Episodic memory Memory for facts about personally experienced events Three stages: Encoding (storing or acquisition), storage (retention), and retrieval Four ways to improve episodic memory: Rehearsal, levels of processing, organization, and imagery
Rehearsal The aim of rehearsal is maintaining information in working memory as long as possible thus increasing the possibility of storing the information in long-term memory. Serial position effects: Primacy and recency effect
Primacy and recency effects (Rundus, 1971) Subjects were presented list of 20 words at a rate of 5 s per word. They were asked to rehearse the list out loud. Rundus (1971) compared the probability of recall with the position of the word on the list and the number of rehearsals.
Levels of processing (Craik & Lockhart, 1972) Also called elaborative rehearsal, type II rehearsal, or depth of processing When new information is processed in a more intentional and meaningful way, the representation of that information will make more connections with the existing information.
Glenberg, Smith, and Green (1977): Task effects Participants were asked to remember four- digit numbers. During variable intervals, they had to repeat words. At the end subjects were given a free recall or a recognition test on the words. Rehearsal did not improve performance on free recall test, but did improve performance on recognition test.
Organization (Re)structuring of information, so it can be stored in groups (chunking). The organization of information can be subjective (Tulving, 1962).
Visual imagery When people can store mental pictures, they will remember information better (Schnorr & Atkinson, 1969). Dual coding hypothesis (Paivio, 1971): Concrete objects are represented twice. Once in terms of their verbal attributes and once in terms of their imaginal attributes.
Mnemonic Devices Use levels of processing, organization, as well as imagery techniques.
Encoding specificity (Tulving & Thompson, 1973) Items are stored into a larger representation, that includes information about the item presentation.
Encoding is retrieval When people learn information, connections between new and old information are made. When these connections are numerous (rehearsal), elaborate (processing levels, organization, and imagery), it will be easier to retrieve information because there are more cues to help retrieving it.
Retrieval in episodic memory Decay (which is actually a storage/retention problem): The passage of time is cause of forgetting (Thorndike, 1914). Interference. Different items are associated with the same retrieval cue. Attempted retrieval of one of these items can be blocked by the inadvertent retrieval of the other item.
Interference Negative transfer, for instance when subjects have to learn a list of word pairs that were already related to other words in prior lists. Positive transfer, for instance when subjects have to learn a list of word pairs that were similar to words in prior lists.
Negative Transfer List 1List 2 Tall – BoneTall – Leaf Plan – LeafPlan – Bone
Positive Transfer List 1List 2 Tall – BoneTall – Skeleton Plan – LeafPlan - Tree
Interference Proactive interference: A previous learned list interferes with a later list which is tested. Retroactive interference: A later learned list interferes with a previous list which is tested.
Amnesia Encoding – Storage - Retrieval Retrograde amnesia (no retrieval) Anterograde amnesia (no encoding)
What’s better learning with music or learning without music?