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everyday memory

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Introduction

Lecture 9... Everyday Memory 1. Forgetting 2. Flashbulb Memories/False Memories 3. Eyewitness Testimony 4. Improving Memory Forgetting --> Forgetting happens when information we had previously stored in memory becomes somehow "lost", with the result that we cannot retrieve it. Forgetting curve Hermann Ebbinghhaus- the first to systematically investigate forgetting. * Developed series of pronounceable syllables which were essentially C-V-C (consonant - vowel -consonant) sequences, e.g. wux, zol, bup, which could be pronounced, but had no meaning. * Taught himself lists of nonsense syllables * Then RELEARNED this after variable time intervals (ranging from 21 minutes to 31 days) * Forgetting curve- examining how much of each list he had remembered at each time interval Ebbinghaus could study how much information was forgotten as a function of time * Results- curve shows that forgetting is rapid at first, but gradually slows down; this resembles a logarithmic relationship between time and forgetting. Theories of forgetting What causes forgetting? * Consolidation Theory * Decay * Interference * Cue and Context Consolidation Theory * Memory traces or representations consolidate (strengthen) over time. * Older memory traces are less sensitive to forgetting than recent memory traces * We are more likely to forget very recent information than we are likely to forget information that we acquired a long time ago. * In this sense consolidation of memory traces prevents their forgetting. ...read more.

Middle

- distinctness from ordinary memories Are flashbulb memories special? - Questioning research of Brown and Kulik - Duration and accuracy may not be so different from mundane events Duration Bohannon (1988) on FBMs for the Challenger space shuttle disaster in 1986, observers' recall of the event 2 weeks after it happened was about 80% but their recall fell to below 60% 8 months after the event. Interestingly, this reduction in recall was the same regardless of the emotional state of the participants upon hearing the news of the event: Observers who felt emotionally upset upon hearing about the event were not more likely to remember the event after 8 months than those who felt calm. Accuracy Neisser and Harsch (1992)- memory of challenger disaster - Questioned 1 day and 3 days later on 7 attributes of information - After 3 years: -average: only 2.95 out of 7 correct - 25% had 0 attributes correct - FBM was highly accurate after 3 years This example demonstrates how inaccurate memory for an event can be despite the observer's high self-confidence in their accuracy of recall. It suggests that FBMs are subject to the same processes of forgetting and reconstruction as other memories. Because FBMs are triggered by highly salient, dramatic events, they are likely to be more often re-told and rehearsed than non-FBMs. ...read more.

Conclusion

is broken up in separate trials that are separated by shorter or longer periods of time- [good for memory over long periods of time and more efficient] Massed practice- learns all the information or the skill in one session without interruption, or with very brief intervals between the learning trials. [Good memory for information for only a BRIEF period of time] * Thus, the benefit for distributed practice over massed practice is substantial over long periods of time. This benefit is sometimes also known as the spacing effect. The logic underlying memory aids * Mnemotechnical methods * Logic: meaningful associations -If new information can be encoded in relation to some existing knowledge in memory, then an association can be formed in memory between the new and the existing information. This will improve memory for the new information because the activation of its trace in memory can be triggered by cues to the information to which it has been associated. * Ericsson (1988) proposed three criteria for improving memory skills - meaningful encoding: "deep" (e.g., semantic) processing improves strength of encoding - retrieval structure: the information should be stored together with retrieval cues - rehearsal / practice: practicing recall may improve the speed at which retrieval and encoding processes Memory aids * Semantic associations- remembering the colours of the rainbow * Visual imagery o Method of loci- create a mental map of an environment and "stick" the items- to-remember on known locations o Create images of the items-to-remember ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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