Remembering and forgetting
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Problems encoding and or storing in the media
Problems encoding and/or storing in the media

  • – 5 minutes

  • - Dory

  • (bleep out 1:10-1:22)

  • – overboard

  • Paycheck



  • Explicit Memory

    • Conscious, intentional recollection of an event or of specific information

    • Recall and Recognition are part of this

      • Name the 7 Dwarves

      • Which of the following are the 7 Dwarves?

  • Implicit Memory

    • The unconscious retention of previous experiences that creep into our current thoughts/actions

    • Studied through priming

  • In between these two:

    • Ebbinghaus…. Re-learning method…recalling, but also using previous experience…from repeitition

Ebbinghaus study
Ebbinghaus Study

  • The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve:

  • Psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was one of the first to scientifically study forgetting.

  • Used self as subject

  • Tested his memory using lists of 3-letter nonsense syllables (like KAF, PEB)

    • Nonsense because he didn’t want his existing knowledge to be able to help out his memory

  • Tested his memory for periods of time ranging from 20 minutes to 31 days.

  • His results show a forgetting “curve” (time and forgetting)

    • Initially, information is often lost very quickly after it is learned. Factors such as how the information was learned and how frequently it was rehearsed play a role in how quickly these memories are lost.

  • The forgetting curve also showed that forgetting does not continue to decline until all of the information is lost. At a certain point, the amount of forgetting levels off. What exactly does this mean? It indicates that information stored in long-term memory is surprisingly stable.

  • Adapted from:

Models of memory
Models of Memory

  • Information Processor (sound familiar?)

    • Encode info to make it useful

    • Store it (here it is put in cognitive schemas for organization)

    • Retrieve it

  • Storage part involves 3 kinds of memory

    • 1. sensory

    • 2. short term (STM)

    • 3. long term (LTM)

Multi store model of memory atkinson and shiffrin 1968
Multi-store Model of Memory(Atkinson and Shiffrin, 1968)

Sensory memory
Sensory Memory

  • The “waiting room” of the memory

  • Momentarily preserves extremely accurate images of sensory info to be taken into STM

  • We can identify what we see based on stored LTMs

  • If info doesn’t go to STM lost forever

Short term memory stm
Short-term Memory (STM)

  • “Working Memory” “Scratch Pad”

  • Processes info that is coming in and new (learning)

  • Processes info that is retrieved from LTM to use in the current situation

  • “Leaky Bucket” analogy – George Miller – 5-7 objects at once

  • Chunking (go read page 323 of book)

  • - facial memory


  • Psych Sim 5 – Short Term Memory


  • H.M. example – can do short term memory, but can not store to Long Tem memory (gives validity to the Multi-store model)

Long term memory ltm
Long-term Memory (LTM)

  • The “final destination”

  • Helps us: learn, get around, form identity

  • Semantic categories activity

  • Types of Information in LTM:

    • Procedural: knowledge HOW TO do something

    • Declarative: Knowing something is TRUE

      • Semantic: facts, rules, concepts

      • Episodic: personally experienced events

Serial position effect
Serial Position Effect

  • Why mostly first and last items of list remembered?

  • 1st – STM relatively empty when starting

  • Last – info still in STM and available for recall

  • Still somewhat of a mystery…

  • Seen in the Roediger and

    McDermott Study

How we remember
How We Remember

  • Effective Encoding –

    • automatic (like your location in space and time… “Where did you eat breakfast this morning?”)

    • Effortful (remembering facts for tests)

  • Rehearsal

    • Repeating over and over to keep in STM before it goes to LTM

    • Most people use speech to encode and rehearse (saying things over and over to yourself)

    • Maintenance Rehearsal: rote repetition

    • Elaborative Rehearsal: associating new item with many already known facts

    • Deep Processing: processing the meaning rather than just the physical or sensory features

    • *Bloom’s Taxonomy


  • Rhymes – “30 Days has September”

    • Parks and Rec clip

    • Any others?

  • Acronyms – HOMES

    • What can you think of?

  • Imagery Associations

  • Partner activity: With the mnemonic I give you, you and a partner come up with a way to remember all the territories of Canada

Why we forget
Why We Forget

  • To a certain degree, forgetfulness is a positive thing…keeps our mind sane and helps us survive…gets rid of the clutter

  • Marigold 334

  • Psychologists have suggested that there are 5 mechanisms that account for forgetting…


  • Decay – memory traces fade with time if not accessed now and then….second language?

  • Replacement – misleading info can cause forgetting of original material

  • Interference – similar info in your mind gets confused with one another

    • Retroactive interference: new info interferes with old (Judy/Julie)

    • Proactive interference: old info distracting the new (French then Spanish)


  • Cue-dependent forgetting – inability to retrieve information stored because of insufficient cues for recall

    • Ex: knowing an actor’s first name might cue you to remember the last name too

    • Cues present when learning can help trigger those memories later…remembering in same physical environment as event is easier

    • De ja Vu – when cues overlap…makes us think we’ve been somewhere/seen something before when we haven’t

Cue dependent forgetting cont
Cue-dependent forgetting (cont.)

  • State-dependent forgetting

    • The mental or physical state you were in when learning something, may be needed to be reproduced to remember it again

      • Emotional arousal, intoxication, mood

      • Language in Italy, happy memories when feeling happy

      • Mood-congruent memory effect can be vicious in the negative direction

Psychogenic amnesia
Psychogenic Amnesia

  • Amnesia = inability to remember important personal information (usually traumatic or stressful)

  • Reading…pgs 338-344

    • Take notes on “Seven Basic Sins”