Introduction and Objectives Introduction

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Introduction and Objectives


4.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer's.

Why do our memories fail us? What causes Alzheimers?

In this topic we will discuss Chapter 6 Memory in your textbook.

Chapter 6 introduces us to the important mental process of memory. Memory refers to the cognitive processes that allow us to retain and use information. In this chapter we will learn about the influential theory of how human memory works, called the Stage Model of Memory. It describes memory as consisting of three distinct stages. The chapter describes each of the stages including their capacity, duration, and function.

We also learn about the process of getting information from our permanent memory stores--retrieval and the kinds of potential problems we can have with the retrieval process.

Additionally, chapter 6 discusses the biological basis of memory including where memories are located in the brain and how neurons change when memories are formed. Finally, we will learn about disorders of memory including; amnesia and Alzheimer's Disease.



After completing the learning activities for this topic, you will be able to:

  • Define memory and the fundamental processes of encoding, storage, and retrieval.

  • Discuss the stage model of memory and describe each of the stages.

  • Identify strategies for encoding information into long-term memory.

  • Describe types of information stored in long-term memory, the two dimensions of long-term memory, and how information is organized in long-term memory.

  • Discuss the retrieval process including the importance of retrieval cues, common retrieval glitches, testing retrieval, and the serial position effect.

  • Explain the encoding specificity principle and provide examples of context effects and mood congruence.

  • Define flash bulb memories and describe their characteristics and the accuracy of these memories.

  • Discuss what happens when we have memory failures and explain the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve and why we forget.

  • Explain the imperfect nature of memories including errors, distortions, and false memories.

  • Discuss the biological basis of memory and describe how memories are both localized and distributed in the brain and how neurons change when a memory is formed.

  • Describe how memories are processed in the brain, including evidence from patients with amnesia.

  • Explain the brain structures involved in memory.

  • Describe the symptoms and causes of Alzheimer's Disease.

Activities Checklist

To meet the learning objectives for this topic, you will complete these activities. Print this page and use it as a checklist.

  • Review the Introduction and Objectives page.

  • Read Chapter Six: Memory in your textbook.

  • Complete the assignments on the Learning Activities page.

  • Complete the Interactive Lesson: The Stage Model of Memory

  • Complete the assignment: PsychSim 5 Reflection Questions - Trusting Your Memory

Learning Activities

Go to the publisher's web site and take the Practice Quiz over Chapter Six.

Visit the Alzheimer's Association web site for information about the brain and Alzheimer's.

Watch the videos about Memory:

  • Understanding Memory

  • Flashbulb Memories - 9/11 Flashbulb Memories

  • Repressed Memories - Dissociative Amnesia

  • Repressed Memories - False Memories

  • Repressed Memories - When Eyes Deceive - Eyewitness Testimony

Interactive Lesson: The Stage Model of Memory

Read each list of bullets and decide what Memory Stage it describes: Sensory, Short Term, or Long Term.

Then click on

below the question to see the correct answer.

1. What stage of memory:

2. What stage of memory:

  • Is also known as working memory

  • Has a capacity limited to about 3 or 4 items

  • Information that is not actively rehearsed will be lost

3. What stage of memory:

  • Has an unlimited capacity

  • Contains procedural, episodic and semantic memories

  • Information is organized through clustering and associations

Quiz 3 Study Guide

Please note: When you take the quiz, you will be given 30 random questions from the test bank, so your test may not contain all of the topics covered in this study guide. However, you should know all of the topics in this study guide. Also, you should be able to recognize examples of the concepts listed on the study guide below, as many of the test questions involve the application of course material.

Use these questions to study for Quiz Three.

Note: Some of these concepts can be found in the focus boxes in the chapters.

Chapter 5

  1. Identify the person who discovered classical conditioning.

  2. Identify the following classical conditioning principles: UCS, UCR, CS, and CR, and be able to recognize examples of these concepts.

  3. Define stimulus discrimination, stimulus generalization, and extinction. Be able to recognize examples of these concepts.

  4. Describe primary reinforcement, positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment by application, and punishment by removal. Give examples of each of these concepts.

  5. Describe the conditions under which punishment is most effective.

  6. Describe the determinants of behavior according to BF Skinner and the behavioral perspective?

  7. Describe the reinforcement schedules and give an example of each type of schedule.

  8. Discuss the results of the Bobo doll experiment.

  9. Describe the results of the Little Albert experiment.

  10. Define classical and operant conditioning.

Chapter 6

  1. Define memory.

  2. Describe the memory processes of storage, encoding, and retrieval.

  3. Discuss the stage model of memory.

  4. Describe the characteristics of sensory memory.

  5. Discuss the characteristics of maintenance and elaborative rehearsal.

  6. Identify the capacity for short term and long term memory.

  7. Describe the effect chunking has on short term memory.

  8. Discuss episodic, procedural, and semantic memory.

  9. Describe how retrieval cues can improve memory.

  10. Describe the difference between recall and recognition.

  11. Identify the serial position effect.

  12. Discuss the reasons we forget (a failure to encode, proactive, and retroactive interference).

  13. Describe the conclusions of Elizabeth Loftus regarding eyewitness testimony.

  14. Describe how the misinformation effect leads to memory distortions.

Assignment: PsychSim 5 Reflection Questions - Trusting Your Memory


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Edit Instructions

Complete the PsychSim 5 Reflection Questions Assignment:

  1. Read the PsychSim 5 Assignment: Trusting Your Memory on the publisher's companion site.

  2. Type complete, comprehensive answers to all three Reflection Questions in a word processor file such as Word or Notepad. The required length for the answers is one page, including all three answers.

Trusting your Memory Reflection Questions:

  1. a. What was your score on the recall test?
    b. What was your score on the recognition test?
    c. Did your performance show an advantage for recognition over recall? Do you now understand why most students prefer multiple choice tests over essay tests? Explain.

  2. Did your performance reflect the Serial Position Effect? Can you give examples from your real life experiences of how the Serial Position Effect explains our memory?

  3. a. Did you show false recall or false recognition for "sleep"?  If so, why do you think this happened? If not, why do you think your performance was different from the Roediger & McDermott study?
    b. How might memory distortions affect eyewitness testimony?

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