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Week 3 Notes (Sept 6-8)

by: Becca Sehnert

Week 3 Notes (Sept 6-8) PSYC 460

Becca Sehnert
GPA 3.9

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About this Document

These notes are for Tues and Thurs class. The "r" before indicates Thursday's notes
Human Memory
Dr. Bob Belli
Class Notes
memory, Psychology
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Becca Sehnert on Friday September 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC 460 at University of Nebraska Lincoln taught by Dr. Bob Belli in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 7 views. For similar materials see Human Memory in Psychology at University of Nebraska Lincoln.


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Date Created: 09/09/16
Structure of Autobiographical Memory Types of autobiographical memories Remember a specific episode ▯ Would like for you to write down a specific episode from your past – You will be willing to share in class – That occurred at least 4 years ago – Write between 5-10 sentences. Autobiographical Memory ▯ Memory for information related to one's personal past – Types of autobiographical memories – episodic memory -- memory for a particular episode from one's life that includes imagery and a sense of "reliving;" event specific knowledge – generic memory -- a summarization of similarly occurring events; includes an abstraction of what typically occurs – extended special event -- memory for a well-defined period of a certain type of activity as a whole; relatively short duration – lifetime period -- a major extended period of one's life; relatively long duration 1 Structure of Autobiographical Memory ▯ Hierarchical Thematic and Temporal Structures – Hierarchical ▯ Ordered from top to bottom ▯ Higher order structures (types) are broader and index those that are lower and more focused – Thematic ▯ The memories consist of meanings that differentiate groupings based on themes – Temporal ▯ The memories occur in time ▯ There is a before, and there is an after (a beginning and an end) ▯ There is duration or extension Conway’s Structure Hierarchical Thematic and Temporal Structures ▯ Lifetime Periods – Long-term extended event ABM structures – Thematic divisions of one’s autobiography – Tied to one’s concept of the self – Abstract – Nest general events ▯ General Events – Short-term extended events – summarized events – Basic categorical level – Abstract – Nest episodic memories ▯ Episodic Memories – Pool of detailed sensations and perceptions – Concrete – Organized and retrieved via hierarchical structure of ABM 2 Your Memories ▯ Do they fit hierarchical structure model? More on your autobiographical memories ▯ Write down your lifetime periods –Both career and relationships ▯ Within each lifetime period –Write down one or two summarized events –If they exist, write down any short-term extended events Questions on your memories ▯ What was abstract, and what contained images or perceptions? ▯ What types of memories were most tied to a self-concept? ▯ Did you remember first experiences? Personal event memories? Flashbulbs? ▯ Did anything arise spontaneously, without trying to remember? 3 Memory and narrative ▯ To what extent are they based on narrative conventions – The schemes that Neisser talked about with regard to FBs ▯ Can we separate autobiographical memory from narrative conventions? Retrieval based on lifetime periods ▯ Using lifetime periods (e.g., when I was at college) as cues versus ▯ Using cue words as cues ▯ Lifetime periods as cues lead to shorter response times in remembering an episodic memory in comparison to cue words Retrieval of same time slice using different lifetime periods ▯ Brown, Rips, and Shevell (1986) asked college seniors to locate the occurrence of events that had occurred during – Presidential condition (Carter or Reagan’s administration) – Autobiographical condition (HS or College) – In 1982, ▯ Carter transitioned to Reagan ▯ High School transitioned to College ▯ Events to be located were either – political (e.g., Mitterand's election in France) or – nonpolitical (e.g., Mt. St. Helen's explosion) ▯ Results (next slide) 4 Response times (seconds) 2.55 2.5 2.45 2.4 2.35 Political 2.3 Nonpolitical 2.25 2.2 2.15 Presidential Autobiographical (Carter-Reagan) (HS-College) Temporal boundaries between extended events (1) ▯ Pillemer et al. (1988) asked Wellesley College alumni about their first year in College -- included individuals whose first year occurred 5, 15, and 25 years earlier – highly influenced by the "first experiences" encountered when first entering college Temporal boundaries between extended events (2) ▯ Robinson (1986) asked students at U. of Louisville to report on events that had happened within the past year – even smaller extended event transitions are better remembered than within transition experiences 5 Discussion Questions ▯ Conway points to an individual’s constructing one’s own autobiographical knowledge base via current themes of the self – What is meant by ▯ an active set of plans and goals? ▯ Discrepancies between current self-concept and some desired/feared self? ▯ Themes directly influence the encoding of autobiographical memories? ▯ Autobiographical knowledge as a record of past selves? ▯ What is meant by – the notion that unlike autobiographical knowledge, autobiographical memories are not stored? – The constructive view of autobiographical memories? 6 Remembering Daily Life Differentiating episodic from semantic/generic autobiographical memory 1 2 3 4 Using a schema in detail ▯ Schemas are used both at comprehension and at retrieval ▯ Comprehension (and remembering) involves the integration of stored schemas with unique details of the perceived experience ▯ Details that are not present in the experience will become “inferred” as default values ▯ Atypical details will replace default values ▯ Atypical details are what drives the retrieval of specific memories, and differentiates one episode from another 5 Predictions of model ▯ Typical detail or default values – If present, will be remembered (inferred) – If not present, will be remembered (inferred) as long as not replaced by atypical value ▯ Atypical detail – If present, will be remembered – If not present, will not be remembered Brewer & Treyens office experiment (1) Brewer & Treyens office experiment (2) ▯ Ss stayed in room for 35 sec, ostensibly to wait for experiment to begin ▯ Surprise recognition test ▯ Typical details such as chairs, typewriter, windows, and books, were recognized whether present or not ▯ Atypical details that were present (skull, picnic basket) were remembered ▯ Atypical details that were not present were correctly rejected 6 Graesser et al. (1980) ▯ Time course of forgetting typical and atypical detail ▯ Passages if different types of events (e.g., taking dog to vet; washing car) ▯ Passages had typical (“Jack led his dog into the waiting room’) and atypical (“Jack dropped his car keys”) detail ▯ Recognition test either ½ hour or 1 week later Grasser et al. results ½ hour p(hits) p(false d’ alarms) typical .79 .59 .66 atypical .79 .11 2.26 One week typical .80 .69 .41 atypical .60 .26 .95 Five General Characteristics of Schemas ▯ Schemas represent knowledge – Reflects individual’s knowledge ▯ Schemas represent knowledge at all levels – From as simple as a penny ( – to a social structure like a family. ▯ Schemas can be embedded within one another – e.g., building ▯ house ▯ kitchen ▯ toaster 7 Five General Characteristics of Schemas (con’t) ▯ Schemas have variables –Most typical values are default values ▯ Schemas are active, dynamic, and continually changing Schemas: Summary ▯ Use of Schematic Knowledge increases cognitive economy – allows us to be more efficient at the cost of making occasional errors – aids comprehension and memory retrieval ▯Allows us to make sense of the world ▯Allows adaptation to “constantly changing environment” 8


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