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- Unconscious level.
- So far remoed from awareness that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately talk about them.
- In which an organism learns to respond to signals that are predictive of future outcomes, thereby showing memory for previous environmental contigencies.
- Certain stimuli are reliable predictors of the imminent onset of other important stimuli.
- Two forms: abstract and concrete.
- Stimulus that elicits a response.
- unconditioned stimulus and unconditioned response.
- Neutral stimulus.
- During learning, the NS is presented prior ot the US in a reliable and consistent way. Over time, the organism associates the NS with the oncoming US.
- The organism makes a preparatory response, as if the US were about to occur.
- NS is now the conditioned stimulus, CS, and the response that is made in the presence of the CS is the conditional response, CR.
- meat: US
- dog's salivation: UR
- bell: NS
- He rang the bell before he gave the meat. Over time, the dogs learned that the bell meant food. The dogs began to salivate when the bell rang but before they were fed. The bell was now a CS and the salivation was a CR.
- Develop through a classical conditioning process of nondeclarative memory, which the person is unaware.
- Classical conditioning can be used to get rid of phobias. This can be done through the clinical process of systematic desensitization.
People first think of situations that are remotely related to the one that elicits the phobia. Over time, the person is brought closer and closer to the phobic situation. At each step the person remains at that stage until he or she does not feel disturbed. When a feeling of calm is associated with the situation at each stage, the person moves on to the next one. This process continues until a person finally reaches the phobia situation, which is classically conditioned to a relaxed feeling. At this point the phobia is conquered.
- Stimulus-response association.
- Stimulus-stimulus association.
- US -----> Response
- CS -----> Response
CS -------> Memory Trace of the US -------> Response.
Idea that learning occurs when an NS and a US occur near each other in time. However, while timing is important to a degree, it is not the critical factor. instead, learning is driven by deriving some cause-effect relationship (however primitive).
Involves a sensitivity to the underlying causal structure.
learning curve: acquisition period.
- Extintion: the environment is not always stable, and one needs to adapt to change not only by learning new associations but also by ceasing to respond to ones that are no longer relevant.
- when a CS is presented many times without a US, responses to that CS will stop.
- Occurs when, after extintion, there is a long delay, and then the CS is presented again. The CR, which was extinct, reemerges, but it is not as strong as before.
- The organism remembers the original association and forgets that it is no longer predictive and useful.
A reduction in the amount of effort needed to learn a set of information on a subsequent attempt after some forgetting has already occured.
Mere exposure effect
- People prefer things they already have been exposed to one or more times. When we are exposed to something, we register that infromation, even if only at a subconscious level. As long as there are no negative connotations associated with it, a mild positive association is established.
- We prefer things we have been exposed to before, even if we don't remember them.
- Right lateral front lobe.
- learning cause-effect relationships.
- associative models.
- classical conditioning.
- normative information about event probabilities.
- rule-based approach with the idea that people are drawing finfrences.
- Knowledge of how to do things.
- Ex. play the piano, throw a ball, or walk.
- Nondeclarative memory.
- People have skills and do not know exactly how they acquired them.
Include activities where expertise is widely recognized.
Stages of Skill Acquisition
- Cognitive Stage: stage in which a person consciously and deliberately does the skill actions.
- Associative Stage: at this stage a person more quickly retrieves the knowledge needed for the task.
- Autonomous Stage: at this stage the skill execution becomes more procedurlized and becomes largely unconscious.
Any form of memory that does not require consciousness and can potentially operate without a person being aware that memory is being used.
Form of implicit memory because a person is not consciously aware at the time that the knowledge is being stored in memory.
Indirect Tests of Memory
- A person must show an influence of prior experience without consciously being aware of doing so.
- Influence multiple levels of reperesentation.
Occurs wehn a person is faster and/or more accurate at retrieving target information that has een facilitated by an earlier prime trial.
- word-stem completion.
- word-fragment completion.
- lexical decision.
- Priming of an item that was encountered recently.
- Repetition priming decrease in neural activity in the visual cortex, whereas semantic priming is associated with decreased activity in the frontal lobes.
In this task people are given teh initail few letters of a word with the task of completing it with the first word that comes to mind. Here, people are more likely to complete these stems with words they had seen previously, even though they are unaware that they are using prior knowledge.
- Task in which people are given words with missing letters, and are to complete the words. Again, people do better if they saw the words before.
- This ability remains stable even after a long delay, whereas more conscious and explicit recognition memory continues to decline over time.
Task in which a person is given a string of letters as is to indicate whether it is a word or not.
Task in which people simple name aloud, as quicky as possible, visually presented words. Words are named faster if they were seen before, or were unconsciously activated by a person thinking about related concepts.
Perceptual Identification: An indirect memory test in which people are asked to identify briefly presented items as old or new.
Priming for pictures of possible and impossible objects
What happens is that people first view a set of objects as part of some task, such as judging whether an object faces left or right. Then they are to make possible-impossible decisions. Some of the objects in the second test are the same as the first test. The degree to which people respond faster and more accurately to old objects relative to new objects is an indicator of priming. Nonverbal priming for these pictures occurs only for possible objects and not for impossible objects.
Implicit vs Explicit Memory
- Implicit: Data-driven processing: mental activity is driven more by information in the environment than the contents of a person's thoughts.
- Explicit: Conceptually driven: the mental activity is driven more by a person's knowledge, expectations and goals.
- Memory of the order of events.
- Students saw a row of four lights, with a button below each one. The task was to press the button below a light after it lit up. There were two groups in this study. In the random order, control group, the lights came on in a random order throughout the study. In the experimental group, the lights came on in a consistent ten-light sequence. The speed with which people pushed the buttons dramatically increased with even very little exposure in the experimental group. It is even very little exposure in the experimental group. It is even possible to see eye movements anticipating the next item in a series. Moreover, when people are asked to explicitly report the sequence, they cannot.
In theses studies, people are shown sequences of letters. These sequences are created using an algorithm. For example, the sequence VXVPS, TPPTS, and VXXXS are valid or "grammatical" sequences, whereas the sequences XVSPV, PPTTS, and SXXXV are not. During a learning phase, people are shown a series of letter strings that were generated using the algorithm and are asked to simply copy the sequence. It has been found that even in the absence of explicit memorization, people learn not just the sequences that were presented but the "grammar" or production algorithm used to generate them. This implicit memory shows itself in people's ability to also accept (at above chance rates) valid sequences that were never seen before and to accept new sequences that used different letter sets but that followed the same rules.
Memory under Anesthesia
- Implicit memory can be seen in cases where conscious awareness is not present and general neurological fuctioning should be absent, as well as when a person is under anesthesia.
- Illustrates the durability and pervasiveness of unconscious, nondeclarative forms of memory.
- Memories for events that we experienced.
- Amalgams of various types of information.
Memories for general world knowledge.
Serial Position Effects
- Recency effects are larger.
- Primacy and recency effects can more clearly be attributed to the distinctiveness of those positions.
- Recent events being remembered better than older events.
- The beginning and end of a sequence are less susceptible to interference.
- Primacy effect: less proactive interference (prior information is the one interfering with the recall procedure).
- Recency effect: less retroactive interference (newly learned information interferes with recently learned info).
Levels of Representation
- surface form: verbatim text; quickly forgotten.
- textbase: have different surface forms but the same underlying meaning.
- mental model: mental stimulation of the described events.
- When we recall an event, we sometimes need a prompt.
- Memory cues generally improve retrieval.
Types of Cues
- Feature cues: involve components of memory itself. If you can relate things to aspects of who you are, tehn your memory will be better.
- Context cues: involve the setting or environment.
- Odors: can be feature or context cues.
- Powerful memory cue.
- External vs Internal.
- External: environment outside a person.
- Internal: environment inside a person.
- Superior ability to remember when retrieval occurs in the same context as information that was learned as compared to a different context.
- Effects are reliable.
- Occur when an environment is actually present or only thought about.
- Memories learned in many different contexts are context independent.
Scuba Divers Study
- Study in which scuba divers learned lists of words. Some lists were learned on land, and others were learned underwater. Later the divers were tested in either the same or a different context.
- Memory was better wehn the words were recalled in the same context than in the different one.
- Memory is better remembered wehn people are in as imilar physiological state during recall as they were during learning.
- People learned while they were sober or drunk. They then took a memory test in either the same or a different state. Memory was better when people were in the same state. If people studied while drunk, they did better on the test if they took it while drunk.
- These emotional states are stored in memory.
- Memory is better if we are in the same mood we were in when we learned something.
It is easier to think of things that are congruent with one's current mood, such as a depressed mood makes it more likely that depressing ideas will be retrieved.
Transfer Appropriate Processing
- Memory is also influenced by a person's thought processes during learning.
- Memory is better when retrieval uses mental processes that are more in tune with those used at learning.
Transfer Appropriate Processing Experiment
- Students responded to words using either a meaning-based (deep-level) task, such as whether the word "plane" made sense in the sentence "The ________ had a silver engine" or a rhyme-based (shallow-level) task, such as whether the word "eagle" made sense in the sentence "________ rhymes with legal." Later, students took either a standard recognition test (a direct memory test) or a rhyming recognition test (an indirect test) in which they indicated whether a new word rhymed with one that they had heard earlier (e.g., "regal").
- Memory is better when the encoding and retrieval processes match than when they do not. Thus, depth of processing is not a clear guide to future memory. Instead, how successful memory is in the future depends on how people think about information.
- Primary mechanism of forgetting in long-term memory.
- Occurs when due to the consequence of this multiplication of memory traces is that episodic memories compete with one another.
A mental mechanism that actively suppresses related but irrelevant memory traces.
- Kind of interference in which prior knowledge impedes the learning of new information.
- Ex. driving an autonomic car like if it was a standard-shift car.
- Amount of negative transfer experienced is a function of the degree of overlap between the old and new information.
Negative transfer Experiment
- After learning an A-B list, negative transfer was observed in the ability to learn a second list when the old responses were paired with new cues (C-B), new responses were paired with old cues (A-C), the pair items were recombined (A-Br), or synonyms were used (A-B') relative to a control condition using new lists (C-D). When the new information overlpaped with the old, learning was impeded.
- Negative transfer was greater when memory was tested using recall than recognition.
- This is because there are more traces that can get involved and compete for output during recall, whereas for recognition, the memory search is more targeted on a few, or one, memory trace(s).
- Occurs when old knowledge causes an increase in the forgetting of new knowledge.
- The degree of proactive interference experienced depends on the amount of overlap between different sets of information.
- The more related the information a person has memorized, the more proactive interference there is.
- Occurs when new knowledge makes it difficult to remember old knowledge.
- Students learned lists of 10 nonsense syllables. They were then tested 1, 2, 4, and 8 hrs later. What is important is what they did during this time. Half of the time, they were given the lists at night, so they were asleep during the retention period.
- Less forgetting when the students slept than when they were awake. When people are awake, there is a continuous stream of new information.
- This new information produces retroactive interference, making the older infromation harder to remember.
- However, if people are asleep, there is not as much new information, so there is less retroactive interference and less forguetting.
Reflects the associative complexity of newly learned information. The disruption of memory is not based on a temporal sequence, but on the associations iwth a concept.
- Assumes that information is stored in a memory network with nodes for individual concepts and links representing the associations among them. During retrieval, the more links "fanning off" of a concept, the greater the interference from the competing associations, and retrieval time increases accordingly.
- The more associations, the more response time.
Paradox of the expert
- Experts actually learning more information than novices with no deficit in remembering.
- Chunking is a way out of this paradox.
- Information that is integrated into a common memory trace reduces interference becase there are fewer traces to compete with one another.
- Jost's law.
- The older the memory, the more consolidated it is, the less susceptible it is to general interference.
- New memories replace the older memories.
Occur in which older memories are remembered better when the formation of new memories is prevented.
The finding that it is harder to retrieve any given item from a set after a person has been given a subset of that set as a retrieval cue.
Decreased availability of memory traces that were recently inhibited.
Remembering one thing makes remembering related things more difficult.
Finding that recall memory is worse for items that are the same category as other items that have received practice. This effects is often attributed to the operation of an active inhibition mechanism.
Repeated practice Effect
- Suppose a person is given categories to learn, such as "red things", like "blood" and "tomato," and "foods," like "strawberry" and "crackers." Now if a person practices some items, such as "red-blood" and not others, the effects of inhibition are observed.
- Red-blood was remembered.
- red-tomato was inhibited.
- food-strawberry was inhibited.
- food-cracker was not inhibited.
The more a person is exposed to infromation, the more likely it will be remembered.
When there is a single, lengthy study session.
Distributed practice (spaced practice)
Occurs wehn effort is pread out across multiple study sessions.
Deficient Processing of Massed Practice
- Less consolidation.
- Habituation which leads to less active attention, hence poor memory.
- Accesibility/reconstruction issues: people assume it is learned and do not devote the needed amount of time and effort to it.
- Distributed practice vs. Massed practice.
- DP: different contexts
- MP: same contexts.
- DP: Changing the context made it harder to remember previous study experiences. Memory was poorer.
- MP: changing the context/backgrounds helped memory. Easier retrieval.
- When a person continues to practice memorized information.
- Overlearning strengthens memories. Increases resistance to forgetting.
- Memory traces that are in a long-term state in which very little is susceptible to forgetting.
- Consequence of distributed practice and overlearning.
To study or to test?
- People learn more by taking a test than engaging in further study.
- Testing reduces rate of forgetting.Testing causes a person to engage in deeper processing.
- Testing reduces proactive interference.
Improves episodic memory.
- Episodic memory is also enhanced when a memory trace is separated out from competitors that produce interference.
- Memory is better for distinct items.
Von Restorff effect
Memory for the unique item is better than memory for any one of the others.
People form mental images of something they are trying to remember. The very act of forming a mental image is a lot of work, so it improves memory. However if you create a bizarre image that will be more distinctive.
Material appropriate processing
This distinction between types of learning and memory for different types of texts.
- Allows for accurate predictions about what will happen next.
- Generalizations that apply to a variety of similar but different circumstances.
- Facilitation of related ideas.
- Remembering one concept brings related memories closer to awareness.
- Experiment showed that people are faster to respond to the target in the experimental condition (nurse-doctor) relative to the control (nurse-potato).
- SOA: stimulus onset asynchrony.
- Nonshift-Expected-Related: BIRD-ROBIN (positive priming)
- Nonshift-Unexpected-Unrelated: BIRD-ARM (took longer to disengage from BIRD and focus on ARM).
- Shift-Expected-Unrelated: BODY-DOOR (positive priming over time).
- Shift-Unexpected-Unrelated: BODY-SPARROW (negative priming, which gets larger over time).
- Shift-Unexpected-Related: BODY HEART (initially positive priming but then more effort to disengage from the part that is expected and move back to the original portion is needed).
- Priming of concepts that are mediated by a related concept.
- Ex: priming of "stripes" by "lion" through the concept of "tiger".
- Concepts in semantic memory that have more interconnections are retrieved faster and allow people to make responses based on partial information.
- Connections are better for semantic memories than episodic memories.
- Helps narrow the semantic memory search.
- Related concepts may be inhibited, such as wehn a person generates information, but not when it is passively heard or read.
- Takes more time to retrieve "salmon" from "fish" if you have recently retrieved several other examples of fish.
similarity-based grouping, in which two or more entities are treated as though they are equivalent.
Levels of categorization
- Basic: is the one we operate at most often. categories are defined by features that provide enough detail to allow us to treat different members as similar, but without more detail than is often necessary. ex: saw, dogs, chair, drum.
- Subordinated: provides detailed information about specific poritons of a basic category. ex: camping saw, miniature poodle, leather recliner.
- Superordinate: provides general information that captures a wide range of basic categories. ex: tool, pet, furniture.
- Central tendency: averaged category ideal.
- Graded membership: thought of as being better members of the category than are others.
- Family resemblance: category members might not be defined by a single set of featres but different features may be shared among several members.
Artifact vs Natural Kind Categories
- Artifact: things people make.
- Natural kind: things found in nature.
Classical view of Categorization
- Idea that categories are defined by necessary and sufficient features.
- Necessary: those features MUST be there.
- Sufficient: as long as they are present, something is a member of a category, and additional features are irrelevant.
- Categories are determined by a mental representation that is an average of all category members called a prototype which may or may not correspond to an actual entity in the world.
- Provide a clear explanation for the central tendencies of a category and graded category structure.
- The closer it is to the prototype, the better it is a member of the category.
- People use all the category members to make memory decisions.
- Captures the central tendency, graded membership, and family resemblaknce, category size, variability, correlated attributes, etc.
- New experiences have an influence.
- Categories are theories or explanation for why things tend to go together.
- feathers-wings; because feathers are well suited for flying.
Ad hoc categories
categories that are not stored preivously in long-term memory but are generated on the fly in the service of some goal.
Idea that all the members of a category have an underlying essence that people may or may not be aware of.
Problems with categorizing
Stereotypes and prejudice.
- Semantic distance effect.
- Semantic congruity effect.
- Serial position effect.
Semantic distance effect
- People make quicker judgements about the relative order of two items as the distance between them increaces.
- elephant vs rabbit (size)
- dog vs rabbit (size)
Semantic congruity effect
people are faster to make judgements about two items if the valence of the comparison term matches the end of the dimension they are on.
Serial position effect
people are faster to make judgements about two or more items at the extremes of an ordered dimension than those in the middle.
- people respond faster to smaller numbers with teh left hand and larger numbers with the right.
- observed in blind people.
- prominent in people who speak languages that are read from left to right.
- basic information about components of a certain aspect of life and how these parts interact with one another.
- blueprint for events that a person can draw upon to understand specific cases
- Four of them are for encoding; the fifth is for retrieval.
Schema processes: Selection
When people have a schema, they can tell whcih things are likely to be important and which are peripheral.
Schema processes: Abstraction
Involves converting the surface form of information into a more abstract representation that captures the underlying meaning.
Schema processes: Interpretation
- Has a powerful effect on memory.
- People may misremember having encountered things that they only inferred from a schema.
Schema processes: Integration
- In life we usually get information about an event all at once. However, we do come across event description that are given out piecemeal.
- Piecing up information from a story into a common mental representation of the event.
Schema processes: Reconstruction
- Memories are incomplete fragmentary records.
- People fill in the gaps in the memory traces iwht information that has a good chance of being accurate if those gaps contained information that is generally true.
- Type of schema.
- Used when knowledge refers to a common sequence of events.
- Used in a forward order.
- Influence use and retrieval of information.
Finding that people sometimes mistakenly accept incorrect information because it is semantically similar to the correct information, such as saying taht Moses took two animals of each kind on the Ark, wehn it was Noah.
A person's intuitive understanding of the phyical principles of the world.
occur when semantic memories, although based on experience, have somehow been stored incorrectly, such as the errors people make on naïve physics tasks.
- Memory of our life story.
- Narrative character.
- Changes over time and develops.
- Memories that make us unique.
- Woven out of basic knowledge about the events in our lives, along with teh infrerences and interpretations of these events.
Autobiographical memory: semantic or episodic?
- Both. Different from both of them too.
- Different form episodic because of the spanning of multiple events.
- Different from the semantic memory because it's unique for our lives.
Levels of Autobiographical Memory
- event level: specific, individual events.
- general events: extended sequences or repeated series of events, often sharing a common component.
- lifetime periods: theme-based parts of a person's life.
- Episodic memories.
- These are memories for specific, periods of time that involve a common activity occurring at a particular place.
- Most are lost over time, others endure and become important singular memories. Require a special quality.
General Event Memories.
- Intermediate level.
- 2 types: sequecne of events that forms a larger episode and repeating events.
- Integrative and interpretive thinking.
Lifetime Period Memories
- Highest level of the hierarchy.
- Periods of life organized along a common theme: early childhood, education, carrer.
- Give a sense of progression and development of life in the service of various goals or preferences.
Evidence for the hierarchy
This hierarchy is supported by studies of the effectiveness with which people retrieve memories as well as neurological evidence from brain damaged patients who have selective deficits.
Autobiographical memory has story characteristics.
Perspectives in Autobiographical Memory
- Field Memories: memories experienced from our original perspective.
- Observer Memories: we view the event from outside of ourselves and may see ourselves in it.
Factors influencing how a memory is experienced:
- age of the memory: older memories--more likely to be observer memories.
- emotionality of the memory: more emotional memories--more likely to be field memories.
- self-awareness: you're trying to figure out your role in the larger event so it tends to be observer memories.
When you encounter a new event, you first activate the appropriate schema. That schema, or at least the more relevant parts of it, will be the basis for your event memory. This schema helps reduce the need to actively think about and process every little detail. "tags" are associated with a memory trace to denote the important things that are inconsistent with the schema, thereby making the memory unique.
Increased focus on details in emotional memories.
General bias of autobiographical memory
Remember positive memories.
Autobiographical memory is guided
more by the intensity of teh emotions than their valence.
Involuntary memories that are emotionally negative that may take a pathological bent.
- Difficulty remembering life events from the period of infancy.
- Earliest memory: 2-4yo.
Causes of Infantile Amnesia
- Psychodynamic View: Freud; incestual thoughts are taboo, so to protect ourselves from this threatening and horrible knowledge about ourselves, our subconscious blocks from consciousness all memories from this time.
- Neurological Development: Undeveloped hippocampus at birth (creating new memories), less developed frontal lobes (linking abilities); underdeveloped ability to consolidate memories.
- Schema Organization: young children tend to focus on inappropriate aspects of an event; as schemas become more developed, people have difficulty retrieving the prior memoies that were formed with the old schemas.
- Language Development: reflection of an inability to organize information into a coherent life narrative, which can be used to help retrieval. memories appear to stay nonverbal, which makes them more difficult to retrieve.
- Emergent Self: removal of infantile amnesia is a function of a person developing a sense of self as a unique and an identifiable entity. newborns infants lack a clear sense of self as a unique and an identifiable entity.
- Multicomponent Development: Idea that there are a number of memory abilities that emerge to bring about autobiographical memory.
A bump in a memory curve reflecting an increase in memory reports from the period between ages 15 and 25.
Causes for the Reminiscence Bump
- Cognitive mechanisms: uniqueness of initial experiences.
- Neurological changes: neurological peak
- Identity formation: development of one's self identity.
- Cultural schemas: prior knowledge of how life is supposed to go.
- Highly detailed memories for the events of learning highly surprising and significant news.
- Remarkably resistan to forgetting.
Major factors in the creation of a flashbulb memory
- emotional feeling state.
- affective attitude.
- overt rehearsal.
- event memory.