Cognition- Memory

Revision Cards for test on Wednesday the 10th of April 2013. 



-Developmental Psychology

-Cognition- Memory



-Short answer

-Essay (type 2)



The internal record fo some previous event or experience.

One of the most important mental processes as without it we could not learn.

Memory and remembering are information processing.

There are 3 stages:




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Mental representation

  Memory is a psychological version of the original sound, thought, object or concept. 


Conversion of sensory information into a form that can be encoded visually, accoustically or through meaningStorage Retention of information- in humans this occurs in neutral networks. Associations between networks aid later retrival of information. 


Recovery of information stored in the brain. Without thought recovery there is no proof of memory. 

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3 Types of Memory- Sensory Memory

Sensory Memory

Memory retained very briefly (less than 5 seconds).

Encodes all incoming sensory information in memory registers for the different senses.

Most sensory memory is lost quickly but information that is considered important is attended to and transferred into the short-term memory.

Iconic memory- Visual

Echoic memory- Auditory 

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3 Types of Memory- Short-term Memory

Short-term Memory (STM)

Information is held in STM for approximately 30 seconds (longer if rehersed)

STM is information you are aware of as the information is available to you for decision making and problem solving

Some information will then be transferred into longer memory storage. 

Working Memory Model

                                             Central Executive

                          Phonological Loop            Viso-spatial sketchpad

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3 Types of Memory- Long-term Memory

Long-term Memory (LTM)

Relatively permanent storage of information, more than 30 seconds to forever

Information moves from the STM to the LTM through physical changes in the neurons and neutral networks to make the association (and storage) permanent. 

Information in LTM can decay over time especially if it is not used. 

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The Magical Number- STM

The Magical Number

There is limited space in the STM so the amount of material that can be maintained is also limited. 

Millar (1956) 

Proposed that most people can hold between 5 and 9 pieces of unrelated information.

That is 7, plus or minus 2 pieces, which can be improved by chunking. 

This could work with numbers, letters or words, (greatest for numbers).

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Rehearsal- Transferring Information


Allows information to be stored in STM longer than normal, or to be transferred into LTM.

Maintenance Rehearsal

 Repeating information to hold it longer in the STM. 

Elaborative Rehearsal

Actively processing information, associating it with other information in the LTM, making the information more meaningful so that it will then be transferred into the LTM. 

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Procedural Memory- LTM

Procedural Memory

Memory for how to do things.

Also called implicit memory because it is not conscious.

Requires little effort to retrieve and takes place automatically. 

It is difficult to describe these procedures as we don't have to think about them.

For example,

The process of tying shoe laces is difficult to explain only using words. 

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Declarative Memory- LTM

Declarative Memory

The "what" of memory.

Also called explicit memory as it requires conscious effort for retrival. 

Episodic memory

For past events, internal representation of your experience of an experience. 

For example,

What I wore on my 5th birthday party.

Semantic memory

Fading away of memories over time

For example,


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Remembering and Forgetting

Retrival failure

The inability to retrieve a certain piece of information.


Forgetting as a result of confusion with other similar information.

Motivated forgetting

The inability to remember because there is an advantage to forgetting.


The fading away of memories over time

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Enhancing Retrieval- Improving Memory

Elaborative rehersal

Make as many connections as possible by using information. 

Contextual cues

Works best when the learning situation is the same as the remembering situation. 

For example,

The classroom. 

Emotional state

The frame of mind the individual is in when having to retrieve information. 

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