Cognitive Psychology Psy3120

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  1. What did Brown and Peterson's research teach us about STM?
    • Brown and Peterson showed that participants forget even a very small amount of information over a very short delay if they are distracted.  The task they used is somewhat similar, so it is called the Brown-Peterson task.  The task worked like this.  The participant heard a trigram of three consonants such as TPW and then a three-digit number like 529.  The participant's task was to immediately start counting backward by threes, beginning with the three-digit number (529,526,523, and so on).  After some delay (between 0 and 18 s), the experimenter stopped the participant's counting and asked him or her to report what the three consonants were.  The point of the backward counting was to prevent the participant from rehearsing the letters.  
    • Three letters are well witin the primary memory capacity of most participants, so when the delay was 0 s, participants were nearly 100% correct. But if the participant counted backward for 18 s, recall dropped to around 10%
  2. What is Collins and Quillians hierarchical theory?
    • Memory is composed of two basic elements nodes and links
    • Nodes represent concepts such as red, candy bird, president, and so on.  Nodes have levels of activation, meaning that they have some level of energy or excitement.  In practical terms, nodes become active when the concept they represent is present in the environment. 
    • Links represent relationships between concepts, such as "has this property" or "is an example of." Links in a hierarchical memory structure connect nodes and can provide property descriptions of concepts.  
    • An important characteristic of the model is property inheritance.  Moving down the hierarchy from animal to bird to chicken, we see that concepts inherit properties from the concepts above them in the hierarchy.  Hence, an animal is a type of living thing, so it inherits the properties of living things.
    • The principle of cognitive economy refers to designing a cognitive system in a way that conserves resources.  Yet, this principle does not appear to be true in the brain, at least not the way Collins and Quillian implemented it.
  3. Eyewitiness testimony: know the research on how it can be impaired and the research that gave us this knowledge.
    • Research was recalling car accident and the differences of details between participants 
    • Providing misleading information will frequently lead to false memories and participant can be quite confident about their accuracy.  The effect is usually stronger with a longer delay, and more often works with peripheral details of an event, rather than the central features.  
    • There are two broad classes of false memory.  One type occurs because the memory system includes prior knowledge in a memory so one "remembers" something that never happened.  The second type occurs because the participant misremembers the source of a memory.
  4. What is the serial position curve and what does it tell us about memory?
  5. What is semantic priming?
    Semantic priming indicates that activation passes between nodes.  Participants are shown two letter strings and must push one button if both are words and another button if one or both are nonwords. When both letter strings are words, response times are faster when the words are semantically related (doctor-nurse) than when they are not (radio-nurse).  A straightforward interpretation is that when participants saw the word doctor, the node representing the concept became active and immediately passed activation to all semantically related concepts, including nurse.  When participants read the word nurse, the concept representing it was already somewhat active so it was easier for them to identify the word.
  6. In semantic priming tasks, why is the manipulation of expectancy important?
    Semantic Priming indicates that activation passes between nodes.  Participants are shown two letter strings and must push one button if both are words and another button if one or both are nonwords. When both letter strings are words, response times are faster when the words are semantically related (doctor-nurse)
  7. What are the Seven Sins of Memory (supplemental reading)
    • Transience-  The tendency to lose access to information across time, whether through forgettin, interference, or retrieval failure
    • Absent Mindedness-Everyday memory failure in remembering information and intended activities, probably caused by insufficient attention or superficial automatic processing during encoding
    • Blocking- Temporary retrieval failure or loss of access, such as the tip-of-the-tongue state, in either episodic or sematic memory. 
    • Misattribution-Remembering a fact correctly from past experience but attributing it to an incorrect source of context.
    • Suggestibility- The tendency to incorporate information provided by others into your own recollection and memory representation
    • Bias-The tendency for knowledge, beliefs, and feelings to distort recollection of previous experiences and to affect current and future judgments and memory.
    • Persistence- the tendency to remember facts or events, including traumatic memories that one would rather forget, that is, failure to forget because of intrusive recollections and rumination
  8. What role does the amygdala play in learning?
    • Near the center of the brain, appears to be crucial for identifying that something emotional is happening and then coordinating modulation of neurotransmitters and hormones, which in turn have the effect of recruiting neural systems to respond, including the memory system.  
    • Neuroscientific studies support this crucial role for the amygdala in emotional memory.
  9. What are mnemonic devices and how do they help memory?
    Mnemonic devices are techniques a person can use to help them improve their ability to remember something. In other words, it's a memory technique to help your brain better encode and recall important information.
  10. Know Neely's work on automatic spreading activation and short and long SOAs
  11. What are schemata?
    Schema is a memory representation containing general information about an object or an even .  It contains information representative of a type of event rather than of a single event. 
  12. What is the main purposes of short term memory?
    Information in short-term memory decays after approx 30s unless it is rehearsed.
  13. Based on what you have read about memory and forgetting, what are they best way to study for a test?
    • Chunking, 
    • Deep processing- greater degrees of semantic involvement.
    • Shallow Processing- thinking about surface characteristics of the stimulus
  14. How do we forget? (The text suggests several ways... know the basics of each)
    • Proactive interference- occurs when older learning interferes with new learning
    • Retroactive interference- later learning interferes with earlier learning

    • Occlusion- makes it seem as if the memory is hidden or covered by another memory.  tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon occurs when you are certain you know a concept but cannot think of the proper term for it.
    • Unlearning- the weakening of the association between a cue and a target due to new learning- is usually believed to occur because a cue is practiced with a new target.  Intrusions. 
    • Decay- theory of forgetting proposes that the link between a cue and a target memory spontaneously decays over time
    • Changes in target memory----  two situations where this happens.  Inhibition- could suppress the unwanted competing memories to keep them from being retrieved instead of the target memory.  Inhibition dampens the undesired memories and allows the desired memory to be retrieved.  Controlled retrieval - when a person actively tries not to think about something.  
    • Repression- is the active forgetting of an episode for the sake of self-protection.
  15. What is the difference between availability and accessibility?
  16. What is episodic memory?  What causes memory failures in episodic memory?
    • Episodic memory is associated with a particular time and place.  Episodic memories are also associated with a "this happened to me" feeling' there is a personal quality to the act of remembering. 
    • Episodic is more often associated with the right frontal activity.  
  17. What is typicality effect?
    • Typicality refers to the fact that not all exemplars are equally good members of a category. 
    • Smith, Shoben, and Rips showed that people are more efficient in categorizing typical examples than atypical examples. 
    • This effect of typicality on categorization is also observed when participants are asked to freely generate examples of a category.  The central finding is that most frequently generated exemplars are the ones that are rated as most typical of the category
    • Typicality also makes a difference in how people use concepts in reasoning.  When confronted with a new feature whose distribution is not known, participants assume that it is distributed in the same way as other features; if a typical instance has the feature, it's likely that the other instances of the category have the feature. 
  18. Remember to watch "What Jennifer Saw" and know what happened and what it tells us about memory
  19. What is autobiographical memory and what brain region is primarily associated with its formation?
  20. Have a basic understanding of the different models of spreading activation.
    • Collins and Loftus.
    • This is another network model consisting of nodes and links but now the links represent associations between semantically related concepts.  
    • First, allows the retrieval of properties
    • Second, the model allows content-addressable storage
    • Third, typicality grows naturally out of the model.
    • Fourth, the model naturally creates default values that a variable or an attribute takes in the absence of any other information.
    • Fifth, spreading activation models are resistant to faulty input.

    • repetition priming effects indicate that activation of nodes lasts an hour or more and that this activation is measurable.
    • Semantic priming, indicates that activation passes between nodes.  
  21. What did Sperling conclude from his partial report technique?
    • Sperling reasoned that participants must have been equally prepared to report any of the three rows because they couldn't know which row they would have to report.  
    • Sperling reasoned that the percentage of the row participants got correct was a good estimate of their knowledge of the entire array.  (75% correct)  Sperling inferred that they knew 75% of the full array, or 9 items.  Thus, the full report indicates that the span of apprehension is 4 items, but the partial report procedure indicates that it is 9 items.
    • stimuli enters a large-capacity of iconic memory from which the contents decay rapidly.
  22. What are the components associated with the model of working memory? What is the basic function of each component?
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    • The three storage buffers are called slave systems because they do the central executive's bidding, and each stores a different type of information.
    • The phonological loop stores auditory information.  two components: phonological store (holds about 2 s of auditory information) and articulatory control process (talking to yourself-articulation.) 
    • the visuospatial sketchpad stores visual information,
    • the episodic buffer stores information in a multimodal code (a code that can represent visual, auditory, or semantic information, and possibly others.) It is where different types of information can come together to be manipulated to solve problems. 
    • The central executive doesn't store anything-it directs the activities of other components.
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Cognitive Psychology Psy3120
psy3120 Exam3
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