AP Psych- Unit 7A (Cognition: Memory)

What is memory?

Memory is the persistence of learning/experience over time through the storage and retrieval of information.

what must occur to remember information?

encoding informationretaining (storing) informationretrieving information

what did atkinson and shiffrin propose?

memories are formed in the following three stages:1. recording to-be-remembered information as a sensory memory (an immediate very brief recording of sensory information). 2. Processing information into short-term memories (activated memory that holds a few items briefly - like a 7 digit phone number- before the information is forgotten. rehearsal helps us encode short-term memory.3. moving information into long-term memory (the relatively permanent and limitless store, which can include knowledge, skills, and experiences). *some information skips Atkinson and Shifrin's model and goes directly into long-term memory.

what do contemporary memory researchers prefer and why?

contemporary memory researchers prefer the term working memory to short-term memory, because it emphasizes that active processing is occurring during the second stage.

what does working memory involve? what is working memory able to do?

working memory involves conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory. working memory is able to associate the old and the new information to solve problems.

when does automatic processing occur?

when you process information without conscious effort. our brains perform parallel processing (processing many parts of a problem at the same time), allowing multitasking to happen without conscious attention.

what does automatic processing allow us to unconsciously encode for?

spacetimefrequencywell-learned information

give an example of unconsciously encoding space:

encoding where information is located on a page, then visualizing the location on the page when trying to recall the information (you didn't put any conscious effort into memorizing where information was on the page while studying).

give an example of unconsciously encoding time:

unintentionally remembering the sequence of the days events, which can later be used to realize where you left something (retracing your steps in the order of what you did)

give an example of unconsciously encoding frequency:

keeping track of the number of times things happen (you ran into someone twice that day while you were running errands)

give an example of unconsciously encoding well learned information:

seeing words on a sign and automatically registering their meaning (this automatic processing is so effortless it is difficult to turn off). ex. learning to read is difficult at first, but with time it will become effortless.

what is effortful processing?

a form of encoding that requires attention and conscious effort, but often produces durable and accessible memories.

what plays a role in effortful processing?

rehearsal plays a role in effortful processing. Rehearsal is the conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage.

who was Hermann ebbinghaus? what did he do?

Hermann ebbinghaus was a German philosopher who tested effortful processing using rehearsal and a last of nonsense syllables. He quickly read the list aloud eight times and then tried to recall as many syllables as possibly. He tried to remember the list again after a day had passed, but could only remember a few. Ebbinghaus noticed that it took him less repetition to remember the list.

What did Ebbinhaus discover from his experiments?

He learned that over-learning increasing retention (the more time spent learning the more we remember). He also learned that those who learn quickly, also forgot quickly. To retain information, we ned to rehearse over a period of time. this is known as the spacing effect t.

what is the spacing effect?

the tendency for well spaced out studying or practice to yield better long-term retention than thought massed (cramming) study or practice.

what is the serial positioning effect?

the serial position effect is our tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list. This is because the last word is still in your working memory (known as the recency effect), and the first words are remembered thanks to the primacy effect). Serial positioning also helps with retention.

Describe the experiment performed by Craik and Tulving:

Craik and Tulving created an experiment to test visual, acoustic, and semantic encoding. The experiment involved showing a word to an individual, followed by a question the wold require them to process the word at one of three levels: visually (appearance of the letters), acoustically (sound of the word), or semantically (meaning of the word). the experiment showed that semantic processing created a greater memory than acoustic, and an even greater memory than visual (semantic > acoustic > visual).

what is visual encoding?

the encoding of picture images. imagery is a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with semantic encoding.

what are mnemonics? give two examples

mnemonics are memory aids often based on imagery. ex. using your knuckles to remember which months have 31 days or saying something like Some Old Hippy Caught Another Hippy Tripping on Acid to remember sine, cosine, and tangent.

what is chunking? give an example

chunking is organizing items into familiar, manageable units. it helps with memory.ex. ROY G BIV to remember the colors in the visible light spectrum in order of wavelength.

what is iconic memory?

as information enters our memory through our senses, we briefly register and store visual images with iconic memory. iconic memory is a photographic or picture-image memory that lasts no longer than a few tenths of a second.

what is echoic memory?

we briefly store auditory images through echoic memory, which lasts about 3-4 seconds.

what are two forms of sensory memory?

iconic memory and echoic memory.

what is short term memory? what limits it?

Short-term memory is limited in capacity and length of time. we can only focus on and process about seven items of information at a time. if this information is not rehearsed it will disappear from our short-term memory within a few seconds.

are there any limits to long-term memory?

no, we Arte able to store information permanently in our long term memory and the storage capacity is limitless.

what did Karl Lashley discover? how did he discover this?

Karl Lashley discovered that we do not store memories in precise locations. he discovered this while studying the brains of rats. Lashley trained rats to navigate a maze, then removed areas of their cortex and retested them using the same maze. The rats were able to retain partial memory of how to navigate the maze, proving memories are stored in various locations.

what changes the brain's neural networks? what is this known as?

research has proven that experience changes the brain's neural networks, known as long term potentiation. if someone has electric shock therapy or a blow to the head (concussion), the memories that have not gone into long term potentiation will not be remembered.

what happens after long-term potentiation occurs?

an electric current passes through the brain and will wipe out recent memories. this is what happens when people have a blow to the head. their working memory was not able to consolidate the information into long-term memories before they were knocked unconscious.

how can stress effect the brain?

stress can cause hormones to be released that signal the brain that something important has happened, searing the memory of an event into the brain. this occurs due to increased glucose release (fuels the brain) and increased activity in the amygdala (emotion processing). while the strong emotions and events are fixed in the brain during stressful situations, weak emotions/events occurring at the same time will often be forgotten.

what is flashbulb memory?

the clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.

what can prolonged stress cause?

prolonged stress (ie combat or abuse) can cause shrinking of the hippocampus (area of the brain that helps create memories), thus causing difficulty creating lasting memories.

what is amnesia? what causes it?

the loss of memory. memories-to-be enter the cortex of our brain as senses and then travel to other areas of our brain depending on the type of information. damage to one of these areas causes the inability to form lasting memories.

Describe the situation with Henry Molaisin and others like him:

HM and others like him have damage to their brains that affect conscious recall, but they are still able to learn unconsciously. They can quickly find their way to a bathroom or learn how to quickly read a sentence backwards through repetition, but they won't be aware they are doing them or able to explain how they are able to do them.

what is implicit memory? give 2 examples

implicit memory is also known as nondeclarative or procedural memory. it is the unintentional recognition and influence of prior experiences.ex. riding a bike, playing an instrument

what is explicit memory?

explicit memory is known as declarative memory or conscious recognition. it is the process in which people intentionally try to remember something.

where are explicit memories stored?

the hippocampus (located in the limbic system) helps process explicit memories. you have a left and right hippocampus above each ear.

what happens if the left hippocampus is damaged?

people have difficulty remembering verbal information, but can remember visual designs and locations.

what happens if the right hippocampus is damaged?

people can remember visual designs and locations but not verbal information

are memories permanently stored in the hippocampus? how do you know?

memories are not permanently stored in the hippocampus, they remain there for a time and are then stored elsewhere. rats that have been shown the location of food and then had their hippocampus removed 3 hours later will not remember the location of the food, but rats that have their hippocampus 48 hours after being shown the food's location will remember it.

what is responsible for implicit memories?

the cerebellum

describe Joseph LeDoux and his patient

Joseph LeDoux had a patient with damage to the brain creating a form of amnesia where she was unable to recognize him every day. each day he would have to shake her hand and introduce himself. one day he put a tack in his hand so it pricked her when he introduced himself. from then on, he would introduce himself but she would refuse to shake his hand (she had no idea why).

what does the dual explicit-implicit memory system explain?

infantile amnesia (being unable to recall the first 3 years of your life). it is believed this is because we index many of our explicit memories with words, therefore non-verbal children are unable to do this. also the hippocampus is one of the last brain structures to mature.

what does memory involve?

recall, recognizing, and relearning

what is recall? give an example

recall involves an individual being able to retrieve information that has been learned previously ex. fill in the blank test

what is recognition? give an example

recognition is a form of memory where a person is able to identify items previously learned.ex. multiple choice test

what is relearning?

relearning assesses the amount of time saved when an individual is learning material for a second time. it takes much less time to relearn something that you have forgotten than it took for you to learn it initially. our speed at learning also reveals memory.

is it easier to recognize or to recall?


what are retrieval cues?

a stimulus for remembering; the more retrieval cues you have the better your chance of retrieving a memory.

what is priming?

the activation/awakening (generally unconsciously) of associations in our memory.

how does context influence memory retrieval?

the content in which we originally experienced an event or encoded a thought can flood our memory with retrieval clues helping us to target the memory.

explain deja vu:

when we are in a context similar to one we have been in before we experience deja vu. clues from the current situation can subconsciously trigger the retrieval of the earlier experience, thus the feeling of deja vu.

what is mood-congruent memory?

often times specific emotions can cause us to retrieve memories that are consistent with our mood -> when we are happy we tend to retrieve happy memories. for individuals prone to depression, mood-congruent memory can cause a vicious spiral (you continue to retrieve depressing memories).

how can mood-congruent memory affect behavior interpretation?

mood-congruent memory can also affect how we interpret other people's behaviors. if we are in a bad mood we may interpret things people say or their expressions as negative or hurtful, things that would have never bothered us had we been in a happier state.

who is Daniel Schacter?

Daniel Schacter is a memory researcher who explained the seven ways our memory fails us (aka the seven sins of memory)

list the seven sins of memory

1. absent-mindedness 2. transience 3. blocking the 3 sins of distortion:4.misattribution5. suggestibility 6. biasthe one sin of intrusion7. persistence

what is absent-mindedness

encoding failure due to not paying attention

what is transience?

long periods of time lead to decay of stored memories (if you don't use it, you lose it)

what is blocking?

not being able to get to stored information/retrieval failure (seeing a person and not being able to remember their name, but feeling like its on the tip of your tongue)

what is misattribution

confusing the source of information (remembering a dream and thinking it really happened)

what is suggestibility?

lasting effects of misinformation (ex. a child being asked if they were sa, and the child later creating a false memory from the question)

what is bias

your beliefs affecting your memories

what is persistence?

unwanted memories (ie memories or images of being robbed)

what are the main reasons we fail to remember

if we fail to encode, we will not remember. if we are unable to retrieve (knowing the info is there but unable to find it) we will not remember. if you don't have good retrieval cues you may not be able to retrieve the memory, and if the memory has decayed (might be discarded), we will not remember

what is repression?

repression is a defense mechanism where we banish thoughts, feelings, or memories that are painful or cause us anxiety. we will not be able to remember them

what is proactive interference?

proactive interference is when something we have learned or experienced in the past interferes with remembering something that was just learned or experienced.

what is retroactive interference?

retroactive interference is when something recently learned interferes with something learned in the past.

what is the misinformation effect?

the misinformation effect involves incorporating misleading information into your memory of an event. the misinformation effect can make it difficult to discriminate between real and suggested events.

what is imagination inflation? why7 does it occur?

repeatedly imagining something can cause us to create false memories. this is known as imagination inflation. the reason imagination inflation occurs is because ht same areas of the brain are stimulated when we visualize something or actively perceive something.

what is source amnesia? give an example of source amnesia:

source amnesia is attributing to the wrong source an event which we have heard about, read about, experienced, or imagined. this is also known as source misattribution.ex. hearing something but later recalling we saw it or dreaming something and thinking it actually happened.

what are two explanations of why individuals have false memories?

source amnesia and misinformation

are false memories different from actual memories?

false memories can actually feel just like actual memories and can be just as (if not more) durable.

what is the difference between memories derived from experience and memories derived from imagination?

memories derived from experience have more details than memories we derive from our imaginations. memories we derive from imagined experiences -aka constructed memories- are more restricted to the "gist" of supposed events.

what is the controversy related to claims of repressed or recovered memories?

many individuals have recalled false, traumatic memories (often child sexual abuse), that never occurred due to bad techniques used by typically well-meaning therapists

what do therapists and psychologists agree on (on the topic of memories, abuse, and repressed/recovered memories)

- abuse does occur and leave lasting scars-innocent adults have been falsely accused and convicted of nonexistent abuse, and some actual abusers have used the repressed memory controversy to avoid punishment.- forgetting isolated past events triggered by memory cues is normal and common- infantile amnesia makes recall of very early childhood memories highly unlikely- memories obtained through drugs or hypnotism during therapy are often unreliable - real and false memories can cause suffering and stress

how can an understanding of memory contribute to more effective study techniques?

- study repeatedly - make the material meaningful- activate retrieval clues-use mnemonic devices-minimize interference-sleep more-test your knowledge, both to rehearse it and to help determine what you don't know yet.

what do psychologists on both sides of the controversy regarding reports of repressed and recovered memories of childhood sexual assault agree on?

the idea that we commonly recover memories of long-forgotten negative as well as positive events