Notes – Chapter 7 Section 1: Three Kinds of Memory
Memory: How information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.
- It is the process by which we recollect prior experiences, information, and skills learned in the past.
- Memory: How information is encoded, stored, and retrieved.
Episodic Memory: a memory of a specific experienced event.
The person watched or experienced the event.
- Your memory of what you ate for dinner last night.
- The memory of your last quiz.
Flashbulb Memories: Clear memories of emotionally significant moments or events.
Some events are so important that it seems as if a flashbulb goes off and we photograph it in every detail.
- Example: September 11
Why do we have flashbulb memories?
- We pay more attention to events that have special meaning for us.
- Powerful feelings are generally associated with these memories.
- People, places, or events can make an impression on us because they are connected to other events that are important at the time.
- Some events are so important that it seems as if a flashbulb goes off and we photograph it in every detail.
- The person watched or experienced the event.
Semantic Memory: A memory of general knowledge and information that can be recalled.
- We usually do not remember when we acquired the information.
- We remember George Washington was the first president of the United States, but not when we first learned about him.
- You remember the alphabet, but you probably do not remember where, when, or how you learned it.
- You know that humans need oxygen, but you probably don’t remember when you first learned this.
Explicit Memory: A memory of specific information.
- They are clearly stated or explained.
- The information may be autobiographical (episodic) or refer to general knowledge (semantic).
Implicit Memory: a memory that consists of the skills and procedures one has learned.
- They are implied, or not clearly stated.
- Examples: throwing a ball, riding a bike, jumping rope, swimming, typing, playing an instrument, driving a car
True or False?
Once people learn to ride a bicycle they probably will never forget how.- TRUE
- One people learn a skill, there is little chance they will ever forget it.
- Skill memories tend to last, even when not used regularly.
- Once a skill has been learned they tend to stay remembered for many years – sometimes even a lifetime.
Chapter 7 Section 2 Notes: Three Processes of Memory
Computers and people both process information.
- Computers use electronic circuits to process in the information they receive.
- People use their brains.
- The process used by computers and people are similar because they encode, store, and retrieve information.
- Encode à Store à Retrieve
- Computers and people both process information.
Encoding: the translation of information into a form that can be stored in memory.
- Example: When you type information into a computer it is encoded and stored on the hard drive. When people place information in their memory they encode it.
- Encoding is the first stage of processing information.
Initially we receive information through our senses in a physical form like light waves or sound waves.
- When we encode it, we covert this information so it can be mentally represented.
- DEMO: Give students 30 seconds to memorize OTTFFSSENT
Visual codes - Pictures
When you tried to memorize the letters did you attempt to see them in your mind as a picture?
- If you did you used a visual code, a mental picture in your mind.
- When you tried to memorize the letters did you attempt to see them in your mind as a picture?
Acoustic codes - Sounds
- Another way to remember the letters is to read the list to yourself and repeat it several times.
- This way of trying to remember is an auditory (acoustic) code.
- An acoustic code records the letters in your memory as a sequence of sounds.
Semantic codes - Meaning
- Another way you may have tried to remember the list might have been to make sense of the letters, to figure out what they mean.
- You may have tried to see if the letters made up a phrase or sentence.
- Another way you could try to remember the letters would be to find words that begin with each of the letters in the list and make up a sentence using those words. This way you would only have to remember one sentence instead of a list of letters.
- Example: Only Tiny Tots Feel Friendly…
- What you may not have realized when you first examine the list of letters is that they may already have meaning: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten
- If we had known this in the first place, remember the letters would have been much easier. It would have had meaning.
Storage: the maintenance of encoded information over time.
- Storage is the second process of memory.
- People who want to store new information in their memory use a variety of strategies which are related closely to the strategies people use for encoding.
Maintenance rehearsal: the repetition of new information in an attempt to keep from forgetting it.
- Once we encode information
- we need to do something more to keep from forgetting it.
- The more time spent repeating information, the longer it will be remembered.
- This is a poor way to put information into storage because it does not make information meaningful.
Elaborative rehearsal: creates a meaningful link between new information and the information already known.
- This is more effective because it helps make connections with information you already know.
True or False: The best way to remember something is to repeat it many times?
- False: usually it is more effective to find a meaning in new information, or to find an application for it.
Question: Who can name all 12 months of the year?
- This shouldn’t take long; also, most people will do it in chronological order.
Write it down: When I say go write down the months of the year in alphabetical order.
- This often takes longer.
- Question: Who can name all 12 months of the year?
- Organization is important for memory storage so we can more easily retrieve the information at a later date.
- Memories that you store become organized and arranged in your mind for future use.
- In some ways your memory is like a storehouse of files in which you store what you learn and need to remember. The more you learn, the more elaborate your filing system becomes.
As your memory develops, it organizes the information you learn into files and then files within files.
- Things are organized into groups or classes.
- Our ability to remember information is subject to errors.
- Sometimes we “file” information incorrectly.
- Example: It is like putting your psychology homework in your economics folder.
Retrieval: the process of recalling information from memory storage.
- This is the third memory process.
- It is easiest to retrieve information that has been remember through semantic codes.
Context-Dependent memory: information is more easily retrieved in the context in which it was encoded and stored.
- Example: If you go back to your elementary school the memories may be dependent on being stored there. If you were not there, you may not have retrieved several memories.
2 groups were asked to memorize a list of words.
- 1 group did this inside of a pool.
- 1 group did this outside of the pool.
Both groups did a better job or remembering when they were placed in the situation they were when they first memorized the list of words.
- Pool group did better in the pool
- Dry group did better outside of the book.
- 2 groups were asked to memorize a list of words.
- Students do better on quizzes and tests when they study for a test in the room where the test will be given
Try to study for tests in the room where the test will be.
- If that is not possible, it is still better to study at desk or a table in a chair then on a couch or in your bed because when you test you will be sitting at a desk.
- State-Dependent memory: memories in which information is more easily retrieved when one is in the same emotional state as when the memory was encoded or learned.
Tip of the Tongue Phenomenon: the belief that a piece of information is stored in our memory although we cannot retrieve it easily.
- We often try to retrieve these by using acoustic or semantic cues.
Sometimes we try to summon up the words that are similar in sound or meaning to a word that is on the tip of the tongue.
- We may just start going through the alphabet.
Chapter 7 Section 3: Three Stages of Memory
- We do not store in our memory everything we experience because we can only take in so much.
How much of what our senses experience will we encode and remember?
That depends on what happens to the information as it flows through the stages of memory:
- Sensory Memory à Short-Term Memory (STM) à Long-Term Memory (LTM)
- That depends on what happens to the information as it flows through the stages of memory:
Sensory Memory: the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory.
- The first stage of memory.
- Things in our sensory memory can be forgotten in a fraction of a second so if we want to remember it we have to do something with the information quickly.
The mental pictures we form are called icons which are held in our iconic memory.
Iconic memory: the sensory register that briefly holds mental images of visual stimulus.
- These are accurate photographic memories that are extremely brief.
- Iconic memory: the sensory register that briefly holds mental images of visual stimulus.
Eidetic Imagery: Remembering a very detailed visual memory over several months.
Also known as photographic memory.
- This is more common in children, but the ability generally declines with age.
- Also known as photographic memory.
Echoic Memory: the sensory register in which sensory sounds are held and may be retrieved within several seconds.
- These can last for several seconds.
- Acoustic codes are easier to remember then visual codes.
- Saying things to yourself out loud makes them easier to remember.
Short-Term Memory: memory that holds information briefly before it is forgotten.
- The second stage of memory.
- This is also called working memory.
We use STM a great deal of the time:
- When you are thinking of something it is in your STM.
- When you are trying to solve a math problem, it is in your STM.
- When you meet someone new you put the person’s name in your STM.
- The more times you rehearse a pieces of information, the more likely you are to remember it.
- Information in STM begins to fade rapidly after several seconds, so if you want to remember t longer you need to keep rehearsing the information or take other steps to help you remember it.
The Primacy and Recency Effects: When we try to remember a series of letters or numbers, our memories of the first and last items tend to be sharper than our memories of the middle items on the list.
Primacy Effect: the tendency to recall the initial items in a series.
- We may remember these better because they are placed early in the list and we have more time to rehearse them.
- Our minds are also fresher when we encounter the start of the list.
Recency Effect: the tendency to recall the last item in a series.
- Since they have been rehearsed most recently, they tend to be fresher in our memory and probably more easily remembered.
- Primacy Effect: the tendency to recall the initial items in a series.
Chunking: a mental process for organizing information into meaningful units.
Psychologist George Miller found that the average person can hold a list of seven items in their STM.
- Phone numbers are 7 numbers
- Zip codes are only 5 numbers
Businesses and chunking:
- Many businesses prefer phone numbers with repeated digits or having a phone number that is a word or phrase. This way people have to remember less.
Demo: Can you chunk this information to make it easier to remember?
- FBTNTIDKTBACEOOKFYI (18 letters)
- FB TNT IDK TBA CEO OK FYI (7 chunks)
- Psychologist George Miller found that the average person can hold a list of seven items in their STM.
Interference: the process that occurs when new information appears in short-term memory and replaces what was already there.
- STM is like a shelf that only holds so much, once it is full you cannot put something on it without shoving something else off.
- Only a limited amount of info can stay in STM.
Long-Term Memory: the stage of memory capable of large and relatively permanent storage.
- The third stage of memory.
If you want to remember something more than just briefly, you have to take certain steps to store it in your LTM.
You can use:
- Relating new information to information you already know.
- You can use:
- Your LTM contains more words, pictures, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches then you can count.
Capacity of memory
- Psychologists have yet to discover the limit to how much can be stored in a person’s LTM.
- Although there is no limit to how much we can remember, we do not store all of our experiences permanently.
Our memory is limited by the amount of attention we pay to things.
We are more likely to remember things that capture our attention.
- The memories we have stored in our LTM are the incidents and experiences that have had the greatest impact on us.
- We are more likely to remember things that capture our attention.
Memory as Reconstructive
- Memories are reconstructed from bits and pieces of our experience.
When we reconstruct our memories, we tend to shape them according to the personal and individual ways in which we view the world.
- We tend to remember things in accordance to our beliefs and needs.
Schemas: an idea that helps one organizes and interpret information.
- For example: If you are asked to draw a pair of glasses, you have a schema for how they should look in your head.
Notes Chapter 7 section 4: Forgetting and Memory Improvement
- Forgetting can occur at any of the three stages of memory – sensory, short-term, or long-term.
- Information in sensory memory decays almost immediately unless you pay attention to it and transfer it to STM.
- Information in STM won’t last much longer then 10-12 seconds unless you find a way to transfer it to LTM.
- Because LTM holds vast amounts of material, forgetting and other memory errors can occur.
- Sometimes new information becomes mixed with material you already know, old learning can interfere with new learning.
Basic Memory Tasks
Testing memory with nonsense symbols.
Nonsense syllables provide psychologists with a way to measure basic measure tasks like recognition, recall, and relearning.
- Ex. DAL, RIK, KAX
- Because nonsense symbols are meaningless, remembering them depends on acoustic coding (saying them out loud or in one’s mind) and repetition.
- These were first used by German Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850-1909).
- His experiments are considered the first scientific study of forgetting.
- Nonsense syllables provide psychologists with a way to measure basic measure tasks like recognition, recall, and relearning.
- Have students write down the names of the 7 dwarves.
Now have students recall the names of the 7 dwarves from the following list:
- Grouchy, Gabby, Fearful, Sleepy, Pop, Smiley, Jumpy, Hopeful, Shy, Droopy, Wishful, Puffy, Dumpy, Sneezy, Lazy, Wheezy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Cheerful, Shorty, Happy, and Stubborn.
Students who only have to recognize the names will often do better.
- 7 dwarves: Sneezy, Sleepy, Dopey, Doc, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy
Recognition: A memory process in which one identifies objects or events that have previously been encountered.
- This is the easiest of the memory tasks.
- This is why multiple choice tests are easier than other tests, you only need to recognize the right answer, you do not have to come up with an answer on your own.
Harry Bahricks recognition experiment.
- Bahrick took pictures from the yearbooks of high school graduates and mixed them in with four times as many photos of strangers.
- Recent graduate correctly picked out their former classmates 90% of the time.
- Graduates who had been out of school for 40 years recognized their classmates 75% of the time.
- The study showed the ability of people to recognize familiar faces remains strong and long lasting.
- Example: Remembering the 7 dwarves by looking at the list.
Recall: retrieval of learned information.
- To recall something means to bring it back into your mind.
- Example: Trying to come up with the 7 dwarves on your own.
Relearning: learning material a second time.
- This usually takes less time than learning it the first time.
- People who have been out of school for 25 years might not remember the algebra formulas they learned in high school, however they could probably relearn quickly if someone showed them how to use them again.
- Testing memory with nonsense symbols.
Different Kinds of Forgetting
Normal forgetting is due to interference or decay.
- Interference: when new information disrupts what has been placed in memory.
- Decay: the fading away of memory.
- Normal forgetting is due to interference or decay.
Repression: A defense mechanism that causes us to forget painful and unpleasant memories.
- Freud believed we sometimes forget things on purpose without even knowing we are doing it.
- Some memories may be so painful and unpleasant that they make us feel anxiety, guilt or shame.
- Freud believed we forget these by pushing them out of our consciousness.
Amnesia: severe memory loss caused by brain injury, shock, fatigue, illness, or repression.
True or False?
You can remember important events from the first two years of life.
- Many factors contribute to and help explain this memory loss during the first two years of life.
- You can remember important events from the first two years of life.
Infantile Amnesia: the inability to remember events that occurred during one’s early years. (Before age 3).
- It refers to episodic memories.
Why do we have infantile amnesia?
- It is not the result of general forgetting. (Interference and Decay)
- It may be caused by repression.
- The part of the brain that is involved in the storages of memories (the hippocampus) does not mature until we reach the age of 2.
- Also brain pathways are incomplete for the first few years of our life so memory formation can be inefficient.
- Infants may not be interested in remembering their early years.
- Information about specific times may run together as a story so details are lost.
- Infants do not make reliable use of language to symbolize or classify events so their ability to encode is limited.
Anterograde Amnesia: the inability to form new memories because of brain trauma.
- Certain types of brain damage, such as damage to the hippocampus, have been linked to anterograde amnesia.
- Example: 50 First Dates
Retrograde Amnesia: the failure to remember events that occurred prior to physical trauma due to the effects of the trauma.
- Many people who are injured in car accidents do not remember that they were in the car before the accident.
- Athletes who are knocked unconscious during a game often have no memory of what happened before the play in which they were injured.
- This amnesia can be so severe that people may not remember years before an event.
- True or False?
True or False?
There are certain tricks you can use to improve your memory?
- True – they are called mnemonic devices – they provide systems for remembering information.
- There are certain tricks you can use to improve your memory?
Improving Memory - Memory can be improved with the help of a variety of strategies.
Drill and Practice
- One basic way to remember information is go to over it again and again.
- This can be boring, but it is the way we learned the alphabet and how to count.
- Flash cards are helpful for drill and practice.
When meeting new people it is helpful to use their name right away and then throw it into conversation right away. This would be practicing the new name.
- Example: Nice to meet you Patrick. Say Patrick, where do you live? Do you have a big family Patrick?, etc.
Relate to Things You Already Know
- Elaborative rehearsal – relating information to what you already know requires you to think more deeply about new information and as a result you will probably remember it better.
Form Unusual Associations
- It is sometimes easier to remember something if yo can make an unusual or humourous association and something else.
- This will help it stand out, which makes it easier to remember.
Example: Remembering chemistry symbols.
Some chemistry symbols are easy to remember, but others are quite difficult.
The symbol for tin is Sn.
- To remember it, it may be helpful to think of a snake in a tin can since Sn is the beginning of snake.
- The weirder the association, the better as it will probably help you remember it even better.
- The symbol for tin is Sn.
- Some chemistry symbols are easy to remember, but others are quite difficult.
Example: Shopping list.
- Let’s say you need to visit the grocery store, but do not have time to make a list.
Instead you could assign a body part to each of the things you need.
- Left arm – eggs
- Right arm – milk
- Left foot – cheese
- Right foot – dog food.
- Then when you are at the store you can just think of each body part and what food you associated it with.
- Connecting information you already know with new information.
Mnemonic Devices – Systems for remembering information.
- All these methods for improving memory are called mnemonic devices.
Sometimes these devices combine chunks of information into a format like an acronym, saying, or jingle.
Roy G. Biv
- The colors of the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo violet.
- The Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
- Roy G. Biv
- Example: Acronym
- Drill and Practice