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43 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back


The retention of information or experience over time as the result of three key processes: encoding, storage, and retrieval.


The first step in memory; the process by which information gets into memory storage.

Levels of Processing

A continuum of memory processing from shallow to intermediate to deep, with deeper processing producing better memory.


The formation of a number of different connections around a stimulus at any given level of memory encoding.

Atkinson- Shiffrin Theory

Theory stating that memory storage involves three separate systems: sensory memory, short-term memory, and long-term memory.


The retention of information over time and how this information is represented in memory.

Sensory Memory

Memory system that involves holding information from the world in its original sensory form for only an instant, not much longer than the brief time it is exposed to the visual, auditory, and other senses. Contains Echoic memory, auditory sensory memory retained up to several seconds, and Iconic memory, visual sensory memory retained for about 0.25 of a second. Ex) Responsible for "writing" in the air using a sparkler or recalling song lyrics from a song that just ended.

Short-Term Memory

Limited- capacity memory system in which information is usually retained for only as long as 30 seconds unless the individual uses strategies to retain it longer. The limit is typically 7 plus or minus 2. Ways to improve: Chunking, grouping information, and rehearsal, conscious repetition of information.


involves grouping information that exceeds the 7 plus or minus 2 memory span into higher order units that can be remembered as single units. Makes large amounts of information more manageable. Ex) O LDH ARO LDAN DYO UNGB EN is not as easily remembered as OLD HAROLD AND YOUNG BEN


Repeating information over and over again to keep it in memory. Allows information to be retained indefinitely.

Working Memory

A combination of components, including short-term memory and attention, that allow individuals to hold information temporarily as they perform cognitive tasks; a kind of mental workbench on which the brain manipulates and assembles information to guide understanding, decision making, and problem solving. An active memory system capable or remembering 4 plus or minus 1. Contains a 3 part system that allows us to hold information as we perform cognitive tasks: phonological loop, briefly stores speech-based information about the sounds of language containing an acoustic code and rehearsal; viso-spatial sketchpad, stores visual & spatial information, including visual imagery; and central executive, integrates information from long term memory and plays important roles in attention, planning, and organizing, monitors which information deserves our attention & which to ignore.

Long-term Memory

A relatively permanent type of memory that stores huge amounts of information for a long time. The capacity is 2.8 * 10^20 bits.

Episodic Memory

The retention of information about the where, when, and what of life's happenings- that is, how individuals remember life's episodes.

Semantic Memory

A person's knowledge about the world, including his or her areas of expertise; general knowledge, such as of things learned in school, and everyday knowledge.

Procedural Memory

Memory for skills. Ex) remembering which keys to hit on the keyboard without looking down at it.


The memory process that occurs when information that was retained in memory comes out of storage.

Serial Position Effect

The tendency to recall the items at the beginning and end of a list more readily that those in the middle

Retrieval Cues

Cues that can prompt your memory and the retrieval task that you set for yourself. Ex) After meeting someone and forgetting their name but if you were to stumble across it you would most likely be able to remember their name.


A memory task in which the individual has to retrieve previously learned information, as on essay tests.


a memory task in which the individual only has to identify learned items, as on multiple-choice tests.

Context- Dependent Memory

Remembering better when you recall information in the same context as you learned it. Works because of encoded features of the context in which they learned the information along with the actual information that later act as retrieval cues.

Godden & Baddeley 1975

A study that tested scuba divers and where they learned information, either on land or under water. Then they asked them to recall the information and found the diver's recall was much better when the encoding and retrieval contexts were the same.

Flashbulb Memory

The memory of emotionally significant events that people often recall with more accuracy and vivid imagery than everyday events.

Repressed Memories/Motivated Forgetting

Forgetting that occurs when something is so painful or anxiety-laden that remembering it is intolerable.

Eyewitness Testimony

It is not a perfect reflection of reality and may contain errors . Understanding the distortion of memory is particularly important when witnessing a crime since it is often traumatic for the individual. Focuses on distortion, bias, and inaccuracy in memory.

Encoding Faliure

Occurs when the information was never entered into long-term memory

Retrieval Failure

Problems in retrieving information from memory are clearly examples of forgetting

Interference Theory

The theory that people forget not because memories are lost from storage but because other information gets in the way of what they want to remember.

Proactive Interference

Situation in which material that was learned earlier disrupts that recall of material that was learned later

Retroactive Interference

Situation in which material that was learned later disrupts the retrieval of information that was learned earlier.


The loss of memory

Anterograde Amnesia

A memory disorder that affects the retention of new information and events

Retrograde Amnesia

Memory loss for a segment of the past but not for new events

Case of H.M.

Had surgery and had a part of his brain damaged. He had anterograde amnesia and what he learned before the surgery was unaffected but he could not remember anything after the surgery.

Tips for Organizing

-Review your course notes routinely and catch potential errors and ambiguities early

-Organize the material in a way that will allow you to commit it to memory effectively

-Experiment with different organizational techniques

Tips for Encoding

-Pay attention

-Process information at an appropriate level

-Elaborate on the points to be remembered

-Use imagery

-Use Chunking

-Understand that encoding is not simply something that you should do before a test.

Tips for Rehearsing

-Rewrite, type, or retype your notes.

-Talk to people about what you have learned and how it is important to real life in order to reinforce memory

-Test yourself

-While reading and studying, ask yourself questions

Treat your brain kindly

Tips for Retrieving

-Use retrieval cues. Ex) sitting in the same seat.

-Sit comfortably, take a deep breath, and stay calm

Keeping Memory Sharp - and Preserving Brain Function

Taking on challenging cognitive tasks throughout life can stave off the effects of age on memory and lessen the effects of Alzheimer disease

Memory and Shaping of Meaningful Experiences

Engaging in everyday life means living memorably. Mindfulness to life events provides a rich reservoir of experiences upon which to build a storehouse of autobiographical memories.

Memory and Health and Wellness

Autobiographical memories, particularly self-defining memories, provide a unique source of identity, and sharing those memories with others plays a role in social bonding.

Explicit Memory and Brain Structures

Hippocampus- explicit memory, priming

Frontal Lobes- Episodic memory

Amygdala- Emotional memory

Implicit Memory and Brain Structures

Hippocampus- explicit memory, priming

Temporal Lobes- explicit memory, priming

Cerebellum- implicit memory