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Cognitive Test # 3
Ch. 5 and 8
Terms in this set (106)
What is Semantic Memory?
Our organized general knowledge about the world. This is our memory for facts.
What is Episodic Memory?
these are our memories for personal experiences/ episodes in our life. This includes contextual elements such as time and place
What is Procedural Memory?
knowledge about HOW to do something. This is memory for things that we don't really have to think implicitly about
Who is Patient K.C.?
He was a man who had no episodic memory; he had semantic memory so he could connect meaning to things and recall facts but he couldn't remember episodes from his past. Ex: He could remember HOW to change a tire but he couldn't remember ever changing a tire
What is the classical view of concept formation?
Items belong in a category if they contain necessary and sufficient features.
i.e. you decide what category an item belongs in based on it's features
What are the limitations of the classical view of concept formation?
Typicality effect and the fact that not all members are created equal—categories have graded structures.
What is the prototype view of concept formation?
We tend to store a summary of info across all examples and types and build a prototype of that concept in our minds
What is the exemplar view of concept formation?
Membership is a category is based on similarity to exemplars. Here all examples of a category are stored rather than a prototype
What is the typicality effect?
Some items are seen as better members of a category than others b/c their features are more typical of that category
What is meant by the term "fuzzy boundaries"?
There is no set cut off point between categories.
I.e. what is a sport vs what is a game?
Rosch and Mervis (1975) conducted some important research on the classical view of concept formation. What did they do, what did they find, and what did they conclude?
They gave participants pictures of basic level categories and then they had to put the items into the categories and rate the prototypicality on a scale from 1 to 7.
They found that certain items were more prototypical than others.
They also found that categories have a graded structure and have fuzzy boundaries.
Posner et al. (1967) conducted some important research on the prototype approach. What did they do, what did they find, and what did they conclude?
They were really looking at whether or not we summarize across info to create a prototype.
They showed participants variations of a group of dots and then were tested if they had seen the images before. The test included the prototype but they were never shown the prototype in the beginning.
They found that there is a high mis-identification of a prototype. We actually extract a prototypical representation based on presented examples.
What are characteristics of Prototypes?
They have a privileged status
They are judged more quickly
Why do prototypes have a a privileged status?
B/c of the semantic priming effect which states that we'll be faster to judge the prototypicality of an item if the info presented beforehand is more typical or prototypical.
What is the structure of categories?
The most general/ broadest category (.e. furniture)
Categories that are moderately more specific (i.e. chair)
lower level or more specific categories (i.e. desk chair)
Novick (2003) conducted some important research on the influence of Society/ Culture on Typicality Ratings. What did they do, what did they find, and what did they conclude?
They had groups of students at different times in relation to the 9/11 attacks rank order 10 vehicles in terms of typicality. They were looking at the airplane item in particular
They found that an airplane was rated as more typical if it was soon after the attack.
Conclusion: society and culture can impact how typical things are of a given category.
What is Anderson's ACT-R model of semantic memory?
It states that related items are interconnected in our minds and these concepts are represented as nodes. There is also a pattern of spreading activation--when we think of one concept we connect it with other concepts. I.e. when we think of Grandma we think of everything connected to her as well
What is the parallel distributed processing (PDP) model of semantic memory?
We have a network of neuron-like units (distribution) and activation occurs in many parts of the brain (parallel). This model explains how we make decisions in different contexts and states that activation is dist. across many areas of the brain. Certain connections have a greater weight and can get stronger or weaker through excitation or inhibition.
How do schemas and scripts influence memory?
They influence what material we focus on to remember. We tend to have better memory for schema inconsistent items that are vivid or surprising and we tend to make errors remembering schema consistent info.
general knowledge of a situation, an event, or person (how to act in a classroom)
a specific idea of what is expected in certain contexts (raising your hand in class to ask a question)
Brewer & Treyens (1981) conducted some important research on how schema's influence selection of material to be remembered. What did they do, what did they find, and what did they conclude?
Participants were left alone in an office very briefly and then they were brought to another room asked to remember everything in the researcher's office.
Participants tended to remember items that were consistent with an office schema but there were a lot of reconstruction errors (i.e. they reported seeing books even though there were none b/c it was consistent with the schema). They forgot items that were inconsistent b/c they weren't shocking enough.
What is a negative effect of schemas and scripts on cognitive processes?
Memory Integration & Stereotyping
our background knowledge encourages us to take in new info in a schema-consistent fashion
What is encoding?
translating external info into mental representations (this is paying attention to info)
What affects encoding?
This is affected by prior knowledge b/c we can connect the new info to prior info
What is storage?
Maintaining representations in memory
What is storage affected by?
This is affected by consolidation (i.e. how you package new info together) and by sleep.
What is retrieval?
recalling representations from memory.
What is retrieval affected by?
This is affected by encoding & storage, and available cues in the envi. as well as use of retrieval strategies.
What is the levels-of-processing approach to long-term memory?
This approach states that how deeply you process info affects how well you remember the info. The deeper we process something the better we will remember it and understand it.
What does the levels of processing approach suggest?
It suggests that it matters what you do during encoding.
How is the levels of processing approach limited?
The limitations to this is the circular definition of depth of processing—we say that we better remembered something b/c we used deeper processing but we don't know if that is the real reason you have better memory.
What are explanations for the levels of processing approach?
We have better memory for info that is deeply processed b/c of elaboration and distinctiveness of the info.
Craik & Tulving (1975) conducted important research looking at levels of processing. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
They asked participants questions about a list of words that are shown one at time—certain questions lead to shallow or deep processing of the words. They were then tested on their memory for the words.
Results: shallow processing led to lesser memory and deeper processing lead to better memory of the words.
What is the self-reference effect?
We tend to better remember info that we relate to ourselves b/c connecting info with ourselves allows us to process the info more deeply. You link new info with existing info and the info is distinctive and gets preferential rehearsal.
Nairne, Thompson, & Pandeirada (2007) conducted important research looking at memory in a survival context. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
Participants were asked to give a pleasantness rating for a list of words and they were then given a memory task. The participants were split into 3 tasks—a pleasant task, a moving task and a survival task.
There was a small effect but participants did have a better memory for the words when in the survival context.
This was b/c the survival task called for greater elaboration and it was more distinctive.
This means that we have deeper processing in survival contexts (deeper processing could have an adaptive benefit)
Soderstrom & McCabe (2011) conducted important research looking at the real world implications of the Nairne research. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
They had the same set up and pleasantness task but they introduced a predator task and a zombie task.
They found that participants had better memory for the predator task but even better in the zombie task.
This calls into question the suggestion that evolutionary relevant processing is the deepest level of processing—zombies aren't evolutionarily relevant.
What is the encoding specificity principle?
If the encoding context matches the retrieval context then memory will be better
Godden & Baddeley (1975) conducted important research on the context dependent memory. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
Participants learned info either underwater or on land and then they were tested in a matching context (underwater with underwater) or a nonmatching context (underwater with on land test).
They found that people had better memory if they were tested in the same context.
What is context dependent memory?
It states that if the context within which you retrieve the info is similar to the context within which you encode the info your memory will be better.
How much does context dependent memory influence our memory?
Not much--it helps but you shouldn't rely on it as a study tactic
What is transfer-appropriate processing?
Here the emphasis is not on the context, but on the processes used at encoding and retrieval. I.e. how you learn info should match how you retrieve info.
What are intentional memory tasks?
Intentional Memory tasks are when you know you are going to be testes (i.e. tests in classrooms)
What are examples of intentional memory tasks?
recall tests (fill in the blank, essay, short answer) and Recognition tests (multiple choice tests, true/ false questions, etc.)
What are incidental memory tasks?
indirect assessments of memory. Here the conscious recollection of an event or episode is not necessary.
What are some examples of an incidental memory task?
priming test (word-stem completions)
Richardson-Klavehn & Gardiner (1998) conducted important research on incidental vs intentional memory tasks. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
Participants had to study lists of words at 2 different levels of processing. They were then given an implicit memory test where they measured the number of word stem completions.
The participants were split into 2 groups: incidental learning group where they were told to complete the word stems with the first words that came to mind and an intentional learning group where they were told to complete the word stems with words from the list.
The intentional memory task group completed more word stems when there was deeper processing. Deeper or shallower processing didn't help or hurt the incidental memory task group, which suggests that depth of processing doesn't always matter—it's more important for intentional memory tasks.
What are the theories of forgetting?
we lose info due to the passage of time
What are the limitations of the decay theory?
It doesn't tell us the cause of forgetting
info currently being processed is negatively influenced by other info
What are they types of interference?
later/ newer info interferes with our ability to retain info encountered before
previously learned info interferes with learning info later on
What are the differences between autobiographical memories and facts?
Autobiographical memories are our personal experiences. So this includes our experience of remembering, our personal interpretation and context specific sensations.
Autobiographical facts are remembering things that others have told you over and over again. It's not necessarily things that have personal interpretations. They are things that you know to be true b/c others have told you so
How do researchers investigate autobiographical memory?
They focus on factors that can be assessed such as age of the recalled memory, vividness/ detail, emotional intensity etc.
Techniques used to study autobiographical memory include:
Targeted Event Recall
Targeted Event Recall
recalling particular events or well-defined periods of life (i.e. asking people to remember a specific event)
keeping track of daily events (i.e. they are asked to keep a diary for both important and mundane events)
Cue Word Technique
Generating memories in response to word cues (this includes words such as success, failure, citizen, mistake)
What is infantile amnesia? When does it occur?
We have very few memories for early in life
Between the ages of 0 & 3
Usher & Neisser (1993) conducted important research using targeted recall to study infantile amnesia. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
They had participants completed questionnaires about memories from childhood and they focused on 4 events: new sibling, hospital, moving, death.
It was found that even though we retain very little about this time it is also depends on the event and kind of memory.
General overall pattern is that we have more reported memories later on in life.
This means that the type of event matters b/c some are distinctive memories that are likely to be retold
What are the explanations for infantile amnesia?
Development of Self
Brain development and infantile amnesia?
The hippocampus which allows for the formation of episodic memories and long term memory isn't fully developed in infants
Language Development and infantile amnesia?
first 3 years of life is critical for language development and when you can't verbally comm these memories it's harder to develop and remember memories
Development of Self and infantile amnesia?
young children do not see themselves as independent entities and you can't create a life narrative if all events are observed as equal
Social-Cognitive Development and infantile amnesia?
this combines all 3 from above. There's no set start point of autobio memory—it gradually develops as all the others develop
What is the reminiscence bump?
This is the bump in memory we see between the ages of 10 and 30—we retain the most autobio memories and preferences in this age range.
What does the reminiscence bump influence?
It influences our self-narrative and who we are as well as our semantic memories.
It this reminiscence bump different across cultures?
The only difference across cultures here is the theme of memories recalled—individualistic cultures have greater personal autobio memories while collectivist cultures have more social autobio memories
What are the explanations for the reminiscence bump?
many of the events here are happening for the 1st time, are distinctive, important, and highly rehearsed which makes them highly memorable
our cognitive functions are at their peak potential to build and retain memories
events that occur during this time are most likely to be incorporated into our life narrative
What autobiographical memories are remembered later in life (30-50 years old)? What is this time period called?
Between the ages of 30 & 50 we are most likely to remember recent events. This is called the forgetting time period.
What is the nature of long term memory
Many people believe that long term memory functions like a video tape and that you can just play back experiences just as they occurred. But that's not how long term memory works. Memory is malleable so it's easy to introduce false memories.
Roediger & McDermott (1995) conducted important research on long term memory and false memories. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean? What are other examples of how researchers have created false memories?
They presented people with a list of words that were either related or unrelated to a critical lure (i.e. smell). They then took a recognition memory test where they had to say whether or not they had seen the word before and how sure they were.
They found that the critical lures really tripped people up and people had a high rate of false memories.
What are flashbulb memories?
These are memories for the circumstances surrounding when you first heard a startling bit of news (ex. Remembering where you were when you heard about 9/11).
What info is commonly reported with flashbulb memories?
Source, Location, emotion, activity, who you were with etc.
What are the typical properties of flashbulb memories?
detailed, vivid, and are held with high confidence
Talarico & Rubin (2003) conducted important research on flashbulb memories and forgetting. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
They contacted students the day after 9/11 and asked them to complete questionnaires regarding memories for 9/11 and mundane/ everyday memory. They were then given a memory test a week later, 6 weeks later, or 32 weeks later.
Results: the standard forgetting curve was seen in both flashbulb and everyday memories. (i.e. flashbulb memories are not impervious to forgetting). They also conducted a study about our level of confidence and vividness of these memories and the same result occurred.
What is the overall takeaway from these 2 Talarico and Rubin studies?
flashbulb memories and everyday memories don't differ in accuracy but we have more confidence in our flashbulb memories and they seem much more vivid.
What are explanations for flashbulb memories?
there are additional societal reminders
There are multiple sources of info about the events that transpired
they tend to be story like
Loftus (1974) conducted important research on the impact of an eyewitness in a court case. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
She presented participants with a hypothetical court case, but there were 3 different groups: no eyewitness, with an eyewitness, with a discredited eyewitness
No eyewitness = 18% would convict
Eyewitness = 72% would convict
Discredited Eyewitness = 68% would convict
I.e. eyewitness memory has a large impact on the jury; they are important
What is the Yerkes-Dodson Curve and what does it mean for eyewitness memory?
This curve shows how arousal affects our memory; when there is low or high arousal memory is worse, but when there is moderate arousal that is when our memory is at its peak.
This means that since most eye witnesses are witnessing a high stress event they are more likely to have a faulty memory.
What is reality monitoring?
This is our ability to know whether or not something really happened. This is comparing internal thoughts with external info (thinking you turned the oven vs did you really turn the oven off?)
What is source monitoring?
This is our ability to know where info or a memory came from; i.e. who said what, where did this memory come from. It's knowing who gave you info.
What is the social contagion effect?
This is when others' memories infect ours and create false memories.
Principe, Kanaya, Ceci, & Singh (2006) conducted important research on the social contagion effect. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
3-5 yr olds saw a magic show where the magician failed to pull a rabbit out of his hat. They were then split into 4 groups: Overheard (overheard adults talk about a loose rabbit), Classmate (classmates of the overheard group), Control (didn't overhear any rumor), and Witness (actually saw a live rabbit). They then went through either a neutral or suggestive interview. They then underwent a final interview.
Results: there were more false memories in the overheard groups (overheard & classmate) in both the neutral and suggestive interview groups. This suggests that kids' memories are more malleable and we see the social contagion effect.
What is the misinformation effect?
This is when we distort memory for an original event in a form of retroactive amnesia.
Loftus, Miller, & Burns (1978) conducted important research on post-event coding. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
College students were shown 30 color slides which included a red car at a stop sign and then later hitting a pedestrian. They then filled out a questionnarire that had either consistent info (did another car pass the red one at the STOP sign) or inconsistent info (did another car pass the red one while it was at the YEILD sign).
It was found that our memory is much more accurate when the info presented afterwards is consistent, but when it is inconsistent we are much worse than chance b/c they are attributing misleading info to the original memory which leads to the new encoding of that event.
Loftus & Palmer (1974) conducted important research on suggestive questioning. What did they do, what did they find, what does it mean?
Participants watched 7 videos of a traffic accident. They then completed a questionnaire giving an account of what they had seen—the critical question was a speed estimate. The only thing that changed was the verb used to describe the crash (hit, collided, smashed, etc.)
More violent verbs led to higher speed estimates while less violent verbs led to lesser speed estimates.
They then did a follow up study where they asked participants whether or not there was broken glass at the scene and used the same variety of verbs.
More violent verbs led to more people saying they saw glass at the scene.
What was the overall conclusion from both of these Loftus and Palmer experiments?
suggestive questioning can create false memories
How should an eyewitness be treated?
The eyewitness should be treated with respect and made to feel comfortable and secure at all times.
What should an interview involve?
The interview should involve open ended questions, implement mnemonic instructions, and the witness should describe the event as they choose.
What is graceful degradation?
This is the brains ability to provide partial memory even after the brain has been damaged.
What is the implicit association test (IAT)?
It is a tool that is based on the principle that people can mentally pair two related words more easily than unrelated word pairs. It is used to study/ assess stereotypes.
What is the Pollyanna principle?
That people usually process pleasant items more efficiently and more accurately than less pleasant items.
What is the positivity effect?
This is the phenomenon showing that people tend to rate previous negative experiences more positively with the passage of time.
What does research on this positivity effect suggest?
Research shows that we better memory for more positive events, we tend to forget info that is associated with unpleasant stimuli, and that overtime pleasant memories become slightly less pleasant while unpleasant memories become much less unpleasant with the passing of time.
What is retrograde amnesia?
the loss of memory for events that occurred prior to brain damage.
What is anterograde amnesia?
the inability to form memories for events that occur after brain damage.
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