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What is mnemonics?

What is mnemonics?


School: Florida International University
Department: Experimental psychology
Course: Cognitive Processes
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: cognitive and Psychology
Cost: 50
Name: Study Guide for Exam 2
Description: Covers chapters 5, 6, and 8, the chapters for the second exam. Based on class lectures and book.
Uploaded: 03/02/2018
5 Pages 122 Views 2 Unlocks

Chapter 5 - Long-Term Memory 

What is mnemonics?

● Long Term Memory ​- long lasting high capacity storage of experiences and information ○ Episodic Memory​ - category of long term memory that focuses on memories of events that happened to you personally

○ Semantic Memory​ - factual knowledge (e.g. knowing that a dog is an animal) ○ Procedural Memory​ - knowledge of how to do something (e.g. how to ride a bike)

● Encoding​ - process of creating new memories

● Retrieval​ - process of locating and accessing information in your memory ● Levels of Processing Approach​ - deep processing (based on meaning) is better than shallow processing (based on physical attributes; e.g. what a word sounds like or how it is typed)

What is a type of schema involving a sequence of ordered events?

○ Distinctiveness​ - stimulus is different from other memories; finding how a certain stimulus such as someone’s name is different from other names involves deep processing

○ Elaboration ​- processing in terms of meaning and related concepts (e.g. when seeing “bird” thinking of some chicken you ate, the bird that just crapped on your car, etc.) Thinking of related concepts forces you to process on a deeper level ○ Rehearsal​ - learning by simple repetition of information

● Encoding Specificity Principle​ - Recall is better if context of encoding matches that of retrieval (e.g. when you forget what you were going to do and you go back to where you were and you suddenly remember because of all the contextual cues from the location where you encoded the memory)

What is metamemory?

Don't forget about the age old question of What are the four beliefs of qadar?

○ State Dependent Learning

■ Mood Congruence - ​related to Specificity Principle: better recall if mood matches during encoding and recall

■ Emotional/Physical State​ - better recall if physical state (e.g. high/not high) is same in encoding and retrieval (e.g. if you come to class high,

make sure to come to the exam high also)

○ Transfer Appropriate Processing​ - matching the method of encoding with the method of retrieval (e.g. if you memorized something by rhyming you would recall it better if given rhyming cues)

● Recall Task​ - reproducing previously learned information (e.g. what does X mean) ● Recognition Task​ - deciding whether something was seen before (e.g. have you seen X before) - more sensitive than recall

● Explicit Memory​ - Conscious, factual memory (e.g. the capital of Hawaii) ● Implicit Memory​ - Unconscious, automatic knowledge based on past experiences (e.g. how to walk)

○ Repetition Priming​ - When exposed to certain stimuli (e.g. “cat”) one is more likely to think of that stimuli in subsequent scenarios where it is cued (e.g. if one saw c_ _ one would think “cat” even though “car, cup, can, etc.” could work) If you want to learn more check out What is a graph that describes the maximum amount of one good produced for every possible level of production of the other good?

● Schema/Scripts​ - collection of expectations based on past experiences ○ When we can apply a schema to a body of information it is easier to remember because it fits the scheme and what does not tends to stand out (e.g. in class the example given of the list of steps to doing laundry which were hard to remember until you knew it was about doing laundry)

● Source Monitoring​ - determining the origin of a memory

○ Cryptomnesia​ - believing material was original when it was actually picked up from external source We also discuss several other topics like Who is mikhail gorbachev?
We also discuss several other topics like What does the supreme court say about guns?

○ Source error can occur when we confuse semantically related information, or if we are cued with suggestions that favor a certain interpretation (e.g. example in class of car crashing speed: how fast were cars going when they smashed vs when they made contact produced different results)

● Reality Monitoring​ - determining whether an event actually occurred ○ False Memory​ - memory for event that never occured

● Flashbulb Memory​ - vivid memory of circumstances during an emotionally arousing event

○ Post Event Misinformation Effect​ - attributing memories created post event about the event to memories created during the event (e.g. confusing facts learned from a movie about 9/11 with your actual experiences during the event) If you want to learn more check out What are the five rules for success?

● Constructivist Approach​ - knowledge is created by integrating new information with previously learned information

○ Our memory is reconstructive​ (i.e. it is affected by current knowledge, bias, etc.)

Chapter 6 - Memory Strategies and Metacognition 

● Memory Strategy ​- process during encoding or retrieval which improves recall ● Distributed Practice Effect​ - memory is best if information is learned over time ○ Desirable Difficulties - created by this effect; creates challenge because some of material is forgotten because of time that passed between learning sessions ● Mnemonics​ - strategies to improve memory; each works because it forces deep semantic thinking (meaning of information)

○ Visualization​ - creating a mental image of what needs to be memorized (e.g. example in class of image of boat in a tree to remember “boat-tree”)

○ Generation Effect​ - Information is retained better if it was generated by the brain instead of read (e.g. Seeing “G_____ Effect” and generating “Generation Effect” helps you remember it better than just reading “Generation Effect” and trying to remember it)We also discuss several other topics like What is the study of magnetic fields whose origin is in specific biological systems?

○ Complex Sentences​ - words placed in detailed sentences are easier to remember (e.g. “dog” is easier to remember with the sentence “The purple dog flew around the sinking yellow moon” than with the sentence “The dog barked”)

○ Self-Reference Effect​ - information is recalled better if it is related to oneself ○ Testing Effect​ - memory of information increases if one is tested on it ● Prospective Memory​ - remembering to do something in the future

○ Absentmindedness ​- failure to remember to do something

■ Can occur because you are using a divided attention task (remembering to do something while doing something else) or because you are relying on

schemas (routines)

● Metacognition​ - thinking about thinking

● Metamemory​ - knowledge and control of one’s memory - not very accurate immediately after learning material because information is still in short-term memory (foresight bias​); after a delay, however, the estimate is more accurate because you are assessing what is in your long term memory

○ Total Time Hypothesis​ - more time → more learning (only true if quality of learning is preserved)

○ Tip of the Tongue Effect​ - knowing a word but not being able to recall it ○ Feeling of Knowing Effect​ - knowing information but not being able to recall it at the moment; you would recognize it if shown

● Metacomprehension​ - knowledge of how well you comprehended something; usually one is overconfident

Chapter 8 - General Knowledge 

● Semantic Memory​ - knowledge about the world (e.g. an apple is a type of fruit); allows you to make inferences

● Episodic Memory​ - autobiographical memory (e.g. “I learned that an apple was a fruit in kindergarten”)

● Category​ - Set of objects that belong together

● Concept ​- mental representation of a physical category

● Prototype Approach

○ Prototype ​- ideal example of category (not a real physical child of the parent category but an imaginary version with all the average features of the category) ○ Typicality effect​ - one can identify items that are closer to a prototype quicker than those that are less prototypical (e.g. you can identify a blue jay as a bird quicker than you could identify an ostrich as a bird)

○ Family Resemblance​ - no one attribute is shared by all exemplars of a category, but each exemplar has at least one attribute in common with some of the others

(e.g. a penguin is still a bird even though it cannot fly because it shares other features of the category such as a beak, wings, etc)

○ Semantic Priming Effect​ - faster response time if item is preceded by an item with similar meaning (e.g. after being primed with the word blue, one could identify a color shown as blue quicker if it were a more typical dark blue than if it were a less prototypical Carolina blue)

● Exemplar Approach

○ Exemplar​ - instance of category (e.g. robin is an exemplar of the bird category) ○ Our concepts of a category are a list of all exemplars of a category; no abstract model

● Comparison of Prototypical and Exemplar Approaches

○ Both models compare stimuli with mental representations

○ Prototype is based on abstract average model of all exemplars

○ Exemplar is just a collection of numerous examples

○ For smaller categories, using the Exemplar approach might be better (e.g. tropical fruits) but for larger categories using the Prototype approach might be more useful because the average representation would help to associate the vast range of exemplars

● Levels of Categorization





Most general, global



Moderately specific



Very specific

Granny Smith apple, Fuji

○ E.g. Furniture (Superordinate) → Chair (Basic) → Lawn Chair (Subordinate) ○ Basic​ level is what we tend to use in everyday conversation

● Semantic Network Models - How Categories are Related (as opposed to models for what belongs in a category (Prototype/Exemplar approaches)

○ Node​ - representation of a concept; activated when you think of a concept ○ Link​ - association between nodes; activated concept spreads to other nodes via links

○ ACT-R Model

■ Proposition ​- smallest unit of knowledge that can be judged true/false ■ Propositional Representation​ - people remember what they understood; not necessarily what they saw or heard

■ Model accounts for the recognition of previously unseen sentences with similar meaning

○ Effect of Repetition Priming ​- activation of single node; long lasting, measurable

○ Effect of Semantic Priming​ - activation passes among nodes and spreads to related topics

○ Parallel Distributed Processing Approach/Connectionism - ​concepts are in the form of networks, not specific locations in the brain

■ Spontaneous Generalization ​- using individual cases to draw inferences about general information (e.g. if you know about poodles, labs, and terriers you can draw the inference that dogs have four legs ); drawing a conclusion about a category

■ Default Assignment​ - inference about a member of a category based on individual cases (e.g. knowing about different types of dogs, you could infer that a hound has 4 legs even if you had never seen one); drawing a conclusion about a specific member of a category

■ Connection Weights​ - connections between elements of brain’s network have different sensitivity levels of activation

■ Graceful Degradation​ - when the brain can only provide partial memory (e.g. Tip of the Tongue Effect)

○ Schemas and Scripts

■ Schema​ - generalized, patterned knowledge of event/person/situation ■ Script​ - type of schema involving a sequence of ordered events ● Life Script​ - List of events that occured in one’s life that one believes are most important (e.g. story of major events in one’s


■ Abstraction​ - storing the meaning of a message but not the exact words ■ Verbatim Memory​ - word for word recall

■ Constructive Approach​ - people combine information from separate sentences to form larger ideas; later they may believe that they have seen the larger complex sentence when in reality it was from processing the smaller sentences together

● False Alarm​ - remembering an item that was not shown

■ Pragmatic Approach​ - the amount of attention given to a message depends on the current goals of a listener; if the message is directly related to a goal one will remember the exact words better

■ Memory Integration​ - pre-existant knowledge can lead to new information being understood in schema-consistent fashion (i.e. seeing new information in light of what you already assume to be true instead of neutrally taking in new information)

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