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89 Cards in this Set

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the process involved in retaining, retrieving, and using information about stimuli, images, events, ideas, and skills after the original information is no longer present (active anytime past experience has an effect on the way you think or behave now or in the future)

modal model of memory

1. sensory memory is an initial stage that holds all incoming information for seconds or fractions of a second

2. short term memory holds five to seven items for about 15-20 seconds.

3. Long term memory can hold a large amount of information for years or even decades.

structural features

sensory memory, short term memory, and long term memory

control processes

dynamic processes associated with the structural features that can be controlled by the person and may differ from one task to another


(control process) repeating a stimulus over and over, as you might repeat a telephone number in your mind

sensory memory

the retention, for brief periods of time, of the effects of sensory stimulation

persistence of vision

continued perception of a visual stimulus even after it is no longer present (sparklers, flashing pictures in a movie theater)

whole report method

subjects were asked to report as many letters possible from the entire 12 letter display. Able to report 4.5-12 letters

partial report method

told to report the letters in a single 4 letter row. Correctly reported 3.3 out of 4 letters

delayed partial report method

letters were flashed on and off and then the cue tone was presented after a short delay. Immediately after a stimulus is presented, all or most of the stimulus is available for perception.

iconic or visual icon

brief sensory memory for visual stimuli

echoic memory

the persistence of sound (lasts for a few seconds after presentation of the original stimulus)

short term memory

string small amounts of information for a brief period of time

proactive interference

interference that occurs when information that was learned previously interferes with learning new information

retroactive interference

new learning interferes with remembering old learning

digit span

the number of digits a person can remember


small units (like words) can be combined into larger meaningful units, like phrases, or even larger units like sentences, paragraphs or stories


a collection of elements that are strongly associated with one another but are weakly associated with elements in other chunks.

working memory

a limited capacity system for temporary storage and manipulation of information for complex tasks such as comprehension, learning, and reasoning

phonological loop

phonological store and articulatory rehearsal process. (holds verbal and auditory information)

phonological store

has a limited capacity and holds information for only a few seconds

articulatory rehearsal process

responsible for rehearsal that can keep items in the phonological store from decaying

visuospatial sketch pad

holds visual and spatial information

central executive

major work of working memory occurs. It pulls information from long term memory and coordinates the activity of the phonological loop and visuospatial sketch pad by focusing on specific parts of a task and deciding how to divide attention between different task

phonological similarity effect

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

articulatory suppression

repetition of an irrelevant sounds reduces memory because speaking interferes with rehearsal.

visual imagery

the creation of visual images in the mind in the absence of a physical visual stimulus.

mental rotation

rotating image in your mind


occurs when there is an obstacle between a present state and a goal and it isn't immediately obvious on how to get around the obstacle


process of changing the problem's representation (associated with insight)


the sudden realization of a problem's solution (suddenly identifying a crucial element that leads to the solution)


people's tendency to focus on a specific characteristic of the problem that keeps them from arriving at a solution

functional fixedness

focusing on familiar functions or uses of an object

initial state

conditions at the beginning of the problem

goal state

the solution of the problem


actions that take the problem from one state to another.

mental set

a preconceived notion about how to approach a problem, which is determined by a person's experience or what has worked in the past

intermediate states

a sequence of choices of steps

problem space

the initial state, goal state, and all the possible intermediate states

means-end analysis

reduce the difference between the initial and goal states


intermediate states that are closer to the goal


the process of noticing connections between similar problems and applying the solution for one problem to other problems

analogical problem solving

ex: Russian marriage problem and mutilated checkerboard

analogical transfer

the transfer form one problem to another

target problem

the problem the subject is trying to solve

source problem

another problem that shares some similarities with the target problem and that illustrates a way to solve the target problem

structural features

underlying principle that governs the solution

analogical encoding

the process by which two problems are compared and similarities between them are determined

analogical paradox

while it is difficult to apply analogies in laboratory research, people routinely use analogies in real world settings


people who, by devoting a large amount of time to learning about a field and practicing and applying that learning have become acknowledged as being extremely knowledgeable or skilled in that particular field

divergent thinking

thinking that is open ended, involving a large number of potential solutions

preinventive forms

ideas that precede the creation of a finished creative product

latent inhibition

capacity to screen out stimuli that are considered irrelevant

savant syndrome

people with autism or other mental disorders are able to achieve extraordinary feats


the process of making choices between alternatives


the process of drawing conclusions-because it involves coming to aconclusion based on evidence

inductive reasoning

reasoning based on observations or reaching conclusions from evidence.

availability heuristic

events that are more easily remembered are judged as beingmore probable than events that are less easily rememberedMore words with third letter as R

illusory correlations

occur when a correlation between two events appears to exist, but inreality there is no correlation or it is much weaker than it is assumed to be.


an oversimplified generalization about a group or class of people thatoften focuses on the negative

representativeness heuristic

probability that A is a member of Class B can be determined by how wellthe properties of A resembles the properties we usually associate with class B.

base rate

the relative proportion of different classes in the population.

conjunction rule

the probability of conjunction of two events (A and B) cannot be higherthan the probability of the single constituents (A alone or B alone).

law of large numbers

the larger the number of individuals that are randomly drawn from apopulation, the more representative the resulting group will be of the entirepopulation

myside bias

the tendency for people to generate and evaluate evidence and test theirhypotheses in a way that is biased toward their own opinions and attitudes

confirmation bias

it holds for any situation (not just for opinions andattitudes) in which information is favored that confirms a hypothesis

expected utility theory

if people have all of the relevant information, they will make a decisionthat results in the maximum expected utility


outcomes that achieve a person’s goals

expected emotions

emotions that people predict they will feel for a particular outcome.

risk aversion

the tendency to avoid taking risks

incidental emotions

emotions not caused by having to make a decision.

opt in procedure

requires the person to take an active step

opt out procedure

everyone is a potential organ donor unless you request not to be

status quo bias

the tendency to do nothing when faced with making a decision

framing effect

decisions are influenced by how the choices are stated or framed


combines psychology, neuroscience, and econ to study how brain activationis related to decisions that involve potential gains or losses

ultimate game

deciding to keep the money or split it

deductive reasoning

we determine whether a conclusion logically follows premises




consists of two premises followed by a conclusion

categorical syllogisms

premises and conclusions are statements that begin with All, No, or Some.
Validity (in terms of categorical syllogisms)
a syllogism is valid when the form of the syllogism indicates that itsconclusion follows logically from its two premises. Doesn’t mean that the conclusion is true.

mental model

a specific situation represented in a person’s mind that canbe used to help determine the validity of syllogisms in deductive reasoningThey create a visual representation of the situation and thengenerate a tentative conclusion based on the model and then look for exceptionsthat might falsify the model. They modify the model based on exceptions and if they can findno more exceptions, then they can conclude that the syllogism is valid

conditional syllogisms

have two premises and a conclusion like categorical syllogisms, but hasthe form of “if…then”.

permission schema

if a person satisfies a specific condition (drinking age) thenhe/she gets to carry out an action (being served alcohol).(increases accuracy)

evolutionary perspective on cognition

we can trace many properties of our minds to the evolutionaryprinciples of natural selection. A Highly adaptive feature of the mind would, through thecourse of evolution, become a basic characteristic of the mind

social exchange theory

an important aspect of human behavior is the ability for two people tocooperate in a way that is beneficial to both people.

dual systems approach

there are two mental systems: a fast, automatic, intuitivesystem (System 1)Slower, more deliberate, thoughtful system (System 2)