- Something in primary memory has never left consciousness and is part of the psychological present
- Holds only a few items and for only a few seconds
example - You just learned about cats, this should now be in the forefront of your memory
Secondary memory (James)
- 1890 – Unconsciousness – you have to think about it and pull the info out
- Something has been absent from consciousness and therefore belongs in the psychological past
example - Dr. Andrews asks you to think of what was discussed in your last class
- Outlines of general knowledge that are stored in semantic memory. Schemas, also called scripts, scenes or frames, are ways of organizing knowledge. Often hypothesized to have a hierarchical structure, with packets of information stored at each level. Alba and Hasher (1983) said there are several ways a schema can influence what is learned in a given situation (selection, storage, abstraction, retrieval, normalization)
example - Restaurant script - enter (enters, looks for table, sits down); ordering (looks at menu, signals server, orders food); etc…
- How effective we believe our memory will be in a given situation
- Judgments about how effectively we think our memory will function in a particular situation
example - If I constantly forget names, I should correctly believe that I have a name-memory problem
example - Can be assessed through self-report inventories
- Refers to our knowledge about learning and memory. It includes our estimates about the difficulty of learning certain materials, which strategies we think will be most useful, monitoring our progress during learning, awareness of what we know and do not know, and beliefs about how our own memories differ from memory in general. The study of what a person knows about and how he or she remembers
example - I am aware that I don’t know these words for the exam, therefore I am going to focus on studying them
example - Usually assessed by self-report questionnaire – like the pink quiz we took in class
- Meaningful words are ones having some combinations of the following - a high frequency occurrence in language and print, easily pronounced, have many associations to other items, and are more imagable
example - A meaningful word could be the word “cat” because it has all the characteristics listed above. The word “syncytial” may not be a meaningful word to the general population because it requires domain-specific knowledge (medical knowledge or experience with the disease) to have meaning
- Used through reading, listening, or watching signed symbols, takes time. The first words and phrases of a sentence need to be remembered until the en of the sentence produced in order to comprehend the entire thought of the speaker or writer.
example - Suzy refused to eat her peas, so she was sent to bed early. – You need to remember the first part of the sentence because then you can apply meaning to understand why she was sent to bed early.
- Processing in which to-be-remembered material is related to other information. An active and deliberate attempt to cognitively interact with, reflect on or use the to-be-remembered information
- Expanding newly formed memory traces. Something is remembered better if it can be related to other known facts. Elaborated traces have more connections or associations to other memories. This increases the number of possible retrieval cues, so elaboration affects both encoding and retrieval. Elaborative processing can be enhanced by using mnemonic devices and/or organization.
example - If you have to remember the word “heart” you might try to think of any associations to the word or any facts you know about aardvarks
- The amount of effort expended that determines retention. It can be measured by the impairment in performance on a second task done simultaneously with a memory task.
example - As a to be remembered list of words is presented, the subject must also push a button every time a tone stimulus sounds. Increasing cognitive effort required in the memory task will lead to a corresponding slowing of reaction time to the tone
- Abstract words refer more to ideas
example - The word “fact” – this is not a word that is tangible or objective, rather it is more of an idea
example - “Love”
- Many variables depend on if a witness will be accurate in remembering the crime or accident. Emotional arousal may lead to focusing and retention of central details, but poorer retention for peripheral and unattended details. A traumatic experience may also produce retrograde or anterograde amnesic effects (or both) so that certain details will be forgotten due to their temporal placement relative to a startling event.
example - An examples of the emotional arousal done by Loftus, Loftus and Messo (1987) - victims or witnesses are more likely to focus attention on a weapon than other details of the situation, such as the description of the perpetrator
- Studies show that when a person who is in deep sleep (REM), things are less likely to be recalled (participants scored a little higher than chance when asked the next day what they learned). However, some forms of learning do occur during sleep. Simple classical conditioning and habituation have been demonstrated to occur in sleeping animals and humans. What about dreams? One theory states that dreams are briefly retained in STM, but in the absence of sufficient arousal, the dream is not encoded into LTM. However, it could also be because the dream wasn’t meaningful, not logically organized, etc…
example - A study by Emmons and Simon (1956) presented a 10-word list of 46 items during the night to participants in deep sleep. The next day they were given a five question multiple choice quiz and were asked to circle the words they recognized from last night. Twenty-five percent of the target words were circled, compared to the chance level of 20%.
- Cramming – a lot information in a short amount of time versus distributed practice over a longer period of time
example - Studying for a final only starting the night before the exam or reviewing notes and information every day for a week or more prior to the exam
- A man who has brain injury and was impaired in the immediate recall of auditory information. He has limited STM, often restricted to recalling a single item in the Brown-Peterson distractor task. Nevertheless, he can learn and retain LTM at normal rates. If a 10-word list was repeated until memorized perfectly, he learned just as quickly as normal control participants. He was able to learn a list of 1o-word pairs showing no difference from unimpaired subjects. He shows a disassociation between poor performance on STM tasks and normal performance LTM tasks.
- May have impaired verbal STM, learning to poor distractor recall. But he may have a normal visual-spatial STM. His inability to verbally rehearse might be compensated for by processing in the visual-spatial modality as an alternative route into LTM
- Is grossly impaired on memory span and distractor tasks, particularly verbal
- Suffers from injury on the border between the temporal and parietal lobes on the left hemisphere. Led to the naming of a “short-term memory” syndrome, referring specifically to impaired auditory-verbal STM
Example - In the Brown-Peterson distractor task the researcher would give K.F. two numbers (4 and 7). K.F. would recall the 4 but not the 7.