47 terms


the retention of information or experience over time
the process by which information gets into memory storage
selective attention
focusing on a specific aspect of experience while ignoring others
divided attention
attending to several things simultaneously
levels of processing
a continuum from shallow to intermediate to deep, with deeper processing producing better memory
refers to the number of different connections that are made around a stimulus at any given level of memory encoding
self-reference (or self-referent encoding)
the best form of elaboration that involves typing new information to yourself or thing that are relevant to you.
how information is retained over time and how it is represented in memory
sensory memory
holds information from the world in its original sensory form for only an instant
echoic memory
auditory sensory memory, which is retained for up to several seconds
iconic memory
visual sensory memory, which is retained only for about ¼ of a second
short-term memory
a limited-capacity memory system in which information is usually retained for only as long as 30 seconds unless we use strategies to retain it longer
grouping or "packing" information that exceeds the 7 ± 2 memory span into higher-order units that can be remembered as single units
the conscious repetition of information
working memory
a three-part system that allows us to hold information temporarily as we perform cognitive tasks
phonological loop
the part to working memory that is specialized to briefly store speech-based information about the sounds of language
visuospatial working memory
the part of working memory that stores visual and spatial information, including visual imagery
central executive
the part of working memory that integrates information not only from the phonological loop and visuospatial working memory but also from long-term memory
long-term memory
a relatively permanent type of memory that stores huge amounts of information for a long time
explicit memory (or declarative memory)
the conscious recollection of information, such as specific facts and events and, at least in humans, information that can be verbally communicated
episodic memory
a type of explicit memory that involves the retention of information about the where, when, and what of life's happenings
semantic memory
a type of explicit memory that involves a person's knowledge about the world
implicit memory (or nondeclarative memory)
memory in which behavior is affected by prior experience without a conscious recollection of that experience
procedural memory
a type of implicit memory process that involves memory for skills
classical conditioning
a type of implicit memory that involves the automatic learning of associations between stimuli, so that one comes to evoke the same response as the other
a type of implicit memory that involves the activation of information that people already have in storage to help them remember new information better and faster
a preexisting mental concept or framework that helps people to organize and interpret information
a preexisting mental concept or framework for an event
connectionism (or parallel distributed processing PDP)
the theory that memory is stored throughout the brain in connections among neurons, several of which may work together to process a single memory
long-term potentiation
the concept that states that if two neurons are activated at the same time, the connection between them—and thus the memory—may be strengthened
when information that was retained in memory comes out of storage
serial position effect
the tendency to recall the items at the beginning and end of a list more readily than those in the middle
retrieval cue
any stimulus that can be used to pull information out of storage
a memory task in which the individual has to retrieve previously learned information, as on essay tests
a memory task in which the individual only has to identify learned items, as on multiple-choice tests
encoding specificity principle
the concept that states that information present at the time of encoding or learning tends to be effective as a retrieval cue
context dependent memory
people remember better when they attempt to recall information in the same context in which they learned it
flashbulb memory
the memory of emotionally significant events that people often recall with more accuracy and vivid imagery than everyday events
a defense mechanism by which a person is so traumatized by an event that he or she forgets it and then forgets the act of forgetting
encoding failure
a type of forgetting that occurs when the information was never entered into long-term memory
people forget not because memories are lost from storage but because other information gets in the way of what they want to remember
decay theory
when we learn something new, a neurochemical memory trace forms, but over time this trace disintegrates
tip of the tongue phenomenon (TOT)
a type of "effortful retrieval" that occurs when we are confident that we know something but cannot quite pull it out of memory
retrospective memory
remembering the past
prospective memory
remembering information about doing something in the future
misinformation effect
information presented after the memory is formed that can distort later recall of an event
source amnesia
attributing information to the wrong source