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Psychology in Everyday Life Chapter 7

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Janet Neyer

on 22 October 2015

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Transcript of Psychology in Everyday Life Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Flashbulb memory
a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event
One view of memory...
Memory is similar to a computer
write to file - encoding
save to disk - storage
read from disk - retrieval
the processing of information into the memory system
i.e., extracting meaning
the retention of encoded information over time
process of getting information out of memory
Another view of memory...
Atkinson-Shifrin Model
the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system (less than a second)
Three Stage Processing Model of Memory
the sound of a voice
the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system
activated memory that holds a few items briefly
magic number: 7 (+/- 2)
the learning or knowledge
the words that were said
Working Memory
(a part of short-term memory)
focuses more on the processing of briefly stored information
cramming minutes before a test
Some things we process into memory automatically...
Automatic Processing: unconscious encoding of incidental information
well-learned information
word meanings
We can also learn automatic processing
reading backwards or upside down
Other things require effort...
Effortful Processing:
psych terms
knowledge of history
anything requiring attention and rehearsal (practice)
For example...
Try to remember these letters after I read them aloud to you
(p. 229 in Resource Manual)
organizing items into familiar, manageable units
such as horizontal organization--1776149218121941
often occurs automatically (phone numbers)
use of acronyms
HOMES--Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior
ARITHMETIC--A Rat In Tom’s House Might Eat Tom’s Ice Cream
Now let’s try chunking those same letters…
(p. 229 in Resource Manual)
In general...
The amount remembered depends upon the time spent learning.
Info learned in the hour before sleep is well-remembered (but not info in the last few seconds before sleep overtakes us.)
Info played while you sleep: heard by ears, but not stored in memory.
Spaced study beats cramming. (“Those who learn quickly also forget quickly.”)
Hermann Ebbinghaus
decided to study memory scientifically
Ebbinghaus used nonsense syllables
the more times practiced on Day 1, the fewer repetitions to relearn on Day 2
Spacing Effect
distributed practice yields better long- term retention than massed practice
Serial Position Effect
tendency to recall best the first items and the last items in a list (also called primacy-recency effect)
Other ways to improve encoding:
retaining information
retention independent of conscious recollection
also called procedural memory
How does storage work?
Karl Lashley (1950) - proves memory is stored in various locations in brain
rats learn maze
lesion cortex
test memory
Synaptic changes
Long-term Potentiation
increase in synapse’s firing potential after brief, rapid stimulation
Strong emotions make for stronger memories
some stress hormones boost learning and retention
memory of facts and experiences that one can consciously know and declare
also called declarative memory
hippocampus--neural center in limbic system that helps process explicit memories for storage
(semantic memory)
(episodic memory)
Never Forget a Face
Why Memories Last
Life without Memory: Clive Wearing
processing information
getting information out
Amazing storage skill
Eidetic memory
also known as photographic memory
extraordinary memory of details that most of us cannot retain
occurs very rarely
Alexander Luria studied people who could recall lists of 70 letters or digits after glancing at them. They still recalled the lists 15 years later.
retrieving information without any cues
as on a fill-in-the blank test
identifying items previously learned
as on a multiple-choice test
memory measure that assesses the amount of time saved when learning material a second time
activation, often unconsciously, of particular associations in memory
Mood-congruent Memory
tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with one’s current mood
memory, emotions, or moods serve as retrieval cues
Another way to see this...
State-dependent Memory
what is learned in one state (while one is high, drunk, or depressed) can more easily be remembered when in same state
After learning to move a mobile by kicking, infants had their learning reactivated most strongly when retested in the same rather than a different context (Butler & Rovee-Collier, 1989).
If memory is limitless and permanent,
why do we forget?
1. Absent-mindedness (encoding failure)
Information never enters long-term memory.
Ebbinghaus: Initially we forget rapidly; then it levels off with time.
2. Transience (memory loss)
Decay theory: Information in memory eventually disappears if it is not accessed. Use it or lose it!
3. Blocking
(inability to access stored info)
Lack of retrieval cues means we cannot get to the info.
Blocking from Interference
Learning some items may interfere with retrieving others.
Retroactive Interference:
Forgetting that occurs when recently learned material interferes with the ability to remember similar material stored previously. (retro – old)
Proactive Interference:
Forgetting that occurs when previously stored material interferes with the ability to remember similar, more recently learned material (pro – new).
You learn this year's locker combination, and now you can't remember last year's.
You memorize your new cell phone number, and now you can't remember the old one.
You are trying to learn your new locker combination, but when you go to your locker, you only remember last year's.
You just moved to a new address, but when people ask what it is, you give your old address.
4. Misattribution
(source confusion)
Motivated Forgetting: people unknowingly revise memories
This is what our friend, Freud, called...
defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness anxiety-arousing thoughts, feelings, and memories
Memorize the following letters:
Now memorize these letters:
Memory Construction
60 Minutes: Eyewitness
The Memory Mingle!
Misinformation Effect
incorporating misleading information into one's memory of an event
Source Amnesia
attributing to the wrong source an event that we experienced, heard about, read about, or imagined (misattribution)
“confusion” + “fabrication” = “confabulation”
Confabulation is most likely when:
You have thought about the event many times.
The image of the event contains many details.
The event is easy to imagine.
You focus on emotional reactions to the event rather than what actually happened.
When Memory Lies
False Memory Syndrome
condition in which a person’s identity and relationships center around a false but strongly believed memory of traumatic experience
sometimes induced by well-meaning therapists
Whodunnit! (Just for fun)
The Seven Sins of Memory (Daniel Schacter)
We forget who said what or remember a dream as an actual event.
5. Suggestibility (misinformation)
6. Bias
Our beliefs can alter our memories.
7. Persistence
Some memories haunt us.
Part 1
Part 2
PBS Scientific American Frontiers, Episode: "Don't Forget" on computer
PBS Scientific American Frontiers, Episode: Don't Forget, segment begins at 23:32.
Full transcript