Memory Retrieval Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Memory Retrieval Deck (32):

How much time does it take to relearn / regain mastery of material?

Hermann Ebbinghaus studied memorization of nonsense syllables so that processing / prelearning could not be a factor
The more times he rehearsed out loud on day1, the less time he needed to relearn / memorize the same letters on day2; therefore, as rehearsal increases, relearning time decreases


How is memory stored in the brain?

Memory is stored as a web of associations including conceptual, contextual, and emotional categories



An implicit memory effect in which exposure to one stimulus influences a response to another stimulus
A system of stringing together various ideas / concepts such that a flow of thought is established


Context-Dependent Memory

We retrieve a memory more easily when in the same context as when we formed the memory; this is b/c context is a part of a memory's web of associations
eg. words learned underwater are better retrieved underwater.


State-Dependent Memory

Memories can also be tied to the emotional / psychological state we were in when we formed the memory.
Mood-congruent memory: tendency to selectively recall details that are consistent w/ one's current mood; this then reinforces our current mood


Serial Position Effect

Tendency, when learning info in a long list, to more likely recall the first items (primary effect) and the last items (recency effect)


Why is forgetting not exactly a bad thing?

If we remembered everything, we may not be able to assign value to each memory
We may have difficulty thinking abstractly / stringing different thoughts / concepts together
We may not be able to focus well on current stimuli due to intrusive memories


What are some factors that lead to forgetting?

- Brain damage
- Encoding failure
- Storage decay
- Retrieval failure
- Interference
- Motivated forgetting



The ability to recall everything and the inability to forget anything
eg. Jill Price, patient "A.J."


Retrograde Amnesia

Inability to retrieve memories of the past; often temporary
Can be caused by head injury, emotional trauma, or severe brain damage


Anterograde Amnesia

Inability to form new long-term declarative / explicit memories; implicit memories (automatic processing, procedural memories, conditioned responses) could still be learned; working memory was unaffected
Can be caused by head injury / severe brain damage (spec. to the hippocampus)
eg. Henry Molaison, "H.M."


Mirror Tracing

Method of testing procedural memory
Tracing btwn two lines of an image while looking at the reflection of that image; requires skill / relearning


Penny Memory Test

Method of testing encoding failures
Simply tests whether one has been paying specific attention to details of a penny his whole life
Ppl often get the penny image wrong b/c they didn't bother rehearsing / encoding the image into long-term memory


Storage Decay: Ebbinghaus' Forgetting Curve

Material encoded into long-term memory will decay if the memory is never used, recalled, and then re-stored.
Unused connections / networks tend to wither while well-used ones are maintained; decay tends to level off
Nonsense syllables / foreign languages decay rapidly


Tip of the Tongue: Retrieval Failure

Occurs when the memory itself does not decay; only the associations / links to the memory decay
Consequently, some memories seem just below the surface



Process in which old and new memories interfere w/ each other's existence, making it difficult to store new memories and retrieve old ones
Includes proactive and retroactive aspects


Positive Transfer

Process in which old information reinforces the learning of new information
eg. knowing algebra makes it easier to learn calculus


Proactive Interference

Process in which past information interferes (in foresight) w/ learning new information
eg. memory of an old password prevents you from remembering one you just made


Retroactive Interference

Process in which new stimuli / learning interferes w/ the storage / retrieval of previously formed memories
eg. a person who learned info then slept recalled more info than a person who slept then learned b/c the second person's daily activities interfered w/ his newly learned info


Motivated Forgetting

Process in which a specific memory is consciously forgotten / changed
Psychotherapy techniques allow us to erase memories
Successful forgetting is uncommon; recall usually becomes full of errors / memories fade



Process in which a specific memory is unconsciously buried b/c it provokes anxiety



Occurs as we process info b/c info is filtered, altered, or lost throughout the memory stages
Can occur at any memory stage


Why is our memory full of errors?

Memory can get forgotten or constructed (ie. imagined, selected, changed, and rebuilt)
Memories are altered w/ each recall and are reconsolidated w/ new info into long-term memory


What factors lead to inaccurate recall?

- Misinformation effect
- Imagination effect
- Source amnesia
- Deja vu
- Implanted memories


Misinformation Effect

Phenomenon in which misleading information is incorporated into one's memory of an event, resulting in an altered memory recall
eg. Elizabeth Loftus / John Palmer's minor car accident test


Implanted Memories

Phenomenon in which a person is implanted w/ a memory of an event that never occurred to him, resulting in a completely false memory recall
eg. Elizabeth Loftus' asked ppl to provide details of a childhood incident in which they got lost in a mall; they were able to provide details even though they had never been lost in a mall


Imagination Inflation / Effect

Phenomenon in which a person convinces himself that an imagined event is a real memory; once he has an inaccurate, he tends to add more imagined details
This occurs b/c visualizing and actually seeing an event activate similar brain areas


Source Amnesia / Misattribution

Phenomenon in which the source of a non-personal memory is forgotten, so the person attributes the source to his own experience


Deja vu

The feeling that you're in a situation that you've seen / have experienced before
This can be seen as source amnesia
This happens b/c our sense of familiarity / recognition kicks in too soon and our brain explains that this as being caused by prior exp


Hindsight Bias

The tendency to alter memories to fit current views b/c it feels like we're telling the truth


Children and Constructed Memories

Children have underdeveloped frontal lobes, so they are more prone than adults to implanted memories
Children have difficulty differentiating btwn experienced events and imagined events


Can people recover memories that are so thoroughly repressed as to be forgotten?

Abuse memories are more likely to be "burned in" to memory than forgotten
Many ppl do not rehearse memories of abuse, and so the abuse memory may fade
Repressed / recovered memories are rare, and unreported memories of abuse are common
An active progress of searching for memories are more likely to CREATE detailed memories that feel real