Memory Name Period Mrs. Marler Psychology What is memory

Mrs. Marler
What is memory?
Memory is learning that lasts. It involves three steps:
1. Encoding of information
2. Storage of information
3. Retrieval of information
Terms you need to know:
Encoding: The processing of information into the memory system.
Storage: The retention of information over time.
Retrieval: The process of getting information out of memory storage.
Sensory memory: The immediate, very brief recording of sensory
information into the memory system.
Short-term memory: Activated memory that holds a few items briefly.
Long-term memory: The relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of
the memory system. Includes knowledge and skills, and experiences.
Working memory: Short-term memory that involves conscious, active
processing of incoming auditory and visual-spatial information and of
information received from long-term memory.
Memory Theories
Atkinson- Shriffrin classic Three Stage Model of Memory
This is an older but historically significant model of memory
This model explains memory as:
1. We take in information through sensory memory and we record some
and forget the rest.
2. From sensory memory we process information into short-term memory
where we encode it through rehearsal.
3. From short-term memory some of the information that has been
rehearsed will go to long-term memory and the remainder will be
Modified version of Three-stage processing model of memory
Major differences from the Akinson-Shiffrin Three Stage Model:
1. Some information goes straight to long-term memory without
processing and at times even conscious awareness. This means that
the information skips stage 1 and 2.
2. Since we cannot focus on all the sensory information received, we
select information that is important to us and actively process it
into our working memory. The information that we rehearse and
use in problem solving will go into long-term memory.
After learning basic skills the brain has the ability to parallel
process, allowing people to take in many pieces of information
simultaneously. The processing that occurs with out you thinking
about it is called automatic processing. People record information
such space, time and frequency automatically. Fore example they
may remember where they have been in a familiar building, where
on a page they left off or how many times they had to go to there
car to get something without thinking about it.
Effortful processing is processing that requires attention and
conscious effort. It often produces lasting memories. This includes
processing meaning, imagery, and organization.
Automatic versus Effortful Processing Examples
1. Where you ate dinner last night
1. Remembering a recipe
2. Where you left your coat
2. Navigating a mall the first time
3. Driving
3. Learning to drive
4. What a word means
4. Learning a new word
Rehearsal is the conscious repetition of information, either to
maintain it in consciousness or to encode it in storage.
- Rehearsal helps people to remember information. Without
rehearsal most information is lost quickly.
- Spacing out rehearsal over time helps to improve memory.
This is called spacing effect. For example studying
vocabulary words every weeknight for ten minutes is a
more effective technique than studying vocabulary words
for thirty minutes on one evening. “Spaced study beats
cramming.”(Myers 257)
- Serial position effect also impacts people when studying a
list. People tend to remember the first and last items in a
list better than the items in the middle.
making connections
a. chunking
b. hierarchies
8. mnemonic devices
Making connections: We hear things we usually try to connect the
information with information that we already know. We also use
context to interpret the meaning. This is an example of working
memory interacting with long-term memory.
Context: Having context helps with remembering. For example
having the general topic of a passage you are reading, knowing the
author or purpose of the writing all may help with remembering the
Rephrasing: Research has shown that taking information and
putting it into your own words helps with learning.
“ The amount remembered depends both on the time spent learning
and on our making it meaningful.” (Myers 258)
imagery: It is easier to remember visual images or words that readily
spark a visual image. Imagery is mental pictures. Vivid images are
the most likely to remain in memory long-term.
Mnemonic devices: These are memory aids. They often use vivid
imagery and organizational devices.
1. Peg-word system: use a jingle to remember things.
a. “One is a bun; two is a shoe; three is a tree; four is a
door; five is a hive; six is sticks; seven is heaven; eight is a
gate; nine is swine and then is a hen.” ( Myers 259)
i. When trying to remember a list this helps with
making things visuals. For example if you are trying
to remember what to bring to school associate
each thing with the visual and it will help you
1. Example: Eat a bun while picking up my
backpack. Tie my shoes and check for my
books. Get my pens so I don’t have to tell the
teacher I left it in a tree…etc.
2.Acronyms: you make up words with each letter representing
something to be remembered.
b. Roy G. Biv –helps remember colors of the rainbow
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet
3. Make a song or rhyme: Creating a song can help with memory.
A famous example is “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one, Save February, with twenty-eight days clear, And twenty-nine
each leap year.”
Organization: Taking information and organizing it can help with later
2. Chunking- organizing items into familiar, manageable units help
with memory.
a. This often happens naturally.
Ex: words or phrases
b. Grouping things can help with memory.
3. Hierarchies – Taking concepts and grouping them from broad
terms and narrowing them down.