; Unit 1 Understanding the individual Memory
Learning Center
Plans & pricing Sign in
Sign Out
Your Federal Quarterly Tax Payments are due April 15th Get Help Now >>

Unit 1 Understanding the individual Memory


  • pg 1
									Long-term Memory
    Multi-store model proposed by Atkinson and
     Shiffrin (1968) suggested that there is a single
     long-term memory store.

    Critics have argued that this model is over-
     simplified and that it is improbable that all the
     knowledge we possess is stored in exactly the
     same form in one store.

    Much research has been carried out to determine
     the number and nature of long-term memory
Long-term Memory
     Episodic and semantic memory

     Tulving (1972) argued for a distinction between
      episodic and semantic memory

     Episodic memory: autobiographical- refers to
      storage of specific events or episodes. E.g. party
      you attended last weekend.

     Semantic memory: general knowledge about the
      world e.g. facts and figures, language, etc.
Long-term Memory

  Tulving (1972, p.386) defined semantic
   memory as:
  ‘a mental thesaurus, organised knowledge a
   person possesses about words and other
   verbal symbols, their meanings and
   referents, about relations among them, and
   about rules, formulas, and algorithms for
   the manipulation of these symbols, concepts
   and relations
Long-term Memory

    Distinction between semantic and episodic
     memory can be described in the following way:
    Episodic: Wedding- remember who you went
     with, what various people wore, meal and party
    Semantic: Knowledge of wedding ceremonies-
     e.g. usually in Church, sometimes registrar, legal
     ceremony which results in marriage, traditional
     wear for female is.., etc etc
Long-term Memory

    Tulving (1989) carried out a study to investigate the
     distinction between episodic and semantic memory

    A small dose of radioactive gold was injected into the
     bloodstream of participants (including Tulving).

    Participants instructed to think about personal events OR
     general knowledge (e.g. history of psychology)

    Blood flow in different areas of the brain recorded
Long-term Memory
 Tulving (1989)
 Episodic memory associated with a high level of
  activation in the frontal cortex
 Semantic memory associated with a high level of
  activation in the posterior or back regions of the
 Evidence supports Tulving’s view that there are
  separate long-term memory systems

   Evaluation: difference in content of memories yet
    less clear that there is a difference in the processes
    involved. E.g. both rely heavily on each other
Long-term Memory

 Explicit and Implicit memory
  Memory tests involve the use of direct instructions to
   participants to retrieve specific information (e.g. free
   recall, cued recall, recognition)
  These tests are tests of explicit memory which, according
   to Graf and Schachter (1985) can be contrasted with
   implicit memory

    Explicit memory ‘is revealed when performance on a task
     requires conscious recollection of previous experiences’
    Implicit memory ‘is revealed when performance on a task
     is facilitated in the absence of conscious recollection’
Long-term Memory

  Explicit memory based on conscious
  Implicit memory not based on conscious

    How does one measure ‘implicit memory’?

    Why is this distinction important?
Long-term Memory
   Distinction useful when studying patients suffering from
    amnesia (partial loss of long-term memory usually caused by
    brain damage)
   Patients have severe problems with long-term memory- yet
    mainly with explicit rather than implicit memory

   Claparede (1911) hid a pin in his hand before shaking hands
    with an amnesic patient.
   After this, the patient was reluctant to shake hands but was
    embarrassed as she could not explain this reluctance
   Behaviour indicated implicit memory- this occurred in the
    absence of explicit memory of the accident
Long-term Memory
    Graf, Squire and Mandler (1984) tested memory in amnesic
     patients (and controls) for list words in four ways:
    3 standard explicit memory tests (cued recall, free recall,
    1 implicit memory test: word completion task
    Participants given three-letter word fragments (e.g. STR----)
     and asked to write down the first word they can think of
     beginning with these letters
    Implicit memory measured by extent to which the word
     completions match words from a previous list

    Results: found that amnesic patients performed worse than
     controls on the explicit memory tasks. Yet performed as well
     as controls on the implicit memory test
Long-term Memory
   Declarative and procedural knowledge systems
    Cohen and Squire (1980) argued for a distinction
     between two long-term memory stores containing
     different types of knowledge:
    Declarative knowledge: ‘knowing that’ e.g. what
     you had for lunch yesterday and capital of France.
    Procedural knowledge: ‘knowing how’ e.g. how to
     ride a bicycle, swim, drive a car.
    Explicit memory depends on declarative
    Implicit memory depends on the procedural
     knowledge system
Long-term Memory

 Declarative and procedural knowledge systems
  Cohen and Squire (1980) argue that amnesic
   patients have severe impairment of the declarative
   memory system and therefore find it hard to
   acquire new episodic and semantic memories.

    Yet amnesic patients find it relatively easy to
     acquire new skills which rely on procedural
     memory e.g. dress-making, jigsaw completions,
     (Eysenck and Keane, 1995)
Long-term Memory

 Declarative and procedural knowledge systems
  Squire, Knowlton and Musen (1993) argued that
   the main brain structures underlying declarative or
   explicit memory are located in the hippocampus,
   medial temporal lobes and the diencephalons.

    Study by Squire et al (1992) supported this view.
     Using PET scans, found that blood flow in the
     right hippocampus was much higher when
     participants were performing a cued recall task
     compared to a word-completion task.
Long-term Memory


 Semantic and Episodic

 Explicit and Implicit

 Procedural and declarative

 Draw a model of LTM to incorporate these
  The term forgetting has several meanings:

  · The information was never stored – problem of availability
  · The information was stored, but is difficult to retrieve –
    problem of accessibility (tip-of-the-tongue)
  · Confusion – problem of interference
  · Absentmindedness – problem of habit, attention, and
    automatic responses.

  Generally, forgetting is the inability to recall or recognise
    material which was previously stored in memory.
Trace Decay
 According to the decay theory, information is
  forgotten because of the passage of time.
 Theoretical assumption that forgetting
  depends on the length of the retention interval
  rather than on events occurring during that
 Peterson and Peterson, (1959) found that memories
   were held in short-term memory for approximately 18
   seconds, after which they disappeared via trace
   Hebb (1949) believed that, as a result of excitation of
    the nerve cells, a brief memory trace is laid down. At
    this stage the trace is very fragile and likely to be
    disrupted. With repeated neural activity (via
    rehearsal), a permanent structural change occurs and
    the memory is transferred to the long-term memory
    where it is no longer likely to decay.

  Displacement refers to the limited number of slots in
    short-term memory (7+/-2). When more items are
    introduced into short-term memory than there are
    slots, some of the old information must be knocked
    out of its slot, or ‘displaced’.

  Evidence for this comes from the Brown-Peterson
    technique, where the last few words on a list are
    displaced from short-term memory by the counting
  Decay vs Displacement
  Waugh and Norman (1965) used serial probe technique
    to investigate forgetting in STM. 16 digits read out
    loud, last number is the probe but also occurs
    elsewhere in the list- asked to recall number that
    came after first occurrence of probe in list-
    manipulate position to investigate displacement.

  4 participants listened to 90 lists read at slow (1 per
     sec) or fast rate (4 per sec). If decay is correct, fewer
     digits should be recalled in slow condition, if
     displacement correct rate should have no effect.
  Decay vs Displacement
  Position- participants recalled items near end of list
    better (80%) than at start (20%) –evidence for both?
    Less interference and still in STM?

  Rate- when probe was late recall slightly better for fast

  Conclusion: most forgetting in STM can be explained by
    displacement and some due to decay.
  Decay vs Interference in LTM

  Baddeley and Hitch (1977) natural (quasi)
    experiment carried out to investigate recall of
    rugby fixtures in one season.

  Some players missed games but time interval same
    for all. Number of intervening games different.

  If decay theory correct all players should recall
     similar %.
  Results: The more games played the more they forgot-
     supports interference theory.

  The idea behind this theory is that memories may be
   interfered with either by what has been learned
   before, or by what may be learned in the future.
   Forgetting increases with time because of
   interference from competing memories that have
   been acquired over time.

    Proactive interference: when previous learning
     interferes with later learning and retention
    Retroactive interference: when later learning
     disrupts memory for earlier learning

    Interference was widely studied in the 1960s,
     but has attracted less attention since then.
    Studies typically made use of the technique of
     paired-associates in which a word is
     associated with one word on a list and with a
     completely different word on another list.

    Participants are required to learn one list and then
     the other. When given the stimulus word from the first
     list, it was found that participants frequently suffered
     from retroactive interference, in other words, they
     recalled the paired associate from the second list.

    In both cases of interference, the greater the
     similarity of the interfering material, the greater
     the interference (Underwood and Postman, 1960).

    Interference theory: Evaluation
    Prediction: learning a second response to a given
     stimulus causes the first response to be unlearned.

    Slamecka (1966) asked participants to produce free
     associates to various stimulus words.
    These stimulus words were then paired with new
    When participants asked to recall their free
     associates, no sign of retroactive interference.

    Interference theory: Evaluation

    Uninformative about internal processes involved in
     memory and learning

    Requires special circumstances for interference
     effects to occur (same stimulus and two different
     responses) which rarely happens in real life.

     Decay, interference and displacement theories all
      examples of trace dependent forgetting- the
      memory trace is no longer available.

     Many theorists have tried to understand why
      recognition memory is usually much better than
      recall (Parkin, 1993)
     Two-process theory (Watkins and Gardiner, 1979)
      suggests that:
     Recall involves a search or retrieval process followed
      by a decision or recognition process based on the
      appropriateness of the information
    Cue-dependent Forgetting

    Tulving (1974): 2 major reasons for forgetting

    Trace dependent forgetting: information no longer
     stored in memory (e.g. trace decay theory)
    Cue-dependent forgetting: information in memory but
     cannot be accessed

    Tulving assumed basic similarities between recall
     and recognition and that contextual factors were
     important (memory contains information about
     material and context)

    Cue-dependent Forgetting

    Tulving and Pearlstone (1966)
    Long lists of words belonging to several different
     categories were presented (e.g. animals, furniture
    Participants asked to write down what they could
     remember (non-cued recall)
    Participants given category names and asked to write
     down what they could remember

    Results: participants recalled up to three or four times
     as many words with cued recall
  Cue-dependent Forgetting

   External cues: e.g. category names
   Internal cues: e.g. mood state

   state-dependent forgetting – research (eg Goodwin
    et al, 1969) showed that information is more likely to
    be remembered by an individual if they are in the
    same physical or emotional sate as they were in
    when they learned it.

   Effects are stronger when participants are in a
    positive mood than a negative mood (Ucros, 1989)
    Cue-dependent Forgetting
    Findings on cue-dependent forgetting and mood-
     state dependent memory indicate that forgetting
     occurs when the information available at the time of
     retrieval does not match or ‘fit’ information in memory

    Tulving (1979) proposed the encoding specificity
     ‘The probability of successful retrieval of the target
     item is an…increasing function of informational
     overlap between the information contained in the
     retrieval cue and the information stored in memory.’

    Cue-dependent Forgetting

          context-dependent forgetting – research (eg.
     Abernathy, 1940) has shown that it is much easier to
     remember information in the same context in which
     the information was learnt.

    Also remembering information is made easier with
     retrieval cues which trigger memory for relevant
    Tulving assumes that context affects recall and
     recognition in the same way- but is this the case?
     Baddeley (1982) proposed a distinction between
      intrinsic context and extrinsic context

     Intrinsic context: has direct impact on meaning or
      significance of a to-be-remembered item (e.g.
      strawberry vs traffic as intrinsic context for the word

     Extrinsic context: e.g. room in which learning takes
      place does not.

     Recall affected by both, recognition affected only
      by intrinsic context

   Godden and Baddeley (1975)
   Participants learned a list of words either on land or 20feet
   Then given a test of free recall on land or underwater.

   Results: those who learned on land recalled more on land
    and those who learned underwater recalled more

   Recall 50% higher when learning took place in the same
    extrinsic context

   Godden and Baddeley (1980)

   Similar study- tested recognition memory instead of recall

   Results: recognition memory not affected by extrinsic
    context e.g. did not matter if they learned words on land
    and tested underwater

   Emotional Factors in Forgetting
   Repression
   Repression is a concept from psychoanalytic
    psychology which focuses heavily on
    emotion. Freud (1915) proposed that
    forgetting is motivated by the desire to avoid
    displeasure, so embarrassing, unpleasant or
    anxiety-producing experiences are repressed
    – pushed down into the unconscious.

 Emotional Factors in Forgetting
 Repression is an unconscious,
  protective defence mechanism, which
  involves the ego actively blocking the
  conscious recall of memories – which
  become inaccessible.

      Emotional Factors in Forgetting
      Repression

      Case studies provide examples of repression. Freud
       reports the case of a man who kept forgetting the line
       ‘With a white sheet’. Free association revealed that
       the term ‘white sheet’ was associated with the sheet
       placed over a corpse. The man’s friend had recently
       died from a heart attack and the white sheet was
       associated with death; this made him fearful since he
       was overweight and his grandfather had died of a
       heart attack.

      Repression has proved difficult to demonstrate in a
       laboratory but attempts have been made

   Levinger and Clark (1961) investigated the retrieval
    of associations to words that were emotionally
    charged, compared with the retrieval of associations
    to neutral words. They found:

       It took participants longer to provide free
    associations to the negatively charged words
    compared with the neutral words.

         Compared with the neutral words, the
    negatively charged words produced higher galvanic
    skin responses in the participants.
         Participants found it more difficult to recall their
    associations for the negatively charged words
    compared with the neutral words.

   From these findings, Levinger and Clark concluded
    that repression led to the emotionally negatively
    charged words being more difficult to recall and
    results therefore, support Freud’s theory that
    repression causes forgetting.

   However, a situation of high anxiety was produced by
    Loftus and Burns (1982) who showed two groups a
    film of a bank robbery, but exposed one of the groups
    to a far more violent version where a young boy was
    shot in the face. The group that saw this version later
    showed far poorer recall of detail than the control

   Loftus and Burns explained the forgetting with the
    ‘weapons focus’ effect, where fearful or stressful
    aspects of a scene (eg the gun) channel attention
    towards the source of distress and away from other

   Alternatively, people may need to be in the same
    state (ie anxious) to recall properly – this is a cue-
    dependent explanation.

   Emotion may also be used to explain why we
     Flashbulb Memories

     The term ‘flashbulb memory’ describes a long-lasting
      vivid memory formed at a time of intense emotion,
      such as significant public or personal events.

     Brown and Kulik (1977) found that around 90% of
      people reported flashbulb memories associated with
      personal shocking events, but whether they had such
      memories for public shocking events, like
      assassinations, depended upon how personally
      relevant the event was for them. 75% of black
      participants in their research had a flashbulb memory
      for the assassination of Martin Luther King, compared
      to 3% of white participants.

     Flashbulb Memories

     Brown and Kulik argue that flashbulb memory was a
      special and distinct form of memory since the
      emotionally important event triggers a neural
      mechanism, which causes it to be especially well
      imprinted into memory.
     Neisser (1982), disagrees that flashbulb memories
      are distinct from other memories, since the long-
      lasting nature of the memory is probably due to it
      being frequently rehearsed (thought about it and
      discarded afterwards) rather than being due to any
      special neural activity at the time.
    Memory Improvement Techniques

   Improving the memory depends on organising
    information and then using active techniques and
    persevering with them.

   Organisation

   Organising and ordering information can significantly
    improve memory.
    Memory Improvement Techniques

   By Category and Hierarchy

   If things are stored away in their proper place it is
    much easier to find them than when they are jumbled

   Memory is the same, retrieval is made easier when
    memory is organised rather than if it is disorganised.

   Information can be accessed more easily if it is
    organised by category and hierarchy.
    Memory Improvement Techniques

   Conceptual hierarchy

   Bower et al. (1969) presented participants with 112
    words to learn.
   Condition 1: words organised into conceptual
    hierarchies (e.g. metals- common, rare and alloys)
   Condition 2: random order
   The results showed that the list, which was arranged
    hierarchically was recalled two to three times better
    than the list arranged randomly.
Memory Improvement Techniques
    Visual Imagery
    Imagery can be defined as the creation of a mental
    Diagrams can be used to illustrate information and to
     aid understanding of information.
     Visual imagery also serves to organise information

    Bower, 1972- pps given 100 cards with 2 unrelated
     words on each (cat/brick)
    Condition 1-pps had to produce mental image linking
     the two words; Condition 2- no instruction
    Results- in a cued recall test the imagers recalled 80%
     of words compared with 45% in condition 2.
    Memory Improvement Techniques

   After studying patients with damage to one of their
    temporal lobes, Paivio (1971) proposed that the
    processing of words and images occurs separately.
    According to Paivio, concrete words, which can be
    images, are encoded twice in memory, once in verbal
    symbols and once as image-based symbols. This
    increases the likelihood that they will be

   Paivio called this the dual coding hypothesis. (This
    can be linked to the phonological loop and visuo-
    spatial sketch pad systems in the Working memory
Memory Improvement Techniques

   By Context
   It is easier to retrieve a particular episode if you are in
    the same context as that in which the episode
    occurred (Estes, 1972).
   Context has been shown to affect our memory in
    several ways.
   Godden and Baddeley (1975) presented divers with
    material to learn, either on dry land or underwater.
    Subsequent retrieval was best when the recall
    environment matched that of the original learning.
   In state-dependent learning the internal state of the
    individual provides the contextual cue for retrieving
Memory Improvement Techniques

   Context and state dependency relates to cue-
    dependent recall.
   Applied? Reduce notes to bullet points- one or
    two words which are cues to trigger a whole
    string of information.
   Tulving and Psotka (1971) study investigated
    interference (1-6 word lists-24 in each list) and
    cued recall (over 6 lists 36 categories)
   After each list, free recall. After all lists final
    free –recall followed by category names (cued
Memory Improvement Techniques
   Those given 1 or 2 lists remembered more
    than those given 6- evidence for interference
   Yet, after cued recall interference effects
    disappeared- pps remembered about 70%
    regardless of how many lists they were given.
   Information is there (available) but cannot be
    retrieved-cue dependent forgetting
   Tulving suggests that elementary units are
    organised into higher order units (categories)
    – access our memories in a hierarchial
Memory Improvement Techniques

        Repetition

   ‘Practice makes perfect’ – the more times information
    is memorised, the more accurate the recall and the
    less time it takes to re-learn the material.
   Ebbinghaus (1895) found re-learning savings – the
    greater the number of repetitions the less time it took
    to re-learn the lists.

   Linto found that everyday memories last longer if they
    are occasionally remembered.
Memory Improvement Techniques

Elaborative rehearsal

   Maintenance rehearsal- rote repetition
   Elaborative rehearsal- not the amount but nature
    of rehearsal that is important.
   Material is expanded and manipulated in order to
    increase it’s meaningfulness-semantic processing
   Process of adding extra cues to new information at
    the time when we encode it (‘multiple encoding’)
    so that we have multiple pathways to the
    information at the time when we need to retrieve
Memory Improvement Techniques

Craik and Tulving (1975) Elaborative rehearsal
 Elaboration manipulated by varying the complexity of the
  sentence frame between simple (She cooked the ------)
 and complex (The great bird swooped down and carried
  off the struggling ------)

 Cued recall twice as high for words accompanying
  complex sentences
 Suggests that elaboration benefits long-term memory
 Later studies have found that type of elaboration and not
  just amount of elaboration is important (Bransford et al,

       Mnemonics try to improve organisation
     when encoding takes place.

    They are a combination of loci, associations
     and imagery.

 There are several well-known mnemonic systems:

    Method of Loci (using familiar locations-eg
     shopping list)
    Numeric pegword system (link items to pegs-
     locations-e.g. one is a bun rhyme)
    Keyword method (new keyword acts as retrieval
     cue e.g. learning the French word for library-
    Narrative link (link otherwise unrelated words in a
    Rhymes and rhythms (times table rhymes)

 Grouping – classify lists on the basis of some
  common characteristic. Remembering the
  key element of the group is a key to
  remembering all the items. An example would
  be grouping trees by deciduous or evergreen.
  (e.g. Bower’s 1969 study).

            Rhymes – setting the information to be
     remembered to a rhyme eg ‘in 1492 Columbus sailed
     the ocean blue’.
    Other examples of mnemonics using rhyming
         ‘I before E except after C’ or
         ‘30 days hath September, April, June and
    It seems that the rhythmic pattern helps by reducing
     the number of retrieval possibilities.

           Acronyms – the first letter from each word in a
      list forms a key word, name, or sentence, eg ‘PALM’,
      ‘SFA’ and ‘NAB’

      Acrostics- first letter in each line or word forms the
      item e.g. ‘every good boy deserves food’ for the lines
      on the treble clef.

          Chaining material to be learned into narrative
      stories can also help remembering. Bower and Clark
      (1969) asked participants to make stories from lists of
      ten un-related nouns. Subsequently, 93% showed
      correct recall.

     Mnemonics help memory by shortening the
     sequence to be learned or elaborating it, and
     giving it meaning.

       They do have drawbacks:
      they do not help to understand the material
      they are time consuming to learn
      under stress the mnemonic may be forgotten and
   therefore the information.

      What about strategies for learning complex,
     integrated material?

    Mind Maps
    Mind mapping involves writing down a central idea
     and thinking up new and related ideas out from the
     centre. By focusing on key ideas written down and
     then looking for branches out and connections
     between the ideas, knowledge is mapped in a
     manner which will aid learning and recall (Buzan,

     PQRST Method

    Preview, Question, Read, Self- recitation and Test
    Designed to help improve ability to study and
     remember material from textbooks

    With reference to research evidence, describe and
     evaluate memory improvement techniques and their
     application to study and exam skills. (12 ku, 8ae)/

To top