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human capacity to register, retain and remember information

information processing model

a model containing encoding, storage and retrieval


the process of putting informaton into the memory system


the retention of encoded information over time


the process of getting information out of memory storage

Levels of Processing Theory

Theory that recall of information is based on how deeply it is processed

shallow processing

strucural encoding that emphasizes the superficial characteristics of a stimulus, such as the font in which a word is printed

deep processing

semantic encoding, the processing of meaning rather than simply the physical or sensory features of a stimulus

self-refrence effect

processing information deemed imporant or relevant more deeply for easier recall

Atkinson-Shiffrin Model

a memory system that contains: sensory memory, short term memory and long term memory

sensory memory

memoral system that holds external events from the senses for up to a few seconds

visual encoding

the encoding of picture images

iconic memory

a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli

acoustic encoding

encoding of sound, especially the sound of words

selective attention

the focusing of awareness on stimuli in sensory memory that facilitates its encoding in STM

automatic processing

unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings

parallel processing

processing several streams of information simultaneously

effortful processing

encoding that requires our attention and concious effort

features extraction

pattern recognition, finding a match for new information by searching through the LTM

short-term memory

working memory, 20 second length, capacity of 7 plus or minus 2 items


conscious repitition of information to either maintain information in STM or encode it for storage

maintence rehearsal

repition that keeps information in STM about 20 seconds

elaborative rehearsal

repition that creates associations between the new memory and existing memories stored in LTM


grouping information into meaningful units increasing the capacity of STM

mnemonic devices

memory tricks or strategies to make information easier to remember

method of loci

usues visualization with familar objects on a path to recall information on a list

peg word system

uses association of terms to be remembered with a memorized scheme

Baddeley's working memory model

a more complex memory model, includes a phonological loop, visuospatial working memory, and the ventral executive

long term memory

relatively permanent storage with unlimited capacity, LTM is subdivided in explicit (declarative) memory and implicit memory

explicit memory

declarative memory of facts and experiences that one conciously knows and can verbalize

semantic memory

memory of general knowlege and objective facts

episodic memory

memory of personally experienced events

implicit memory

retention without conscious recollection of learning the skills and disposition

procedural memory

memories of perceptual, motor and cognitive skills


systems in which concepts are arranges from more genral to specific classes


mental representation of related things


the most typical examples of a concept

semantic networks

more irregular and distorted system than strict hierarchies with multiple links from one concept to others


frameworks of basic ideals and preconceptions about people, objects and events based on past experience


a schema for an event

flashbulb memory

vivid memory of an emotionally significant moment or event


theory that memory is stored through the brain in connections between neurons, many of which can work together to process a single memory

artifical intelligence

a field of study in which computer programs are designed to simulate human cognitive abilites

neural network

clusters of neurons that are interconnected process information simultaneously, automatically, and without our awareness

Long-term potentiation

enhanced response at synapes within the hippocampus


involved in encoding sensory memory into the STM


involved in putting infromation from STM to LTM


involved in the storage of emotional memories


processes implicit memories and seems to store procedural memory and classically conditioned memories


process of getting infromation out of memory storage

retrieval cue

a stimulus that provides a trigger to get an item out of memory


activating specific association in memory either consciously or unconsciously


identification of something as familiar such as multiple choice and matching question on a test


retrieval of infromation from LTM in the absence of any other information or cues


retrieval that can be distorted by adding, dropping or chining details to complete a picture from incomplete stored information


process of combining and substituting memories from events other than the one you are trying to remember

misinformation effect

incorporation of misleading information into memories of a given event

serial position effect

better recall for information that comes at the beginning and end of a list of words

encoding specificity principle

Principle stating that recall is better if the retrieval context is like the encoding context.

context-dependent memory

physical setting in which a person learns information is encoded along with the information and becomes part of the memory trace

mood congruence

tendancy to recall memories that are consistent with one's current mood

state-dependent memory effect

tendency to recall information better when in the same internal state as when the information was encoded

distributed practice

spreading out the memorization of information or the learning of skills over several sessions, typically produces better retrieval than massed practice

massed practice

cramming the memorization of inforamtion or the learning of skills into one session


the inability to retrieve previously stored information


learning some items prevents retrieving others, especially when the items are similar

proactive interference

the process by which old memories prevent hte retrieval of newer memories

retroactive interference

when new learning disrupts the recall of previously-learned information


the tendency to forget unpleasant or traumatic memories hidden in the unconscious mind (Freud)

tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon

often temporary inability to access infromation accompanies by a feeling that the information is in LTM

anterograde amnesia

inability to put new information into explicit memory resulting from damage to the hippocampus, no new semantic memories are formed

retrograde amnesia

memory loss for a segment of the past, usually around the time of an accident


all the mental activites associated with thinking, knowing and remembering


thinking about how you think

trial and error

trying possible solutions and discarding those that fail to solve the problem


problem-solving strategy that involves step-by-step procedure that gaurantees a solution to certian types of problems


a probelm solving strategy used as a mental shortcut to quickly simplify and solve a probelm, does not garuntee solution

insight learning

the sudden appearance or awareness of a solution to a problem

deductive reasoning

reasoning from genral to specific

inductive reasoning

reasoning from the specific to the general

mental sets

barriers to probelm solving that occur when we apply only methods that have worked in the past rather than trying new or different strategies

functional fixedness

the tendency to think of things only in terms of their usual functions

cognitive illusion

systematic way of thinking that is responsible for an error in judgement

availability heuristic

tendency to estimate the probability of certian events in terms of how readily they come to mind

representativeness heuristic

tendency to judge the likelihood of things acccording to how they relate to to prototype


the way an issue is stated, how an issue is framed can significantly affect decisions and judgements

anchoring effect

tendency to be influenced by a suggested reference point, pulling our response towards that point

belief perseverance

tendency to hold onto a belief after the basis for the belief is discredited

hindsight bias

the dendency to falsely report, after the event, that we correctly predicted the outcome of the event

overconfidence bias

tendency to overestimate the accuracy of our beliefs and judgements


ability to think about a probelm or idea in a new or unusual ways to come with unconventional solutions


putting aside a probelm temporarily to look from a different perspective


generating many possible solutions

divergent thinking

thinking tha tproduces many alternatives or ideas

convergent thinking

convential thinking directed towards a single correct solution

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