Unit 12: Memory

Memory: the persistence of learning over time through the storage and retrieval of information.
Flashbulb Memory: a clear memory of an emotionally significant moment or event.
Encoding: the processing of information into the memory system (i.e., getting information into memory).
Storage: the retention of the encoded information over time.
Retrieval: the process of getting information out of memory storage.
                      Information Processing
External events are first recorded in fleeting sensory memory.  If we pay attention to this information, it will be encoded into short-term memory.  With further encoding and rehearsal, the information will be recorded in long-term memory.
Sensory Memory:
the immediate, initial recording of sensory information in the memory system (iconic = visual sensory memory; echoic = auditory sensory memory). 
Short-term Memory: activated memory that holds a few items (7 + or - 2) briefly (about 30 seconds), such
as the 7 digits of a telephone number while dialing, before the information is stored or forgotten.
Long-term Memory: the relatively permanent and limitless storehouse of the memory system.
Automatic Processing:
effortless, unconscious encoding of incidental information, such as space, time, and frequency, and of well-learned information, such as word meanings.
Effortful Processing: encoding that requires attention and conscious effort.
Rehearsal: the conscious repetition of information, either to maintain it in consciousness or to encode it for storage.
Ebbinghaus' Retention Curve:
Ebbinghaus found that the more times he practiced a list of nonsense syllables on day 1, the fewer repetitions needed to relearn them on day 2.  In other words, the more time we spend learning new information, the better we retain it.
Spacing Effect:
the tendency for distributed study or practice to yield better long-term retention than is achieved through massed study or practice (i.e., cramming doesn't work well).
Serial Position Effect: our tendency to recall best the first and last items in a list.  More specifically:
       Recency Effect: When asked to recall items immediately, we remember items at the end of the list best.
       Primacy Effect: When asked to recall items at a later time, we remember items at the beginning of the list best.
                 How We Encode Information
Visual Encoding:
the encoding of picture images.
Acoustic Encoding: the encoding of sounds, especially the sound of words.
Semantic Encoding: the encoding of meaning, including the meaning of words.
*NOTE: Processing a word deeply--by its meaning (semantic encoding)--produces better recognition of it at a later time than does shallow processing of its appearance (visual encoding) or its sound (acoustic encoding).

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