7.1 memory as a data storage facility Flashcards Preview

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time plays an important role in memory

remembering something from a few seconds ago is different then remembering something from a year ago


memory has many tasks to do and consists of many different systems

each system serving some category of memory function


The cognitive revolution

the study of internal mental processes became an acceptable target for research


The atkinson-shiffrin (or multi-store) model of memory

atkinson and shiffrin said it was most sensible to think about memory as consisting of different stores that keep a record of info on our life events, according to how long ago the life events occurred.
stores are called:sensory memory, short-term memory, long-term memory
they also proposed ways by which we shift information between these memories stores and called those processes control processes


sensory memory

-processes of memory start to kick in
-maintains a brief record of all of the sensory information that enters through our eyes, ears, noses, tongues and skin
-if info doesn't proceed beyond this sensory memory store it is quickly forgotten
-attention helps select a portion of the sensory memory for further processing


short term memory

once we have info in our short term memory we can think about it in more sophisticated ways and try to use the info to plan our responses to the world
-the contents of stm are the info that is in our short term memory is on our minds from one moment to the next
-that info will constist of our processing of stimuli out there in the world as well as thoughts that generate aspects of the world that are not physically present
-ex. selft generated thoughts
*some info is encoded into long-term memory
*stm also retrieves info


memory does

many different things for us


long-term memory

from short term memory some info is encoded into long-term memory, unlimited, but not always accessible, later some info can be retrieved back to short term memory


the sensory memory store

iconic memory
echoic memory


iconic memory

visual sensory store
(duration is no more than 1 second)


echoic memory

auditory sensory store
duration is no more than 5 seconds


experiment for sensory memory store

1. the grid of letters flashes on the screen
2. sand then the participant recites as many letters as they can
whole report condition
partial report condition


whole report condition

participants were flashed 12 letters very briefly and had them report back as many as they could think of after the letters disappeared
participants were required to report back as many of the 12 letters as they could
-ppl can only report back about 3-4 letters out of 12, but it could be that sensory memory for the other letters disappears, during the time it takes to report the first few letters


partial report condition

1.grid of 12 letters flashes on the screen
2.immediately after the letters disappear the participants heard either a high medium or low tone, the tone determined which line of letters they were required to to report
3. then the participant recites as many letters as she can recall
(this happens multiple times, each time with a different tone at random)
ppl can report back about 3-4 letters out of 4
sensory memory doesnt hold info for very long but it does hold a lot of info



is the control process we use to hold onto info in sensory memory before it vanishes from our minds forever


change blindness

participants view two pictures that are identical except for one feature, the pics alternate for about 240 milliseconds each separated by a blank screen for 80 milliseconds
participants are given the task to identify what differs b/w the two pics
-it can be easier when the images are presented simultaneously, but still somewhat challenging
-it is difficult to find the difference if they are not staring and devoting their attention to the correct spot, the idea is that ppl will miss the feature that differs if they fail to attend to the correct part of the image and transfer that info into short term memory so that it is possible to compare it with their perception of the other pic when it appears w/o attention the representation for the first image vanishes from sensory memory and ppl lose the ability to notice that the feature differs b/w the two images


info in short term memory will vanish in

one minute if the person stops actively thinking about it
the amount of info that can be stored is also very limited
limit of 7 + or - two, is constraining but it is possible to overcome the limitation


short term memory store

7 + or - 2 items, lasts 30 seconds
some info is encoded into long term memory



(not easy to chunk into larger groupings)


short term memory and chess

-ppl who are not skilled at chess will have trouble taking all the info on a chess board, they will treat each piece as a single item and quickly exceed their short term capacity, that will make novice chess players very vulnerable to getting beaten by more skilled players
-expert players can recognize all the pieces on the board into a single chunk of info
players were shown an arrangement of pieces on a board and expert players remembered where the pieces were much better, this comes from experts being able to mental chunk the pieces on the board into a single unit. however if the pieces where arranged in a way that is not possible during a game then the experts were no better than the novice players


longterm memory

holds for unlimited amount of time but not easily accessible
concepts in long term memory are thought to be organized according to their similarity in meaning


the serial position effect

list of 15 words the write down as many words as you can remember , you will tend to remember the first and last few words , but less likely to remember the middle words
-serial means the words are presented one at a time
and this outcome is what normally happens
-remembering the first few items presented is- primacy effect
-remembering the last few times is - recency effect


serial position is :

good example of atkinson shiffron model
primacy effect: since the first few words were shown, successful encoding into long term memory, since those were the first ones to appear ppl have more time to achieve encoding for those words
recency effect reflects the items that remain in the short term store


proactive interference

after hearing the first four words on the list, proactive interference made it difficult to remember additional info


retroactive interference

after hearing the last three words, retroactive interference made it difficult to remember the preceding words


short term memory = working memory

keeping info in mind as long as we need it to accomplish our goals


working memory and rehearsal

people hold info in mind by a process they call rehearsal
act of repeating info over and over again so that the info does not disappear from working memory before we are done with it


working memory has different tasks/ stores

phonological loop
episodic buffer
visuospatial sketchpad
central executive


phonological loop

keeping sound based info active with rehearsal
the word length effect


the word length effect

cat, war,pay, ape, and zoo
restaurant, granary, plantation, waterfall, and January
(if a list takes longer than about 2 secs to repeat in your mind, you will quickly lose memory for one or more of the words

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