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Terms for chapter 7 on Memory Password is the name of our instructor, fi you see mistakes or need to add terms.


internal record or representation of some prior event or experience

constructive process

organizing and shaping of information during processing, storage, and retrieval of memories


processing information into memory system


retaining information over time


recovering information from memory

serial position effect

refers to when people are given lists of words to learn and are allowed to recall them in any order, they remember the words at the beginning and the end of the list better than those in the middle of the list

retrieval cues, recognition

relies on a specific prompt to recover the information. Multiple choice tests.


when you have to completely remember previously learned information. Essay exam.


occurs when a prior exposure to a stimulus activates the recovery of related associations. Hearing a phone ring makes you remember to call someone

parallel distributed processing

PDP Memory results from weblike connections among interacting processing units operation simultaneously, rather than sequentially

sensory memory

first memory stage that holds information; relatively large capacity but only lasts a few seconds

Short term memory

STM second memory stage that temporarily stores sensory information and decides whether to send it on to long term memory; capacity is 5-9 items, duration is about 30 seconds

maintenance rehearsal

repeating information over and over to maintain it in short term memory


grouping separate pieces of information into a single unit

long term memory

LTM Third stage of memory that stores information for long periods of time; capacity is virtually limitless and its duration is relatively permanent

explicit or declarative memory

subsystem within longterm memory that consciously stores facts, information and personal life experiences

semantic memory

a subsystem of explicit memory that stores general knowledge, a mental encyclopedia

episodic memory

a subsystem of explicit memory that stores memories of personally experienced events, a mental diary of a persons life

implicit or nondeclarative memory

subsystem within long-term memory consisting of unconscious procedural skills and simple classically conditioned responses

levels of processing

degree or depth of mental processing occuring when material is initially encountered; determines how well material is later remembered

elaborative rehearsal or deeper level processing

linking new information to previously stored material

serial positioning effect

information at the beginning and at the end of a list is remembered better than material in the middle


retrieving an memory using a general cue


retrieving a memory using a specific cue


prior exposure to a stimulus, facilitates or inhibits the processing of new information, even when no conscious memory of the learning or the storage

encoding specificity principle

retrieval of information is improved when conditions of recovery are similar to the conditions when information was stored


learning material a second time, takes less time than the original learning

Hermann Ebbinghaus

introduced study of learning and forgetting in 1885

Five key thoeries of why we forget

decay, interference, motivated forgetting, encoding failure.


memories, like the brain and skills, degrade over time if they go unused.

interference theory

caused by two competing memories,

motivated forgetting theory

forgetting information such as appointments or embarrassing remarks on purpose

encoding failure theory

failure to transfer information from short term to long term memory

retrieval failure

memories in long term memory (LTM) aren't forgotten they are just momentarily inaccessible. "its on the tip of my tongue."

source amnesia

forgetting the source of a memory (source confusion)

sleeper effect

information from an unreliable source, which was originally discounted, later gains credibility because the source is forgotten

distributed practice

practice sessions are interspersed with rest periods

massed practice

time spent learning is grouped into long, unbroken intervals

long term potentiation

(LTP) long lasting increase in neural excitability, which may be a biological mechanism for learning memory

retrograde amnesia

loss of memory for events before a brain injury backward acting amnesia

Alzheimers Disease (AD)

progression mental deterioration characterized by severe memory loss

Mnemonic Device

memory improvement technique based on encoding items in a special way

memory processing

memory is a process of encoding, storing, and retrieval

Three stages of memory

sensory memory, short-term memory, and long term memory

proactive interference

old information interferes with new (interference theory)

retroactive interference

new information interferes with old information (interference theory)

misinformation effect

distorting memory with misleading post event information

Way to improve memory 1

pay attention

Way to improve memory 2

use rehearsal techniques

Way to improve memory 3

use the encoding specificity principle ( including context, mood congruence, and state-dependent retrieval.)

Way to improve memory 4

improve organization

Way to improve memory 5

counteract the serial position effect

Way to improve memory 6

use time management

Way to improve memory 7

employ self monitoring and overlearning

Way to improve memory 8

use mnemonic devices (method of loci, peg-word, acronyms)

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