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Flashcards in Ch. 8 Deck (113):

define memory

the persistence of learning over time through the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information


define recall

a measure of memory in which the person must retrieve information learned earlier, as on a fill-in-the-blank test


define recognition

a measure of memory in which the person need only identify items previously learned, as on a multiple-choice test


define relearning

a measure of memory that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material again


what are recall, recognition and relearning?

the three measures of retention


recall is....?

retrieving information that is not currently in your conscious awareness but that was learned at an earlier time


what type of test tests your recall?

A fill-in-the-blank question tests your recall.


what type of test tests your recognition?

A multiple-choice question tests your recognition.


give an example of relearning

When you study for a final exam or engage a language used in early childhood, you will relearn the material more easily than you did initially.


recognition is...?

identifying items previously learned


relearning is....?

learning something more quickly when you learn it a second or later time


who pioneered memory research

researcher Hermann Ebbinghaus (1850–1909)


we ____ more than we ___



If you want to be sure to remember what you’re learning for an upcoming test, would it be better to use recall or recognition to check your memory? Why?

recall is better than recognize because recalling is harder than recognizing it. So if you can recall it, that means your retention of the material is better


An ____-____ model likens human memory to computer operations



define encoding

the processing of information into the memory system—for example, by extracting meaning


define storage

the process of retaining encoded information over time


define retrieval

the process of getting information out of memory storage


define parallel processing

the processing of many aspects of a problem simultaneously; the brain’s natural mode of information processing for many functions


Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin (1968) proposed a three-stage model:
(1) We first record to-be-remembered information as a fleeting ____ memory.
(2) From there, we process information into ____-____ memory, where we encode it through rehearsal.
(3) Finally, information moves into ____-____ for later retrieval.

long-term memory


define working memory

a newer understanding of short-term memory that focuses on conscious, active processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information, and of information retrieved from long-term memory


What two new concepts update the classic Atkinson-Shiffrin three-stage information-processing model?

(1) We form some memories through automatic processing, without our awareness. The Atkinson-Shiffrin model focused only on conscious memories. (2) The newer concept of a working memory emphasizes the active processing that we now know takes place in Atkinson-Shiffrin’s short-term memory stage.


What are two basic functions of working memory?

(1) Active processing of incoming visual-spatial and auditory information, and (2) focusing our spotlight of attention.


define explicit memories

memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and “declare.” (Also called declarative memory.)


define effortful processing

encoding that requires attention and conscious effort


define automatic processing

unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings


define implicit memories

retention of learned skills or classically conditioned associations independent of conscious recollection. (Also called nondeclarative memory.)


what 3 things do you automatically process information about without conscious effort



define iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli; a photographic or picture-image memory lasting no more than a few tenths of a second


define echoic memory

a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli; if attention is elsewhere, sounds and words can still be recalled within 3 or 4 seconds


Compared with children and older adults, young adults have ___ working memory capacity and their ability to multitask is relatively ____



Unlike short-term memory capacity, working memory capacity appears to reflect intelligence level. true or false



What is the difference between automatic and effortful processing, and what are some examples of each?

Automatic processing occurs unconsciously (automatically) for such things as the sequence and frequency of a day’s events, and reading and comprehending words in our own language. Effortful processing requires attention and awareness and happens, for example, when we work hard to learn new material in class, or new lines for a play.


At which of Atkinson-Shiffrin’s three memory stages would iconic and echoic memory occur?

sensory memory


define chunking

organizing items into familiar, manageable units; often occurs automatically


define mnemonics

memory aids, especially those techniques that use vivid imagery and organizational devices


what are the three main memory tricks?



define spacing effect

the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice


define testing effect

enhanced memory after retrieving, rather than simply rereading, information. Also sometimes referred to as a retrieval practice effect or test-enhanced learning


define shallow-processing

encoding on a basic level based on the structure or appearance of words


define deep-processing

encoding semantically, based on the meaning of the words; tends to yield the best retention


what is the self-reference effect

Information deemed “relevant to me” is processed more deeply and remains more accessible


Which strategies are better for long-term retention: cramming and rereading material, or spreading out learning over time and repeatedly testing yourself?

Although cramming may lead to short-term gains in knowledge, distributed practice and repeated self-testing will result in the greatest long-term retention.


If you try to make the material you are learning personally meaningful, are you processing at a shallow or a deep level? Which level leads to greater retention?

Making material personally meaningful involves processing at a deep level, because you are processing semantically—based on the meaning of the words. Deep processing leads to greater retention.


What is memory, and how is it measured?

Memory is learning that has persisted over time, through the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information. Evidence of memory may be recalling information, recognizing it, or relearning it more easily on a later attempt.


How do psychologists describe the human memory system?

psychologists use memory models to think and communicate about memory. Information-processing models involve three processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval. Our agile brain processes many things simultaneously (some of them unconsciously) by means of parallel processing. The connectionism information-processing model focuses on this multitrack processing, viewing memories as products of interconnected neural networks. The three processing stages in the Atkinson-Shiffrin model are sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory. This model has since been updated to include two important concepts: (1) working memory, to stress the active processing occurring in the second memory stage; and (2) automatic processing, to address the processing of information outside of conscious awareness.


How do explicit and implicit memories differ?

The human brain processes information on dual tracks, consciously and unconsciously. Explicit (declarative) memories—our conscious memories of facts and experiences—form through effortful processing, which requires conscious effort and attention. Implicit (nondeclarative) memories—of skills and classically conditioned associations—happen without our awareness, through automatic processing.


What information do we process automatically?

In addition to skills and classically conditioned associations, we automatically process incidental information about space, time, and frequency.


How does sensory memory work?

sensory memory feeds some information into working memory for active processing there. An iconic memory is a very brief (a few tenths of a second) sensory memory of visual stimuli; an echoic memory is a three- or four-second sensory memory of auditory stimuli.


What is the capacity of our short-term and working memory?

Short-term memory capacity is about seven items, plus or minus two, but this information disappears from memory quickly without rehearsal. Working memory capacity varies, depending on age, intelligence level, and other factors.


What are some effortful processing strategies that can help us remember new information?

Effective effortful processing strategies include chunking, mnemonics, hierarchies, and distributed practice sessions. The testing effect is enhanced memory after consciously retrieving, rather than simply rereading, information.


What are the levels of processing, and how do they affect encoding?

Depth of processing affects long-term retention. In shallow processing, we encode words based on their structure or appearance. Retention is best when we use deep processing, encoding words based on their meaning. We also more easily remember material that is personally meaningful—the self-reference effect.


Are memories stored in a specific part of brain?

no, they are stored all over


what brain structures does the network that processes and stores your explicit memories for facts and episodes contain?

frontal lobes and hippocampus


Explicit memories for facts and episodes are processed in the ____ and fed to other brain regions for storage.



define hippocampus

a neural center located in the limbic system; helps process explicit memories for storage


With ____-hippocampus damage, people have trouble remembering verbal information, but they have no trouble recalling visual designs and locations



With _____-hippocampus damage, people have trouble recalling visual designs and locations , but they have no trouble remembering verbal information



define memory consolidation

the neural storage of a long-term memory


____ supports memory consolidation



The ____ plays a key role in forming and storing the implicit memories created by classical conditioning



With a damaged cerebellum, people ____ develop certain conditioned reflexes



The ____ ____-, deep brain structures involved in motor movement, facilitate formation of our procedural memories for skills

basal ganglia


what two influences contribute to infantile amnesia?

(1) we index much of our explicit memory using words that nonspeaking children have not learned
(2) the hippocampus is one of the last brain structures to mature, and as it does, more gets retained


Which parts of the brain are important for implicit memory processing?

The cerebellum and basal ganglia


which parts play a key role in explicit memory processing?

frontal lobes and hippocampus


Your friend has experienced brain damage in an accident. He can remember how to tie his shoes but has a hard time remembering anything told to him during a conversation. What’s going on here?

Our explicit conscious memories of facts and episodes differ from our implicit memories of skills (such as shoe tying) and classically conditioned responses. Our implicit memories are processed by more ancient brain areas, which apparently escaped damage during the accident.


Our emotions trigger stress hormones that influence _____ ______

memory formation


____ provokes the amygdala to initiate a memory trace in the frontal lobes and basal ganglia and to boost activity in the brain’s memory-forming areas



define flashbulb memory

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event


define Long-term potentiation (LTP)

an increase in a cell’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory


After long-term potentiation has occurred, passing an electric current through the brain ___ disrupt old memories but the current ___ wipe out very recent memories



what is electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and who is it used on?

a shock that makes people forget short term memories
severely depressed people


Which brain area responds to stress hormones by helping to create stronger memories?

the amygdala


The neural basis for learning and memory, found at the synapses in the brain’s memory-circuit connections, results from brief, rapid stimulation. It is called _________-__________ _________.

long-term potentiation


define priming

the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one’s perception, memory, or response


define encoding specificity principle

the idea that cues and contexts specific to a particular memory will be most effective in helping us recall it


what is state-dependent memory

What we learn in one state may be more easily recalled when we are again in that state


define mood-congruent memory

the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current good or bad mood


define serial position effect

our tendency to recall best the last (a recency effect) and first (a primacy effect) items in a list


What is priming?

Priming is the activation (often without our awareness) of associations. Seeing a gun, for example, might temporarily predispose someone to interpret an ambiguous face as threatening or to recall a boss as nasty.


When we are tested immediately after viewing a list of words, we tend to recall the first and last items best, which is known as the __________ ________ effect.

serial position


What is the capacity of long-term memory?

essentially unlimited


Are our long-term memories processed and stored in specific locations?

Memories are not stored intact in the brain in single spots. Many parts of the brain interact as we encode, store, and retrieve memories.


What are the roles of the frontal lobes and hippocampus in memory processing?

The frontal lobes and hippocampus are parts of the brain network dedicated to explicit memory formation. Many brain regions send information to the frontal lobes for processing. The hippocampus, with the help of surrounding areas of cortex, registers and temporarily holds elements of explicit memories before moving them to other brain regions for long-term storage. The neural storage of long-term memories is called memory consolidation.


What roles do the cerebellum and basal ganglia play in memory processing?

The cerebellum and basal ganglia are parts of the brain network dedicated to implicit memory formation. The cerebellum is important for storing classically conditioned memories. The basal ganglia are involved in motor movement and help form procedural memories for skills. Many reactions and skills learned during our first three years continue into our adult lives, but we cannot consciously remember learning these associations and skills, a phenomenon psychologists call “infantile amnesia.”


How do emotions affect our memory processing?

Emotional arousal causes an outpouring of stress hormones, which lead to activity in the brain’s memory-forming areas. Significantly stressful events can trigger very clear flashbulb memories.


How do changes at the synapse level affect our memory processing?

Long-term potentiation (LTP) appears to be the neural basis of learning. In LTP, neurons become more efficient at releasing and sensing the presence of neurotransmitters, and more connections develop between neurons.


How do external cues, internal emotions, and order of appearance influence memory retrieval?

External cues activate associations that help us retrieve memories; this process may occur without our awareness, as it does in priming. The encoding specificity principle is the idea that cues and contexts specific to a particular memory will be most effective in helping us recall it. Returning to the same physical context or emotional state (mood congruency) in which we formed a memory can help us retrieve it. The serial position effect accounts for our tendency to recall best the last items (which may still be in working memory) and the first items (which we’ve spent more time rehearsing) in a list.


define anterograde amnesia

an inability to form new memories


define retrograde amnesia

an inability to retrieve information from one’s past


can people with anterograde amnesia be classically conditioned?

(can learn the way to the bathroom, find waldo quickly in wheres waldo even if they dont remember seeing it before and learn comple job skills)


people with anterograde amnesia cant form _____ memories but can form ____ memories



the course of ____ is initially rapid, then levels off with time



define proactive interference

the forward-acting disruptive effect of prior learning on the recall of new information


define retroactive interference

the backward-acting disruptive effect of new learning on the recall of old information


Sigmund Freud proposed that we ____ painful or unacceptable memories to protect our self-concept and to minimize anxiety



define repression

in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories


What are three ways we forget, and how does each of these happen?

(1) Encoding failure: Unattended information never entered our memory system. (2) Storage decay: Information fades from our memory. (3) Retrieval failure: We cannot access stored information accurately, sometimes due to interference or motivated forgetting.


define reconsolidation

a process in which previously stored memories, when retrieved, are potentially altered before being stored again


define misinformation effect

when misleading information has corrupted one’s memory of an event


Misinformation and imagination effects occur partly because visualizing something and actually perceiving it activate ____ brain areas



define source amnesia

attributing to the wrong source an event we have experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined. (Also called source misattribution.) Source amnesia, along with the misinformation effect, is at the heart of many false memories.


Define déjà vu

that eerie sense that “I’ve experienced this before.” Cues from the current situation may unconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience


Imagine being a jury member in a trial for a parent accused of sexual abuse based on a recovered memory. What insights from memory research should you offer the jury?

it will be important to remember the key points agreed upon by most researchers and professional associations: Sexual abuse, injustice, forgetting, and memory construction all happen; recovered memories are common; memories from before age 3 are unreliable; memories claimed to be recovered through hypnosis or drug influence are especially unreliable; and memories, whether real or false, can be emotionally upsetting.


What—given the commonality of source amnesia—might life be like if we remembered all our waking experiences and all our dreams?

Real experiences would be confused with those we dreamed. When meeting someone, we might therefore be unsure whether we were reacting to something they previously did or to something we dreamed they did.


What are the recommended memory strategies?

Rehearse repeatedly to boost long-term recall. Schedule spaced (not crammed) study times. Spend more time rehearsing or actively thinking about the material. Make the material personally meaningful, with well-organized and vivid associations. Refresh your memory by returning to contexts and moods to activate retrieval cues. Use mnemonic devices. Minimize interference. Plan for a complete night’s sleep. Test yourself repeatedly—retrieval practice is a proven retention strategy.


Why do we forget?

Anterograde amnesia is an inability to form new memories. Retrograde amnesia is an inability to retrieve old memories. Normal forgetting can happen because we have never encoded information (encoding failure); because the physical trace has decayed (storage decay); or because we cannot retrieve what we have encoded and stored (retrieval failure). Retrieval problems may result from proactive (forward-acting) interference, as prior learning interferes with recall of new information, or from retroactive (backward-acting) interference, as new learning disrupts recall of old information. Some believe that motivated forgetting occurs, but researchers have found little evidence of repression.


How do misinformation, imagination, and source amnesia influence our memory construction?

In experiments demonstrating the misinformation effect, people have formed false memories, incorporating misleading details, after receiving wrong information after an event, or after repeatedly imagining and rehearsing something that never happened. When we reassemble a memory during retrieval, we may attribute it to the wrong source (source amnesia). Source amnesia may help explain déjà vu.


How do we decide whether a memory is real or false?

False memories feel like real memories and can be persistent but are usually limited to the gist of the event.


How reliable are young children’s eyewitness descriptions?

Children are susceptible to the misinformation effect, but if questioned in neutral words they understand, they can accurately recall events and people involved in them.


Why are reports of repressed and recovered memories so hotly debated?

The debate (between memory researchers and some well-meaning therapists) focuses on whether most memories of early childhood abuse are repressed and can be recovered during therapy using “memory work” techniques using leading questions or hypnosis. Psychologists now agree that (1) sexual abuse happens; (2) injustice happens; (3) forgetting happens; (4) recovered memories are commonplace; (5) memories of things that happened before age 3 are unreliable; (6) memories “recovered” under hypnosis or the influence of drugs are especially unreliable; and (7) memories, whether real or false, can be emotionally upsetting.


How can you use memory research findings to do better in this and other courses?

Memory research findings suggest the following strategies for improving memory: Study repeatedly, make material meaningful, activate retrieval cues, use mnemonic devices, minimize interference, sleep more, and test yourself to be sure you can retrieve, as well as recognize, material.