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Conways Model The Self Memory System (SMS) has two principle components:- 1. Autobiographical knowledge base –organised specifically to support our sense.

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Presentation on theme: "Conways Model The Self Memory System (SMS) has two principle components:- 1. Autobiographical knowledge base –organised specifically to support our sense."— Presentation transcript:

1 Conways Model The Self Memory System (SMS) has two principle components:- 1. Autobiographical knowledge base –organised specifically to support our sense of self 2. The (working) Self –comprises a goal hierarchy, and various other internal mechanisms (Download the Conway (2005) PDF from my webpage )

2 Autobiographical Knowledge Base Self Episodic Memory tied to specific experiences (e.g. the CMF) Retrieval Consolidation Encoding Self-related semantic knowledge Abstracted from specific experiences

3 Goal Hierarchy Take a peek inside yourself… Conceptual Self Self Autobiographical Knowledge Base semantic knowledge Episodic Memory (CMF) Key point: the SMS system is goal-driven

4 The SMS greatly extends the CMF Conway: all daily experiences are destined to be forgotten –Unless they support longer-term goals In the short term, accurate memories are vital –Where did I leave my keys In the long-term, coherence (between goals) is vital –The Husband-Hermit or Saint-Sinner dilemma

5 SMS Goals Short term (e.g. daily) –Take the car for a service… –Find the keys… –Post the letter… Overriding principle: accuracy! Long-term –Get a job –Learn how to drive –Buy a house –Become a solitary religious hermit –Be a loving husband Overriding principle: coherence But: there is an accuracy-coherence trade-off! Potential for conflict!

6 How is the trade-off achieved? The goal hierarchy acts to maintain a stable and coherent set of short and long term goals Goal Hierarchy Eat and drink (everyday) Keep warm (everyday) Have a conversation (most days) Watch TV (particular times) Find the car keys (in 5 minutes) Avoid tripping up (when I walk) Post the letter (sometime today) Dentist appointment (this week) Revise (next month) Obtain graduation ball tickets (next few months) Find a less annoying partner (yesterday!) Get a 2:1 (next couple of years) Loose weight (before going on holiday)

7 The SMS: key points New memories are not formed automatically from our experiences –But, experiences are always encoded (e.g. as per the CMF). An ABM is formed (and retrieved) only when the (working) self interacts with the autobiographical knowledge base –Such interactions are entirely goal-driven Hence, specific experiences will be forgotten unless they relevant to a goal - within the goal hierarchy Stable self-image emerges from the coherence imposed by the goal hierarchy, perhaps at the expense of accuracy


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