Chapter 8 Memory I. Recovered Memory- suddenly remembering something when reminded, whether intentional or not, of a blocked out memory. A. Instances 1. 2. Eileen Franklin, while playing with her young daughter, was reminded of a close childhood friend who was murdered 21 years prior, at age 8. The case was never solved. In the moment of recovered memory, she remembered that her own father, George Franklin, was not only the murderer but had also molested her since age 3. Laura B. was in therapy when she recovered memory of her father molesting her from age 5 to 23 and raped her a few days before her wedding. B. Controversy 1. Recovered-Memory School says a. False memories are rare. b. Traumatic memories are commonly blocked out from consciousness. c. Doubters of recovered memory victims are betraying the victims and aiding child molesters. 2. Pseudo-Memory School says a. Real abuse does occur, but false memories of victimization are encouraged. 3. It turns out that in both of the cases mentioned, the men were exonerated of the charges. III. Memory and the Power of Suggestion A. Our memory stores the essentials of an experience, then we can use our knowledge of the world to figure out the specifics when we need them. 1. Because our memory is reconstructive, it can easily be swayed due to ideas implanted in our minds that become associated with that particular memory. B. The power of Suggestion Influences Memory. 1. Eyewitness Testimony a. Eyewitness testimony is not always reliable due to the reconstructiveness of memory. 1) Eyewitnesses are likely to make errors when the suspect’s ethnicity differs from that of the witness. Prejudices and/or unfamiliarity prevent people from attending to the distinctive features of members of other groups, perhaps ethnic stereotypes affect people’s reconstructions of what happened. b. Eyewitness accounts can be influenced by the way in which questions about the event are asked to the witness. 1) Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer (1974): They did a classic study to show how certain questions can suggest certain answers from eyewitnesses. After showing people a short film depicting car collisions, they asked the question, “About how fast were the cars going when they hit each other?” then they asked other people the same question only they changed the verb to words like smashed, collided, bumped or contacted. Estimates of the speed of the cars varied, depending on which word was used. The more violent sounding words produced the highest average speed estimates. c. Leading questions, suggestive comments, and misleading information affect people’s memories for their own experiences, as well as events they have merely witnessed. 2. Children’s Testimony a. Most adults believed that children confuse fantasy with reality and tend to say whatever adults expect, and therefore, that child’s memories could not be trusted. b. Most young children do recollect accurately most of what they have observed or experienced. On the other hand, some children will say that something happened when it did not. 3. Memory Under Hypnosis a. In hypnosis, a practitioner suggests changes in the sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings, or behavior of the subject. The subject tries to alter his or her normal cognitive functioning in accordance with the hypnotist’s suggestions. b. Hypnosis does not increase the accuracy over memory. However, under hypnosis the natural tendency to confuse fact and speculation is increased by the desire to please the hypnotist and by the hypnotist’s encouragement of fantasy and the reporting of detailed images. IV. In Pursuit of Memory A. Measuring memory 1. Explicit memory- conscious recollection of an event or item of information, measured in two ways a. b. recall- the ability to retrieve and reproduce information encountered earlier. Ex. Jeopardy, fill-in-the-blank, or essay questions Recognition- the ability to identify information observed, read, or heard about. True-false and multiple choice, which can be tricky if answers are similar, but it is usually easier than recall. Visual recognition is most impressive, if you show 2,500 slides to people and make them pick them out of a larger selection of pictures they can pick out 90% correctly (Haber,1970) 2. Implicit memory-information from the past affects our thoughts and actions even though we do not consciously or intentionally remember it, there are two ways to commonly measure it a. Priming- you are asked to read or listen to some information, than tested to see if the information affected your performance. Ex. If you are shown the stems of words (def-) with certain endings , when tested you will be more likely to chose one of the words that was shown to you if asked to give example of a word with that stem. Therefore your answer was “primed” b. Relearning method (saving method)- between an implicit and explicit memory test, was designed by Hermann Ebbinghans (1885/1913) . The subject is made to relearn something that they learned in the past, if they relearn it faster than they remembered something to help them learn. This test is only implicit if the learner is unaware they knew the information before. V. The Three-Box Model of Memory A. Sensory Memory-All incoming information presents itself in the sensory memory. Made up of subsystems: 1. Visual Images remain in the Visual Subsystem for up to half a second. 2. Auditory Images remain in the Auditory subsystem for up to 2 seconds 3. Pattern Recognition-the identification of a stimulus on the basis of information that is already contained in the long-term memory. Only some of the information in the sensory memory goes on to the short-term memory B. Short-Term memory- retains information for about 30 seconds. Also acts as a “mental scratch pad”, where information from the longterm memory can be moved for temporary use. This is called a working memory. 1. Storage in the short-term memory is very limited. George Miller estimates 7, however everything between 2 and 20 items of information are able to be stored in the short-term memory at a given time. a. Memories can also be stored as chunks in the short-term memory. These chunks may be verbal, auditory, or visual. Familiarity with a topic affects our ability to retain it. C. Long-Term Memory-Has no practical limits. Tons of information can be stored in the LTM. This information is organized into network models, which organize thoughts and memories into categories of related concepts and propositions. 1. Procedural Memories-Memories for knowing how to do something, like riding a bike or doing a puzzle. 2. Declarative Memories-Memories of recalling facts, like the capitols of the states. 3. Semantic Memories-Includes general knowledge; facts, rules, and concepts. 4. Episodic Memories-Recollections of personal experiences. D. From Short-term to Long-term: 1. Serial-Position Effect: If you are shown a list of items and then asked immediately to recall them, you will recall better depending on the item’s position in the list. Researchers are not sure why this happens, although there are theories. a. Primacy Effect: Recollection of the first items better b. Recency Effect: Recollection of the last items better VI. How we remember A. Effective encoding 1. We learned back in Chapter 4 that memories are not stored in just one single place in the brain. We saw that even though it is not known exactly how we store memories, that it seems to be encoded in pathways of synapses between neurons. 2. Automatic encoding: It seems that some information is automatically encoded without our even trying. Things like your location in time and space seem to be encoded without any deliberate effort on your part to do so. 3. Effortful encoding: some things will not be remembered without making an effort to encode them. We must make an effort to remember names, phone numbers, the content of this course, etc… B. Rehearsal: when information is reviewed or practiced, it will not only stay in short term memory longer, it is much more likely to be transferred into long term memory. 1. Maintenance rehearsal: Repeating something over and over. a. Works well for keeping information in STM b. Does not work as well for encoding information in LTM 2. Elaborative rehearsal: associating new items with information already in LTM or with other new items. It also includes analyzing the features of the information. 3. Deep Processing: Related to elaborative processing but emphasizes meaning rather than just the features of the information a. Craik and Tulving(1975): showed that the deeper the level of processing, the better the memory. C. Mnemonics: Using rhymes, stories, or visualizations to help retain a list of items. 1. Roy G. Biv for the colors of the rainbow 2. Pemdas for the order of operations 3. Using the knuckles of your hands to remember the number of days in the different months. D. Improving Memory: There are several things you can do to help improve your memory of information you are trying to learn. 1. Organize: this is really the key to remembering a lot of complex information. Organizing information forces you to both elaborate and process deeply. 2. Analyze: truly think about the meaning and implications of the material. 3. Over-learn: This means to continue to rehearse or practice even after you have learned it. If it took you 20 times reading over a poem and trying to repeat it before you got it right, repeat it 20 more times. That is called 100% over-learning. 4. Space-out practice: If you repeat it 5 times a day over 4 days, you will retain it better than repeating it 20 times in a row. Memories take time to consolidate. 5. Study different things consecutively. If you have a history, math, and biology test all on the same day, study the math in between the other two. 6. Use mnemonics for lists. The sillier the better. VII. Forgetting A. Decay: Memories fade with time if they are not occasionally accessed. This fits well with sensory memory and short term memory but not as well with long term memory. B. Replacement: Memories can sometimes be replaced by new information. 1. Lofus, Miller, and Burns (1978) showed that leading questions can actually cause people to replace the memory with the one planted by the question. C. Interference: When similar information causes you to get confused and therefore “misremember”. 1. Retroactive interference: when new information interferes with your ability to remember previous information. a. You get a new g-mail account and now write the wrong charter account email address. 2. Proactive interference: when old information interferes with your ability to remember new information. a. You keep writing down 2012 instead of 2013 all through January. D. Cue-dependent Forgetting: When we lack retrieval cues that can help us remember. We often have information linked in our minds. When we are given a cue, it can often help us remember things. 1. déjà vu: When cues are so similar to a past experience we feel like we have been there before. 2. State dependent memories: when memories are triggered by the emotional state of mind we were in when something happens. E. Psychogenic Amnesia 1. Amnesia is an inability to remember important personal information. It usually results from brain disease or trauma. 2. Psychogenic Amnesia is when it happens for no apparent physical cause. a. Often traced to embarrassment or guilt but usually extreme emotional shock. b. Generally, the memory will return in a fairly short period of time. 3. Repression: selective, involuntary forgetting of information that causes psychological pain a. This is controversial. Most modern psychologist do not believe in it. VIII. Autobiographical Memories: the memories of our lives. A. Childhood Amnesia: The inability to remember things before about age 4, and almost impossible to remember things before age 2. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Lack of brain development. Lack of a sense of self Impoverished encoding A focus on the routine Different ways of thinking about the world. B. Memory and Narrative: The stories of our lives. We try to make sense of our lives and create a coherent story of why we are who we are. This often leads to very reconstructive memory. We interpret things in ways that will affect how we remember things. IX. Memory’s Seven Basic Sins A. Transience: information becomes less accessible over time. B. Poor Encoding: inattention and shallow processing C. Blocking: Retrieval problems D. Misattribution: source amnesia E. Suggestibility: Leading questions or comments implant false memories F. Bias: Current beliefs distort our memories G. Persistence: The inability to forget things that we would like to.