Chapter 8: Memory
Encoding is the active process of converting a stimulus into a form useable by memory system.
Storage is processing and maintaining the information
Retrieval is the active process in locating and using stored information.
Sensory memory: Physical stimuli, long enough to convert to short term memory (2-3 seconds). Ex. Sound echo
Short term memory: Immediate memory for the stimuli perceived. It is long enough until necessary. Ex. Finding the theatre number in movie theatre. Useful for quick memory; continually rehearsed, ex. Going to room to get keys.
Long term memory: permanent/near permanent basis. Usually not needed to rehearse, until needed at a future time
Memory flows from one phase to the next: modal model
Sensory input – sensory memory – short term memory – long term memory
Sensory memory: info is presented very briefly, to perceive after effects. Ex. Lightning lights up environment, we see the environment but perceive and recognize the environment afterwards.
Two forms: Iconic (visual) memory and echoic (auditory) memory.
Iconic Memory: visual sensory memory, very closely tied to perception, sometimes called visible persistence.
TEST: Sperling flashed 9 letters on screen. Participants were asked to recall as many as they could. Only about 5 letters could be identified. Participants insisted they say more, but for the short time (50 milliseconds) the letters faded before they were identifiable.
P Q B
C Z L
R K F
Same test done but instead, there is a tone played before the letters appear, corresponding from high to low; the participants were more successful. Test done to play the tone after, but got less consistent the longer the tone was delayed.
Echoic Memory: important in speech. Ex. Har-vest, Har-bour. The har- is unknown until the last syllable is uttered to recognize the word. Echoic memory holds all the sounds until it is recognizable.
Short term memory: contains the information and sensory input that the recall stage of the long term memory requires. It also contains the memory that the retrieval stage in the long term memory has processed. This is known as the working memory.
Input – short term memory – long term memory (recall and retrieval) – short term memory
Short term memory contains the output of the retrieval stage. This allows us to think about the memory and perceive it on the basis of what we already know and to critically understand the input. Ex. When a person speaks a sentence, we keep the beginning in short term memory and after hearing the complete sentence, we recognize it in short term stage, and understand it and provide context based on who the person is, whether a friend or family member to create the appropriate response.
Primary and Recency Effects
The tendency to remember the beginning of a list or at the end of a list; free recall is to write down what can be remembered from the list of words given
Primary effects is explained due to the fact that earlier words have more time to be rehearsed, since they are the only words available, and therefore can be stored in long term memory. As more words are said, competition begins in short term memory. In contrast, recency effect is because they are most recent, and are still present and available in short term memory.
Short term memory is normally only available for less than 30 seconds. If it cannot be rehearsed and there is interference, the memory is less likely able to be recalled.
“The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two”
Miller (1956) explained that short term memory can only hold seven relevant pieces of information (letters, words, numbers, etc.) But how are we able to comprehend even simple conversations? Miller explained chunking: a process in which information is simplified by rules to make it easier to remember. Ex. GSTCBCRCMP: instead of remembering the sequence of letters, we can organize into GST, CBC, RCMP.
McNamara and Scott (2001) suggested