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PSYC 2301 - General Psychology Ch. 7 - Memory


the persistence of learning over time through the encoding, storage, and retrieval of information


the process of getting information into the memory system


retaining of encoded information over time


the process of getting information out of memory storage.

sensory memory

the immediate, very brief recording of sensory information in the memory system.

short - term memory

activated memory that holds a few items briefly (such as the seven digits of a phone number while dialing) before the information is stored or forgotten.

long - term memory

the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system. Includes knowledge, skills, and experiences.

working memory

a view of short - term memory that stresses conscious, active processing of information, whether newly encoded or retrieved from long - term memory.

automatic processing

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

effortful processing

encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.


the conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage.

spacing effect

the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long - term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice.

serial position effect

the tendency to recall best the last and first items in a list.

implicit memory

retaining learned skills or conditioning, often without conscious awareness of this learning.

explicit memory

memories of facts and personal events that you can consciously retrieve


mental pictures; a powerful aid to effortful processing, especially when combined with encoding meaning.

long - term potentiation (LTP)

an increase in a synapse's firing potential. Believed to be a neural basis for learning and memory.

flashbulb memory

a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.


memory demonstrated by retrieving information learned earlier, as on a fill - in - the - blank test.


memory demonstrated by identifying items previously learned, as on a multiple -choice test.


memory demonstrated by time saved when learning material a second time.

retrieval cue

any stimulus (event, feeling, place, and so on) linked to a specific memory.

déjà vu

that eerie sense that "I've experienced this before." Cues from the current situation may unconsciously trigger retrieval of an earlier experience.

mood - congruent memory

the tendency to recall experiences that are consistent with your current good or bad mood.

memory trace

enduring physical changes in the brain as a memory forms.


the blocking of recall as old or new learning disrupts the recall of other memories.


in psychoanalytic theory, the basic defense mechanism that banishes from consciousness the thoughts, feelings, and memories that arouse anxiety.

misinformation effect

a memory that has been corrupted by misleading information.

source amnesia

faulty memory for how, when, or where information was learned or imagined.

The steps in memory information processing are

encoding, storage, retrieval.

Our short-term memory span is approximately ________ items.


The spacing effect means that

study spread over time results in better retention than cramming.

In Sperling's memory experiment, research participants were shown three rows of three letters, followed immediately by a low-, medium-, or high tone. The participants were able to report

any one of the three rows of letters.

Studies of memory-loss victims suggest that

there are two distinct types of memory.

Memory for skills is called

implicit memory.

The eerie feeling of having been somewhere before is an example of

déjà vu.

The three-stage processing model of memory was proposed by

Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin.

Psychologists found that memory was better in research participants who were

asleep during the retention period, presumably because interference was reduced.

Which of the following is least effective in triggering retrieval?


Memory-loss victims typically have experienced damage to the ________ of the brain.


According to the serial position effect, when recalling a list of words you should have the greatest difficulty with those

in the middle of the list.

If experimenters gave people a list of words to be recalled, the participants, who were tested after a delay, would recall best those words

at the beginning of the list.

Long-term potentiation refers to

the increased efficiency of synapse's firing potential following learning.

Repression is an example of

motivated forgetting.

Which of the following was not recommended as a strategy for improving memory?


The process of getting information out of memory storage is called


Memory-loss patients typically experience problems with

explicit memories.

Information is maintained in working/short-term memory only briefly unless it is


Memory researchers are suspicious of long-repressed memories of traumatic events that are "recovered" with the aid of drugs or hypnosis because:
A) such experiences usually are vividly remembered.
B) such memories are unreliable and easily influenced by misinformation.
C) memories of events happening before about age 3 are especially unreliable.
D) of all of these reasons.

D) of all of these reasons.

According to memory researcher Daniel Schacter, blocking occurs when

information is on the tip of our tongue, but we can't get it out.

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