Presentation on theme: "When Memory Fails: Why we Forget. Memory: The persistence of learning over time. Encoding Storage Retrieval."— Presentation transcript:
When Memory Fails: Why we Forget
Memory: The persistence of learning over time. Encoding Storage Retrieval
Failure at Encoding Information never transferred to long term memory, due to: Information never transferred to long term memory, due to: –Lack of attention –Shallow processing –No frame of reference
Failure during Storage Decay Theory: Decay Theory: Memory traces fade over time, especially when not retrieved. Memory traces fade over time, especially when not retrieved. “Use it or lose it”
Failure during Retrieval Interference Theory: Interference Theory: –Memories are hard to retrieve due to interference from other memories –Two types: Proactive and Retroactive
Proactive Interference When an OLD memory interferes with remembering NEW information When an OLD memory interferes with remembering NEW information Monday- park in North lot Tuesday AM- park in East lot Tuesday PM- Look for car in North Lot
Retroactive Interference When a NEW memory interferes with remembering OLD information When a NEW memory interferes with remembering OLD information Old phone number New phone number Try to recall old number, but can only recall new number
Source Amnesia The attribution of a memory to an incorrect source. The attribution of a memory to an incorrect source. Example: This American Life
Failure during Retrieval “tip of the tongue” phenomenon “tip of the tongue” phenomenon –Often cues can help us remember
Amnesia Memory disorder produced by brain injury or illness. Memory disorder produced by brain injury or illness. –retrograde amnesia = the loss of memory for events that occurred before the amnesia onset. –anterograde amnesia = the inability to form new memories after the amnesia onset. Point of Onset (Injury) Retrograde amnesiaAnterograde amnesia
Other types of Amnesia: Infantile Amnesia Infantile Amnesia Psychogenic Amnesia Psychogenic Amnesia –Repression = Freudian term, the ‘pushing’ of traumatic memories or emotions into the unconscious mind –Does it exist?
Recovered Memories ‘Believers’: ‘Believers’: –painful memories can be accurately stored in the unconscious and may surface in form of other disorder (e.g. depression) –by recovering memories of trauma, healing can begin
Recovered Memories ‘Skeptics’: ‘Skeptics’: –no evidence for ‘repression’ mechanism –many traumatic episodes are not forgotten –why do some repress and others don’t? –therapeutic techniques used are questionable
Recovered Memories Loftus and Pickrell (1995)- ‘Lost in a Mall’ study Loftus and Pickrell (1995)- ‘Lost in a Mall’ study –Successfully implanted false memory of being lost in a mall in 25% of subjects –Some subjects provided details
Recovered Memories APA’s viewpoint: APA’s viewpoint: –Most people who are abused as children remember most of what happened to them. –One can construct false memories for events that never happened. –Sometimes a memory of childhood abuse might be forgotten and remembered later.
The Bottom Line Memory is a RECONSTRUCTIVE process, and confidence is NOT correlated with accuracy.