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Flashcards in memory-psychology Deck (28)
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the format in which information is stored in the various memory stores



the amount of information that can be held in memory store



the length of time information can be held in memory


short term memory(STM)

the limited capacity memory store. coding is mainly acoustic, capacity is mainly between 5-9 items on average, duration is between about 18-30 seconds


long term memory(LTM)

the permanent memory store. coding is mainly semantic, it has unlimited capacity and can store memories for up to a lifetime


multi-store model(MSM)

a representation of how memory works in terms of three stores called sensory register, STM and LTM. it also describes how information is transferred from one store to another, how it is remembered and how it is forgotten


sensory register

the memory store for each of our five senses, such as vision and hearing. coding in the iconic sensory register is visual and in the echoic sensory register it is acoustic. the capacity of sensory registers is huge and information lasts for a very short time.


episodic memory

a long-term memory store for personal events. it includes memories of when the events occurred and of the people, objects, places and behaviours involved. memories from the store have to be retrieved consciously and with effort


semantic memory

a long-term memory store for our knowledge of the world. this includes facts and our knowledge of what words and concepts mean, these memories usually also need to be recalled deliberately


procedural memory

a long-term memory store for our knowledge of how to do things. this includes our memories of learned skills. we usually recall these memories without making a conscious or deliberate effort


working memory model(WMM)

representation of STM. it suggests that STM is a dynamic processor of different types of information using sub-units coordinated by a central decision-making system


central executive

co-ordinates the activities of the three subsystems In memory. it also allocates processing resources to those activities


phonological loop

processes information in terms of sound. this includes both written and spoken material. it's divided into the phonological store and the articulatory process


visuo-spatial sketchpad

processes visual and spatial information in a mental space often called our 'inner eye'


episodic buffer

brings together material from the other subsystems into a single memory rather than separate strands. also provides bridge between WMM and LTM



forgetting because one memory blocks another, causing one or both memories to be distorted or forgotten


proactive interference

forgetting occurs when older memories, already stored, disrupt the recall of now memories. forgetting is greater when the memories are similar


retro-active interference

forgetting occurs when newer memories disrupt the recall of older memories already stored. forgetting is again greater when memories are similar


retrieval failure

a form of forgetting. t occurs when we don't have the necessary cues to access memory. the memory is available but not accessible unless a suitable cue is provided



a 'trigger' of information that allows us to access a memory. such cues may be meaningful or may be indirectly linked by being encoded at the time of learning. cues may be external or internal



a state of emotional and physical arousal. the emotions include having worried thoughts and feelings of tension. physical changes include an increased heart rate and sweatiness. anxiety is a normal reaction to stressful situations, but can affect the accuracy and detail of eyewitness testimony


cognitive interview

a method of interviewing eyewitnesses to help them retrieve more accurate memories. it uses four main techniques, all based on well established psychological knowledge of human memory- report everything, reinstate the context, reverse the order and change perspective


eyewitness testimony

evidence provided in court by witness, with a view to identifying the perpetrator of the crime


leading questions

a question that suggests to the witness what answer is desired or leads the witness to the desired answer


misleading information

supplying the witness with information that may lead their memory of the crime to be altered and so reducing accuracy of recall


post-event discussion

a conversation between co-witnesses or interviewer and witness after a crime has occurred. details discussed may contaminate a witness' memories for the event



a nervous emotional state where we fear something unpleasant is about to occur


weapon focus

the anxiety experienced when the presence of a weapon distracts attention from other features of the event. this reduces the accuracy of identification of the perpetrator