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Estimated Lesson Time: 3 hours 30 minutes (self-evaluated option) / 5 hours 30 minutes (instructor-evaluated option)

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Lesson Introduction

Memory is essential for life as we currently experience it, allowing us to use what we know to interpret the world. This study of memory will help you to understand how your own memory works, beginning with a discussion of the three-stage model of memory, which involves sensory, short term (or working), and long-term memory. The focus then moves to encoding, or the process by which information is transferred into memory. In the last section we look at retrieval or bringing information from long-term back into short-term memory, discussing not only how retrieval works, but also failure of retrieval, or forgetting. This chapter also discusses how and why our memories are not always perfect reconstructions of the events we experience.

Lesson To Do List

Proceed to each section below. Click on the header bar to expand the section and follow the instructions in that section. Once complete, click on each item that you have completed.

Read Griggs, Chapter 5
Watch the lesson presentation
Watch the videos (optional)
Match the terms with their definitions
Review the discussion questions
Do the assignment(s)
Take the quiz

Lesson Presentation (00:52:36)

To Do: View all the slides in the presentation or view to the end. Be sure to click the "Next" button to advance through the slides.

You have viewed this entire presentation!

Lesson Videos

To Do: Watch all of the videos not marked optional. Click to clear watched video status.

You have watched all of the required videos! Click to clear watched video status.

Clive Wearing - The man with no short-term memory (00:03:05)

This is an edited version of the BBC documentary 'Man without a memory' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDNDRDJy-vo). It shows the essence of Clive's disability (and it's pretty sad to watch too!).

How reliable is your memory? | Elizabeth Loftus (00:17:37)

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

Lesson Terms and Definitions

To Do: Match the correct terms with the definition.

A mnemonic in which sequential pieces of information to be remembered are encoded by associating them with sequential locations in a very familiar room or place and then the pieces of information are retrieved by mentally going around the room (place) and retrieving the piece at each location.
The principle that the environmental cues (both internal and external) present at the time information is encoded into long-term memory serve as the best retrieval cues for the information.
The visual sensory register that holds an exact copy of the incoming visual input but only for a brief period of time, less than 1 second.
An inaccurate memory that feels as real as an accurate memory.
A theory of forgetting that proposes that forgetting is due to the decay of the biological representation of the information and that periodic usage of the information will help to maintain it in storage.
A mnemonic in which the items in a list to be remembered are associated with the sequential items in a memorized jingle and then the list is retrieved by going through the jingle and retrieving the associated items.
A theory of forgetting that proposes that forgetting is due to other information in memory interfering and thereby making the to-be-remembered information inaccessible.
Memory processing that occurs subconsciously and does not require attention.
The disruption of memory for the past, especially episodic information for events before, especially just before, surgery or trauma to the brain.
A memory task in which a list of items is presented one at a time and then the participant is free to recall them in any order.
Explicit memory for factual knowledge.
Superior long-term memory for spaced study versus massed study (cramming).
A meaningful unit in a person’s memory.
An experimental procedure in which two meaningless visual patterns that produce a meaningful pattern if integrated are presented sequentially with the time delay between their presentations varied.
Long-term memory retrieval is best when a person’s physiological state at the time of encoding and retrieval of the information is the same.
A theory of information processing in memory that assumes that semantic processing, especially elaborative semantic processing, leads to better long-term memory.
A memory task in which the participant is given a series of items one at a time and then has to recall the items in the order in which they were presented.
The process of maintaining information in a memory stage.
The inability to form new explicit long-term memories for events following surgery or trauma to the brain. Explicit memories formed before the surgery or trauma are left intact.
The superior recall of the latter portion of a list relative to the middle of the list in a one-trial free recall task.
An experimental procedure in which, following the brief presentation of a matrix of unrelated consonants, the participant is given an auditory cue about which row of the matrix to recall.
The superior long-term memory for information related to oneself at time of encoding into long-term memory.
The implicit influence of an earlier presented stimulus on the response to a later stimulus. This influence is independent of conscious memory for the earlier stimulus.
The process of bringing information stored in long-term memory into short-term memory.
The memory stage with a small capacity (7 ± 2 chunks) and brief duration (< 30 seconds) that we are consciously aware of and in which we do our problem solving, reasoning, and decision making.
The savings method of measuring long-term memory retrieval in which the measure is the amount of time saved when learning information for the second time.
A person with severe memory deficits following brain surgery or injury.
Long-term memory retrieval is best when a person’s mood state at the time of encoding and retrieval of the information is the same.
Long-term memory for factual knowledge and personal experiences. This type of memory requires a conscious effort to remember and entails making declarations about the information remembered.
The process of moving information from one memory stage to the next (from sensory memory into short-term memory or from short-term memory to long-term memory).
The disruptive effect of prior learning on the retrieval of new information.
The memory stage in which information is stored for a long period of time (perhaps permanently) and whose capacity is essentially unlimited.
A measure of long-term memory retrieval that only requires the identification of the information in the presence of retrieval cues.
The distortion of a memory by exposure to misleading information.
Frameworks for our knowledge about people, objects, events, and actions that allow us to organize and interpret information about our world.
Information gathered early is weighted more heavily than information gathered later in forming an impression of another person.
A theory of forgetting that proposes that forgetting is due to the failure to encode the information into long-term memory.
The failure to recall specific information from memory combined with partial recall and the feeling that recall is imminent.
A type of rehearsal in short-term memory in which incoming information is related to information from long-term memory to encode it into long-term memory.
An experimental procedure in which, following the brief presentation of a matrix of unrelated consonants, the participant has to attempt to recall all of the letters in the matrix.
Attributing a memory to the wrong source, resulting in a false memory.
The set of sensory registers, one for each of our senses, that serve as holding places for incoming sensory information until it can be attended to, interpreted, and encoded into short-term memory.
Explicit memory for personal experiences.
A memory task in which a small amount of information is briefly presented and then the participant is distracted from rehearsing the information for a variable period of time, after which the participant has to recall the information.
A type of rehearsal in short-term memory in which the information is repeated over and over again in order to maintain it.
Tendency to retrieve experiences and information that are congruent with a person’s current mood.
A theory of forgetting that proposes that forgetting is due to the unavailability of the retrieval cues necessary to locate the information in long-term memory.
The average number of items an individual can remember across a series of memory span trials.
Memory processing that occurs consciously and requires attention.
A memory aid.
Long-term memory for procedural tasks, classical conditioning, and primary effects. This type of memory does not require conscious awareness or the need to make declarations about the information remembered.
Implicit memory for cognitive and motor tasks that have a physical procedural aspect to them.
The disruptive effect of new learning on the retrieval of old information.
A measure of long-term memory retrieval that requires the reproduction of the information with essentially no retrieval cues.
Our inability as adults to remember events that occurred in our lives before about 3 years of age.

Lesson Discussion Questions

Explain the three-stage-model of memory.
What are some of the differences between short- and long-term memory?
What is the difference between implicit and explicit memory?
Explain the different types of implicit and explicit memory.
What are the different types of amnesia?
Is our memories like video recorders? Why or why not?
What are some ways we could remember a list of 10 items?
Why do we forget things?
What are some reasons why are memories are not that accurate?

Lesson Assignments

Assignment #1:

This assignment is for students with the instructor-evaluated course option.

Describe the three stages of memory starting with sensory memory. How does each stage work? Use examples and explain the terms used in the text in your own words. One page.
Assignment #2Answer one of the following question found in the "Lesson Discussion Questions" section using the discussion section below, and respond to/comment on at least one student's post. Comment on a post that has no comments yet, if possible.
Assignment #3Class Assignment: (Note: Large classes can be split into groups of about 25 students each. This only works well if the students already don't know each other). Take 10 minutes to Google memory techniques for remembering people's names. Have the students share one technique that they like the best with the class. Now, have each student stand up and say their name while looking at the class. The students remains standing for about 5 seconds, then the next student goes. Ask the class who thinks they can remember all the names and have them repeat it. If they miss a name, they sit down and the next person tries. Continue until someone get's all the names right.

Lesson Quiz

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    From the Course:
    Introduction To Psychology
    Bo Bennett, PhD

    (4 ratings)
    Academics : Social Science
    Offered by VirversitY
    $30.00 $19.00
    $499.00 $299.00
    Lesson Progress

    This lesson is not yet complete. Still left to do: Lesson Presentation, Lesson Videos, Terms and Definitions, Assignments, Quiz


    Lessons greyed out are for enrolled students only.

    #2: The Science of Psychology
    #3: Neuroscience
    #4: Sensation and Perception
    #7: Cognitive Biases
    #8: Thinking and Intelligence
    #9: Developmental Psychology
    #10: Personality Theories and Assessment
    #12: Abnormal Psychology
    #13: Course Summary and Final Assignment
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    Lesson Quiz

    Be sure to click the "Submit Quiz Answers" at the end of the quiz to save and submit your quiz answers. Select the best answer.

    1) Which of the following types of memory holds sensory input until we can attend to and recognize it?
    a) short-term memory
    b) sensory memory
    c) semantic memory
    d) episodic memory
    2) Our short-term memory capacity is ______ ± 2 chunks.
    a) 3
    b) 5
    c) 7
    d) 9
    3) Which of the following types of memory has the shortest duration?
    a) sensory memory
    b) short-term memory
    c) semantic memory
    d) episodic memory
    4) Which of the following leads to the best long-term memory?
    a) maintenance rehearsal
    b) elaborative rehearsal
    c) physical processing
    d) acoustic processing
    5) The primacy and recency effects in free recall demonstrate that we have the greatest difficulty recalling the words ______ of a list.
    a) at the beginning
    b) at the end
    c) in the middle
    d) at the beginning and end
    6) Which of the following is not a mnemonic aid?
    a) method of loci
    b) peg-word system
    c) temporal integration procedure
    d) first-letter technique
    7) An essay test measures ______, and a multiple-choice test measures ______.
    a) recall; recall
    b) recall; recognition
    c) recognition; recall
    d) recognition; recognition
    8) Which of the following theories of forgetting argues that the forgotten information was in long-term memory but is no longer available?
    a) encoding failure theory
    b) storage decay theory
    c) interference theory
    d) cue-dependent theory
    9) In the Loftus and Palmer experiment, participants were shown a film of a traffic accident and then later tested for their memory of it. The finding that memory differed based upon the specific words used in the test questions illustrated ______.
    a) state-dependent memory
    b) source misattribution
    c) the self-reference effect
    d) the misinformation effect
    10) The results for the experiment in which word lists were studied either on land or underwater and then recalled either on land or underwater provide evidence for ______.
    a) source misattribution
    b) encoding specificity
    c) proactive interference
    d) retroactive interference
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