AP Psychology: Chapter 7


The process of acquiring information and entering it into memory.

Acoustic Encoding

The mental representation of information as a sequence of sounds.

Visual Encoding

The mental representation of information as images.

Semantic Encoding

The mental representation of an experience by its general meaning.


The process of maintaining information in memory over time.


The process of recalling information stored in memory.

Episodic Memory

Memory of an event that happened while one was present.

Semantic Memory

A type of memory containing information about how to do things.

Implicit Memory

The unintentional influence of prior experiences.

Levels-of-Processing Model

A view stating that how well something is remembered depends on the degree to which incoming information is mentally processed.

Maintenance Rehearsal

Repeating information over and over to keep it active in short-term memory.

Elaborative Rehearsal

A memorization method that involves thinking about how new information relates to information already stored in short-term memory.

Transfer-Appropriate Processing Model

A model of memory that suggests that a critical determinant of memory is how well the retrieval process matches the original encoding process.

Parallel Distributed Processing Models

Memory models in which new experiences change one's overall knowledge base.

Information-Processing Model

A model of memory in which information is seen as passing through sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.

Sensory Memory

A type of memory that holds large amounts of incoming information very briefly, but long enough to connect one impression to the next.

Sensory Registers

Memory systems that hold incoming information long enough for it to be processed further.

Selective Attention

The focusing of mental resources on only part of the stimulus field.

Short-Term Memory

The maintenance component of working memory, which holds unrehearsed information for a limited time.

Working Memory

The part of the memory system that allows us to mentally work with, or manipulate, information being held in short-term memory.

Immediate Memory Span

The Maximum number of items once person can recall perfectly after one presentation of the items.


Stimuli that are perceived as one unit or as a meaningful grouping of information.

Brown-Peterson Procedure

A method for determining how long unrehearsed information remains in short-term memory.

Long-Term Memory

A relatively long-lasting stage of memory whose capacity to store new information is believed to be unlimited.

Primacy Effect

A characteristic of memory in which recall of the first two of three items in a list is particularly good.

Recency Effect

A characteristic of memory in which recall is particularly good for the last few items in a list.

Retrieval Cues

Stimuli that aid the recall or recognition of information stored in memory.

Encoding Specificity Principle

The ability of a cue to aid retrieval depends on the degree to which it taps into information that was encoded at the time of original learning.

Context-Dependent Memory

Memory that can be helped or hindered by similarities or differences between the context in which it is learned and the context in which it is recalled.

State-Dependent Memory

Memory that is aided or impeded by a person's internal state.

Spreading Activation

A principle that explains how information is retrieved in semantic network theories of memory.


Mental representations of categories of objects, events and people.

Method of Savings

Measuring forgetting by computing the difference between the number of repetitions needed to learn and, after a delay, relearn the same material.


The gradual disappearance of the mental representation of a stimulus.


The process through which either the storage of the retrieval of information is impaired by the presence of other information.

Retroactive Interference

A cause of forgetting in which new information placed in memory interferes with the ability to recall information already in memory.

Proactive Interference

A cause of forgetting in which information already in memory interferes with the ability to remember new information.

Anterograde Amnesia

A loss of memory for any event that occurs after a brain injury.

Retrograde Amnesia

A loss of memory for events prior to a brain injury.


Strategies for placing information in an organized context in order to remember it.