Psychology- Memory

Short Term Memory
Limited capacity (5-9 items), 18-30 second duration, acoustic coding.
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Long Term Memory
Unlimited capacity, lifetime duration, semantic coding.
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Length of time information is stored in the memory for.
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Peterson and Peterson
Researched duration of STM. Trigrams of 3 consonants, retention interval prevented rehearsal (counting backwards in 3s). Found over time, fewer people remembered.
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Limitations of Peterson and Peterson
Artificial stimulus, lacked external validity.
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Recognized names/ photos from yearbook. Found duration for LTM is very long.
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Strengths of Bahrick
Higher external validity- meaningful memories.
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Limitations of Bahrick
Confounding/ participant variables.
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Amount of information stored in memory.
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7+-2. Remember items in groups of 5-9. Also researched chunking.
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Limitations of Miller
May have overestimated STM capacity- recent research shows groups of 5 is average.
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Researched and proved Miller's finding correct.
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Strength of Jacobs
Results confirmed study= valid and reliable.
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Limitation of Jacobs
Researched a long time ago- lacked control. Confounding variables.
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Format information is stored in.
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STM= acoustic, people muddled up acoustically similar words in list. LTM= semantic, people muddled up semantically similar words in list.
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Multi-Store Memory Model
Atkinson and Shriffin. Describes how info flows through memory system, stored, remembered and forgotten.
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Sensory Register
Iconic- visual. Echoic- acoustic. Attention- remember. Short duration. High capacity.
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Positives of MSM
Supported by research studies that show STM and LTM and different.
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Criticisms of MSM
STM and LTM have been proven to be more complex than shown here. Elaborate rehearsal not mentioned. Artificial materials used in experiments.
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Pps shown grid of digits. Some asked to recall all, others a particular row. Higher percentage of digits remembered when focused on 1 row.
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Glazner and Cunitz
Asked to recall 20 words, shown 1 at a time. Serial position effect- remember words from beginning and end of list. Primacy effect- rehearsed first few- transferred to LTM. Recency effect- last few stored in STM.
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Criticized MSM for being too simplistic and inflexible when describing LTM. 3 types of LTM; episodiuc, semantic, procedural.
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Episodic Memory
Ability to recall events from our lives eg. primary school, first crush. Time stamped. Conscious effort to recall.
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Semantic Memory
Knowldege of the world, eg. taste of an orange, meanings of words, general knowledge. Not time stamped. Less personal.
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Procedural Memory
Actions or skills eg. how to ride a bike, talking. Recall without conscious awareness.
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Advantages of Tulving's Types of LTM
Case study evidence (HM and Clive Wearing- procedural memory intact, episodic and semantic memory affected). Confirmed in recent studies- valid. Real life application- treatments.
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Disadvantages of Tulving's Types of LTM
Lack of control of variables in case studies (quasi experiments, unable to choose participants). Other psychologists have argued that there are only 2 types of LTm (declarative- semantic and episodic and Non- Declarative- procedural).
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Case study- hippocampus removed. STM in tact, but LTM never improved. Procedural memory intact. Episodic memory affected. Semantic memory relatively unaffected.
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Clive Wearing
Severe amnesia, unable to form new memories or remember old memories. Hippocampus affected during illness. Procedural memory in tact eg. playing piano. Semantic and episodic memory affected,
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Working Memory Model
Baddeley and Hitch. Concerned with part pf mind active when temporarily storing/ manipulating data. Central Executive. Phonological Loop. Long term memory. Visuo spatial sketchpad. Episodic Buffer.
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Central Executive
Attentional process, monitors incoming data. Limited processing capacity.
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Phonological Loop
Auditory. Phonological store- stores words you hear. Articulatory process- maintenance rehearsal.
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Visuo-Spatial Sketchpad
Visual. Visual cache- stores visual data. Inner scribe- arrangement of objects in visual field.
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Episodic Buffer
Temporary store, integrating visual, spatial and verbal info processed in other stores and maintaining sense of time sequencing.
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Positives of WMM
Clinical evidence supports separate visual and acoustic store- KF- poor STM for verbal, visual in tact. Dual task performance studies- easier to do visual and verbal than verbal and verbal. Brain scanning studies support WMM.
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Criticisms of WMM
Lack of clarity over central executive- needs to be clear;y specified rather than just being 'attention'. Case studies may not be reliable as concerns unique cases that include people who have undergone extreme trauma.
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Explanations for Forgetting- Interference
2 pieces of info conflict- cause distorted/forgotten memories. LTM. Can't access them, but they are available.
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Proactive Interference
Older memory interfers with new one.
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Retroactive Interference
Newer memory interferes with old one.
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Effects of Similarity
McGeoch and McDonald- study showed remembering performance of 2 lists depended on nature of 2nd list asked to recall. Most similar= worst recall. Interference= strongest when memories are similar.
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Positives of Interference Theory
Evidence from lab studies= valid (McGeoch and McDonald). Real life studies- Baddeley and Hitch- rugby players recalling team played against- accurate recall depends on if played game since. If no game played since= accurate recall.Ecological validity
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Criticisms of Interference Theory
Artificial material make interference much more likely in lab- mundane realism.
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Explanations for Forgetting- Retrieval Failure
Insufficient cues to access memories that are available. Tulving- Encoding Specificity Principle- cue present at encoding and retrieval= better recalling. Types of cues- meaningful and not meaninhgful (context dependent and state dependent).
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Context Dependent Forgetting
Godden and Baddeley- diver experiment- sea/sea and beach/beach).
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State Dependent Forgetting
Mood/ physiological state. Goodwin et al- intoxicated and sober.
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Positives of Retrieval Failure Theory
Supporting evidence- Godden and Baddeley, Goodwin et al= increased validity. Real life application- forget why came downstairs.
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Criticisms of Retrieval Failure Theory
Questionable context effecrts- in reality, contexts have to differ largely in order to forget. Recall vs recognition- context effect may be related to kind of memory eg. recognition test had no context related effect.
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Eyewitness Testimony- Misleading Information
Leading Questions- suggests certain answer by way it's phrased. Post-event discussion- witnesses discuss event- combine (mis)information from others with own memories.
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Loftus and Palmer
Leading questions- estimate car speed. 'Smashed'- 40mph. 'Contacted'- 30mph.- Response bias explanation- influences answer, not memory. -Substitution explanation- changes memory.
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Video of crime from different perspectives, discuss, recall test. 71% of discussion participants recalled mistaken information.0% in control group (no discussion).
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Positives of Misleading Information Explanation
Useful real life applications- improves legal system.
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Weaknesses of Misleading Information Explanation
Artificial tasks- videos differ to experiences, eg. stress. Individual differences- older= less accurate, own age bias= more accurate with own age. Demand characteristics- aim to be helpful. Research studies don't have same consequences as real life.
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Eyewitness Testimony- Anxiety
Positive effect- fight or flight response increases alertness. Negative effect- arousal distracts attention.
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Yuille and Cutshall
Positive effect of anxiety- shooting. Those who scored highly on stress rating test= most accurate recall.
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Johnson and Scott
Negative effect of anxiety- waiting room. Low anxiety scenario= man with pen. High anxiety scenario= heard broken glass and saw man with bloody knife. Fewer able to identify man in high anxiety scenario. Weapon focus effect.
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Explaining Contradictory Findings
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Explaining Contradictory Findings
Yerkes-Dodson Law- anxiety increase recall accuracy until optimum anxiety level (maximum accuracy) and afterwards accuracy falls.
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Weaknesses of Anxiety Explanation
- Weapon focus effect may be due to surprise, not anxiety. - Field studies lack control- extraneous variables eg. media reports/discussion. Ethical issues of creating anxiety scenarios- psychological harm. Yerkes-Dodson law is too simplistic.
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Cognitive Interview
Fisher and Geiselman- better techniques based on psychological insights into how memory works. Report everything (trigger other memories). Reinstate context (context-dependent forgetting). Reverse the order and Change perspective (prevents schema).
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Strengths of Cognitive Interview
Good supporting evidence/ studies - support effectiveness- increases validity and benefits society by catching criminal.
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Weaknesses of Cognitive Interview
Time consuming. Requires special training. Techniques also increase recall of incorrect info as well as correct info.
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Other cards in this set

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Long Term Memory


Unlimited capacity, lifetime duration, semantic coding.

Card 3




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Card 4


Peterson and Peterson


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Card 5


Limitations of Peterson and Peterson


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