Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Chapter 7 and the corresponding lecture notes discuss a phenomenon known as flashbulb memories. For your initial post, submit a minimum of 2 paragraphs (3-5 sentences minimum each paragra - Writeedu

Chapter 7 and the corresponding lecture notes discuss a phenomenon known as flashbulb memories. For your initial post, submit a minimum of 2 paragraphs (3-5 sentences minimum each paragra


Chapter 7 and the corresponding lecture notes discuss a phenomenon known as flashbulb memories. For your initial post, submit a minimum of 2 paragraphs (3-5 sentences minimum each paragraph) summarizing your responses to the questions below. OR, you can simply number your answers. Don't forget to engage with at least 2 of your classmates in a meaningful way so you can earn those precious Engagement points! Each peer response should be at least 1 paragraph (3-5 sentences minimum) in length.

1. Given what you read in Chapter 7 and the corresponding notes, how do you define flashbulb memory in your own words?

2. Identify and describe a flashbulb memory that you have for a national/historic event, sharing the major details that you can remember. Who were you with? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Any sights, sounds, smells that you can remember?

3. Identify and describe a flashbulb memory that you have for a personal event, sharing the major details that you can remember. Who were you with? What were you doing? How were you feeling? Any sights, sounds, smells that you can remember?*Note that this is a public forum so do not share anything with the group that you aren't comfortable sharing!

What classifies as a national/historic event? Any major event that others in the class might also have memories for such as 9/11, a hurricane or other natural disaster, an election night, mass shootings, death of a celebrity, space launch, pandemic, verdicts of course cases that garnered national attention (e.g., O.J. Simpson, George Floyd, etc..), national protests, etc…

What classifies as a personal event? Any event that you experienced such as a birthday, wedding, funeral, car accident, graduation, special day, traumatic day, etc…



Tiffany Daniels, M.S.


Let’s Start With a Memory Challenge

• I’m going to read you a grocery list. Use whatever memory strategies that you think will be most effective to memorize the items. When I am done, write down as many items as you can remember. You do not have to remember them in order.


Key Terms

• Memory – The retention of information over time through the processes of encoding, storage, & retrieval.

• Encoding – Process by which information gets into memory storage

• Storage – Retention of information over time and the representation of information in memory.

• Retrieval – The memory process of taking information out of storage.


Encoding • Requires selective attention

• Divided attention – occurs when a person must attend to several things at once

• Selective/Sustained attention (focusing on one thing for a prolonged period of time) is better than divided attention in terms of retrieval


Encoding • Levels of Processing Model (Craik &

Lockhart 1972) • Shallow level: The sensory of physical

features are analyzed. • Intermediate level: The stimulus is

recognized and given a label. • Deepest level: Information is processed

semantically, in terms of meaning.


“All I see is a bunch of ink on this page! I’m so zoned out, I’m not even making out the words!”

“I am reading the words but I don’t understand it. I keep reading the same line over and over!”

“Not only do I understand what I just read, but I can apply it to myself, create examples, and even share what I learned with a friend!”



Encoding • An individual’s memories are better if he or

she uses the deepest processing level. • Memories are also better if using

elaboration when encoding. • Elaboration: extensiveness of processing

at any given level of memory. • Self-references, generating examples, and

using imagery are better than simple rote memorization



• Flashcards are a type of rote memorization – how effective are they in the long term?

• It is also important to be motivated to remember

• How easy is it to encode, store, and retrieve information for your least favorite class?


Memory Storage • The Atkinson-Shiffrin Theory (1968) • Storage involves 3 separate systems • Sensory Memory: time frames of a fraction

of a second to several seconds • Short-Term Memory (STM): time frames up

to 30 seconds • Long Term Memory (LTM): time frames up

to a lifetime


Sensory Memory

• Includes: • Iconic memory (visual sensory memory) –

we can remember things that quickly flash before our eyes

• Echoic memory (auditory sensory memory) – we can remember sounds after the fact, even if we weren’t attending to them.


Short-Term Memory

• Capacity is 7 ± 2 (called “Miller’s Magical Number)

• Means we can usually remember on average, between 5-9 items in a list (example: phone numbers, Social Sec. #)

• Can improve short-term memory by using rehearsal and chunking.


Short-Term Memory

• Rehearsal- the process of repetitively verbalizing or thinking about information.

• Chunking- grouping familiar stimuli together that exceed the 7 ± 2 limit (memory span) and storing them as a familiar unit.

• This saves space and allows for more storage capacity.



Chunking Examples

The Truffle Shuffle is NOT an example of Chunking, but it sure is fun

• Not 3-7-9-8-8-5-0 • But 379-8850 (Phone numbers)

• Not 3-2-5-5-6-8-9-3-2 • But 325- 56- 8932 (Social Security


• Recent research suggests that without chunking & rehearsal, our true STM capacity might only be 4 ± 1


Baddeley’s (2001) Working Memory Model

• Baddeley views short term-memory as more of a 3-part Working memory system

• Temporarily holds information as people perform cognitive tasks. (kind of like the multiples windows you can have open at once on your computer)

• Includes the phonological loop, visuospatial working memory, and central executive.


Baddeley’s Working Memory Model • Phonological loop- speech-

based info about sounds of language

• Visuospatial scratch pad (aka visuospatial working memory)- allows people to temporarily hold and mentally manipulate visual images. Your visuospatial sketchpad is what helps you know what the figure to the right of this caption is.


Baddeley’s Working Memory Model

• Central Executive: integrates information not only from the phonological loop and visuospatial scratch pad, but also from long- term memory. Used in planning, attention, and organizing.


Long-Term Memory • Relatively permanent type of memory that stores

huge amounts of information for a long time. Includes explicit and implicit memory.

• Explicit memory – the conscious recollection of information such as specific facts or events, and at least in humans, information that can be verbally communicated.

• Two types of explicit memory: episodic memory and semantic memory.


Explicit Memory

• Episodic memory – retention of information about the where, when, and what of life’s happenings. **Autobiographical

• Semantic memory – a person’s knowledge about the world. Includes areas of expertise, general knowledge like what you learn in school, and everyday knowledge such as meanings of words, famous people, important places, etc.



Explicit Memory

• Label each memory with either an E or S:

1) The Eiffel Tower is located in Paris:_____ 2) Visiting the Eiffel Tower on vacation:_____ 3) Senior prom is a dance for 12th graders:_____ 4) My first kiss:________ 5) Wilhelm Wundt is the founding father of

psychology:_______ 6) The first time I attended psychology class:____


Explicit Memory


Long-Term Memory

• Implicit memory – Memory in which behavior is affected by prior experience without that experience being consciously recollected.

• Includes procedural memory, classical conditioning, and priming.


Long-Term Memory

• Procedural memory – memory for skills (how to ride a bike, brush your teeth, type on the computer, drive a car)

• Classical conditioning – the automatic learning of associations between stimuli. **This type of learning involves nonconscious, implicit memory


Long-Term Memory

• Priming – a type of implicit memory process involving the activation of information that people already have in storage to help them remember new information better and faster.

• For example, let’s say I give you the following cues, and you need to fill in the blank to form a word.



• ho____ pe____ tr_____

In a study, individuals who had been primed through the presentation of material reflecting positive feelings are more likely to subsequently fill in the blanks with the words “hope” “peace” and “trust” rather than neutral words such as “horn” “peach” and “trout”




• In another study, people who were asked to find aggressive words in a word find puzzle (such as “rude,” “fight,” and “complain”) were more likely to interrupt the experimenter following the experiment than those who were presented with positive words (such as polite, friendly, and sensitive). Not only did the people presented with positive words NOT interrupt, but they lingered around for 10 minutes politely waiting for the experimenter’s attention.


Priming • Similarly, people presented with words in

a word find task such as “achieve” “win” and “compete” are more likely to do better on a later puzzle task than individuals presented with neutral words.

• Clearly, priming can have a major impact on our behavior and we don’t even realize it!


Memory Retrieval • Retrieval – the memory process

of taking information out of storage. Very much dependent on the circumstances under which a memory was encoded and the way it was retained.

• Let’s revisit our grocery list challenge!!!


Memory Retrieval

• Serial position effect: the tendency to recall the items at the beginning and end of a list more readily than those in the middle

• Primacy effect – better recall for items at the beginning of a list

• Recency effect – better recall for items at the end of the list.


Serial Position Effect • Beginning items

receive more rehearsal

• Later items may still be in working memory, and easier to recall

Job Interview Example


Retrieval • Two other factors involved in retrieval are the

nature of the cues that can prompt your memory, and the retrieval task that you set for yourself.

• Example Recall vs. Recognition • Recall – individual has to retrieve previously

learned information (ex: essay test) • Recognition: the individual only has to identify

learned items (ex: multiple choice tests) • Generally individuals do better with recognition

vs. recall tasks.




• Encoding Specificity Principle: Information present at the time of encoding or learning tends to be effective as a retrieval cue.

• Example: If you see me regularly teaching this class, you will recognize me when you walk in the door. However, if you see me at a restaurant or bar, you might not recognize me out of the context.


Retrieval • Context-dependent memory – People remember

better when they attempt to recall information in the same context in which they learned it.

• Based on this principle, it is best to sit in the same classroom and same desk while learning AND when taking the test. The desk can act as a cue. “Ok, I was sitting right here when she talked about learning, now what did she say about positive reinforcement?”


Context-dependent memory

• In one study, individuals learned material either under water or on land. Their performance was better if they were recalling the material in the same context in which they encoded it. That is, individuals who were under water while learning performed best when they were under water while recalling.



• State-dependent memory – people remember information better when their psychological state or mood is similar at encoding and retrieval.

• Explains why those of you who have anxiety during tests may not perform as well. You were calm during encoding, and stressed out during retrieval.


Special Cases of Retrieval

• Autobiographical memories • Emotional/Flashbulb memories • Traumatic Events • Repressed Memories • Eyewitness Testimony


Autobiographical Memories • Special form of episodic memory that

includes a person’s recollections of his or her life experiences.

• Includes: life time periods (ex: the high school years), general events (ex: senior prom), and event-specific knowledge (ex: my date was a jerk)

• Might not be entirely accurate – subject to reconstruction with the passage of time.



Flashbulb Memories

• The memory of emotionally significant events that people often recall more accurately and vividly than everyday events

• Example: Can you remember exactly where you were, what you were doing, on 9/11?

• Can be very accurate over time, however, flashbulb memories are subject to distortion based upon hearing others’ recollections of the same events.


Memory for Traumatic Events

• “Can be so arousing emotionally as to almost leave a scar on the brain’s tissue” – William James

• Usually more accurate than memory for ordinary events, however the memory can be so traumatic that individuals may distort the truth to protect themselves psychologically.


Repressed Memories

• Repression – defense mechanism by which a person is so traumatized by an event that he or she forgets it and then forgets the act of forgetting. Also called motivated forgetting.

• Motivated forgetting – act of forgetting something because it is so painful or anxiety-laden that to remember it is intolerable (ex: childhood sexual abuse, rape, war crimes)


Repressed Memories • The topic of repressed memories is still very

controversial. • Do repressed memories even exist? • When a repressed memory comes to the surface

is it real or implanted? • Should repressed memories be admissible in



Eyewitness Testimony

• Elizabeth Loftus has conducted some groundbreaking studies showing the imperfections of memory.


Elizabeth Loftus

• The misinformation effect occurs when participant’s recall of an event they witnessed is altered by introducing misleading post- event information.

• Example: Jean Piaget and the hero Nanny.



Jean Piaget and the Hero Nanny

• One day when Jean Piaget was a child his nanny (he came from a wealthy family) took him to the park. Hours later, they had not returned and Jean’s parents phoned the police. Shortly after, Jean and the Nanny returned. The nanny noted that, while in the park, a man had come and attempted to kidnap Jean, and the nanny had fought the man off and then hid till it was safe to come back home.


Jean Piaget and the Hero Nanny • His parents were extremely grateful and

rewarded the nanny. They frequently told stories about her and the event, and Jean, as he grew older, remembered and could recount the man, the scratches on his face as the nanny fought him off, and a police officer coming to their aid. Years later, when he was 15, the nanny wrote a letter to Jean’s parents to admit she had made the whole story up, and had simply lost track of time but didn’t want to lose her job. This story illustrates the fallibility of human memory.


Loftus, cont.

• Loftus would show students pictures of a car accident and then ask them leading questions.


• Example: Did you see the stop sign clearly marked?

• Many “eyewitnesses” will respond yes, as the question leads you to believe there is no question that the stop sign was there.

• In fact, if you take a second look, there was no stop sign in the photo at all.

• Shows the imperfection of memory, and “eyewitness” testimony.


What we have learned about eyewitness testimony

• Can contain errors • Between 2000 – 10,000 people are wrongfully

convicted each year in the U.S. because of faulty eyewitness testimony.

• People are less likely to recognize individual differences among people of another ethnic group when identifying criminals

• People often identify a member of another ethnic group as the criminal when it was actually a member of their own group (major bias).


So why do we forget? • Failures in encoding or retrieval (or both!) • Encoding failure – the information was never

entered into long-term memory. • For example, without looking ahead in the notes,

can you describe the details of a penny? Which way does Abe Lincoln face? Which side is the date on? What (if anything) is written on the opposite side of the date? What does it say at the top of the penny? We see pennies everyday, but some of us have never encoded them into long- term memory.



Encoding failure

• Here is an example of a real penny. Did you remember accurately?

• What about the Don’t Walk sign?


Retrieval Failure • Interference theory – people forget not

because memories are lost from storage but because other information gets in the way of what they want to remember. Retrieval cues are overloaded.

• Proactive interference – occurs when material that was learned earlier disrupts the recall of material learned later

• Retroactive interference – occurs when material learned later disrupts the retrieval of information learned earlier


Proactive Interference

• Let’s say you study for biology first, psychology second, then take a psychology test. You find it difficult to answer questions on the psychology test because you keep thinking about biology. This is proactive interference (the interference is moving forward in time)


Retroactive Interference • Let’s say you study psychology first,

biology second, then you take your psychology test. The biology information is going to interfere with the psychology information when you are taking your test. This is called retroactive interference because new material affects what you learned in the past (the interference is moving backward in time)


Interference Theory

• Another example of interference happens when you are meeting new people.


Retrieval Failure

• Tip-of-the Tongue Phenomenon – the “effortful retrieval” that occurs when people are confident that they know something but cannot pull it out of memory.

• The retrieval cues are not strong enough. We may only be able to remember what the words starts with, or the number of syllables, but we can’t retrieve the word itself.



Retrieval Failure – Prospective Memory

• Whereas retrospective memory is remembering the past, prospective memory involves remembering to do something in the future (ex: remembering to go to an appointment)


Prospective Memory

• Time-based prospective memory – intention to engage in a given behavior after a specified amount of time has gone by (“In 20 minutes, I’m going to take a break)

• Event-based prospective memory – intention to engage in a given behavior when it is elicited by some external event or cue (“When I see Gwen, I need to give her a phone message)


Prospective Memory

• Research has shown that people aren’t very good at time-based events. (for example, they get involved with other tasks and forget to perform the prospective task after 20 minutes have elapsed), and that event- based cues are often produce more success in prospective memory.

• Lesson learned here? Use a lot of post-its, a calendar/planner, and tie strings around your fingers đŸ™‚


Retrieval Failure – Amnesia

• Amnesia – the loss of memory • Retrograde Amnesia – A memory disorder

that involves memory loss for a segment of the past but not for new events.

• Anterograde Amnesia – A memory disorder that affects the retention of new information and events


Retrograde Amnesia

• The person loses memories for events that occurred prior to the injury (mostly explicit memories).

• Example: A person in a severe car accident comes out of a coma, and the earliest thing they can recall is one week before the accident happened. In some cases, people can lose years, even sometimes decades. Rare to have absolutely NO idea of who you are.


Anterograde Amnesia

• A person loses memories for events that occur after the injury.

• Essentially an inability to form any new memories into Long- Term memory.

• See: Memento (2000)



The Story of H.M. • H.M. was a man who, in 1953, underwent a

bilateral hippocampectomy to help to relieve the debilitating effects he was having from intractable epilepsy.

• After surgery, H.M. completely lost the ability to make new memories.


• In the movie “50 First Dates”, the character Ten Second Tom is based off of H.M.

“Hi, I’m Tom!!!”



• N.A. was a soldier stationed in California. He was studying quietly in his room when his barracks roommate, an accomplished fencer, came in and started practicing in the room. N.A. got up just as his roommate was thrusting forward, and the roommates fencing foil went right up N.A.’s nose, and into his brain, causing damage to the Dorsomedial Nucleus of the Thalamus.


N.A. • Also experienced a profound amnesia. • Ironically, this same type of incident

happened again recently to another case in the literature.

• Moral of the story: Don’t ever let fencers become your roommates J


Study Tips • Pay Attention • Minimize Interference and distractions • Elaboration • Organize the material (ex: Hierarchies) • Self-references • Generate examples • Imagery • Chunking • Test Yourself • Learn by Teaching

• Mnemonic devices: Method of Loci, Keyword Method, Acronyms


Study Tips

• Use these strategies frequently, not just the night before the test!

• Be rested, well-nourished, calm, and sober while learning the material and during the test!

The End! You can wake up now! Class is over!


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