7.2 | Encoding and Retrieving Memories Flashcards Preview

🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke > 7.2 | Encoding and Retrieving Memories > Flashcards

Flashcards in 7.2 | Encoding and Retrieving Memories Deck (11):
1

Storage

  • storage: the time and manner in which information is retained between encoding and retrieval 

2

Rehearsal: The Basics of Encoding

  • is rehearsal (or learning by rote) effective? research has shown that it's a resounding "no"
  • it's not how long we rehearse information, but rather how we rehearse it that determines the effectiveness of memory
  • maintenance rehearsal: prolonging exposure to information by repeating it 
    • does relatively little to facilitate encoding that leads to the formation of long-term memories
  • elaborative rehearsal: prolonging exposure to information by thinking about its meaning 
    • this strategy greatly improves the process of encoding

3

Levels of Processing

  • not all elaborative encoding is created equal
  • levels of processing (LOP): this framework begins with the understanding that our ability to recall information is most directly related to how that information was intitally processed
    • shallow processing: involves more superficial properties of a stimulus, such as the sound or spelling of a word
    • deep processing: generally related to an item's meaning or its function
    • in tests, people were almost seven times more likely to recall a deep-processed word than a shallow level one
    • STM memories are unaffected by shallow or deep processing
  • self-reference effect: when you think about information in terms of how it relates to you, or how it's useful to you
  • survival processing: when items are processed as they relate to survival, they're more likely to be recalled

4

Retrieval

  • recognition: identifying a stimulus or piece of information when it is presented to you
    • e.g. identifying someone you know on the bus (or in a police lineup) or multiple-choice test questions
  • recall: retrieving information when asked, but without that information being present during the retrieval process
    • e.g. describing a friend’s appearance to someone else or short-answer questions on an exam 
    • recall is helped when retrieval cues (i.e. hints) are presented to help our memory
  • encoding specificity principle: retrieval is most effective when it occurs in the same context as encoding 

5

Context-Dependent Memory

  • context-dependent memory: retrieval is more effective when it takes place in the same physical setting (context) as encoding
    • both controlled laboratory studies and studies involving dramatic environmental manipulations have shown that matching the encoding and retrieval contexts leads to better recall of studied material
    • Godden and Baddeley (1975): memorizing and recalling words on land and underwater
    • brain-imaging studies have found increased activity in the hippocampus and parts of the pre-frontal cortex when retrieval conditions match the context in which the memory was encoded
    • recognition memory (e.g. multiple-choice questions) is not significantly helped by context
    • the presence of the item (e.g., a photograph or one of the options on a test question) serves as a very strong retrieval cue; context doesn't add much beyond this cue
    • however, returning a person to the context where they encoded increases the number of false positives
  • context-dependent forgetting: the change in the environment influencing forgetting; e.g. walking into a room and then forgetting why you're there
  • context-reinstatement effect: when you return to the original location and the memory suddenly comes back

6

State-Dependent Learning

  • research suggests that retrieval is more effective when your internal state matches the state you were in during encoding, i.e. state-dependent memory 
  • Goodwin and colleagues (1969): experiment where participants got drunk, and those who performed both trials drunk outperformed those who were only drunk for one of the sessions
  • this effect appears to be strongest for declarative memory (e.g. recall), the form of memory that requires the participant to generate the response on their own

7

Mood-Dependent Learning

  • people remember better if their mood at retrieval matches their mood during encoding
  • however, changes in intensity of the mood do not have an effect
  • mood-dependent memory has some limitations; it has a very small effect on recognition memory and much larger effects on recall-based tests
  • it produces larger effects when the participant must generate both the to-be-remembered information (e.g.,“an example of a musical instrument is a g________”)

8

Emotional Memories

  • the events that first come to mind in your memory are often emotional in nature (e.g. a wonderful birthday party or the fear of starting a new school)
  • this is because emotional stimuli and events are generally self-relevant and are associated with arousal responses such as an increase in heart rate and sweating
  • emotion’s largest influence is on the process of consolidation, when information that has recently been transferred from STM into LTM is strengthened and made somewhat permanent 
  • emotion can influence memory consolidation even if the stimuli themselves are not emotional in nature 
  • emotions can lead to stronger memory formation, even if the information is not directly related to the emotional event 
  • emotional memories often activate the amygdala, whereas non-emotional memories generated at the same time do not 
  • activity in the amygdala then influences the firing patterns of other temporal-lobe structures, including the hippocampus; this link is a major part of the emotion-memory relationship  

9

Flashbulb Memory

  • flashbulb memory: an extremely vivid and detailed memory about an event and the conditions surrounding how one learned about the event 
  • one defining feature of flashbulb memories is that people are highly confident that their recollections are accurate; but is this confidence warranted?
    • in one experiment, groups of students were asked to recall the events of 9/11, and another equally memorable event from the preceding week
    • although their memory for both events was fading at the same rate and they were equal in accuracy, the students acknowledged the decline in memory only for the mundane events
    • they continued to feel highly confident in their memories surrounding the September 11 attacks, when, in fact, those memories were not any more accurate

10

The Forgetting Curve: How Soon We Forget

  • Ebbinghaus (1885): experiments about remembering and how long it took before he forgot something
  • the forgetting curve shows that most forgetting occurs right away, and that the rate of forgetting eventually slows to the point where one doesn't seem to forget at all

11

Mnemonics: Improving Your Memory Skills

  • mnemonic: a technique intended to improve memory for specific information 
  • method of loci: a mnemonic that connects words to be remembered to locations along a familiar path
    • to use the method of loci, one must first imagine a route that has landmarks or easily identifiable spaces
    • once the path is identified, the learner takes a moment to visually relate the first word on the list to the first location encountered
  • acronyms: pronounceable words whose letters represent the initials of an important phrase or set of items 
    • e.g. "Roy G. Biv" for the colours of the rainbow
  • first-letter technique: uses the first letters of a set of items to spell out words that form a sentence
    • e.g. "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nachos" for the planets of the solar system
  • dual coding: when information is stored in more than one form
    • e.g. singing the ABCs
    • the simplest explanation for the dual-coding advantage is that twice as much information is stored 
  • while mnemonic devices can help with rote memorization, they may not improve your understanding of material
  • testing effect: the finding that taking practice tests can improve exam performance, even without additional studying 

Decks in 🚫 PSY100H1: Introduction to Psychology (Winter 2016) with J. Vervaeke Class (50):