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Flashcards in Chapter 8 Deck (35):

Describe the information processing approach to cognition and memory

Emphasizes the basic mental processes involved in attention, perception, memory and decision making. Used a computer as a model.


Name and describe 3 memory stores proposed by Atkinson and Shiffrin

1. Sensory register - briefly holds sensory information
2. Short term memory - holds limited amount of information for a short period of time
3. Long term memory - relatively permanent; unlimited storage of information


Explain the workings of the memory system

Exposure through the senses
Sensory register
Working short term memory
Long term memory


List and define the different forms of memory

1. Long term memory - consists of explicit memory (deliberate, effortful recollection of events) and implicit memory (occurs unintentionally and automatically and without awareness).
2. Explicit memory consists of Episodic (specific events) and Semantic (facts, general knowledge)


Describe the memory responsibilities of hippocampus

Creates new episodic memories


Describe the memory responsibilities of the amygdala

Involved in the formation of emotionally charged memories.


Describe the memory responsibilities of the basal ganglia.

Formation of procedural memories.


Describe the memory responsibilities of the cerebellum.

Formation of procedural memories


Describe 3 methods researchers use to assess the memory capabilities of infants.

Habituation - learning not to respond to a repeated stimulus.
Operant conditioning - tapping into an implicit or procedural memory
Object search - A not B task


Discuss and evaluate the 4 major hypotheses about why memory and learning improve over childhood.

1. Changes in basic capacities - neural advances in the brain, more working memory, faster transmission.
2.Changes in memory strategies - better "software"
3. Increased knowledge of memory
4. Increased knowledge of the world


Describe 3 memory strategies used by older but not younger children.

Rehearsal - repeating of items they are trying to learn
Organization - classifying items into meaningful groups
Elaboration - actively creating meaningful links between items to be remembered


What is childhood amnesia and discuss the possible causes.

Childhood amnesia results in few autobiographical memories of events that occurred during the first few years of life. Several reasons for this:
1. Limited working memory - not enough in young children to hold multiple pieces of information
2. Lack of language skills - limited verbal skills
3. Fuzzy trace theory - verbatim vs. general accounts of an event. Easier to remember the gist of an event.


List 3 practical (non-cognitive) ways to enhance memory.

Get more sleep
Healthy nutrition
Increased physical activity


List 5 methods for improving encoding and consolidation of memories when learning new material

Pay attention - reduce distractions
Organize and make connections
Use strategies that enrich and elaborate new material.
Customize your learning strategies
Overlearn new material


About how many years of training and experience does it take to become expert in a field?

10 years


Describe the factors that contribute to expertise in adulthood.

Experts are able to size up a situation quickly, determine what the problem really is, recognize how a new problem is similar to a past problem. Able to recall the information quickly.


Discuss the importance of personal significance (Patricia Bauer)

Events with great significance will be remembered better than events of less significance.


Discuss the importance of distinctiveness

The more unique or distinctive the event the better the recall. Common events, if recalled, may be lumped together.


Discuss the importance of emotional intensity

Events that are associated with either highly negative or highly positive emotions are recalled better than events where emotions are neutral.


Discuss the importance of life phase

Typically recall more information from teens/early 20s as many events are happening at this time.


List 5 qualifying factors to be kept in mind when considering the research comparing the strengths and weaknesses of older vs. younger adults

1. Most research is cross-sectional - age differences detected could be related to factors other than age
2. Declines typically do not become noticeable until 70s
3. Difficulties in remembering affect elderly as they age
4. Not all older people experience these difficulties
5. Not all kinds of memory tasks cause older people difficulty


Describe the selective optimization with compensation framework and explain its usefulness in compensating for declines.

Older adults compensate for diminishing cognitive resources by looking for solutions that tend to be more goal focused and selective. Three processes:
1. Selection - focus on a limited set of goals and skills
2. Optimization - practice the limited skills
3. Compensation - develop ways around for other skills needed.


Implicit memory

Unintentional automatic memory


Explicit memory

Deliberate effortful recollection of events


Semantic memory

Memory for general facts


Episodic memory

Memory for specific experiences



Meaningful linking of items to be learned


Atkinson and Shiffrin

Described 3 memory stores


Brainerd and Reyna

Fuzzy-trace theory


Patricia Bauer

Autobiographical memory


Retrograde amnesia

Loss of information and events occurring prior to the incident that caused the amnesia


Anterograde amnesia

No longer able to form new memories


Executive control processes

Run the show, guiding the selection, organization, manipulation and interpretation of information.


Meta memory

Refers to knowledge of memory and monitoring and regulating memory processing. Knowing what your memory limits are, which memory strategies are more or less effective and which memory tasks are more or less difficult.


Autobiographical memory

Episodic memories of personal events.