Memory and Cognition Chapter 6 1
Questions: Chapter 6 (Long-Term Memory – Structure)
This is a set of questions to help you check your understanding of the material. It is
recommended that you do them right after doing the lecture and the readings for
that section, and then check your answers.
1. The inability to assimilate or retain new knowledge is known as:
a. anterograde amnesia
b. retrograde amnesia
c. the primacy effect
d. the serial effect
The correct answer is A. It is a sometimes confusing that amnesia can refer to
loss of the ability to form new memories (in addition to what we usually
think of – loss of old memories). You should definitely know which type of
amnesia each term refers to (anterograde / retrograde). Also there’s another
tricky vocabulary issue related to amnesia – antero/retroGRADE are
different than GRADED amnesia. Graded amnesia is where there’s memory
loss that’s not “all or nothing”. In other words it’s not like they’ve lost ALL of
their old memories. Just some. Which ones are most damaged depends on
how far back in time they are.
2. Which of the following would most likely be a detailed long-term memory?
a. I just sat down.
b. I was talking to that girl just before class
c. I was talking to that boy three months ago
d. I talked to my cousin Amelia on the phone six months ago
The correct answer is B. The point of this question was 1) to be able to figure
out which memories are actually long-term memories rather than short-term
memories, and 2) to know that the closer the memory is to right now the
more detailed it will be. All of the memories after “I just sat down” are long-
term ones, so you just have to pick the one that is most recent. The question
is sort of tricky because you might be tempted, based on intuition, to pick one
that seems more important (based on gender or how well you know the
person, etc.). There was nothing in the text for the chapter about importance
or familiarity and how they relate to memory.
3. The primacy effect (from the serial position curve experiment) is associated
a. Sensory memory
b. Implicit memory
The correct answer is D. In the serial position curve experiment the “primacy
effect” is that the first few items on a list are remembered more than items
that come after them. The explanation is that the first items are rehearsed
long enough to make it into long-term memory but other items are not. The
critical piece of evidence that demonstrates this is that the primacy effect
DOES NOT go away when there is a delay (with articulatory suppression)
between when the participants learn the list and when they have to recall it.
One tricky thing here – this might be confused with the concept of proactive
interference (PI), which comes later, but the explanation is very different.
4. The recency effect occurs when participants are asked to recall a list of
words. One way to get rid of the recency effect is to:
a. have participants say “la, la, la” while studying the list
b. present the list more slowly
c. have participants count backwards for 30 seconds after hearing the
last word of the list
d. have participants see words on the screen instead of listening to them
The correct answer is C. This is also from the serial position curve
experiment. The “recency effect” is that the last few items on the list are
remembered more than items in the center of the list. The explanation is that
the last items are still in short-term/working memory (which has a limited
capacity). The way to make the effect go away is to fill STM/WM with
something else instead after people have learned the list. Counting
backwards is a great way to do that. Having them say “la, la, la” would also
work, but A is not correct here because they are doing it while learning the
list. Doing it during learning would just make the whole graph more
squished, including the primacy effect. The point of this question is to say
what makes JUST the recency effect go away, leaving the primacy effect
alone. Answer B is not correct because that would affect the primacy effect
(making it bigger) not the recency effect. Answer D would not impact either
Memory and Cognition Chapter 6 3
5. We are conscious of __________ memories.
d. All of the above
The correct answer is C. You should know all of these words and what
category different memories go in. Figure 6.6 in the book is very very useful
6. “I remember being really excited last year, when my college team won the
national championship in basketball.” This is an example of __________
The correct answer is A. You should know all of these words and what
category different memories go in. Figure 6.6 in the book is very very useful
for this. It can be pretty tricky to actually do this kind of categorization on a
test. Every word in the question is so important! In this case if the question
had been “I remember that my college team won the national championship
in basketball” the answer would have been C (not A).
7. Your text describes an “Italian woman” who, after an attack of encephalitis,
had difficulty remembering people or facts she new before. She could,
however, remember her life events and daily tasks. Her memory behavior
a. Intact episodic memory but defective semantic memory
b. Intact episodic memory but defective procedural memory
c. Intact semantic memory but defective episodic memory
d. Intact procedural memory but defective episodic memory
The correct answer is A. Figure 6.6 in the book is could help a lot on this
question (are you noticing a theme???). If you had trouble with this one here
is how you might have done it. The question itself has all the information you
need to know about the “Italian woman.” She could remember 1) life events
and 2) daily tasks. In other words, those were “intact.” She could not
remember 1) people and 2) facts. In other words those were “defective.” So,
using Figure 6.6, life events are episodic and daily tasks are procedural, so
the first part of the answer has to be one of those. That narrows it to A or B. It
can’t be B because her procedural memory is intact, and just to verify, A is
correct because memory for facts is semantic and the question says she can’t
8. Memory enhancement due to conceptual priming is a result of
a. The test stimulus being the same or resembling the priming stimulus
b. The test stimulus being different from the priming stimulus
c. The test stimulus being similar in meaning to the priming stimulus
d. The test stimulus being different in meaning from the priming
The correct answer is C. Memory enhancement (memory that is improved in
some way) related to priming is always due to some sort of match between
the priming stimulus and the test stimulus, so we can rule out B and D. There
are two types of priming in the book, conceptual and repetition. Conceptual
deals with meaning, so the best answer is C.
9. According to your text, which of the following movies is LEAST accurate in its
portrayal of a memory problem?
a. The Bourne Identity
c. The Long Kiss Goodnight
d. 50 First Dates
The correct answer is D. If you are watching a movie or TV show over the
next few weeks you may be able to connect what you have learned in the
class to it and give a critique about how accurate or inaccurate it is. For
instance how about the character Dory in the movie Finding Nemo? Being a
critical (meaning thoughtful) consumer of media is a great way to learn.
Assuming things that appear in the movies are always true? Not so good.
Memory and Cognition Chapter 6 5
10. Give examples, from your own experience, of 1) an episodic memory and 2) a
semantic memory. Then explain how psychologists distinguish between
episodic and semantic memory, and how these types of memories are
Episodic memory: I remember the sound of my son’s laughter as he rode on
the carousel at the zoo this weekend.
Semantic memory: I remember that my son likes to ride on the zebra on the
whenever he rides the carousel at the zoo.
Psychologists distinguish between episodic and semantic evidence by
looking at imaging and neuropsychological evidence. The two types of
memory are related to different parts of the brain.
Ways that episodic and semantic memories are related:
Episodic memories can be converted to semantic memories over time
Semantic memories can be improved if you link them to episodic ones
Semantic memories can affect which episodic ones we get by affecting