Different types 1. Episodic: a memory of a specific event o Example: a first date o When we can remember specific details, it is called a flashbulb memory
2. Semantic or Generic: the general knowledge that we remember although we do not know when we first learned the material o Includes historical facts and our ABCs 3. Implicit or Procedural: includes the skills we have learned o For example, riding a bike
Sometimes, one event can be a combination of more than one kind of memory. Can you think of an example?
Regardless of the process we use, most include three basic steps: encoding, storing, and retrieving the information.
Encoding How we put the information into a form it can be stored in Visual Codes: remembering by creating a picture in your mind Acoustic Codes: remember by repeating the information to yourself Semantic Codes: remembering the information by creating some type of order out of it; creating a phrase out of the letters
Storage o How we maintain the information over time so we don’t lose it o Maintenance Rehearsal: repeating information over and over again o Elaborative Rehearsal: make the information meaningful by relating it to something we already know o Organizational Systems: we organize information just as though our memory was a large file cabinet o Filing Errors: everyone has breakdowns in memory at various times and for various reasons
Retrieval Returning stored information to conscious thought
Context-Dependent Memory Memory retrieval depends on the situation in which we first remembered the information One study suggests if you study in the room where you take a test, you do better than those that studied elsewhere
State-Dependent Memory There is thought that our mood influences our memory We will remember information when we are in the same mood that we first remembered it in
On the Tip of the Tongue There are instances in which we know the information but cannot bring it out Often we will say words that may be similar to try to trigger our memory When I cannot think of a person’s name, I go through the alphabet…when I hit the letter of the first name, I usually remember it!
Sensory Memory Stage One What we sense—see, hear, taste, feel, or smell, is only kept for a fraction of a second The ability to have eidetic imagery (a photographic memory) declines with age
Short-Term Memory Stage Two Also called working memory What we’re trying to actively remember is stored in our short-term memory We have to rehearse the information to keep it in our short term memory
Long-Term Memory The third and final stage We have to take steps to put stuff in our long-term memory Mechanical repetition: maintenance rehearsal Relating information to stuff we already know: elaborative rehearsal Psychologists are unaware of limits to our long-term memory
Basic Memory Tasks 1. Recognition: the easiest task, identifying that we have remembered something in the past 2. Recall: not only recognizing that we have come into contact with some information, but actually being able to call the information back into our mind 3. Relearning: we are often able to remember something we thought we forgot after a brief lesson (like speaking a foreign language)
Types of Forgetting 1. Interference: old memories are replaced by new ones 2. Decay: when a memory fades away 3. Repression: pushing certain memories out of our consciousness 4. Amnesia: severe memory loss caused by injury, shock, fatigue, illness, or repression; infantile amnesia refers to the fact that we don’t remember things from when we were infants
Improving Memory 1. Drill and Practice: go over the information to be remembered over and over again 2. Relate the information to something you already know 3. Form Unusual Associations: sometimes a strange association will trigger our memory 4. Construct links between what you are having trouble remembering and something that is more easily remembered 5. Use Mnemonic Devices