Memory: Permanence, Organization, Atkinson Shiffrin Model YouTube Lecture Handouts for Competitive Exams

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Memory: Basics in Psychology

What is Memory?

  • Memory: Dusty storehouse of facts

  • Active system that receives, stores, organizes, alters, and recovers information

  • Acts as computer – encode, storage & retrieval

Image of Computer And Its Input Devices

Image of Computer and Its Input Devices

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Atkinson-Shiffrin Model of Memory - Stages of Information

Image of Model of Memory

Image of Model of Memory

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  • Sensory Information: Exact copy encodes for second or two – iconic memory (visual) and echoic memory (auditory)

  • STM: Small amount of information for dozens of seconds – memory encoded as images & phonetically (by sound) when it comes to letters and words – If not rehearsed, it is lost

  • Working Memory: For thinking and problem solving

Image of Miller's Magic Number

Image of Miller's Magic Number

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  • Chunking: recode and regroup information, eg, NY (New York)

  • LTM: Lasting storehouse of knowledge, can store limitless information and it becomes easier to add new information – encoding based on meaning

Image of Warehouse of Knowledge

Image of Warehouse of Knowledge

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  • Forming and using long-term memories is active, creative, highly personal process.

  • Memories are colored by emotions, judgments, and quirks of personality – varies for each person & even twins

Rehearsing Information

  • Maintenance rehearsal: Silently repeating memory – hear it many times and not once

  • Rote rehearsal or rote learning – learning by simple repetition

  • Elaborative processing – makes information more meaningful (why, how etc.)


  • Wilder Penfield - brain records past like β€œstrip of movie film, complete with sound track”

  • But brain stimulation produces memory like experience in 3% cases

False Memory

  • Loftus & palmer experiment: Car accident – terms used as smashed, bumped, contacted, hit – people with false memory gave false testimony

  • Memory gap is filled by logic, guess or new information

  • Source Confusion: Occurs when origin of memory are misremembered

Organizing Memory

  • Memory structure: Pattern of associations among items of information

  • Cognitive interview: Use of cues and strategies to improve memory of eyewitnesses

  • Network Memory: Model of memory that views it as organized system of linked information

Types of Memory

Image of Types of Human Memory

Image of Types of Human Memory

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  • Memories for skills are distinct from memories for facts

  • Procedural Memory: Person with amnesia has procedural memory. It is based on skill and task and is implicit.

Image of Declarative Memory, Semantic Memory, Episodic Memor …

Image of Declarative Memory, Semantic Memory, Episodic Memor …

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  • Declarative Memory: Stores factual information like names, faces and is explicit. Person with amnesia lacks this memory. It is of two types

  • Semantic Memory: Mental dictionary or encyclopedia of knowledge – basic things which one can never forget like one’s name, it records impersonal knowledge

  • Episodic Memory: Autobiographical record of personal experiences – it is about β€œwhat,” β€œwhere,” and β€œwhen” of our lives & allows re-experiencing events

(INTERESTING: Forgetting of episodic information results in the formation of semantic memories. At first, you remembered when and where you were when you learned the names of the seasons. But later you forgot the episodic details but will remember names of seasons for the rest of your life.)

Measurement of Memory

  • Tip of Tongue: Feeling that memory is available but not retrievable

  • Recall: To supply or reproduce memorized information with a minimum of external cues.

  • Recognition: An ability to correctly identify previously learned information

  • Relearning: Learning again something that was previously learned. Used to measure memory of prior learning – measured by saving score (amount of time saved in relearning)

  • Priming: Facilitating the retrieval of an implicit memory by using cues to activate hidden memories.

  • Consolidation: Process by which relatively permanent memories are formed in brain

  • Hippocampus acts as switching station b/w STM & LTM – if damaged develops anterograde amnesia (inability to consolidate new memories)

How to Memorize?

  • Learn by Chunks

  • Mnemonics

  • Whole vs Part Learning

  • Cues

  • Spaced Practice

  • Use mental pictures

  • Form mental associations

  • Form a story or chain