memory can hold six pieces of information: HOT BUTTERED POPCORN IN A BOWL Working Memory Psychologists today consider short-term memory to be a working memory . Rather than being just a temporary information storage system, working memory is an active system. Information can be kept in working memory while people process or examine it. Working memory allows people to temporarily store and manipulate visual images, store information while trying to make decisions, and remember a phone number long enough to write it down. Long-Term Memory Information can be transferred from short-term memory to long-term memory and from long-term memory back to short-term memory. Long-term memory has an almost infinite capacity, and information in long-term memory usually stays there for the duration of a person’s life. However, this doesn’t mean that people will always be able to remember what’s in their long-term memory—they may not be able to retrieve information that’s there. Organization of Memories Imagine what would happen if a psychology textbook weren’t organized by section, by chapter, or in any other way. Imagine if the textbook didn’t have a table of contents or an index. If the textbook just contained lots of information in a random order, students would have difficulty finding a particular concept, such as “encoding of memory.” They’d know the information was in there somewhere, but they’d have trouble retrieving it. Long-term memory stores much more information than a textbook, and people would never be able to retrieve the information from it if it weren’t organized in some way. Psychologists believe one way the brain organizes information in long-term memory is by category. For example, papaya may be organized within the semantic category fruit . Categories can also be based on how words sound 45
or look. If someone is struggling to remember the word papaya , she may remember first that it’s a three-syllable word, that it begins with the letter p , or that it ends with the letter a. Long-term memory organizes information not only by categories but also by the information’s familiarity, relevance, or connection to other information. Where Were You When . . . Flashbulb memories are vivid, detailed memories of important events. Older people may have very clear memories of where they were and what they were doing when they heard President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated. Many people today may have a similar kind of memory of where they were when they heard the Pentagon and the World Trade Center had been attacked by terrorists. Retrieval Retrieval is the process of getting information out of memory. Retrieval cues are stimuli that help the process of retrieval. Retrieval cues include associations, context, and mood.
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- Winter '16
- Ian Arcega
- Developmental Psychology, Kohlberg's stages of moral development, Skinnerand Piaget