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Yates Memory Summary. Items of memory are like physical objects. The IMAGE is of a Storehouse… Consists of Items – facts, lists, the enumerated points of a speech, etc. Items of memory are like physical objects. The IMAGE is of a Storehouse…

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slide2

Items of memory are like physical objects. The IMAGE is of a Storehouse…

  • Consists of Items – facts, lists, the enumerated points of a speech, etc.
slide3

Items of memory are like physical objects. The IMAGE is of a Storehouse…

  • Consists of Items – facts, lists, the enumerated points of a speech, etc.
  • Forgetting occurs IF the item is left alone… i.e., this item can be LOST in the clutter like any physical object… so you have to “hunt” for it
slide4

Items of memory are like physical objects. The IMAGE is of a Storehouse…

  • Consists of Items – facts, lists, the enumerated points of a speech, etc.
  • Forgetting occurs IF the item is left alone… i.e., this item can be LOST in the clutter like any physical object… so you have to “hunt” for it
  • Memories fade (like other things stored away and never dusted off and used… or like an old picture or like old wallpaper) UNLESS repetition occurs
slide5

Important or emotional memories are stored better (differential storage… some things store better than others).

slide6

Important or emotional memories are stored better (differential storage… some things store better than others).

  • Mostly accurate, like a record; may be incomplete or 2 memories can be confused, but are generally trustworthy.
slide7

Important or emotional memories are stored better (differential storage… some things store better than others).

  • Mostly accurate, like a record; may be incomplete or 2 memories can be confused, but are generally trustworthy.
  • Memories don’t change drastically over time (except for fading).
slide9

Explicit, active memory events are the culture’s typical memory example– trying to store (effortful), trying to recall (typical situations -- studying for or taking a test, grocery list, other lists, remembering to do something; atypical – riding a bike, following a route, acting appropriately in class, typing, speaking)

slide10

Memory functions are controlled by “you”… by your conscious mind… what to store, what to recall. Memory is under our voluntary, conscious control.

slide12

Repetition and rehearsal aid memory or may even be necessary for memory.

  • Forgetting: the culture recognizes 2 forms: loss and retrieval failure.
slide13

The culture lacks a clear distinction between storage of information and retrieval of that information. Both are called memory. (Example: did you “forget” something? If so, most people don’t ask themselves if this was a failure to store the information or a failure to retrieve the information. The response is simply “I forgot”). Try this: when someone says “I forgot” or “I can’t remember”… what do they mean? (probably either no storage or no retrieval).

slide14

For most of the examples people think of (grocery list, studying for a test) the cultural belief is that INTENTION to remember is important. It helps to INTEND and TRY to store the information.

slide15

Most of the above cultural beliefs suggest a specific image of memory. Test this IMAGE: e.g. a dark pantry or file drawer or desk drawer or large box or a junk store…

slide16

Most of the above cultural beliefs suggest a specific image of memory. Test this IMAGE: e.g. a dark pantry or file drawer or desk drawer or large box or a junk store…

  • Like any physical container, you can fill this one with ITEMS (things)
slide17

Most of the above cultural beliefs suggest a specific image of memory. Test this IMAGE: e.g. a dark pantry or file drawer or desk drawer or large box or a junk store…

  • Like any physical container, you can fill this one with ITEMS (things)
  • you have to intend to store things (items) there… you have to consciously put
  • them there…
slide18

you have to rummage around to find things. Some things are easy to find because they are at the front, but there are places in the pantry that are full of cobwebs because you don’t go there much, so it is harder to find things. In other words,

slide19

your memory may or may NOT be organized, BUT organization aids retrieval BECAUSE memory is like a STOREHOUSE filled with ITEMS.

slide20

Some items (important, emotional, distinct) are more SALIENT in the storage space, and thus (like a salient physical object being searched for by someone looking around in a storehouse) are easier to recall.

slide21

“Simpler” items take up less storage space, can be easier organized, and take less work to store than “complex” items.

slide22

Just like things in a storehouse, memories in this physical space don’t change by themselves… they are expected to be accurate (aren’t people SURPRISED when memories are shown to be inaccurate?), but only some things get stored so memory is incomplete.

slide23

Repetition/rehearsal and the putative effects of emotion seem to be related to another common physical metaphor… of IMPRESSING something on a blank surface.

slide24

The fact that so many cultural beliefs are consistent with a couple of visual images is evidence that these images control how we think about memory… they constitute a CULTURAL THEORY of memory. This suggests two things:

    • the arbitrariness of these images. Why not construct other images that might do a better job of capturing the properties of memory?
    • these images may have limited how psychologists and others have studied memory. Awareness of them can help us critically examine them and “escape” them.
slide25

Students in Memory & Language are free to critically examine Yates’ “theory of the cultural theory” offered here; if there are ways it inaccurately depicts the cultural view, bring them up in class or in your paper. Are there strongly-held cultural beliefs about memory that do NOT fit into the images suggested above?

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