Elaborative interrogation

Not just repeating facts, but explaining why they are true

It works because it integrates new information with existing information

You delve into your own understanding and connect new information with things you already know

Activates schemas, which promotes effective recall

Reliant on prior knowledge, so if you’re just starting out, you won’t do as well

Not particularly time-consuming

Not sure if its effective after a delay and unclear how it generalises to more complex material that isn’t just lists of facts

A moderate utility technique

Only effective if you have prior knowledge and for certain information

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Explaining to yourself some aspect of your processing during learning

Similar to EL, connecting existing information to new information

Lack of clarity as to the underlying explanation which causes experimental consistency because different studies ask different things, such as why did you do this, how did you do that

The explanations have to come from the learner

Helps the transfer of knowledge

Takes a long time, adds on a lot of extra time to studying, is very time consuming

Results may be due to the extra time it requires and not just the technique

A moderate utility technique

Effective when done well, but takes so long you might be better off doing something else

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Highlighting and underlining

Has to do with levels of processing, leads to deep processing

In order to pick out the most important sections, you must consider the meaning

Reading others’ highlights is not effective because you didn’t engage in the deep processing

No evidence if this works, not more effective than just rereading

The more you highlight, the worse you tend to do

Highlighting can be thought of as chunking stuff, and if you chunk too much, you have more stuff to deal with

When you highlight, you pick out individual bits of information, which makes it difficult to make a coherent narrative and construct a whole

Low utility technique

Better if you make meaningful, few highlights

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Isolation effect

we are more likely to remember unique items

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Keyword mnemonic

Any device that can help you remember stuff

Mainly used for learning vocabulary

Rhymes, acronyms, first letter mnemonics, mental imagery (method of loci, visualisation, interactive imagery)

Dual coding (picture + word) and creating connections

Is effective for a range of materials in learners of different ages

Long-term benefits are not established

Hugely time-consuming

Difficult for abstract concepts

Low utility technique because they take so long to do even though they are very effective

Inefficient use of time

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Reading the same thing over and over again

Quantitative hypothesis = if you are exposed to information more its more likely to stick

Qualitative hypothesis = on first reading we have a more shallow connection, rereading places emphasis on conceptual organisation and processing of main ideas

Rereading improves performance only until the second read

Distinction between massed and spaced reading; spaced reading outperforms massed reading

Huge issues with ecological validity, how applicable is it to the real world?

Little knowledge of the impact of prior knowledge

Low utility technique

Has beneficial effects, but don’t read the same thing more than twice

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Practice testing

Anything that makes you retrieve the information from your own memory

MCQ tests, practice essays, flashcards

Active recall of a fact from within is better than its impression from without

Triggers elaborative retrieval processe and you also retrieve related information

Lots of evidence shows that it improves recall

There is no bad way to do practice testing, has an effect if you do it up to 5 to 7 times

Difficult retrieval aids learning more

Free recall is most effective

Research findings are consistent and ecologically valid

High utility technique

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Distributed practice

More a schedule of learning

The opposite of cramming, doing a little bit every week instead of all in a day

High utility technique

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Spacing effects

Spacing as compared to mass practice

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Lag effects

Lag is the time in between practice sessions

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Deficient processing

if the second learning session is too close, you won’t need to work as hard to retrieve the information, which makes it less effective

If it's too easy it doesn’t work

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Interleaved practice

alternate practice of different kinds of items or problems

It helps students discriminate between related content

Forces retrieval from long-term memory

No benefit for vocabulary learning

Most effective when discrimination is needed and problem-based learning

Moderate utility technique

Effective only for particular types of learning

The evidence isn’t hugely strong

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Blocked study

all content from one subtopic is studied before moving on to the next

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·       decline in an organism’s response to a stimuli

·       repeated exposure to the same stimulus makes us respond to it less

·       sensitive to the pattern stimuli presentation

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·       an increase in response caused by a change in something familiar

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Classical conditioning

When a stimulus evokes a response because of being paired with a stimulus that naturally evokes a response

·       Unconditioned response (UR) and stimulus (US)

-          US = naturally occurring stimulus that elicits UR (food, a loud noise, nicotine)

-          UR = naturally occurring response

·       Conditioned response (CR) and stimulus (CS)

-          CS = A stimulus that is originally neutral but can be conditioned into producing a response by pairing with an US

-          CR = A response to a CS produced by pairing it with a US

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Biological preparedness

Not all phobias occur with the same frequency, stimuli that would evolutionarily cause risk to us is more likely to become a phobia

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Second-order conditioning

Conditioning where the US was earlier a CS

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Conditioned responses don’t happen immediately, takes repeated presentations

We can uncondition a response by presenting the CS without the US

Spontaneous recovery can still happen, when CR suddenly comes back

Extinction is not forgetting

We can extinguish CR quite quickly, but if you leave the subject without the CS for a period of time still results in the conditioned response

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Inhibitory connection


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Excitatory connection


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Unconditioned stimulus (loud noise) -> Unconditioned response (startled)

Conditioned stimulus (sight of hoover) -> Conditioned response (hides behind TV)

Second-order conditioned stimulus (sight of brush) -> Conditioned response (hides behind TV)

Conditioned stimulus is informative of what’s about to happen

Things that happen simultaneously as the CS are not informative and helpful, so do not become CS

It’s harder to learn redundant information

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One-trial learning

Conditioning normally takes repeated pairings of US and CS

Taste aversion however can occur in a single pairing

If you get sick after eating a particular food, you don’t want to have to eat it more times before realising that it’s poisonous and you shouldn’t eat it again

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Operant conditioning

associate a voluntary behaviour and a consequence

The response is voluntary

The stimulus happens after the response

The learner is active

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Law of effect

behaviours followed by satisfying events are repeated, behaviours followed by unpleasant events are less likely to be repeated

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Positive reinforcement

Adding something good

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Negative reinforcement

Taking away something bad

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Positive punishment

Adding something bad

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Negative punishment

Taking away something good

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Primary reinforcers

naturally reinforcing for a species – food, water, sleep, sex

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Secondary reinforcement

gains effectiveness by learner association with primary reinforcers – money

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Primary punishment

method of decreasing behaviour if directly related to organism’s survival – beating a prisoner for trying to escape, threat to life or injury

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Secondary punishment

method of decreasing behaviour is undesirable but not life threatening – taking away prisoner’s recreational privileges for trying to escape, effective but maybe not as effective

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Premack principle

pairing of a useful reinforcer with a non-preferred activity

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Relatively reinforcing

The effect the reinforcer has is dependent on the situation

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Overjustification effect

if you are rewarded for something you already enjoy doing then when the reward is removed you lose your intrinsic motivation

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Unconscious incompetence

I don’t know that I don’t know how to do it

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Conscious incompetence

I know that I don’t know how to do it

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Conscious competence

I know how to do it and am are of how I am doing it

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Unconscious competence

I know how to do it, but am no longer aware how

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