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GenPsychMemoryPart1 - Lecture Outline Introduction to...

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Lecture Outline Introduction to memory. Ebbinghaus. The information processing view. The complexities memory. Memory for academic content. Why Cover Chapter 7 Now? We are addressing the topic of memory early in the semester because of its importance to your success in this course and others you are taking this semester. Hopefully, what you learn about this topic will enable you to improve your time management and study skills. Introduction to Memory Changes in the nervous system that have potential consequences for behavior (including communicative expressions) can result from: Genetically-programmed maturation. Experience. The term “learning” refers to the processes by which these nervous system changes occur . The term “memory” refers to the result o f those changes. Note the echoes of the “nature - nurture” issue. On Definitions of Memory Our definition of memory differs from the textbook definition, which is “the retention of information.” These definitions can be considered equivalent, but there is value in making explicit reference to the nervous system. There will be no questions on assignments or tests in this course requiring you to pick out a definition of memory. Memory is Functional What we experience is the result of the situation in which we put ourselves and the actions (including voluntary acts of attention) we perform in those situations. Actions reflect motivation. Actions are directed by our goals, emotions, and interests.
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An Example of the Functional Nature of Memory Nickerson & Adams (1979). Which of the following is the genuine penny? See figure in textbook. Early Work in Memory Hermann Ebbinghaus (1885) Used nonsense syllables so as to know exactly when learning occurred. Produced detailed measurements of how long it took to learn lists (savings). See figures in textbook. The Information Processing View Once psychologists returned to studying mental processes in the 1950’s, the computer was used as an analogy for understanding memory: The computer has a “buffer” – a temporary storage place for letters that you type faster than it can display them.
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