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Study Guide for Exam One

by: Grace Gibson

Study Guide for Exam One 3330

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This is the study guide for the first exam. This is based off the lecture, not the book.
Cognitive Psychology
Dr. Alley
Study Guide
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This 15 page Study Guide was uploaded by Grace Gibson on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to 3330 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Alley in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 96 views. For similar materials see Cognitive Psychology in Psychlogy at Clemson University.


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Date Created: 02/03/16
Cognitive Psychology  the study of how people learn, structure, store, and use knowledge  the study of how our brains work  the study of attention, perception, memory, psycholinguistics, decision making, problem- solving, and other higher mental processes  mainly how we use our brain in everyday, ordinary, and commonplace mental activities  example: we had to remember where and how to get to class and how to get there at what History of Cognitive Psychology  questions about cognition have been central to philosophy since ancient times  e.g. once you learn something, how do you remember it? how do you figure stuff out? how do you know parallel lines never meet?  many of the first known scientific studies in psychology concern cognition  psychology is a very recent science  since psychology is a science, it is different from philosophy  Dondes, Wundt, and Ebbinghaus are some of these early psychologists  Wundt’s lab (technically the University of Leipzig) was often considered to represent the birth of psychology as its own discipline  Wundt was largely doing cognitive psychology  the rise of behaviorism, which attempted to restrict psychology to observable behavior, impeded cognitive psychology o psychology might have sort of started as cognitive psychology (studying memory or perception or something) but it almost got snuffed out by behaviorism o behavior wants us to only study things that are observable but attention, memory, and decision making are not always (rarely) observable o Watson made behaviorism famous and infamous by studying the psychology of sex with his grad students o the rigorous methods of behaviors put off the rise of cognitive psychology and led to its decline o behaviorism eventually loses its hold on psychology around WWII and up into the seventies o when it came to military scouting and things, they found it was very easy for someone to be looking at a screen and appear to be observant, but they’re not actually paying attention at all so the military did do some cognitive studies  reasons behaviorism lost its hold on psychology: o in 1948 Tolman, mainstream behaviorist, found that spatial behaviors are due to cognitive maps rather than learned sequences of behavior  he was doing studies of learning in rats  he eventually realizes we can’t understand how rats are learning just by observing them  clearly the rats are forming some sort of internal representation to solve the maze  he noticed the rats could jump up and go in a straight line and jump down to where the prize was  they didn’t just learn the sequence of behaviors it took to solve the maze; they formed a cognitive map o in 1959 Chomsky found that language learning is not a matter of reinforcement and punishment, as claimed in Skinner’s Verbal Behavior  Chomsky did a book review of Skinner’s book on language and pointed out some flaws in the logic behind language learned just through observation  we know language is not just learned by observation because kids say things they’ve never heard, they use incorrect grammar, etc… o in 1961 Breland’s Misbehavior of Organisms stated that behavior reflects evolution, not simply learning or reinforcement  realizes behaviorism doesn’t always work to train animals  this paper was written by Skinner’s students  behavior reflects evolution; not simply learning or reinforcement  there was a commercial where they wanted a raccoon to put money in a piggy bank  they didn’t anticipate any trouble but the rat wouldn’t let go of the coin  washing the coins like they wash their food because they were associating their money with food o in the 1950s the development of the information processing approach arose and they started to consider computers as “thinking machines  cognitive psychologists were quick to note that computers were a lot like people in some ways  they really thought we were like physiological computers  the decline of behaviorism and computers led to the cognitive revolution  behaviorism really died out because they insisted on limiting psychology to observable behaviors  1955 was the beginning of the Cognitive Revolution (really throwing out behaviorism and embracing cognition)  Neisser wrote the first textbook on Cognitive Psychology o this was a momentous event because he really reshaped the field of psychology by bringing together what were previously just different areas of experimental psychology (memory, logic, perception, etc…) 1980’s to Present  a cognitive approach comes to dominate psychology o social cognition is the most common area of social psychology o cognitive therapy is part of clinical psychology  development of connectionist (PDP) models and cognitive neuroscience o what happens if we do brain scans of people trying to get their way through a maze? (stuff like that)  gradual replacement of the IP approach with ideas of embodied cognition and evolutionary psychology (drawing parallels between how the brain and basic computers work) The Information Processing Approach  psychologists generally used a serial computer analogy and made these assumptions: o serial processing o limited capacity of CPU (central processing device that could do only one thing at a time) o computers can’t do an infinite amount of material in a short time (we can’t read and have a conversation) o output of one stage serves as the input for the next stage o passive reception of information  computers could play chess and beat just about anybody which seems like high level processing  so we made analogies between humans and computers to try and understand our brains  our goal was to analyze the sequence of distinct steps (stages) used in cognition  we used a lot of flowcharts to do this  however, humans aren’t mechanical devices and it is clear that we are capable of doing more than one thing at a time Reaction and Response Time (RT)  RT is a common way to study cognitive psychology (seeing how fast we react to a stimulus)  a difference in RT could be important  a consistent difference in RT reflects a difference in cognitive processing  commonly assumed that if RT takes longer, it is more difficult or takes more cognitive steps  the time required for a particular process can be estimated by adding that process to a task and measuring the increase in RT o this is called Donders’ subtractive method o with this we can measure how long it takes to do a mental task  simple RT vs. choice RT o in choice RT, one must respond differently to two or more different things o Donders predicted that choice RT would take longer than simple RT because it’s another step in cognitive processing  why would it take more or less time to answer certain questions? o we might be primed for questions we already know more about o we don’t want the priming effect to play a role, so we mix up when we ask the questions o some of this has to do with how we organize information in the brain Five Key Distinctions in Cognitive Psychology 1. Serial vs. Parallel Processing a. serial processing is doing one thing at a time b. parallel processing means two things that can be done at the same time c. it can be difficult to differentiate between task-switching and simultaneous processing (we may appear to do more than one thing when we are actually switching between tasks very quickly) d. we might be doing one task while doing another impaired one 2. Intentional (fully conscious) vs. Automatic Processes . for example, playing an oboe vs. reading a word a. intentional processing requires attention and effort b. automatic is like driving a long time on the interstate 3. Data-Driven vs. Conceptually-Driven processes . also called bottom up vs. top down processing a. data driven is based on what we observe (determined by sensory processes and current inputs) b. conceptually driven is what we have in our head (understanding or perception is guided by stored knowledge such as memory or other internal events such as explanations and concept c. reading is a great example of data driven processing; but even reading is not fully bottom up (nobody noticed what a word was misspelled on the powerpoint) 4. Tacit (hidden) vs. Explicit Knowledge . explicit knowledge is knowledge we can tell to someone a. tacit (hidden or implicit) knowledge is the stuff we cannot describe like recognizing faces or tying your shoe b. much but not all procedural knowledge is tacit c. behavior often reflects unspoken, or even misspoken knowledge 5. Cognition vs. Metacognition . metacognition: the knowledge and beliefs about cognition, including awareness, understanding, and monitoring of one’s own cognitive state and cognitive activities a. we have theories and beliefs about our own cognitive processes b. e.g. we know we are more likely to remember five numbers than eighteen and we think we know how we’d remember them too c. kids’ memories aren’t faulty or bad, it’s just that they don’t know that repeating data points over and over helps you remember them (metacognition) d. an example of metacognition could be recognizing that you don’t know something in class as well as you should Themes in Cognitive Psychology (see more in the textbook)  cognition is active (e.g. we selectively seek out information) o humans and animals don’t just lie about and wait for information to come to us  the cognitive processes are remarkably efficient and accurate o on the whole, humans are pretty good at cognition o we are fairly accurate and don’t make many errors or mistakes  cognition has been shaped by evolution o without our memories and attention and what not, we would not be as likely to survive and reproduce  positive information is easier to deal with than negative information o what is vs. what is not o we are more likely to notice if something appears than is something is missing (perception)  Cognitive processes are interrelated and highly interdependent o attention, memory, language, and perception are all being used taking notes in class  cognition uses both top down and bottom up processing Object and Pattern Recognition: Two Theories Template Matching Models  this theory claims you compare a stimulus with a set of specific templates in memory  templates are a pattern that you can match things up to it  templates are sort of like copies  for example, we recognize the letter “S” because we have a model or template in our brain of an S and so we can match it up to it  we can see this more in computer systems than in biological systems (brains) o ex. bank machines know exactly what and where to read on checks o this is too inflexible for complex perception in animals o even if the shape is correct, you won’t be able to get a match if they aren’t the:  same size  same orientation (alignment)  same configuration (think about how there’s a lot of different fonts for the letter S) o there would have to be a huge memory load of templates o if we did have this huge memory load, we would have to search through all of them  we can still recognize complete figures such as an “S” that’s partially blocked Feature Analysis Theory  also Feature Detection Theory  there are four major steps: o Register sensory input o Detect features such as lines and curves, open or closed o Compare detected features to stored information in your memory  e.g. the letter S has curved lines, straight line, etc… o decide on the best match  letters have distinct features which means every letter in the alphabet has a unique pattern of features that your brain can run through and recognize  there can be some confusion errors people can make between two letters that have similar features (such as C and G)  these confusion errors means we can predict the type of mistakes people are going to make  some researchers were trying to figure out what the visual cortex was doing during this o they discovered there are neurons that detect features (“feature detectors”) o the only way to get these neurons to respond is to show them a certain line or something that they recognize o so the brain does have wiring to recognize objects  you can predict people’s performance nicely based on this theory  in a set of letter sets, we don’t need to look at every letter in the set to know there isn’t a certain in it  if you’re looking for a friend in a crowd, you don’t have to look closely at every face  there are several problems with this theory: o this is strictly a bottom-up theory, but top-down processing is important o pieces of a visual display may not be adequate  you may need to see the whole configuration (gestalt) o Complexity Effects: it’s easier to see something more accurately when you’re looking at something complex  word superiority effect: letters are identified more quickly and accurately when they appear as part of a word (your task is to identify an individual letter and you can speed up by presenting words you are familiar with)  this tells us that we are able to work on the processing of more than one letter at a time  we can parallel on a whole pattern even though we’re focused on just one part of it o Context effects such as spatial context: other things in the same area can affect what you see (13 can look like B when surround by A and C)  perceptual set: a readiness to perceive things in a certain way, usually due to expectations  illusory contours: we can see a shape that isn’t actually there just because there are shapes building it surrounding it o subjective contour: miscellaneous Gestalt (configuration effects)  perceptual organization: all the features are given to you but something else about understanding how they go together to form different objects  figure ground reversal: M.C. Escher’s “Sky and Water” or the black and white images (is it a vase or two faces looking at each other?)  ambiguous figures: if there’s an ambiguous figure, some people might see different things  for all these phenomena, markedly different percepts occur in response to the exact same features  holistic and top-down processing occur Attention  attention is conscious, selective, limited  spatial metaphors are common with attention  when we attend to something, it’s lit up with a spotlight and everything else is in the dark  the zoom lens metaphor is maybe better  like a shopper, we may pick objects to attend to Benefits of Attention  Accuracy in perceptual judgements and actions o if you’re attending to something, your speed and accuracy will improve o think about driving a car o you are more likely to hit the brakes when needed if you are attending to the right region when you’re driving  speed of perceptions and actions  conscious retrieval of memories, although some skills and information may be acquired from memory without attention or awareness What gets our attention  we might look at what’s moving or what stands out  attention shifting is often involuntary  goal-directed selection is top-down, central processing that deploys your attention to specific objects or spatial regions o it’s intentional o “class, pay attention please” o it’s pretty hard for someone to pay attention like this for the entirety of an hour long class o voluntary and requires effort o can have a relatively long duration o required for vigilance which is sustained attention in monitoring low-frequency events like military guard o featural distinctiveness helps (if we are trying to follow a football game, it is easy to follow someone specific if they’re the only ones wearing pink shoes)  stimulus-driven capture is bottom-up, direct processing o this is involuntary and requires no effort o you notice moving in the corner of your vision o we might get distracted by this, but we can quickly get our attention back under our control o this can be good (snake in sight) o something abruptly happening can make this happen o we notice things appearing more than we notice them disappearing o distinctiveness will grab your attention o change or abrupt onset of objects will catch our eye Classic Research Methods and Findings Failure of Divided Attention  failures of people to be able to attend to two or more things simultaneously  cocktail party phenomenon: we have the ability to selectively attend to one conversation, but not to several at once  to follow two conversations, you have to attend to one then switch and attend to the other  you’re likely to miss stuff if you do this  people listening to one story while reading another do not comprehend both  so what exactly happens if people are presented with two separate things at the same time?  this question led to the Dichotic Listening Technique (basically we listen to two things at once) o what happens to what they attend to and what happens to what they don’t attend to? o shadowing: they had people repeat exactly what they heard so we could see what they are attending to o if was often easy to shadow one message o couldn’t follow one or two messages presented to the same ear if presented with the same voice and loudness o they could report almost nothing about the unattended, unshadowed messages o they couldn’t report a word that was repeated thirty five times in the unattended message o they did notice if the sex of the speaker changed or if the voice was changed by a mechanical sound o they didn’t notice language changes o they did often notice their name when said in the unattended message Filter (Bottleneck) Theories of Attention  if you unscrew a bottle upside down, all the water doesn’t come pouring out at once  this theory assumes we have a limited capacity to process (CPU)  Early Selection Models: sensory inputs are selected on the basis of physical properties such as ear location, loudness, or pitch (Broadbent)  we can readily detect the physical properties of these messages so we can block everything out except the one that has the right physical properties  Problems: o how do we switch channels if we’re unaware of the content (meaning) of the unattended inputs? (e.g. we may hear our name in a conversation we’re supposedly ignoring) o we do switch our attention from one thing to another so we must have some idea of another message o words in an unattended message can intrude on a shadowed message if they fit  there are some studies that say we pick up on things in an unattended message  Gray and Wedderburn were grad students who doubted Broadbent’s findings o they did a study sending two messages, one to each ear, that went together (example below) o Left ear: ….sitting at the mahogany three possibilities Right ear: let us look at these table with her head….  they found that people would shift their attention over to the unattended message  how could they know to do that if they aren’t attending to the message?  many new theories propose that we notice stuff going on outside our attention Neisser’s Two Stage Model of Attention  like all contemporary models, it proposed that attention and perception involves both types of processing o preattentive processes are rapid and parallel (we can only really follow one message, but we can do some processing on more messages without really paying attention o attentive processes are controlled and serial (voluntary and we can only direct the attention to one thing at a time Feature Integration Theory  current theory of attention and pattern recognition that involves two successive processes  Feature detection or distributed attention is preattentive processing o an automatic and rapid parallel process of detecting features o certain features (color, orientation, etc…) are more salient than others o supports global attention which is where we can segregate scenes into discrete areas, select targets for later identification, and monitor for salient and unexpected events o doesn’t really require attention because it’s preattentive processing o this helps us know where to go as we shift our attention from one thing to another  Focused Attention or feature integration requires serial processing o this requires more time (conjunctive searches are serial) o required to identify objects and correctly detect combinations of features o can be influenced by stored knowledge (e.g. bananas are yellow)  we can do some preattentive processing, but we will only know which features go together if we really pay attention  how do we know if it’s an apple or an orange?  just knowing something is orange and round does not mean it is an orange  we have to integrate these features  if we just need preattentive processing, we can find something quickly (“find the orange thing”)  but a conjunctive search means we are looking for something with two or more features (“find something orange and round”) More Theories  Pop-out research: targets that differ from surrounding distractors by a single dimension are spotted effortlessly and detection time does not depend on the number of distractors o dimensions they can differ on include color, orientation, direction of lighting, etc… o featural searches: as we increase the number of objects, the reaction time does not go up o conjunctive searches: as we increase the number of objects, the reaction time does go up  Illusory conjunction: result of inefficient attention o also called binding problem o someone someone might mistakenly think that two things go together that don’t actually go together says we see several things but without focusing on them completely we don’t know which of them go together so we put to two together that don’t actually go together o e.g. a brief display XYZ may lead to a report of X or Z o focused attention is required to bind together an object’s features so this is a result of inefficient attention o illusory conjunctions can reflect top-down processing (e.g. you see what you expect to see) Inattentional Blindness: unattended events/objects are not consciously noticed  Neisser and Becklen showed simultaneous, superimposed videos  this is a visual counterpart to the dichotic listening videos  e.g. there are two different groups passing two different balls around; how many times did one group pass their ball? o no one noticed the gorilla walking though o people could follow one thing but not both of them  this isn’t because they are inattentive; they are just paying attention to something specific  this is called inattentional blindness because you’re perfectly alert and it’s right in front of you, but you don’t notice it  unattended events often go unnoticed (auditory or visual)  people might be very unaware of the limitations they have in attention Change Blindness (p. 76)  first discovered with slide projectors  example: when brief blanks are placed between alternating displays of an original and a changed scene, identification of the change is very difficult even when a large change is repeatedly shown o also shown for changes that occur during a saccade  a gradual change in a scene is often missed unless you just happen to have your attention at the right place at the right times  visual perception of change in a scene occurs only when focused attention is given to the part being changed  people can be unaware of major changes that occur during a blink of an eye, an eye movement, or some other distracting event  saccade: eyes move so fast that you are effectively blind for a moment while you move them  blindness may be greatest at the center of gaze o a.k.a these types of blindness might be worse at the center of your vision  we may be overconfident in tasks monitored by humans  without focusing your attention on something, you won’t notice changes or even basic features Attentional Blink  when two targets are presented in rapid sequence, later targets are often missed  detecting and noting the first target can temporarily preempt awareness for other targets  e.g. they flash a bunch of letters and ask you to look for R then C; you might see the R, but then miss the C  this may explain accidents in tasks involving rapid sequencing monitoring o e.g. driving, flying, quality control… o maybe they notice the traffic light above them and don’t notice the brake lights of the car in front of them Mindless Reading: reading without paying attention Divided Attention and Dual Task Performance  we often seem able to do two things at once in everyday life o e.g. listen while taking notes  or in certain occupations o e.g. singing while playing keyboard, sign language interpreters  however, lab studies typically indicate performance problems o e.g. texting and driving  pseudo multitasking: rapid switching of attention  performance decrements may not be noticed on the everyday basis  in the lab, there is limited practice (if any) on the things they are asking you to divide your attention between  in a study, college students were asked to read while writing down spoken words o if our attention was properly divided, they would be able to read and write the words just like they normally would o initially, there was a lower reading speed and illegible handwriting o six week later after 29 hours of practice, there was a usual reading speed (with good comprehension) and better handwriting, but they couldn’t recall most dictated words o after more practice (85 sessions), there was better word recall and an ability to categorize dictated words or write the category of a word rather than the word itself  controlled tasks; we must pay attention if we are to execute them properly o most tasks are controlled  many well-practiced skills are automatic o automatic skills: highly autonomous; they seem to require no effort or attention to be executed o e.g. listening to the teacher or reading words  stroop effect: you are supposed to read the color of the word, not the word itself  the stroop effect is when we automatically read the word up there; we naturally do that and it appears to require no attention or effort  this could be good because if we don’t need attention for things we are well practiced at, it frees up attention for other things o once you know how to dribble a basketball, figuring out where to pass and shoot is easier  skills may not become completely automatic; thus they will continue to be a burden in dual or multi-task situations  the study of divided attention has concentrated on dual-task performance, in which the ability to perform two tasks together is studied under various conditions  such studies have found three main factors that affect dual-task performance o Practice: without practice, dual-task performance isn’t going to happen unless it’s really trivial (chewing gum while walking) o Task similarity: dual-task performance is greatly improved when the two tasks are dissimilar (different sensory modalities  e.g. talking and driving  e.g. making an alarm auditory and visual o Task difficulty: in general, as the task gets more and more difficult you will be less able to combine it with other tasks General Conclusions about Attention  Selective Attention: we often have no memory for ignored stimuli when the selection criterion is an easily discriminable physical attribute o e.g. pitch or location o difficulty of selection depends on discriminability o unattended stimuli are not fully analyzed  Divided Attention: parallel capacity seems possible in some circumstances, such as visual search for targets that differ from non-targets on a simple featural dimension o e.g. color o capacity limits are evident when a task requires complex or difficult discriminations o detection of a target impairs one’s ability to detect other targets for a short time thereafter The Cognitive Unconscious  some cognition occurs without conscious awareness  Blindsight: vision without awareness o damage to the visual cortex leads to the belief that one cannot see part of all of the visual field, yet they are able to respond at above average chance levels when faced with visual tests  e.g. a guy was asked to guess if and X or O was being shown on a screen and he guessed with higher accuracy than by chance  the conclusion is that the guy can actually see, but something within his consciousness makes him believe he cannot see  Automatic processes: we’ve already discussed this; automatic responses  Implicit Learning: implicit knowledge can be acquired without a conscious attempt to learn and largely without explicit knowledge about what is learned o e.g. someone with amnesia is asked to get a cup and even though they suffer from amnesia, they are still able to go to the correct place to get the cup  Subliminal Perception: behavioral and psychological processes can be influenced by stimuli below threshold awareness o e.g. responses in some dichotic listening tasks such as saying bank in one ear  this could either be referring to a river bank or money bank  the terms being heard in the other ear influence what “bank” the listener thinks of o e.g. very brief, low intensity stimuli or masked stimuli  priming can happen even if primers and unknown  if you flash a picture of a bird so quickly on the screen that the participant is not aware they have actually seen a picture of a bird o e.g. effects seem limited to weak but there’s a significant change in arousal, positive or negative effect, and other non-specific responses o e.g. subliminal perception of complex messages such as messages hidden in rock music when listened to backwards Memory  Acquisition/Encoding: placed in memory  Retention/Storage: retained in memory  Retrieval: stored memory found as needed Types of Memory Tasks  Explicit/Declarative: concerns facts and experiences and can be recalled by conscious effort and reported verbally o Recall  Free (clustering) vs. serial (any order vs. exact order)  Cued (probed) vs. Uncued (given hints vs. no hints)  clustering: subjectively reorganized o Recognition: present the information the person is supposed to know (e.g. multiple choice tests) o Relearning: measure savings in time or trial for re-mastery  Implicit Memory: memories without awareness o previous experience influences performance on tasks that do not require and may not have explicit memory o e.g. sentence completion tasks: increased use of specific words as a result of recent exposure Ebbinghaus was the first person to really study human memory  first scientific studies on memory  he did a massive amount of research where he just tested himself over and over again  but he did discover several fundamental things about memory  he invented the idea of nonsense syllables o you can’t associate nonsense syllables with something you already know o there’s nothing special about these lists of syllables, so they can easily be generalized to other things  he went over these nonsense syllables over and over again until he had them down perfectly  he tested relearning by seeing how long it took him to have it all memorized again after he had completely mastered it  he had rigid control over the experiment, but people said he simplified it too much  the problem with these studies is that most of the stuff we keep in memory is meaningful  Results: o a short list can be mastered in one trial (this went against what behaviorism said because there was no reinforcement or repetition required) o spacing effect: increased retention from distributed vs. massed studying  if you try and memorize things over time you’ll memorize it better than studying in a short time  the memory will last better if you space it out rather than cramming o Forgetting curve: increased retention interval leads to less retention but decreasing rate of forgetting  as the retention interval goes up (period between experiencing something and trying to remember it), you don’t remember as much  you also forget things at a much more rapid rate right after you learn them  as time goes on, the time it takes you to forget things slows down  this is good because if we lost memory that quickly consistently, all human memory would be gone pretty quickly Traditional Theories of Memory Stage Theory  persistence of memories depends on which memory “store” is used  this is an information processing approach  most models include two or three stages: sensory, short term, and long term  sensory memory: this is modality specific (e.g. iconic or echoic) o we hold this for a really limited period of time o it’s just sensory information coming in o our senses provide us with all sorts of information but it won’t get registered until we attend to it and then it is sent to short term memory o sensory memory is very fragile and brief (can be less than a second) o iconic memory is visual sensory memory  incredibly brief duration (200-400 ms)  required for matching information received from different eye fixations  this is required to process information that we’re getting from our different eye fixations  if we had no memory for what we’re seeing right now, we would be super confused every time we blink o echoic memory: auditory sensory memory  duration of about 2.5 seconds  essential for speech perception  critical for us to understand what someone’s talking about  sometimes people start saying things that don’t make sense until they say a little more  so if we couldn’t remember the beginning of what they said, we’d be lost  Short Term Memory (STM): rehearsing memory here makes it stay longer o duration is believed to be 18-25 seconds o capacity is 7ish “chunks” o maintained through rehearsal o retrieval is rapid and fairly immune to retrieval failures  Long Term Memory (LTM): consolidation can take temporary memories and make them more permanent o duration is years or permanent o capacity is unlimited o maintained by use o retrieval is slower and subject to retrieval failures More on Sensory Memory  believed to be the initial repository of information from the senses  this information is either transferred (processed) or erased  early research using “whole report found that we have a span of apprehension of 4-5 letters, but how much can really be seen in an instant? o span of apprehension: about what you can take in in an instant  if we just flash letters in front of people, as soon as we get past four letters, it drops off and almost nobody can get all six seconds  people often claim they saw or heard more than they can report  a grad student came up with the idea that if they can’t report things in time, we should only ask them to report some of the letters  partial report technique: people are just supposed to report some of what they’ve seen o there would be a tone to let them know which row to report o they only gave them the tone to report which row after the display of letters was gone o people would be able to report most or all the letters in their row  the presumption is that they would be able to report the letters in any row if they can do this  for the whole report technique, people were only taking in four letters on average  if we signal them at the exact moment the display goes away, they get a bit more than ¾ of the letters on display  if we delay the reporting by one second, they’re already down to only two letters  we conclude from this that there is a brief form of memory that fades away before we can report it so we are taking in so much more than we can report More Memory Stuffs  recall of short term memory declines quickly without rehearsal  a famous study found that if we put stuff into short term memory and then don’t allow rehearsal, our short term memory only lasts 20-25 seconds  we were given a task of counting backwards by threes in between being given something to remember and having to recall it  since these are numbers and they’re trying to remember letters, they won’t interfere with each other  after only 18 seconds, they’re down to only remembering ten percent  the Serial Position Curve states we have better memory for items at the beginning and end of lists o primacy effect: better memory for things at the beginning of the list  attributed to rehearsal o recency effect: better memory for things at the end of the list (most recent)  suggests a fragile and brief form of memory  short delay causes a loss of information in the short term memory so the last items in the list must be recalled from long term memory o if you make someone wait thirty seconds to recall, they don’t recall the most recent data as well because it is no longer that recent Some Blurry Lines Between STM and LTM  for long term memory, the duration seems to be continuously variable (we remember things for all different durations)  capacity for memory can be variable o memory span appears to go up if the material can be pronounced quickly o with practice, our memory span can improve (our digit span can be greater than 70) o chunking seems to help us remember more than 7 +/- 2 items  e.g. remembering 2016 rather than 2 0 1 6 o rhythmic chunking: just add rhythm to your string of numbers and it helps you remember more better o some people are exceptional at memorizing things like this o the role of rehearsal in consolidation of memories is unclear, but simple rehearsal (repetition) seems to be neither necessary nor sufficient for LTM  evidence does support a distinction between a fragile, temporary active memory and a more permanent memory Working Memory  working memory is a limited capacity, temporary memory system able to simultaneously store and manipulate information  not just a storage system; we can manipulate information we have in there  we often call it activated memory  if we’re trying to remember someone from high school, we “activate” that memory  working memory has a high correlation with IQ  working memory predicts our ability to learn  impaired working memory is correlated with dyslexia and is a major part of cognitive aging effects  there are two independent subsystems of working memory (phonological loop and visuospatial sketch pad) and an executive controller  phonological loop: (subvocal) articulation as in rehearsal o system that allows you to talk to yourself o this is the same system you use to rehearse to remember numbers or something o activates areas of the brain for language o specialized system evolved for language acquisition o memory span: amount one can pronounce, speaking quickly, in 1.5-2 seconds o it is much more accurate to define memory span by the amount we can pronounce in a time rather than the number of items o this holds across age, language, and word length o the words we can say faster, we can rehearse faster and can remember better o people that can talk fast, have more memory o word length effect: memory span tends to decrease as word length increases o acoustic similarity effect: items that sound alike are more likely to be confused or forgotten o articulatory suppression: disrupted by concurrent verbal or vocal activity  really prevents you from remembering  interrupts the phonological loop  also prevents conversion of visual to verbal material  eliminates word length effect and acoustic similarity effect o irrelevant speech effect: immediate recall of short lists of items is impaired by irrelevant speech (and some other sounds) during encoding or retrieval  visuospatial sketch pad: activates the area of the brain for vision o if you meet someone and want to remember them later, the phonological loop won’t be very helpful, but the visuospatial sketch pad will o can hold and manipulate visual and spatial images o disrupted by concurrent visual or spatial activity  Central Executive: this is the controller of working memory o decides which working memory system to send information to o e.g. if we’re driving, that’s very important so it might activate the phonological loop o integrates information from different things and links them to the long term memory


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