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Any indication that learning has persisted over time

Three Box (Information Processing) Model

Proposes the three stages that information passes through before it is stored. Sensory, Short Term, Long Term.

Sensory Memory

Split-second holding tank for incoming sensory information. Information is lost because it is not encoded.

Iconic Memory

A split-second photograph of a scene

Echoic memory

3-4 second memory for sounds

Short-term Memory

Working memory. Memories you are currently working with and are aware of in consciousness. Activated memory that holds a few items briefly, before information is stored or forgotten. Events encoded as visual codes, acoustic codes, or semantic codes (sense of meaning of event). Usually fade within 10-30 seconds. Limited to 7 items.

Selective Attention

We encode what we are attending to or what is more important to us. Determines which sensory messages get encoded.


Process in which items are grouped together to facilitate memorization.

Mnemonic Devices

Memory aids. Example of chunking.


Repetition. A method of retaining information in the short-term memory.

Long-Term Memory

Permanent storage. Unlimited capacity. Possible for memories to decay or fade.

Episodic Memory

Memories of specific events. Stored in sequence.

Semantic Memory

General knowledge of the world, stored as facts, meanings, or categories

Procedural Memory

Memories of skills and how to perform them.

Explicit (Declarative) Memories

Conscious memories of facts or events we actively tried to remember

Implicit (Nondeclarative) Memories

Unintentional memories that we might not even realize we have.

Eidetic (Photographic) Memory

the ability to remember with great accuracy visual information on the basis of short-term exposure

Levels of Processing Model

Explains why we remember what we do by examining how deeply the memory was processed of thought about

Deeply (Elaboratively) Processed

Spending much time studying the context or info. More likely to remember the info for a long period of time

Shallowly (Maintenance) Processed

Ex. reciting a fact several times before a test quickly. Easily forgettable.


Getting information out of memory so we can use it


Process of matching a current event or fact with one already in memory


Retrieving a memory with an external cue.

Primacy Effect

Predicts that we're more likely to recall items presented at the beginning of a list

Recency Effect

Demonstrated by our ability to recall the items at the end of a list

Serial Position Effect

When recall of a list is affected by the order of the items

Tip-of-the-tongue Phenomenon

Temporary inability to remember information.

Semantic Network Theory

Our brain might form new memories by connecting their meaning and context with meanings already in memory

Flashbulb Memory

Importance of the event caused us to encode the context surrounding the event

Mood-congruent Memory

Greater likelihood of recalling an item when our mood matched the mood we were in when the event happened

State-Dependent Memory

Phenomenon of recalling events encoded while in particular states of consciousness.

Recovered Memory

Individuals claim to suddenly remember events they have repressed for years

Constructed (reconstructed) memory

Can report false details of a real event or might even be a recollection of an event that never occurred

Relearning Effect

it will take less time to relearn material we previously encoded, even if we have "forgotten" what we learned previously


Other information in memory competes with what you're trying to recall.

Retroactive Interference

Learning new information interferes with the recall of older information

Proactive Interference

Older information learned previously interferes with the recall of information learned more recently

Anterograde Amnesia

Damage to the hippocampus. Cannot encode new memories.

Long-Term Potentiation

Neurons strengthen connections between each other. Through repeated firings, neuron becomes more sensitive to the messages from the sending neurons. Might be related to connections we make in our long term memory


Smallest unit of sound in a language.


Smallest unit of meaningful sound.


Order of words spoken

Language Acquisition

natural unconscious process of language development in humans that occurs without instruction, but needs exposure

Holophrastic Stage

Time during which babies speak in single words

Telegraphic Stage

Toddlers combine words into simple commands


Misapplication of grammar rules

Language Acquisition Device

Born with this. Causes children learn language rapidly

Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis

Language might control and in some ways limit thinking


Similar to schemata. Cognitive rules applied to stimuli from our environment that allow us to categorize and think about the objects, people, and ideas we encounter.


What we think is the most typical example of a particular concept


Mental pictures we create in our minds from the outside world


Rule that guarantees the right solution by using a formula


Rule of thumb. Generally true that we can use to make a judgment about a situation

Availability Heuristic

Judging a situation based on examples of similar situations

Representativeness Heuristic

Judging a situation based on how similar the aspects are to prototypes the person holds in his or her hand

Belief Bias

Illogical conclusions in order to confirm preexisting beliefs

Belief perseverance

Tendency to maintain a belief even after evidence has been contradicted


Tendency to fall into established thought patterns

Functional Fixedness

Inability to see a new use for an object

Confirmation Bias

Tend to look for evidence that confirms our beliefs and ignore evidence that contradicts what we think is true


The way a problem is presented

Convergent thinking

Thinking pointed toward one solution

Divergent Thinking

Thinking that searches for multiple possible answers to a question. More closely associated with creativity.

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