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BHS 499-07 Memory and Amnesia Metamemory. Metamemory – conscious awareness of and control of one’s own memory processes. The belief that memory was worse.

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Presentation on theme: "BHS 499-07 Memory and Amnesia Metamemory. Metamemory – conscious awareness of and control of one’s own memory processes. The belief that memory was worse."— Presentation transcript:

1 BHS Memory and Amnesia Metamemory

2 Metamemory – conscious awareness of and control of one’s own memory processes. The belief that memory was worse (tonic water) led to worse performance. How do we know whether we know something or not? Mnemonics – devices for remembering.

3 Cues and Targets Targets – the pieces of information that we wish to remember. Cues – the questions used to elicit information. Target-based sources – information from the trace that informs a judgment (e.g. ease of recall). Cue-based sources – info from question (e.g., familiarity of info in the question itself).

4 Cue Familiarity Hypothesis Metamemory judgments are made based on the familiarity of info in the cue. Grandmother’s maiden name: If you know a lot about your family you might guess that you know this. If you know little about your family you might guess that you will not know this.

5 Accessibility Hypothesis Metamemory judgments are inferential. People use what is at hand or partial retrievals to make inferences. Sources of information: Amount of info activated to make the judgment. Intensity of the activated traces (ease of access, vividness, specificity of info)

6 Competition Hypothesis Metamemory judgments are influenced by the number of memory trace competitors involved in retrieval. Judgments are greater when there are fewer competitors. The more competitors the less likely the info will be retrieved – the more difficult the retrieval.

7 Judgments of Learning (JOL) An estimate of how well something has been learned. These tend to be very inaccurate compared to actual testing. Inability hypothesis – people have little awareness of their own mental processes. People are fooled when info is still in working memory.

8 JOL Cues JOLs are influenced by three types of cues: extrinsic, intrinsic, mnemonic. Extrinsic cues – aspects of the learning environment (practice, presentation time) Intrinsic cues – ease of learning. Mnemonic cues – memory-based info, how well someone has done before. People use intrinsic more than extrinsic and shift to mnemonic with experience.

9 Allocation of Study Time People allocate study time based on how easy they think new info will be to learn. Allocation of time not always effective. Labor in vain effect – people study hard items using massed practice, with little progress. With experience, people focus on the region of proximal learning – better.

10 Feel of Knowing (FOK) Forgetting has different subjective qualities: Seems like you never learned it. Feel like the answer is in there somewhere. FOK judgments are reasonable predictors of performance on a later recognition test.

11 Problems with FOK Game show method – subjects either answer the question (control) or indicate that they know the answer (game show). People know whether they have the answer before they can retrieve it. Based on familiarity with info in the question, not necessarily what is in memory. People give higher FOK ratings to things they think they ought to know.

12 Partial Info & FOK Judgments With a large amount of accurate partial knowledge, FOK judgments will correspond to later recall. If partial info is incorrect, correspondence is lower. Partial info predicts remember vs know judgments. FOK is affected by number of competitors (more = lower judgments).

13 Tip-of-the-Tongue (TOT) This happens when people fail to recall but feel they are just about to remember. Characteristics: Happens about once a week. Words similar can be recalled. Often affects a proper noun (person’s name). May be aware of the first letter or number of syllables. Unrelated to anxiety or stress.

14 Theories of TOT Incomplete activation – the search range is too broad, too many possibilities. Blocking – related but inappropriate competitors are activated and block access to the correct info. People keep retrieving the wrong answer. Recently activated states are more likely to be retrieved again, creating a vicious circle.

15 Knowing that you Don’t Know Sometimes we know that we know, even without remembering, sometimes not. People make judgments based on the familiarity of the cue (question). People were slower at making “don’t know” judgments if they had previously learned a “don’t know” response. Lack of retrieval to distinctive info occurs

16 Remember Vs Know Remember-Know Judgment – remember includes context of learning, know does not. Know judgment depends on familiarity. Things that affect remember judgments do not affect know judgments and vice versa – double dissociation. These reflect different ways of using memory.

17 Hindsight Bias Creeping determinism – I knew that would happen. People remember their previous mental state as being closer to their current one. Ratings of past grief closer to their current states than their previous ratings.

18 Knew-It-All-Along Effect A variant of hindsight bias. To evoke this effect: Stage 1 – Have subjects judge whether statements are true or false. Stage 2 – Present feedback about judgments. Stage 3 – Ask what subjects knew in Stage 1 Reports of the subjects with feedback are biased toward the feedback.

19 Remembering Forgetting How well do people remember whether they remembers or forgot in the past? People are more accurate at remembering their successes than remembering that they forgot. 50% of forgotten items were remembered as having been remembered.

20 Avoiding Hindsight Bias If the current knowledge state is discredited, people can disregard it and be more accurate about past knowledge. When people were told that feedback in stage 2 was inaccurate, they correctly remembered stage 1. People told to monitor the source do better, but not just telling them to try.

21 Remembering Beliefs Expectations about metamemory affect beliefs about happiness. 50% of subjects were told that unhappy memories fade quickly, 50% happy. People told that unhappy memories fade were more likely to rate their childhood as less happy. May think they forgot unhappy memories.

22 Prospective Memory Used to remember to do things in the future. Memory for past events is retrospective. Two components: Remembering what to do. Remembering to do it. The environment is monitored for a cue to remember to do it – uses frontal lobes.

23 Types of Prospective Memory Two types: Event-based – remembering to do something when some event occurs (e.g., tell someone something) Time-based – remembering to do something at a specific time (e.g., take a pill). Time-based is harder than event-based. Errors with repetitive time-based tasks.

24 Mnemonics Mental or physical devices to help people remember. Peg word Method of loci Rhyming, acronyms (HOMES), acrostics (first letters of a phrase) Knuckle mnemonic

25 Exceptional Memory Memorists (mnemonists) – not relying on exceptional intelligence or mnemonics. S. – Luria’s subject in Russia, had an unusual neurological condition. Rajan Mahadevan – recited pi to 31,811 digits. Uses serial position not semantics, had normal memory skills for other info. Eidetic imagery – may be present in young children but disappears.


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