Part I


Components of Memory


How would you differentiate between the sensory registers, working and long term memory?


Sensory register is the first place where incoming stimuli of all types impact the learner.  There is one for each sense. They are short, limited and things disappear quickly.

Working memory is where all the connecting and sorting of incoming stimuli take place.  It has a limited capacity so you can't have too much in it at the same time.  Thought of as consciousness.

Long term memory is where all your memories are stored permanently. It has a network structure of connected information.  It's unlimited.

How do these three work together?

Information comes in through sensory registers, but quickly disappears unless the learner pays attention to it.  If that happens, the information moves to working memory and is held there while the learner searches for related information in long term memory.  If some is found, it is brought into working memory so that it can have the new information attached to it as well.  Then it is transformed into an easily storable memory for long term memory.

The courts place a lot of emphasis on eyewitness testimony to convict criminals. Based on what you've read thus far about the storage of memories, what are some problems with this tendency?

eyewitness memory is very unreliable.  It is subject to reconstruction errors because all memory is essentially reconstruction of the original experience.  It can be easily influenced by subsequent input.

Give an example of one of the storage strategies discussed in the text that helps people remember information.

        Two examples:

imagery, in which the person creates a bizarre or vivid image linking new information to old

organization, in which the person categorizes or organizes the information into subsets to make it easier to remember

Part II

The Structures of Memory


Match the component of the Cognitive Paradigm with the descriptive statements below. A component may be used more than once.

A. Sensory memory

B. Short term memory

C. Long term memory

Registers incoming information from the environment.

A. Sensory memory is the first place where the individual makes contact with the environment.

Is the repository of all you know

C. All your prior knowledge is stored in long term memory in various formats, such as visual/verbal, declarative/procedural/compiled, and at various depths of processing.

Has a separate component for vision, hearing, touch, etc.

A. There is a sensory memory for each of the senses.

Is where information is held for a brief period of time while it is being recognized and


B. Short term or working memory is where the connections between long term memory and incoming information are made.

Has connections that are like a network

C. Long term memory is conceived of as a network of connections between different pieces of information. Activating one then activates all those that are connected to it and so on.

Has a capacity of 7 plus or minus 2 bits of information

B. Working memory can only hold a limited amount of information while it's doing its job. Things can be held longer either by chunking (making a large number of items into a smaller number by combining them) or rehearsing (repeating items over and over).

Probably has an unlimited capacity for storage

C. As far as we know, we are nowhere near the limit of our long term memory capacity.

Is very very short in duration depending on the type of input

A. Sensory memories are held for varying lengths of time, but they are all very short and as soon as processing begins they disappear.

Is made up of a lot of different schemata

C. The networks of associations that form long term memory are called schemata (schema singular). Schemata are typical patterns of connections, typical behavior scripts and so on.

Is probably electrical in nature

B. Working memory is probably an electrical circuit in the brain that reverberates until it is pushed out or until a permanent memory is created.

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