Cognitive Psych Ch. 8
Terms in this set (52)
Autobiographical Memory (AM)
• Recollected events that belong to a person's past
• Mental time travel
• Multidimensional- spatial emotional and sensory components
• Sensory component- can include both episodic and semantic component
Greenberg and Rubin (2003)
Patients who cannot recognize objects also experience loss of autobiographical memory
-Visual experience plays a role informing and retrieving AM
Cabeza and coworkers (2004)
• Comparing brain activation caused by autobiographical memory and laboratory memory
• Participants viewed
-Looked at overlap but looked at special places within brain that trigger AM
Results of Cabeza and coworkers
• Both types of photos activated brain structures associated with episodic memory and processing scenes
• A-photos also activated brain structures associated with
-processing info about the self
-Memory for usual space
-Mental time travel memory
What events are remembered well?
-Significant events in a person's life
-Highly emotional events
• Participants over the age of 40 asked to recall events in their lives
• Memory is high for recent events and for events that occurred in adolescence and early adulthood (between 10 and 30 years of age)
Hypotheses about the reminiscence bump
1. Self-image hypothesis
2. Cognitive hypothesis
3. Cultural life-script hypothesis
- Memory is enhanced for events that occur as a person's self-image or life identity is being formed
- People assume identities during adolescence and young adulthood
-Many transitions occur between ages 10 and 30
- Encoding is better during periods of rapid change that are followed by stability
- Evidence from those who emigrated to the US after young adulthood indicates reminiscence bump is shifted -
Cultural life-script hypothesis
Each person has
-A personal life story
-An understanding of culturally expected events
-Personal events are easier to recall when they fit the cultural life script
Memory for Emotional Stimuli
• Emotional events remembered more easily and vividly
• Emotion improves memory, becomes greater with time (may enhance consolidation)
Brain activity used for memory of emotional stimuli
tendency to attend to a weapon during a crime
Memory for circumstances surrounding shocking, highly charged important events
• Kennedy assassination
• Challenger explosion
Flashbulb memories tend to be...
• Non"photographic" as they can change with the passage of time
Assessment of flashbulb memories by repeated recall results suggest...
that these memories can be inaccurate or lacking in detail, even
though participants report that they are very confident and that the memories seem very vivid.
Narrative rehearsal hypothesis
Repeated viewing/hearing of event
-TV, talking with others
-Could introduce errors in own memory
A lesson learned from the research on flashbulb memories is that...
A. Rehearsal cannot account for them
B. Extreme vividness of a memory does not mean it's accurate
C. They're permanent and resist forgetting
D. People's confidence in a memory
Answer: B. Extreme vividness of a memory does not mean it's accurate
The Constructive Nature of Memory
What actually happens + person's knowledge, experiences, and expectations
Bartlett's "war of the ghosts" experiment
-Had participants attempt to remember a story from a different culture
• Results: Over time, reproduction became shorter, contained emissions and inaccuracies
-Changed to make the story more consistent with their own culture
process of determining origins of our memories
Source monitoring error
misidentifying source of memory
-Also called "source misattributions"
Jacoby et al.'s (1989) "famous overnight" experiment
Design: See Figure 8.10
Results: After 24 hours, some non-famous names were misidentified as famous
Explanation: Some non-famous names were familiar, and the participants misattributed the source of the familiarity
-Failed to identify source as list they had been read the previous day
Memory can be influenced by...
Inferences that people make based on their
experiences and knowledge
• Memory often includes information that is implied by or is consistent with the to-be-remembered information but was not explicitly stated
based on knowledge gained through experience
knowledge about what is involved in a particular experience
-Post-office, ball game, classroom
conception of sequence of actions that occur during a particular experience
-Going to a restaurant; to the dentist
Schemas and scripts influence memory
- Memory can include information not actually experienced but inferred because it is expected and consistent with the schema
- Office waiting room
-Books not present but mentioned in memory task
-The constructive nature of memory can lead to errors or "false memories"
Advantages of Construction of Memories
-Allows us to "fill in the blanks"
-Cognition is creative
Disadvantages of Construction of Memories
-Sometimes we make errors
-Sometimes we misattribute the source of information
-Was it actually presented, or did we infer it?
misleading information presented after a person witnesses an event can change how that person describes the event later
-Misleading post-event information (MPI)
Loftus and coworkers (1975)
- See slides of traffic accident with stop sign
- Introduce MPI: yield sign
- Result: Participants remember what they heard (yield sign) not what they saw (stop sign)
Loftus and Palmer (1974)
Task: Ps see a film of a car wreck. How fast were the cars going when
they ________ each other?
Results: Those hearing "smashed" said the cars were going much faster than those who heard "hit"
"Hit": 34 mph
"Smashed into": 41 mph
One week later they were asked whether they saw any broken glass:
"Smashed into": 32%
Loftus & Zanni (1975)
Task: Ps see a film of a car wreck. Ps were then asked...
Indefinite: Did you see a broken headlight?
Definite: Did you see the broken headlight?
Result: "the" yes > "a" yes
Memory-trace replacement hypothesis
Mis-leading post event information (MPI) impairs or replaces memories that were formed during original event
-More recent learning interferes with memory for something in the past
-Original memory trace is not replaced
Source monitoring error
Failure to distinguish the source of the information
-MPI is misattributed to the original source
- Heard a story; two days later again with some details changed
- Told to ignore changes
-Same voice for both stories created source monitoring errors
-Changing voice (male to female) did not create as many errors
Hyman and coworkers (1995)
- Participants' parents gave descriptions of childhood experiences
- Participant had conversation about experiences with experimenter;
experimenter added new events
Results: When discussing it later, participant "remembered" the new events as actually happening.
Eyewitness Testimony: Loftus (1974)
Ps read evidence about a robbery case.
• No eyewitness: 18% conviction
• Eyewitness: 72% conviction
• Discredited eyewitness: 68% conviction
Errors in Eyewitness Testimony
• Testimony by an eyewitness to a crime about what he or she saw during the crime
• One of the most convincing types of evidence to a jury
- Assume that people see and remember accurately
• But, like other memory, eyewitness testimony can be inaccurate
- Mistaken Identity
- Constructive nature of memory
Wells & Bradfield (1998)
Task: Participants viewed security videotape with gunman in view for 8 seconds
Result: Everyone identified someone as the gunman from photographs afterwards
Errors due to attention and arousal
- Low: attend to irrelevant information
- High: Focus too narrowly
- Moderate: Best for being aware of relevant information
Stanny & Johnson's (2000)
(errors due to attention and arousal)
Errors due to familiarity
Ross et al. (1994)
Errors due to suggestion
- Suggestive questioning- misinformation effect
- Confirming feedback
- Confidence in one's memories may be increased by post-event questioning
- May make memories easier to retrieve
Lineups in Wells & Bradfield (1998)
- Victims are biased to assume that the criminal is in the lineup.
- The fewer the number of people matching the description, the more likely each is to be "identified." And...
- The more familiar the face, the more likely it is to be "identified."
However...sequential lineups lead to greater accuracy-sequential lineups force people to evaluate whether each suspect is or is not the criminal, rather than choosing the one who is most likely to be the criminal.
The Cognitive Interview
Developed by Ronald P. Fisher and Edward Geiselman
Three major components:
1. Reinstate the context of the event
2. Recalling the event in a different sequence
3. Looking at the event from a different perspective
Reinstate the context of the event
Reestablish the environment, mood, setting, and experiences by asking witnesses to relive mentally the events prior to, during, and after the crime.
Recalling the event in a different sequence
Enables witnesses to look at each stage of the event as a separate entity
Looking at the event from a different perspective
By prompting witnesses to physically change the positioning in their memories, interviewers give them the opportunity to recall more of their experiences.
The misinformation effect occurs when a person's memory for an event is modified by misleading info presented.
A. Before event
B. During event
C. After event
D. All of the above
Answer: C. After event