Psychology Chap. 6

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an active system that receives information from the senses, organizes and alters that information as it stores it away, and then retrieves the information from storage


the set of mental operations that people perform on sensory information to convert that information into a form that is usable in the brain’s storage systems


holding onto information for some period of time


getting information that is in storage into a form that can be used

information processing model

assumes that the processing of information for memory storage is similar to the way a computer processes memory—in a series of three stages (encoding, storage, and retrieval)

parallel distributed processing (PDP) model

memory processes are proposed to take place at the same time over a large network of neural connections

levels-of-processing model

assumes that information that is more "deeply processed"—or processed according to its meaning, rather than just the sound or physical characteristics of the word or words—will be remembered more efficiently and for a longer period of time

sensory memory

the very first stage of memory. The point at which information enters the nervous system through the sensory systems. Lost within a second or so. Divided into: Iconic, eidetic, and echoic

Iconic memory

visual sensory memory, lasting only a fraction of a second

Eidetic memory

the (rare) ability to access a visual memory for thirty seconds or more

echoic memory

the brief memory of something a person has just heard

Short Term Memory (STM)

working memory, the memory system in which information is held for brief periods of time while being used. Capacity is about 7 items. 15-30 seconds


bits of information are combined into meaningful units, or chunks, so that more information can be held in STM

maintenance rehearsal

saying bits of information to be remembered over and over in one’s head in order to maintain it in short-term memory

long term memory (LTM)

the memory system into which all the information is placed to be kept more or less permanently. Can be declarative (explicit) or procedural (implicit) Information is retained indefinitely although some information might be harder to retrieve.

elaborative rehearsal

a method of transferring information from STM into LTM by making that information meaningful in some way

Procedural/Nondeclarative LTM

IMPLICIT. type of long-term memory including memory for skills, procedures, habits, and conditioned responses

Declarative LTM

EXPLICIT. type of long-term memory containing information that is conscious and known. Memory for facts. Divided into semantic (general knowledge) and episodic (events experienced by a person/personal info)

anterograde amnesia

loss of memory from the point of injury or trauma forward, or the inability to form new long-term memories 50 first dates

encoding specificity

tendency for memory of information (e.g., surroundings or physiological state) available when the memory was first formed is also available when the memory is being retrieved Type of retrieval cue. state-dependent learning: Study in the same classroom that you take your test in.


memory retrieval in which the information to be retrieved must be "pulled" from memory with very few external cues

retrieval failure

recall has failed (at least temporarily)

Serial position effect

information at the beginning and the end of a body of information more accurately remembered than the information in the middle primacy effect- words at the beginning of a list tend to be remembered better than words in the middle of a list recency effect- tendency to remember something at the end of the list

Elizabeth Loftus

showed that what people see and hear about an event after the fact can easily affect the accuracy of their memories of that event demonstrated that eyewitness testimony is not always reliable

automatic encoding

tendency of certain kinds of information to enter long-term memory with little or no effortful encoding

flashbulb memories

automatic encoding that occurs because an unexpected event has strong emotional associations for the person remembering it

constructive processing

memory retrieval process in which memories are "built," or reconstructed, from information stored during encoding

hindsight bias

the tendency to falsely believe, through revision of older memories to include newer information, that one could have correctly predicted the outcome of an event

misinformation effect

tendency of misleading information presented after an event to alter the memories of the event itself

false memory syndrome

creation of inaccurate or false memories through the suggestion of others, often while the person is under hypnosis

curve of forgetting

a graph showing a distinct pattern in which forgetting is very fast within the first hour after learning a list and then tapers off gradually

memory trace

physical change in the brain that occurs when a memory is formed

proactive interference

memory retrieval problem that occurs when older information prevents or interferes with the retrieval of newer information OLD INFO GETS IN THE WAY

retroactive interference

memory retrieval problem that occurs when newer information prevents or interferes with the retrieval of older information NEW INFO GETS IN THE WAY


area of brain responsible for the formation of LTMs

retrograde amnesia

loss of memory from the point of some injury or trauma backwards, or loss of memory for the past


primary memory difficulty is anterograde amnesia. No cure. Risk factors: smoking, obesity, high BP, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, lack of exercise

How to have a good memory

SLEEP (information can be better consolidated while sleeping), exercise, and fish can all help (omega 3)

____________ is defined as an active system that receives information from the senses, organizes and alters information as it stores it away, and then retrieves the information from storage.
Select one:
a. Operant conditioning
b. Memory
c. Classical conditioning
d. Learning

b. Memory

_______ is the retention of memory for some period of time.
Select one:
a. Encoding
b. Retrieval
c. Storage
d. Evaluation

c. Storage

Declarative memories are to _________ memories as procedural memories are to _________ memories.
Select one:
a. implicit; explicit
b. explicit; implicit
c. general knowledge; personal facts
d. personal facts; general knowledge

b. explicit; implicit

_____________ memory is constantly updated.
Select one:
a. Declarative
b. Semantic
c. Procedural
d. Episodic

d. Episodic

The Internet, with its series of links from one site to many others, is a good analogy for the organization of ______________.
Select one:
a. procedural memory
b. long-term memory
c. episodic memory
d. short-term memory

b. long-term memory

The fact that it is easier to recall items at the beginning and end of a list of unrelated items is known as the ______.
Select one:
a. sequestering effect
b. phi phenomenon
c. serial position effect
d. implicit memory effect

c. serial position effect

Memories that concern events that are highly significant and are vividly remembered are called ______.
Select one:
a. elaborative rehearsals
b. eidetic images
c. flashbulb memories
d. eyewitness images

c. flashbulb memories

A witness on the stand swears that he saw someone commit a crime. Must you believe that the testimony is valid when a witness testifies so forcefully?
Select one:
a. Yes, because eyewitnesses are very confident about their testimony.
b. Yes, because seeing is believing.
c. No, because there is a great possibility of a "false positive" identification.
d. No, because eyewitnesses are not usually honest.

c. No, because there is a great possibility of a "false positive" identification.

Decay theory works well to explain forgetting in _________.
Select one:
a. short-term memory only
b. sensory memory and short-term memory
c. sensory memory only
d. long-term memory only

b. sensory memory and short-term memory

In the curve of forgetting developed by Ebbinghaus, the greatest amount of forgetting occurs _____________.
Select one:
a. within the first day after learning new material
b. near the middle of the retrieval period
c. near the end of the retrieval period
d. within the first hour after learning new material

d. within the first hour after learning new material

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