Lecture19

Lecture19 - Lecture 19 False memories and more about...

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Lecture 19 –False memories and more about forgetting
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Interference theory Similar memories prevent the consistent retrieval of an item The item never disappears from memory, it just becomes unreachable Retroactive interference: a later item interferes with recall of an earlier item Proactive interference: an earlier item interferes with recall of the later item Interference is thought to be behind the serial position effect Items at the beginning of the list are subject to retroactive interference Items at the end of the list are subject to proactive interference Items in the middle of the list are subject to both
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Ebbinghaus’ study Ebbinghaus conducted one of the first and most well known studies on forgetting Used himself as a subject, memorized large lists of three letter nonsense words (e.g., QOT, NAZ, SER, …) Measured recall after 20 minutes–31 days Recall plummeted very quickly, then leveled off and exhibited a gradual decline
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Forgetting occurs through gradual disappearance of the memory Very difficult to test this theory Need to construct an experiment task that prevents rehearsal but does not provide interference Some studies have used a distracter task that discourages rehearsal but is unrelated to the memory task part of the experiment (e.g., present a bunch of TBR words, then require subjects to complete a time consuming tone detection task, then ask subjects to recall words) Results suggest that decay does occur, but conclusions are necessarily limited to thetime frames covered in the experiment
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Lecture19 - Lecture 19 False memories and more about...

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