How does storage work? Karl Lashley (1950) began research on study of intelligence and the role of the frontal lobes. • Rats learn maze • Remove parts of brain • Retest rats to see if they remember the maze. 1890-1958
Storage--Long Term Memory Synaptic changes • Long-term Potentiation • increase in synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation Strong emotions make for stronger memories • some stress hormones boost learning and retention
Storage- Long Term Memory Amnesia- the loss of memory Explicit Memory • memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare • Also called declarative memory • hippocampus- neural center in limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage Implicit Memory • retention without conscious recollection • motor and cognitive skills • dispositions- conditioning
Forgetting--Amnesia • Anterograde Amnesia • *inability to form memories for new information because of brain trauma. • *new experiences slip away from a person before they have a chance to store them in long-term memory. (Clive Wearing or H.M.) • *H.M. (Initials for man with brain operation where hippocampus and amygdala removed…..crucial to laying down new episodic memories) • Retrograde Amnesia • *the failure to remember events that occurred prior to physical trauma. • *causes include: blow to head, electric shock to the brain
Hippocampus Storage-Long Term Memory MRI scan of hippocampus (in red)
Retrieval Cues • Recall • *the ability to retrieve info learned earlier and not in conscious awareness-like fill in the blank test • Recognition • *the ability to identify previously learned items-like on a multiple choice test • Relearning • *amount of time saved when relearning previously learned information • Priming • *activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory
Percentage of words recalled 40 30 20 10 0 Water/ land Land/ water Water/ water Land/ land Different contexts for hearing and recall Same contexts for hearing and recall Retrieval Cues • Context Effects • memory works better in the context of original learning
Retrieval Cues • Mood Congruent Memory • tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current mood • memory, emotions or moods serve as retrieval cues • State Dependent Memory • what is learned in one state (while one is high, drunk or depressed) can more easily be remembered when in same state Deja Vu- (French) already seen • cues from the current situation may subconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier similar experience • "I've experienced this before"
According to Daniel Schacter, most of our memory problems arise from the SEVEN SINS of MEMORY. Three Sins of Forgetting Transcience Absent-mindedness Blocking Three Sins of Distortion 4) Misattribution 5) Suggestibility 6) Bias One Sin of Intrusion 7) Persistence
Percentage of list retained when relearning 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 10 15 20 25 30 Time in days since learning list Sin of forgetting 1) TRANSCIENCE *Memories weaken with time *Hermann Ebbinghaus (1908) learned lists of nonsense syllables and tried to recall them over time. • Ebbinghaus- forgetting curve over 30 days --initially rapid, then levels off with time
Sin of forgetting 1) TRANSCIENCE CONCLUSION: For relatively meaningless material, there is a rapid initial loss of memory, followed by a declining rate of loss. HOWEVER, some memories don’t follow the classic forgetting curve. “Just like riding a bicycle”, is a phase which indicates that motor skill memories are often retained for many years.
Sin of forgetting 2) ABSENT-MINDEDNESS: Lapses of Attention Forgetting as encoding failure *Information never enters the memory system *Attention is selective • we cannot attend to everything in our environment *William James said that we would be as bad off if we remembered everything as we would be if we remembered nothing Retrieval failure caused by shifting your attention elsewhere. (ie) not paying attention when you laid your keys down
90 Percentage of words recalled 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Position of word in list Sin of forgetting 3) BLOCKING: Interference Causes Forgetting *Proactive Interference *Retroactive Interference *Serial Position Effect …first and last parts of a poem are easier to remember or you are more likely to remember the names of those people you meet first and last than those in between.
Sin of forgetting 3) BLOCKING: Interference causes forgetting Learning some items may disrupt retrieval of other information Proactive (forward acting) Interference • disruptive effect of prior learning on recall of new information Retroactive (backwards acting) Interference • disruptive effect of new learning on recall of old information
90% 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 Without interfering events, recall is better Percentage of syllables recalled After sleep After remaining awake 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Hours elapsed after learning syllables Sin of forgetting 3) BLOCKING: Interference causes forgetting Retroactive Interference
Forgetting--Interference Motivated Forgetting *people unknowingly revise history Repression *defense mechanism that banishes anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories Positive Transfer *sometimes old information facilitates our learning of new information *knowledge of Latin may help us to learn French
Sin of Distortion 4) MISATTRIBUTION: Memories in Wrong Context *sometimes memories are retrievable but are associated with the wrong time, place, or person. CASE: Psychologist David Thompson was accused of rape, based on victim’s detailed description of her assailant. Fortunately, Thompson had an indisputable alibi. At the time of the crime, he was being interviewed live on television--about memory distortions. The victim had been watching the interview just before she was raped and had misattributed the assault to Thompson.
Sin of Distortion 5) SUGGESTIBILITY: External Cues Distort or Create Witnesses to crimes may be interviewed by police, who might make suggestions about the facts of the case--deliberately or intentionally--which may impact the testimony of the witness. Loftus & Palmer (1974) set out test their hypothesis that the language used in eyewitness testimony can alter memory. So they aimed to show that leading questions could distort accounts of events, therefore making them unreliable. Participants were shown slides of a car accident involving a number of cars and were then asked to describe what had happened as if they were eyewitnesses.They were then asked specific questions, including the question "About how fast were the cars going when they (hit/smashed/ collided/bumped/contacted - the five conditions) each other?" Estimating the speed of a car is generally something that people are poor at doing, suggesting that they may have been MORE OPEN TO SUGGESTION. This distortion of memory is known as the MISINFORMATION EFFECT.
Sin of Distortion 5) SUGGESTIBILITY: External Cues Distort or Create Loftus then did research on FABRICATED MEMORY. She contacted parents of college students and gained TRUE information of childhood events, which the students were asked to recall. Loftus then added FALSE, but plausible, events. After many recall attempts over a series of days, many students claimed to recall the contrived events. This research would lead other researchers to discuss the RECOVERED MEMORY CONTROVERY, wherein some psychologists may use suggestion techniques to create false recovered memories.
Sin of Distortion 5) SUGGESTIBILITY: External Cues Distort or Create People fill in memory gaps with plausible guesses and assumptions Imagining events can create false memories Children's eyewitness recall • Child sexual abuse does occur • Some innocent people suffer false accusations • Some guilty cast doubt on true testimony • Memories of Abuse • Repressed or Constructed? • Child sexual abuse does occur • Some adults do actually forget such episodes • False Memory Syndrome • condition in which a person’s identity and relationships center around a false but strongly believed memory of traumatic experience • sometimes induced by well-meaning therapists
Sin of Distortion 6) BIAS: Beliefs, Attitudes, and Opinions Distort Memories Influence of personal beliefs, attitudes and experiences on memory: *Expectancy Bias --unconscious tendency to remember events as being congruent with our expectations. *Self-Consistency Bias --avoid inconsistency. Emotions can distort our memories.
Sin of Intrusion 7) PERSISTENCE: When We Can’t Forget Sometimes memory works all too well when *intense negative emotions are involved *intrusive recollections of unpleasant events lie at the heart of several psychological disorders.
**interference--when memory blocks access or retrieval. TOT (TIP OF THE TONGUE) occurs during a recall attempt, when there is a poor match between retrieval cues and the encoding of the word in long-term memory.
Memory Construction We filter information and fill in missing pieces Misinformation Effect • incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event Source Amnesia • attributing to the wrong source an event that we experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined (misattribution)
The technical term for “photographic memory” is EIDETIC IMAGERY. Eidetic Imagery portrays the most interesting and meaningful parts of the scene most accurately, as compared with a photograph which renders everything in complete detail. *possessed by about 5% of children. *very rare past adolescence. To produce an eidetic image, a person must *study a scene for some time *actively concentrate on this scene *images fade quickly when the attention is diverted to something else.
Improve Your Memory *Study repeatedly to boost recall *Spend more time rehearsing or actively thinking about the material (SQ3R) (study, question, read, recite, review) *Make material personally meaningful *Use mnemonic devices • associate with peg words- something already stored • make up story • chunk-acronyms
Improve Your Memory *Activate retrieval cues- mentally recreate situation and mood *Recall events while they are fresh- write down before interference *Minimize interference *Test your own knowledge • rehearse • determine what you do not yet know
MNEMONICS: *Method of Loci (low-sye): Imagine a familiar sequence of places (bed, desk, chair)……to remember a grocery list, imagine tuna on the bed, shampoo spilled on the desk, and eggs open on the chair. *Natural Language Mediators: make up a story using your list….(i..e.) The cat discovers I’m out of tuna so she interrupts me while I’m using shampoo and meows to egg me on.” OR The teacher who used rhymes to remember (“i before e except after c”) (“thirty days hath September….) *Remembering Names: You might visualize Bob’s face in a big “O” or Ann, you might visualize “Queen Ann sitting on a throne.” *PEG System: Memorize a list of items and each time you have to organize a list, use a picture to illustrate the list in your mind.
THINKING and LANGUAGE Chapter 10
Thinking Cognition • mental activity associated with processing, understanding, and communicating information Cognitive Psychology • the study of these mental activities • concept formation • problem solving • decision making • judgement formation • study of both logical and illogical thinking
Thinking Concept • mental grouping of similar objects, events, or people • address • country, city, street, house • zip codes Prototype • the best example of a category • matching new items to the prototype provides a quick and easy method for including items in a category (as when comparing feathered creatures to a prototypical bird, such as a robin.)
Problem Solving Good problem solvers are skilled at (a) identifying the problem, and (b) selecting a strategy. Algorithm • methodical, logical rule or procedure that guarantees solving a particular problem • contrasts with the usually speedier – but also more error-prone use of heuristics TWO strategy methods: Heuristic • rule-of-thumb strategy that often allows us to make judgements and solve problems efficiently • usually speedier than algorithms • more error-prone than algorithms • sometimes we’re unaware of using heuristics
Heuristics Representativeness Heuristic • rule of thumb for judging the likelihood of things in terms of how well they seem to represent, or match, particular prototypes • may lead one to ignore other relevant information Availability Heuristic • estimating the likelihood of events based on their availability in memory • if instances come readily to mind (perhaps because of their vividness), we presume such events are common • Example: airplane crash
Some Useful Heuristic Strategies: Working backwards (works well with mazes and certain math problems where the initial conditions are vague) Searching for analogies (works well if the problem is similar to one you have faced previously) Breaking problem in to smaller pieces (allows the completion of smaller, manageable units)
Thinking Insight • sudden and often novel realization of the solution to a problem • contrasts with strategy-based solutions Confirmation Bias • tendency to search for information that confirms one’s preconceptions Fixation • inability to see a problem from a new perspective • impediment to problem solving