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Memory Psychology

Memory Psychology

Theories of memory, how we remember, forgetting and techniques to help to improve your memory:



In this Category

Memory and Chewing Gum

Thursday 17th January, 2008 Research conducted at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England has linked our ability to remember chunks of information to chewing gum. 75 participants in the study were asked to take part in a 20-minute memory test in which: One third of participants chewed gum One third carried out the motions of...

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Schemas and Memory

Schemas (or schemata) refer to a type of cognitive heuristic which facilitates our understanding of our environment. They are mental concepts which are used to recognize and develop an understanding of otherwise complex objects and ideas, from recognizing people, animals and objects in our immediate environment, to processing other types of information,...

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Forgetting

Many people think that the human mind is too complex to explain, and memory is no exception. Even though vast amounts of research have been carried out into how we remember (and forget!) things, nobody knows for sure the model on which human memory is based. There are, nonetheless, two main reasons for which psychologists think we 'forget'...

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False Memories

You may take it for granted that the person whose memory you can trust the most is your own. Yet, psychologists have found that our recollection of everyday events may not be as dependable as we would believe. Moreover, even once information has been committed to memory, it can be altered. Our recollection of memories can be manipulated and even entire...

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Cognitive Load Theory

Cognitive Load Theory (or CLT) is a theory which aims to understand how the cognitive load produced by learning tasks can impede students’ ability to process new information and to create long-term memories. Cognitive load is typically increased when unnecessary demands are imposed on a learner, making the task of processing information overly...

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Memory Test

There are several techniques that you can use to improve your memory. Try the following exercise to see how well you normally remember things, then move onto the next section to learn one of the skills of retention. We will give you a list of twelve words to read through once, then click back and see how many you can remember. Remember, no cheating...

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10 Influential Memory Theories and Studies in Psychology

How do our memories store information? Why is it that we can recall a memory at will from decades ago, and what purpose does forgetting information serve? Memory has been the subject of investigation among many 20th Century psychologists and remains an active area of study for today’s cognitive scientists. Below we take a look at some of the most...

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Flashbulb Memory

In this Flashbulb Memories Guide: What are flashbulb memories? Characteristics of flashbulb memories What affects them? Evaluation of Brown & Kulik's research into flashbulb memories   Where were you on September 11th? Every so-often, an event occurs that stays in the public conscience as an almost photographic memory...

Conditioning

Conditioning in behavioral psychology is a theory that the reaction ("response") to an object or event ("stimulus") by a person or animal can be modified by 'learning', or conditioning. The most well-known form of this is Classical Conditioning (see below), and Skinner built on it to produce Operant...

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Eye Contact in Line-Up Study Leads to Misidentification

How confident do you feel that you could correctly identify faces that you have seen previously, in a line-up? The assumption that we rely solely on facial features to identify people may be misplaced, according to a new study. Researchers at the University of Sydney found that facial recognition depends, in part, upon the direction in which the person...

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Memory and Association

Have you ever been in a situation where someone you know came up to you in the street and started chatting for ages about something from the past, and try as you might, you just could not remember this person's name? Maybe you couldn't even remember where you knew them from, so you worded your own questions very carefully. You're not...

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Craik & Tulving (1975) Levels of Processing

Craik & Tulving wanted to test whether the level of processing affected how well we remember information. By "depth of processing", we mean, the way in which a person thinks about a piece of information, for example, a shallow level of processing of a word would be to skim over a sentence and to understand the sentence without dwelling on...

What Factors Affect Classical Conditioning?

Classical conditioning is arguably an over-simplified explanation of behaviour and as a result can't be used to explain complex human development, personalities and why people often don't associate things with each other.   Discrimination - Pavlov tested to see if animals could discriminate between seemingly similar stimuli by...

Memory and Food

Physical exercise has been shown to improve memory and mental function as it promotes a growth factor which plays a critical factor in the function and survival of brain neurons. Studies on rats have shown that the growth factor, brain derived neurotrophic factor increased in those given the opportunity to exercise. Avoid heavy meals which...

Hypnosis and Memory

Have you ever noticed how you might be trying to remember something and the harder you try to remember the more difficult it becomes until you just give up trying? And later, when you thought you'd forgotten all about trying to remember, the information you wanted just popped into your mind? Well, of course we know that the information was there...

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Luria Method

Try to remember the following list of words but use the following method. Choose a path or a route that you know very well - from your house to the nearest shop or from a car park or station to your work - preferably a path that you travel along every day. Take a mental walk along that route and make sure you have the image relatively clear in your mind....

Miller's Magic Number

In 1956, Harvard University-based psychologist George A Miller published a paper in journal Psychology Review that would give a fascinating insight into human memory and have implications far beyond the field of psychological research and impact on our everyday lives in way many people don't realize. Miller was troubled for several years by the...

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Using Mnemonics to Improve Your Memory

Remember better using the sounds of words.

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Pegword Mnemonic Memory Method

To use this mnemonic you will need to learn a nonsense rhyme off by heart. Take a few moments to memorize this. One is a bun Two is a shoe Three is a tree Four is a door Five is a hive Six is sticks Seven is heaven Eight is a gate Nine is wine Ten is a hen Learn this rhyme off by heart and link each number to people, objects or...

Working Memory Model

Baddeley and Hitch (1974) proposed the Working Memory Model, an enhancement of the multi-store explanation of how memory works. It consists of three sections: The loop stores auditory information the ears, as well as containing an articulatory system for speech production. This manages visual coding. Information...

The Zeigarnik Effect Explained

Your own experience of revising for exams might tell you that sessions of uninterrupted concentration can help you to better remember key pieces of information. Indeed, many students will engage in periods of “cramming” - intensive revision just before a test - in the belief that essential subject facts and figures will be memorized ready for...

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Drawing Information May Increase Your Ability to Memorize It

Do you experience trouble remembering birthdays, important events and other key details? Have you already forgotten what you ate for breakfast this morning? If so, practising drawing what you want to remember could help you to retain key information, according to a new study into how the mind processes new memories. In a study published in the Quarterly...

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Depth of Processing

Craik and Tulving (1975) wanted to test whether depth of processing affected how well we remember information. By "depth of processing", we mean, the way in which a person thinks about a piece of information, for example, a shallow level of processing of a word would be to skim over a sentence and to understand the sentence without dwelling...

Memory Test Results

Summary of results from the short-term memory test.

Craik & Lockhart (1972) Levels of Processing Theory

Traditional theories of memory segmented human memory into different stores – for example, the multi-store model with sensory, short-term and long-term stores. Craik & Lockhart's Levels of Processing theory opposes this, suggesting that our ability to recall information is dependent not upon which store it is in, but to what extent we have...

Multi-Store Memory Model

One popular theory of how we remember was proposed by Richard Atkinson and Richard Shiffrin in 1968. It proposed that the human memory is divided into 3 main sections:   Information from our environment, such as visual images from the eyes and sound, smell, etc. enter the memory here. The information that enters here may only...

Retentive Method for Memory Improvement

Read through the following, allowing yourself to form mental pictures as you go along. When you come to the end, turn away from the computer and write down the list of words in the correct order. You'll be surprised at how well you do. I'm going to form a short story around the words that you're going to remember, and as you form the images...

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How Quickly do our Short-Term Memories Decay?

Peterson and Peterson investigated one of the factors that causes our short-term memory to decay, i.e. why we forget information in our short-term memory. In 1959, they conducted an experiment that revealed how time between remembering something and having to recall it affected the life of a memory.   Peterson and Peterson showed...

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