Exam 2

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Studies using Sperling's 1960 partial report technique suggest that the capacity of visual sensory memory is:

a. 2-3 items

b. 4-5 items

c. approximately 7 items

d. very large, perhaps unlimited

d. very large, perhaps unlimited


Atkinson & Shiffrin's 1968 modal model of memory includes all of the following types of memory except:

a. sensory memory

b. short term memory

c. working memory

d. long term memory

c. working memory


_____ is the system involved in storing small amounts of information for a brief period of time?

a. sensory memory

b. short term memory

c. working memory

d. long term memory

b. short term memory


memory span is a test that is used to measure the ______ of short term memory?

a. capacity

b. duration

c. coding

d. all of the above

a. capacity


The duration of short term memory can be measured using?

a. a backwards memory span task

b. a running memory span task

c. The Brown- Peterson task

d. all of the above

c. the Brown- Peterson task


Based on Baddeley and Hitch's 1974 model of working memory, performing a visual task would most likely interfere with:

a. performing another visual task

b. performing a separate verbal task

c. performing either another visual or verbal task

d. none of the above task should interfere

a. performing another visual task


Not being able to remember new events that occur after damage to the brain is known as _____, which is ______ common than not being able to remember past events.

a. retrograde amnesia; more

b. retrograde amnesia; less

c. anterograde amnesia; more

d. anterograde; less

c. anterograde amnesia; more


Research on memory for sentences and paragraphs suggests that these memories are primarily encoded in terms of

a. the exact words used

b. visual features

c. Semantic features

d. syntactic features

c. semantic features


The capacity limit of the Short term memory us currently thought to be about ______, which is _____ that it was originally thought to be by George miller in 1956.

a. 4 chunks; less

b. 4 chunks; more

c. 7 chunks; less

d. 7 chunks; more

4 chunks; less


Research suggests that flashbulb memories are:

a. more accurate but less vivid than everyday memories

b. more vivid but less accurate than everyday memories

c. both more accurate and more vivid than everyday memories

d. both less accurate and less vivid than everyday memories

b. more vivid but less accurate than everyday memories


What are the stages of the Atkinson & Shiffrin's 1968 Modal Model of memory?

card image

1. sensory memory store

2. short term memory store

3. long term memory store


Sensory memory store

stimuli from the main senses arrives here and is only stored here for a fraction of a second


short term memory store

- information selected for transfer arrives here

- duration limited to about 20-30 seconds

- capacity limited to 7 (+/- 2) chunks

- encoded acoustically ( when you store memories by relating them to sounds)


long term memory store

- information that has been rehearsed is stored here

- lifetime duration

- unknown capacity

- encoded semantically ( or by giving meaning to information stored)


iconic memory

-Iconic memory is the visual sensory memory register

-pertaining to the visual domain and a fast-decaying store of visual information


echoic memory

-Echoic memory is one of the sensory memory registers

- a component of sensory memory that is specific to retaining auditory information.

-The sensory memory for sounds that people have just perceived is the form of echoic memory.


What is subitizing?

- the rapid labeling of small quantities of simultaneously presented items

- the ability to see a small amount of objects and know how many there are without counting


Sperling 1960

- whole and Partial repot methods


What was Sperling's whole report experiment?

-His experiments pertained to the rate of forgetting from sensory registers

- he flashes a series of letters on a screen for 1/20th of a second and asked participants how many they could remember

- subjects only able to remember about 35% of the letters


What was Sperling's partial report experiment?

- subjects again exposed to 3 rows of letters than randomly either a high medium or low tone was sounded for a row

- subjects were to report letters in the row in which the tone indicated

-under these conditions recall rate was at about 75% of the letters

- the longer tone was delayed the lower recall rate


what is the capacity and duration of short term memory?

-capacity 7 (+/- 2) elements

-duration limited to about 20-30 seconds at the most


Brown- Peterson Task?

-The duration of short term memory can be measured using there task

-To prevent rehearsal participants were asked to count backwards in threes or fours from a specified random number until they saw a red light appear. This is known as the Brown Peterson technique. Participants were asked to recall trigrams after intervals of 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 or 18 seconds.


memory span task

- the number of items, usually words or numbers, that a person can retain and recall

-in a typical memory span task and examiner reads a list of random numbers aloud at about the rate of one number per second, and at the end of the sequence the person is asked to recall as many items as they can in order


what is the average memory span for adults?

- about 5-7 elements


George Miller 1956

-Miller’s Magic number 7 (+/- 2) provides evidence for the capacity of short term memory.

-Most adults can store between 5 and 9 items in their short-term memory. -This idea was put forward by Miller (1956) and he called it the magic number 7.

-He though that short term memory could hold 7 (plus or minus 2 items) because it only had a certain number of “slots” in which items could be stored.



-is the combing of smaller units of information together into larger, more meaningful units

- chunking allows us to remember more than just 7 (+/- 2 ) items


Nelson Cowan 2001

-proposed that short term memory limit is closer to 4 (+/- 1)

- working memory model


working memory

-Working memory is the system responsible for the transient holding and processing of new and already-stored information, and is an important process for reasoning, comprehension, learning and memory updating. -

Working memory is generally used synonymously with short-term memory, but the two concepts are distinct


Proactive interference

when something you have learned in the past interferes with your ability to recall a recent event


retroactive interference

when something you have recently learned interferes with your ability to recall past events


serial position effect

-Serial position effect is the tendency of a person to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle items worst.

-example: studying best at the beginning and the end of a study session but neglecting the middle of the session


What is mental imagery?

- Seemingly perceptual experiences that we have without the presence of an external source


How is mental imagery coded?

-Analog code: a copy of the external stimulus

-Propositional code : a description of the external stimulus (verbal in nature; based on meaning


What research supports analog code?

- Finke & Pinker (1982)

- Participants shown a brief array of dots, then an arrow, and asked to indicate whether the arrow pointed to any of the previously shown dots

- Results: participants mentally scanned the image, showing an increase in RT as the distance b/t arrow and dot increased

-Symbolic distance effect: the larger the difference in the size between two objects, the faster the judgment of which is larger


Symbolic distance effect

the larger the difference in the size between two objects, the faster the judgment of which is larger


What research supports propositional code?

-Slezak (1991)

-Participants asked to mentally rotate objects to the right ( with eyes closed), and name what they see

-Results: participants were able to mentally rotate the shapes but could not tell what they became unless they were actually looking at them


what is the dual code hypothesis?

-the idea that words can be made up of multiple codes

-concrete words can be remembered pictorially and verbally

-abstract words can be remembered only verbally


what are some of the common mnemonic strategies?

-method of loci

-method of story

-key word method

-peg word method


method of loci

-spatially connects items in order

-used by Greek lyricist simonedes

- four major parts

1. set a location to long term memory

2. imagine each to be remembered items as an object

3. place item in said location

4. retrieve each item in order by mentally scanning said location


method of story

thematically connecting items in a specific order by creating a story that links the words or items together


peg word method

-similar to the method of loci

-except instead of a location from long term memory it uses ordered visual images or pegs from LTM

"one is a bun"

"two is a shoe"

"three is a tree"


key word method

-use of a key word that serves as a bridge for associating a word/name with its meaning

-useful in learning someone's name

useful for learning a foreign language


how is working memory different from short term memory, how is it similar?

- working memory is the use and processing of short term memories

-example: 1. if you walk into a new building, the direction you turn at each hall is your short term memory.

2. needing to process that information to reverse your path to get back out is working memory


Baddeley & Hitch's 1974 working memory model

- proposed a model of working memory based on three main components

- Phonological loop: verbal and auditory information

- central executive

-visuospatial sketch pad: visual and spatial information


primacy effect

- earlier items being better recalled that middle items

- better at remembering the first event


Recency effect

-most recent items being better recalled than middle items

-"better at remembering the most recent events"


Phonological loop

-Holds verbal and auditory information (i.e. trying to remember a phone number or a person’s name)


Phonological store

- acts as an "inner ear"

- Limited capacity and very brief duration


Articulatory rehearsal process

Responsible for rehearsal and the ability to keep items in phonological store from decaying (any items that can be repeated within a 2-second loop


Evidence for the Phonological Loop

-Phonological similarity effect: the confusion of letters or words that sound similar

-Word length effect: memory for lists of words is better for short words than for long words

• Because it takes more time to rehearse the long words – Baddeley et al. (1975) showed this is not based on speed of articulation (not letters or syllables)

• This time-based limitation imposed by the articulatory control process can affect the STM capacity limit PICKET is easier to remember than PARLOR

-Articulatory suppression: blocking the articulatory rehearsal process by repeating an irrelevant sound


Visuospatial Sketch Pad

Holds visual and spatial information (i.e. trying to solve a puzzle or find your way around campus


Evidence for the Visuospatial Sketch Pad?

Mental rotation: the act of rotating an image of an object in one’s mind


Central Executive

– Is the control center of the working memory system

– Coordinates information from the phonological loop and the visuospatial sketch pad

– Is an Attention controller

• Determines how attention is focused, divided, and switched between tasks


Episodic Buffer

Added to Baddeley and Hitch’s (1974) initial model of working memory to account for chunking and the ability to hold more than a few items in working memory

– Can store added information

• Providing extra capacity

– Is connected to long-term memory (LTM)

• Creating an interchange between Working memory and Long term memory


what brain areas are responsible for creating and storing memory?

hippocampus- is associated mainly with memory, in particular long-term memory. The organ also plays an important role in spatial navigation.

frontal cortex- Carries out higher mental processes such as thinking, decision making, and planning

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