Recovered Memory- suddenly remembering
something when reminded, whether intentional
or not, of a blocked out memory.
Eileen Franklin, while playing with her young daughter,
was reminded of a close childhood friend who was
murdered 21 years prior, at age 8. The case was never
solved. In the moment of recovered memory, she
remembered that her own father, George Franklin, was
not only the murderer but had also molested her since
Laura B. was in therapy when she recovered memory
of her father molesting her from age 5 to 23 and raped
her a few days before her wedding.
1. Recovered-Memory School says
a. False memories are rare.
b. Traumatic memories are commonly blocked
out from consciousness.
c. Doubters of recovered memory victims are
betraying the victims and aiding child
2. Pseudo-Memory School says
a. Real abuse does occur, but false memories of
victimization are encouraged.
3. It turns out that in both of the cases
mentioned, the men were exonerated of
III. Memory and the Power of Suggestion
A. Our memory stores the essentials of an experience,
then we can use our knowledge of the world to figure
out the specifics when we need them.
1. Because our memory is reconstructive, it can easily
be swayed due to ideas implanted in our minds that
become associated with that particular memory.
B. The power of Suggestion Influences Memory.
1. Eyewitness Testimony
a. Eyewitness testimony is not always reliable due
to the reconstructiveness of memory.
1) Eyewitnesses are likely to make errors when
the suspect’s ethnicity differs from that of the
witness. Prejudices and/or unfamiliarity
prevent people from attending to the
distinctive features of members of other
groups, perhaps ethnic stereotypes affect
people’s reconstructions of what happened.
b. Eyewitness accounts can be influenced by the way in
which questions about the event are asked to the
1) Elizabeth Loftus and John Palmer (1974): They did a
classic study to show how certain questions can
suggest certain answers from eyewitnesses. After
showing people a short film depicting car collisions,
they asked the question, “About how fast were the cars
going when they hit each other?” then they asked other
people the same question only they changed the verb
to words like smashed, collided, bumped or contacted.
Estimates of the speed of the cars varied, depending on
which word was used. The more violent sounding
words produced the highest average speed estimates.
c. Leading questions, suggestive comments, and
misleading information affect people’s memories for
their own experiences, as well as events they have
2. Children’s Testimony
a. Most adults believed that children confuse
fantasy with reality and tend to say whatever
adults expect, and therefore, that child’s
memories could not be trusted.
b. Most young children do recollect accurately most
of what they have observed or experienced. On
the other hand, some children will say that
something happened when it did not.
3. Memory Under Hypnosis
a. In hypnosis, a practitioner suggests changes in
the sensations, perceptions, thoughts, feelings,
or behavior of the subject. The subject tries to
alter his or her normal cognitive functioning in
accordance with the hypnotist’s suggestions.
b. Hypnosis does not increase the accuracy over
memory. However, under hypnosis the natural
tendency to confuse fact and speculation is
increased by the desire to please the hypnotist
and by the hypnotist’s encouragement of fantasy
and the reporting of detailed images.
IV. In Pursuit of Memory
Explicit memory- conscious recollection of an
event or item of information, measured in two
recall- the ability to retrieve and reproduce information
encountered earlier. Ex. Jeopardy, fill-in-the-blank, or
Recognition- the ability to identify information
observed, read, or heard about. True-false and
multiple choice, which can be tricky if answers are
similar, but it is usually easier than recall. Visual
recognition is most impressive, if you show 2,500
slides to people and make them pick them out of a
larger selection of pictures they can pick out 90%
2. Implicit memory-information from the past affects our
thoughts and actions even though we do not
consciously or intentionally remember it, there are two
ways to commonly measure it
a. Priming- you are asked to read or listen to some
information, than tested to see if the information
affected your performance. Ex. If you are shown the
stems of words (def-) with certain endings , when
tested you will be more likely to chose one of the
words that was shown to you if asked to give
example of a word with that stem. Therefore your
answer was “primed”
b. Relearning method (saving method)- between an
implicit and explicit memory test, was designed by
Hermann Ebbinghans (1885/1913) . The subject is
made to relearn something that they learned in the
past, if they relearn it faster than they remembered
something to help them learn. This test is only implicit
if the learner is unaware they knew the information
V. The Three-Box Model of Memory
A. Sensory Memory-All incoming information presents
itself in the sensory memory. Made up of
1. Visual Images remain in the Visual Subsystem for
up to half a second.
2. Auditory Images remain in the Auditory subsystem
for up to 2 seconds
3. Pattern Recognition-the identification of a stimulus
on the basis of information that is already contained
in the long-term memory. Only some of the
information in the sensory memory goes on to the
B. Short-Term memory- retains information for
about 30 seconds. Also acts as a “mental
scratch pad”, where information from the longterm memory can be moved for temporary use.
This is called a working memory.
1. Storage in the short-term memory is very limited.
George Miller estimates 7, however everything
between 2 and 20 items of information are able
to be stored in the short-term memory at a given
a. Memories can also be stored as chunks in the
short-term memory. These chunks may be verbal,
auditory, or visual. Familiarity with a topic affects
our ability to retain it.
C. Long-Term Memory-Has no practical limits.
Tons of information can be stored in the LTM.
This information is organized into network
models, which organize thoughts and
memories into categories of related concepts
1. Procedural Memories-Memories for knowing
how to do something, like riding a bike or
doing a puzzle.
2. Declarative Memories-Memories of recalling
facts, like the capitols of the states.
3. Semantic Memories-Includes general
knowledge; facts, rules, and concepts.
4. Episodic Memories-Recollections of personal
D. From Short-term to Long-term:
Serial-Position Effect: If you are shown a list of
items and then asked immediately to recall them,
you will recall better depending on the item’s
position in the list. Researchers are not sure why
this happens, although there are theories.
a. Primacy Effect: Recollection of the first items
b. Recency Effect: Recollection of the last items
VI. How we remember
A. Effective encoding
1. We learned back in Chapter 4 that memories are
not stored in just one single place in the brain.
We saw that even though it is not known exactly
how we store memories, that it seems to be
encoded in pathways of synapses between
2. Automatic encoding: It seems that some
information is automatically encoded without our
even trying. Things like your location in time and
space seem to be encoded without any
deliberate effort on your part to do so.
3. Effortful encoding: some things will not be
remembered without making an effort to encode
them. We must make an effort to remember names,
phone numbers, the content of this course, etc…
B. Rehearsal: when information is reviewed or
practiced, it will not only stay in short term
memory longer, it is much more likely to be
transferred into long term memory.
1. Maintenance rehearsal: Repeating something over
a. Works well for keeping information in STM
b. Does not work as well for encoding information in
2. Elaborative rehearsal: associating new items with
information already in LTM or with other new items.
It also includes analyzing the features of the
3. Deep Processing: Related to elaborative processing
but emphasizes meaning rather than just the features
of the information
a. Craik and Tulving(1975): showed that the deeper the level of
processing, the better the memory.
C. Mnemonics: Using rhymes, stories, or
visualizations to help retain a list of items.
1. Roy G. Biv for the colors of the rainbow
2. Pemdas for the order of operations
3. Using the knuckles of your hands to remember the
number of days in the different months.
D. Improving Memory: There are several things
you can do to help improve your memory of
information you are trying to learn.
1. Organize: this is really the key to remembering a lot
of complex information. Organizing information
forces you to both elaborate and process deeply.
2. Analyze: truly think about the meaning and
implications of the material.
3. Over-learn: This means to continue to rehearse or
practice even after you have learned it. If it took you
20 times reading over a poem and trying to repeat it
before you got it right, repeat it 20 more times. That
is called 100% over-learning.
4. Space-out practice: If you repeat it 5 times a day
over 4 days, you will retain it better than repeating it
20 times in a row. Memories take time to
5. Study different things consecutively. If you have a
history, math, and biology test all on the same day,
study the math in between the other two.
6. Use mnemonics for lists. The sillier the better.
A. Decay: Memories fade with time if they are
not occasionally accessed. This fits well with
sensory memory and short term memory but
not as well with long term memory.
B. Replacement: Memories can sometimes be
replaced by new information.
1. Lofus, Miller, and Burns (1978) showed that
leading questions can actually cause people to
replace the memory with the one planted by the
C. Interference: When similar information
causes you to get confused and therefore
1. Retroactive interference: when new information
interferes with your ability to remember previous
a. You get a new g-mail account and now write the wrong
charter account email address.
2. Proactive interference: when old information
interferes with your ability to remember new
a. You keep writing down 2012 instead of 2013 all through
D. Cue-dependent Forgetting: When we lack
retrieval cues that can help us remember.
We often have information linked in our
minds. When we are given a cue, it can
often help us remember things.
1. déjà vu: When cues are so similar to a past
experience we feel like we have been there
2. State dependent memories: when memories are
triggered by the emotional state of mind we were
in when something happens.
E. Psychogenic Amnesia
1. Amnesia is an inability to remember important
personal information. It usually results from brain
disease or trauma.
2. Psychogenic Amnesia is when it happens for no
apparent physical cause.
a. Often traced to embarrassment or guilt but
usually extreme emotional shock.
b. Generally, the memory will return in a fairly
short period of time.
3. Repression: selective, involuntary forgetting of
information that causes psychological pain
a. This is controversial. Most modern
psychologist do not believe in it.
VIII. Autobiographical Memories: the
memories of our lives.
Childhood Amnesia: The inability to
remember things before about age 4, and
almost impossible to remember things
before age 2.
Lack of brain development.
Lack of a sense of self
A focus on the routine
Different ways of thinking about the world.
B. Memory and Narrative: The stories of our
lives. We try to make sense of our lives and
create a coherent story of why we are who
we are. This often leads to very
reconstructive memory. We interpret things
in ways that will affect how we remember
IX. Memory’s Seven Basic Sins
Transience: information becomes less
accessible over time.
B. Poor Encoding: inattention and shallow
C. Blocking: Retrieval problems
D. Misattribution: source amnesia
E. Suggestibility: Leading questions or
comments implant false memories
F. Bias: Current beliefs distort our memories
G. Persistence: The inability to forget things
that we would like to.