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focusing awareness on a narrowed set of stimuli


selective attention

selection of input


next in line effect

need to think of what your going to say so you dont pay attention to the people before you in line, if your focusing on yourself, even if you processed the information you probably wont encode it


coding information process

stimulus-- sensory detection-- recognition of meaning-- response selection-- response


early selection

ignore surrounding input, no access to meaning (filters from sensory detection and recognition)


Late selection

cocktail party phenomenon, hear you name despite ignoring surrounding conversation (filter between recognition of meaning and response selection)


Levels of processing

shallow, intermediate, deep


deeper processing

longer lasting memory codes (craik and lockhart)


shallow processing

structural encoding (emphasizes the physical structure of the stimulus) ex is the word in capital letters


Intermediate processing

Phonemic encoding (emphasizes what a word sounds like) ex: what words rhyme with it


Deep processing

Semantic encoding (Emphasizes the meaning of verbal input) Ex: what would would fit in the sentence?


depth of processing in comparison to words recognized

structural is very little and semantic is a high percentage of recognition --- the way you process information impacts how you will remember



linking a stimulus to other information at encoding (idea is that if trying to remember a et of items you are more likely to remember if you link the items together, also people given more examples of the material are more likely to remember the information)


Self-referent encoding

make it personally meaningful, we remember things related to ourselves


visual imagery

creation of visual images to represent words to be remembered



photographic memory


Paivio and colleagues theory

high imagery words vs low imagery words:
high imagery: concrete, can come up with a solid picture (ex dress)
low imagery: abstract, hard to come up with a picture (ex duty)
STUDY; gave people list of of words in pairs, either high-high, high-low, low-low
higher imagery words were recalled better
SUGGESTION; using dual coding theory (use two codes to remember) if you can create a mental image it can help you remember


2 analogies for maintaining memory

information storage in wax or computer


Wax theory

old philosophers thought of memory like a block of wax , the bigger your block was the better your memory, memories were imprints on the block


Modern theory of maintaining information in memory

you process information similar to how a computer would


information processing Theories

subdivide memory into 3 different stores : sensory, short term and long term
if we pay attention to sensory it will become short term, then if we focus on it, it will move on to long term


Sensory Memory (info-processing theory)

brief preservation of information in original sensory form, (short period of time, all the information is available to us, info is maintained for varying time lengths depending on sense organ)


iconic sensory

visual representation (access for 1/4 second)


echoic sensory

auditory memory, lasts for about 4-5 seconds


Sperlings experiment on visual sensory store

display of letters for very short period of time, then a tone plays (either high medium or low) signals which row of letters to report... people could remember better if the tone played very soon after vs if the tone played a second later-- as people had already lost visual information


short term memory

limited duration- approx. 20 seconds without rehearsal, allow us to temporarily hold onto memory in a limited amount of capacity



process of repetitively verbalizing/thinking about information


Peterson and Peterson (1959)

1. green light signal for trial to begin,
2. stimulus presentation (3 letters, 3 digits)
3. retention interval (subject counts backward by 3 for a time period)
4. Recall signal and report (red light, recall letters)
**short term memory maxes out at approx. 20 seconds without active rehearsal (if you cant rehearse the letters, wont remember)


Interference (peterson and peterson)

the numbers interfere with the memory process of the letters, if the interference includes letters, people generally do even worse


limited capacity

magical number 7 plus or minus 2 (old view *60s)- people could remember 7 things in STM