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Cognition Rapid Review for AP Psychology

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By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Mar 4, 2011

More in-depth study guides for this subject can be found at:

Memory—human capacity to register, retain, and remember information. Three models of memory:

  1. Information Processing Model of memory—encoding, storage, and retrieval.
    • Encoding—the process of putting information into the memory system.
    • Storage—the retention of encoded information over time.
    • Retrieval—the process of getting information out of memory storage.
  2. We have difficulty attending to two complex tasks—divided attention.

  3. Levels of Processing Theory or Semantic Network Theory—the ability to form memories depends upon the depth of the processing.
    • Shallow processing—structural encoding emphasizes structure of incoming sensory information.
  4. Deep processing—semantic encoding involves forming an association or attaching meaning to a sensory impression and results in longer-lasting memories.

    Self-reference effect or self-referent encoding—processing information deemed important or relevant more deeply, making it easier to recall.

  5. Atkinson-Shiffrin model: Three memory systems—sensory, short-term, and long-term.
  6. Sensory memory—memory system that holds external events from the senses for up to a few seconds.

    • Visual encoding—the encoding of picture images.
    • Iconic memory—a momentary sensory memory of visual stimuli.
    • Acoustic encoding—the encoding of sound, especially the sound of words.
    • Echoic memory—a momentary sensory memory of auditory stimuli.
    • Selective attention—the focusing of awareness on stimuli in sensory memory that facilitates its encoding into STM.
    • Automatic processing—unconscious encoding of information about space, time, and frequency that occurs without interfering with our thinking about other things.
    • Parallel processing—a natural mode of information processing that involves several information streams simultaneously.
    • Effortful processing—encoding that requires our attention and conscious effort.
    • Feature extraction (pattern recognition)—finding a match for new raw information in sensory storage by actively searching through long-term memory.

    Short-term memory—working memory, 20 seconds before forgotten; capacity of seven plus or minus two items.

    • Rehearsal—conscious repetition of information to either maintain information in STM or to encode it for storage.
    • Maintenance rehearsal—repetition that keeps information in STM about 20 seconds.
    • Elaborative rehearsal—repetition that creates associations between the new memory and existing memories stored in LTM.
    • Chunking—grouping information into meaningful units increasing the capacity of STM.
    • Mnemonic devices—memory tricks or strategies to make information easier to remember.
    • Method of loci—uses visualization with familiar objects on a path to recall information in a list.
    • Peg word system—uses association of terms to be remembered with a memorized scheme ("One is a bun, two is...").

    Baddeley's working memory model—a more complex model than just passive STM; includes a phonological loop, visuospatial working memory, and the central executive.

    Long-term memory—relatively permanent storage with unlimited capacity, LTM is subdivided into explicit (declarative) memory and implicit memory.

    • Explicit memory (declarative)—memory of facts and experiences that one consciously knows and can verbalize. Explicit memory is subdivided into semantic memory and episodic memory.
    • Semantic memory—memory of general knowledge or objective facts.

      Episodic memory—memory of personally experienced events.

    • Implicit memory (nondeclarative)—retention without conscious recollection of learning the skills and dispositions.
    • Procedural memory—memories of perceptual, motor, and cognitive skills.

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