Psychology: Memory

  • Created by: MAC
  • Created on: 27-12-10 14:18


Key Terms:

  • Encoding(input): the processing of information in such a way that it can be represented internally for memory storage. 
  • Storage: the memory system’s ability to keep information that we can then use again if necessary
  • Retrieval(output):the ability to get information from our memory system in order to use it.
  • Accessibility: the readiness with which information that has already been processed can be located.
  • Long-term memory (LTM): a relatively permanent store,which has unlimited capacity and duration. Different kinds of LTM include episodic (memory for personal events), semantic (memory for facts), and procedural (memory for actions and skills). 
  • Cue dependency: in order for memories to be retrieved efficiently, there must be specific similarities to the time when the information was encoded into memory. There are two types of cue dependency: “state” and “context”.
  • Availability: whether or not information that may already have been processed in the brain is still available to be accessed
  • Displacement: loss of information from short-term memory based on the “first in, first out” concept.
  • Brain damage: in relation to memory, this refers to the physical deterioration of brain structures involved in memory storage.
  • Sensory buffer: the first mechanism in Atkinson and Shriffrin’s (1972) multi store model of memory. It picks up information that is attended to and sends it to short-term memory. 
  • Short-term memory (STM):  a temporary place for storing information during which time it receives limited processing (e.g. Verbal rehearsal). STM has very limited capacity and short duration, unless the information in it is maintained through rehearsal. 
  • Rehearsal: repetition of information in STM to allow encoding into long-term memory (e.g. Repeating a phone number in your head).
  • Decay: fading of stored information in LTM. Although LTM in unlimited in capacity and duration, memories will fade if unused.
  • Structural processing: processing things in relation to the way they look (e.g. the structure of things).
  • Phonemic/Phonetic: processing things in relation to how they sound.
  • Semantic processing: processing things in relation to what they mean.
  • Proactive interference: when information that you have already processed interferes with new information you are trying to process, with the end result that you forget the new information 
  • Retroactive: when new learning interferes with material that you have previously processed and stored 
  • Context dependent: cues that are external to us i.e. the environment in which the information is encoded into memory.
  • State dependent: cues that are internal to us o.e our emotional “state” when information is encoded into memory.
  • Anterograde amnesia: a complete inability to recall memories from LTM, or to form new memories
  • Hierarchies: a method of Outlining information in a structured way, beginning with general information and ending with specific information.
  • Mind maps: free-ranging diagrams that use organisation and imagery to encode information so that it can be retrieved more easily.
  • Organisation: a memory technique that encodes information in a specific way (e.g. Always using a yellow sticker on cognitive psychology notes).
  • Imagery: a memory techniques that encodes information ad pictures (e.g. Illustrations of memory models). 
  • Method of Loci: a memory


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