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26 Cards in this Set

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How is information copied into the store?


How much information can the store hold?


How does information get lost from the store? (Decay)


What is the format of information in the store?


How is information recovered from the store?

George Miller & Herb Simon (1965)

Miller's analysis of short-term memory capacity (7 +/- 2 chunks)


Anything in the working memory, which has a unitary representation in long-term memory


Packing more information into each chunk, given that the number of chunks is limited


"Shopping list: walk through the house to remember" A technique for improving memory


Poor remembering caused by interference by the counting task

Retroactive Interference (RI)

Newer material interferes backward in time with your recollection of older items

Proactive Interference (PI)

When older material interferes forward in time with your recollection of the current stimulus

Release from PI

Applying new information from a different category to "reset"

Saul Sternberg

Developed ways to measure working memory retrieval using recognition, not recall; used response time because accuracy would be perfect

Sequential/ Serial Scan

If scanning is one at a time, one item after another, then RT should increase with set size (goes through the whole list even when a match is found; still takes longer for a "no" as you have to go through the whole list before coming up with an answer)

Parallel Scan

If scanning examines all items at once, then RT should be constant over set size; both accounts make the same prediction for "no" and "yes" but "no" may take longer

Working Memory Operation

Central Executive: directs and controls all WM functions

Visio-spatial Sketchpad: slave system for holding visual information

Phonological Loop: slave system for holding and recycling auditory/ acoustic information

Recoding & Rehearsal

Verbal information is recoded into acoustic format in WM even when it is visually experienced

Conrad (1965): sound alike errors (ex. A E G T B)

Wickelgren (1965): RI from rhyming distractor task

Semantic Codes

Wickens' "release from PI" demonstrates importance of semantic codes in working memory

Mental Rotation

Ability to mentally rotate images indicates visual coding in working memory

Differences between SM and WM

Sensory Memory

- Infinite capacity

- Forgetting due to decay

- Raw representation

Working Memory

- Chunks of 7 +/- 2

- Forgetting due to interferences

- Largely phonological representation

Serial Position Curve

Primacy: Superior memory for the beginning information in a sequence

Asymptote: Average memory for information in the middle of a sequence

Recency: Superior memory for the ending information in a sequence

Slow presentation enhances primacy by a slight amount


An independent variable affects on situation or theoretical entity differently from another (ex. Distraction affects WM but not LTM)

Double Dissociation

Two situations or theoretical entities are affected in opposite ways by one or more independent variables (ex. Distraction affects WM but not LTM; rate of presentation and word frequency affects LTM but not WM)

Rehearsal Buffer

The component of short-term memory that holds information currently being rehearsed (mental recycling systems)

Process Model

Stage model designed to explain the sequential mental steps involved in performance of some task

- Encode Probe

- Scan and compare with memory set items

- Binary (yes/no) decisions

- Execute motor response