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A psychology topic: how we human store, process and restore information


Oursky Limited

June 10, 2013


  1. Memory How we store information David @ Oursky

  2. How our brain works Output Process Input ?

  3. Memory system Dual Store Models (Atkinson-Shiffrin, 1968) Sensory memory (SM)

    Short-term Memory (STM) Long-term Memory (LTM)
  4. Long term memory

  5. Short term memory

  6. Sensory memory - Holds sensory information - Decays quickly (1-3

    sec) after an item is perceived - Physical properties, basic features Iconic memory : visual information Echoic memory : auditory information Haptic memory : touch stimuli
  7. Short term memory Miller’s magic number 7 • good immediate

    recall when # of digits < 7 • individual difference (range: 5 – 9) note: not 7 digits but 7 chunks of information


  10. Short term memory Duration List study task (Peterson & Peterson,

    1959) • remember a list of nonsense 3-letter clusters • distraction: counting backward by 3 • recall • IV: distraction duration • DV: % correct for recalling the stimuli
  11. Short term memory List study task (Peterson & Peterson, 1959)

    Recall success was around 50% after an interval of 3 seconds and interference task, but this reduced gradually to around 10% over intervals of 6, 9 and 12 seconds, and gradually to around 5% success after 18 seconds.
  12. Short term memory Content auditory form (Conrad, 1964; Baddeley, 1966)

    − errors made in STM task • sounds similar C as P, but not F as P mouse as house, but not horse as house
  13. Short term memory Content visual form (Posner et al., 1969)

    • show 2 letters successively • are they the same letter? • IV: 3 conditions • DV: reaction time
  14. Short term memory Content visual form (Posner et al., 1969)

    • Propose: if (identity matched == name matched) only sound is stored • reaction time: identity matched < name matched visual information also coded
  15. Short term memory Summary − very short duration (< 1

    mins) − very limited capacity (< 10 chunks) − code superficial information
  16. Long term memory Capacity − nearly unlimited • estimation: at

    least store 1 billion bits of information (Landauer, 1986) • Duration − last very long • information not retrieved for 50 years is still here (Bahrick, 1983)
  17. Long term memory Content everything... • language, knowledge, faces, what

    happened in 64 • how to swim, how to talk, how to drive, etc... − more systematic classification of content • procedural vs. declarative • semantic vs. episodic
  18. Long term memory Procedural memory − memory about skills •

    physical activities • e.g., how to swim, how to drive, how to play tennis
  19. Long term memory Procedural memory − takes time to acquire

    • e.g., learn how to walk − once acquired, highly durable • e.g., still know how to swim after a whole winter
  20. Long term memory Procedural memory − difficult to describe the

    details • e.g., can't verbalize how to swim easily • even when written in text, difficult to understand − automatic execution • needs efforts to change a component in the action sequence
  21. Long term memory Semantic memory − memory about real world

    knowledge • e.g., there are no penguins in Arctic − memory about concept • e.g., what is the difference between early and late selection model of attention?
  22. Long term memory Semantic memory − learned and shared by

    all people • not related to specific events − retrieval needs conscious efforts • consume resources (attention, WM) • allow manipulation of concepts that support more complex thinking
  23. Long term memory Episodic memory − memory about specific events

    • conscious about the source • e.g., when, where, who − unique personal events not shared by other • autobiographic memory • e.g., your graduation dinner
  24. Long term memory Episodic memory − vulnerable to amnesia •

    easily impaired • more recent events higher chance to be lost
  25. Long term memory Passage reading experiment (Reder, 1982) − study

    phase: • read short passages − testing phase: 1. did you see exactly the same sentence in the passages? 2. do you think the following statement is true given what you've read?
  26. Long term memory Passage reading experiment (Reder, 1982) − IV:

    type of question, delay between study and test (immediate, 20 mins, 2 days) − DV: performance
  27. Long term memory Passage reading experiment (Reder, 1982) − results

    • exact judgment is fast and accurate initially, but gets longer and less accurate as time passes • plausibility judgment is in general difficult, but the performance does not drop as time passes
  28. Long term memory Implications • retrieval of both exact and

    general, inferred information • rely less on exact information as time passes • the information left is the "digested", self- interpreted traces
  29. Serial position effect cat iron man oursky plane banana bread

    mouse coffee candy fire telephone keyboard
  30. Retention

  31. Retention How information can be retained? − rehearsal • repeating

    the information verbally • transfer information to LTM − over-learning • keep rehearsal after one perfect recall better retention
  32. Retention Distinctiveness • special instances are retained better "one-shot" learning

    (e.g., 911 event)
  33. None
  34. Elaboration Precise elaboration Beautiful SiuTao is working as a designer

    at Oursky Ltd. Imprecise elaboration Beautiful SiuTao is working in a company. No elaboration SiuTao is working. 
  35. Elaboration Results • performance best in precise elaboration, worst in

    case imprecise elaboration - the quality of retrieval cues matter - support the importance of elaboration
  36. Ref. http://hs-psychology.ism-online.org/files/2012/08/Peterson-Peterson-1959-duration-of-STM.pdf http://www.ballarat.edu.au/ard/bssh/school/hp502/Word%20length%20effect.pdf