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Flashcards in Heuristics - Memory Errors and Biases Deck (49)
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Bizarreness effect

Bizarre material is better remembered than common material.


Choice-supportive bias

In a self-justifying manner retroactively ascribing one's choices to be more informed than they were when they were made.


Change bias

After an investment of effort in producing change, remembering one's past performance as more difficult than it actually was[88][unreliable source?]


Childhood amnesia

The retention of few memories from before the age of four.


Conservatism or Regressive bias

Tendency to remember high values and high likelihoods/probabilities/frequencies as lower than they actually were and low ones as higher than they actually were. Based on the evidence, memories are not extreme enough[69][70]


Consistency bias

Incorrectly remembering one's past attitudes and behaviour as resembling present attitudes and behaviour.[89]


Context effect

That cognition and memory are dependent on context, such that out-of-context memories are more difficult to retrieve than in-context memories (e.g., recall time and accuracy for a work-related memory will be lower at home, and vice versa)


Cross-race effect

The tendency for people of one race to have difficulty identifying members of a race other than their own.



A form of misattribution where a memory is mistaken for imagination, because there is no subjective experience of it being a memory.[88]


Egocentric bias

Recalling the past in a self-serving manner, e.g., remembering one's exam grades as being better than they were, or remembering a caught fish as bigger than it really was.


Fading affect bias

A bias in which the emotion associated with unpleasant memories fades more quickly than the emotion associated with positive events.[90]


False memory

A form of misattribution where imagination is mistaken for a memory.


Generation effect (Self-generation effect)

That self-generated information is remembered best. For instance, people are better able to recall memories of statements that they have generated than similar statements generated by others.


Google effect

The tendency to forget information that can be found readily online by using Internet search engines.


Hindsight bias

The inclination to see past events as being more predictable than they actually were; also called the "I-knew-it-all-along" effect.


Humor effect

That humorous items are more easily remembered than non-humorous ones, which might be explained by the distinctiveness of humor, the increased cognitive processing time to understand the humor, or the emotional arousal caused by the humor.[91]


Illusion of truth effect

That people are more likely to identify as true statements those they have previously heard (even if they cannot consciously remember having heard them), regardless of the actual validity of the statement. In other words, a person is more likely to believe a familiar statement than an unfamiliar one.


Illusory correlation

Inaccurately remembering a relationship between two events.[4][50]


Lag effect

The phenomenon whereby learning is greater when studying is spread out over time, as opposed to studying the same amount of time in a single session. See also spacing effect.


Leveling and sharpening

Memory distortions introduced by the loss of details in a recollection over time, often concurrent with sharpening or selective recollection of certain details that take on exaggerated significance in relation to the details or aspects of the experience lost through leveling. Both biases may be reinforced over time, and by repeated recollection or re-telling of a memory.[92]


Levels-of-processing effect

That different methods of encoding information into memory have different levels of effectiveness.[93]


List-length effect

A smaller percentage of items are remembered in a longer list, but as the length of the list increases, the absolute number of items remembered increases as well.[94][further explanation needed]


Misinformation effect

Memory becoming less accurate because of interference from post-event information.[95]


Modality effect

That memory recall is higher for the last items of a list when the list items were received via speech than when they were received through writing.


Mood-congruent memory bias

The improved recall of information congruent with one's current mood.


Next-in-line effect

That a person in a group has diminished recall for the words of others who spoke immediately before himself, if they take turns speaking.[96]


Part-list cueing effect

That being shown some items from a list and later retrieving one item causes it to become harder to retrieve the other items.[97]


Peak-end rule

That people seem to perceive not the sum of an experience but the average of how it was at its peak (e.g., pleasant or unpleasant) and how it ended.



The unwanted recurrence of memories of a traumatic event.[citation needed]


Picture superiority effect

The notion that concepts that are learned by viewing pictures are more easily and frequently recalled than are concepts that are learned by viewing their written word form counterparts.[98][99][100][101][102][103]